Payroll Technician Certificate

If you are new to payroll, or payroll systems and need to understand how they work to answer employee questions - this is the course for you. 

An accurate payroll service requires you to understand complex legislation. This online certificate allows those with little payroll experience to begin to develop and formalise their payroll knowledge.

Starting with Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance contributions this course will equip you with the skills necessary for the preparation of manual payments and correction of errors. The course then moves onto the rules of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay, shared parental pay, statutory sick pay and associated leave and contains all recent legislative changes, providing clear explanations on qualification, entitlement and calculation of the above statutory payments and leave. The course concludes by considering court orders and student loans.

Who is this certificate aimed at?

Those who are just starting out in their payroll career and wish to gain a formal qualification will benefit from this introductory certificate.

Why should I invest in this certificate?

Given the continued legislative changes within the payroll industry, it is important that you, and those members of your team, that are involved in processing payroll have the knowledge required to make accurate payments to employees.

This certificate provides an ideal opportunity for you to develop and demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and application of the job roles within the payroll industry, helping to prevent fines for non-compliance.


This qualification is conducted completely online and covers the following topics:

  • Overview of automatic enrolment
  • Calculating gross pay and its apportionment of gross pay
  • Voluntary and statutory deductions
  • The pay statement
  • Tax codes and the pay adjustment
  • Tax percentages and rates
  • P45 and the starter checklist
  • Calculation of tax and NICs
  • NI percentages and rates
  • Income tax (PAYE) calculation
  • The treatment of starters and leavers
  • National Insurance calculation
  • HMRC penalties for non-compliance
  • Recovery procedures and offsetting
  • Resolving disagreements on entitlement
  • Statutory entitlement and qualification criteria
  • Exclusions and ceasing entitlement
  • Terminology
  • Calculating payments
  • Record keeping and statutory forms
  • Attachment of Earning Orders
  • Student loans and attachment orders
  • HM Revenue and Customs penalties for non-compliance
  • Overview of end of year statutory requirements
  • Basic payroll obligations

Each topic consists of comprehensive learning materials; links to a range of external material; and knowledge tests associated with these topics. Some are enhanced with streaming video and interactive lessons and tutorials, utilising video conferencing over the internet.

There will be two assessments; one is a multiple choice test, and the other is scenario based assignment.


This course is delivered using our online learning platform, supported by a series of interactive activities, comprehensive documentation, and online presentations.

Students are assessed on a continual basis, using a worked payroll scenario, concluding with a multiple choice questionnaire.  As part of the final assessment, all students will be required to manually calculate a payroll, demonstrating the skills and knowledge they have gained whilst working through the course.

Recommended study hours per week are 7 hours.

Benefits of online learning include:

  • Value for money - webinars are a low cost and effective learning too
  • Can learn anytime, anywhere - as well as the interactive webinars, delegates can download the recorded webcast after the event so they can refer back at a time, date and location to suit them
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds to ensure that you never miss an online learning opportunity

This course has a face to face learning option for in-house only. Please email us for more information.

How much does it cost?

Member and non-member rate:

Payroll Technician Certificate: £1395  + VAT (online course)

Payroll Technician Certificate: £1595  + VAT (face to face in-house)

What do my fees include?

  • Online course provision through the CIPP’s student website
  • Allocation of a tutor to provide you with support
  • Trial student membership of the CIPP for the duration of your studies, providing you with access to:
    • Two enquiries to the CIPP’s technical Advisory Service helpline
    • Online Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward magazine
    • News On Line e-newsletter distributed with the latest news, updates and legislation


Once successfully completed you may choose to progress to year one of the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management or year two via the RPL route (see page for details).

Frequently asked questions

How much time will I need to invest each week?

This will depend upon prior experience. Realistically you should allow about four to five hours per week. Recommended study time is seven hours per week.

How long does this qualification take to complete?

The course is delivered over a 20 week period but is a 26 week timetabled course.

How much does this qualification cost?

£1295 + VAT, which includes student membership of the CIPP for the duration of your studies.

When does this qualification start?

The course normally starts on the 1st Thursday of each month. There is an intake every month apart from March.