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Congratulations to Clare Thorogood who is our latest Candidate of the Quarter.

Clare, a Learning & Development Business Partner with the London Community Rehabilitation Company, successfully combined a demanding job with studying to achieve her Level 5 Diploma well within the time allocated for the programme.

Our Candidate of the Quarter Award recognises the hard work and personal dedication of individuals who go the extra mile to achieve qualification success and Clare is certainly a worthy winner. Recommended by her adviser, she consistently provided a high standard of work throughout her learning programme. She was thorough in her approach, listening to the feedback and grasping what she needed to do to meet the assessment criteria.

“Clare was a very independent learner,” her adviser recalls, “and confirmed her resilience and time management skills by fitting her studies around a very busy work schedule. She showed learning in action throughout by making sense of theories and reflecting on their significance to her work practice, to identify opportunities for further improvement. She has also clearly demonstrated her commitment to continuing her professional development by presenting a well thought through plan to take forward.”

Clare’s career background is in the criminal justice system as a senior probation officer based in London. However, with a BSc and a Masters in Psychology under her belt, she had always enjoyed a love of learning and was delighted to be offered the role of L&D Business Partner two years ago.

I have always enjoyed being in academia and knew I wanted to work in L&D having been a facilitator on various projects in the probation services. My employer took a chance on me even though I didn’t have much formal L&D experience but suggested I do a CIPD qualification to feel more confident in my role.

Clare researched CIPD providers online and chose Reed Learning because of the positive endorsements and the fact that we offered workshops as well as online programmes.

“Being new to L&D and coming in at a relatively senior level I thought it was important to meet other professionals. Joseph Grech, who led the workshops, was absolutely fabulous. The workshops were small and intimate so gave me the opportunity to ask questions and gain the perspectives of people in different contexts. It was very refreshing to find that whatever the sector, the challenges are exactly the same.

“My adviser was wonderful. There was never the sense that she was rushing me. She was so knowledgeable and really understood my organisational context even though it was one she wasn’t too familiar with. We really worked well together, and I appreciated her support,” she adds.

Throughout her studies Clare made use of our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which she said cut out having to “aimlessly search the internet for information,” and she also found the guidance provided around assignments invaluable.

Her tips for success to other candidates include being disciplined about study time.

One of the best things that helped me was to take copious notes during the workshops which I reviewed on the train home when the information was fresh,” she explains. “It meant that when I came to write up the assignment, my notes were of a good quality.

Now that she has been awarded her CIPD Level 5 qualification, Clare’s next step is to learn more about leadership and talent management.

“Ultimately I would like to move into a Head of Learning Development role with a larger team. I can definitely see myself doing an Advanced qualification down the line. My former line manager is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and sets a great example of progressing and having a professional network,” she adds.