The aim of the CIPR Specialist Diploma (Internal Communications) is to enable the candidates to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in the contexts, concepts and practical tools of internal communications.
It is designed for both generalist public relations practitioners wishing to enhance their understanding of best practice in internal communication and also for those looking to specialise in internal communications as a career. The CIPR Specialist Diploma (Internal Communications) will be of interest to practitioners who have experience of internal communications activities, in consultancy or in-house, or in a related discipline such as human resources management.
This qualification will equip the candidate with the knowledge and tools to apply this experience in the context of the function of internal communications in organisations, how it contributes to organisational engagement and commitment, and to organisational change, and what is expected of an ethical practitioner in the digital age. Candidates will research and develop ethical internal communications strategies and plans that assist organisations to stimulate employee engagement, change attitudes and influence behaviours. Candidates would be awarded the CIPR Specialist Diploma (Internal Communications) on successful completion of the assessment.
The syllabus is taught and assessed at the same level as a postgraduate degree.
CIPR Specialist Diploma Internal Communications
Aims of the module
Successful candidates will be able to:
1 Apply key concepts in internal communications:
The evolution of internal communications as a strategic management function; Organisational structures, leadership and management; Organisational culture and its impact on internal communications practice; The role of internal communications in major change management programmes; How change can be accelerated by using effective approaches to communications and engagement.
2 Define internal communications and engagement models and concepts:
Keeping employees informed and the employee voice; Work engagement (how employees become engaged); Internal communications and organisational engagement; The psychology of communications and engagement; Listening, authenticity and dialogue.
3 Critically evaluate and implement internal communications planning, including:
Audit and research methodologies; assessing levels of communications and organisational engagement; The internal communications planning process and its strategic management; audiences, messaging, project management; Advanced channel management, content creation and curation; Measurement and evaluation of outputs and outcomes; Applying principles of ethical and professional practice; Production of management reports outlining recommendations for organisational and internal communications performance improvement.
The Specialist Diploma (Internal Communications) Submission:
The assignment will comprise:
1. A 3,000-word (+/- 10%) management proposal including:
a) Identification and justification of the chosen topic of inquiry;
b) Critical evaluation of the activity with reference to its management and measurement;
c) Recommendations for improvement drawing on data analysis and performance indicators.
2. Supporting 2,000-word (+/- 10%) review of proposal for change including:
• Overview of secondary research undertaken;
• Relevant research methodology;
• Frameworks and models relevant to internal communication used to inform
• Discussion of ethical challenges encountered in the process.
There are 4 assessment sessions per year. Depending on when you enrol on to the qualification you could qualify in as little as 6 to 8 months.
As well as the tuition time, you’ll need to set aside approximately 10 to 12 hours per week for self-study. This might increase as you work towards submitting your assessments.
You qualify for the Specialist Diploma (Internal Communications) if you hold 1 or more of the following:
- CIPR legacy Advanced Certificate or Professional PR Certificate
- CIPR legacy Diploma or Professional PR Diploma
- one of the following plus 1 year’s relevant full-time employment in public relations (or related sectors, e.g. marketing, journalism) and 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, 1 of which must be in the English language*:
- CIPR Legacy Internal Communications Certificate or the Specialist Certificate (Internal Communications)
- postgraduate professional qualification in a related discipline (e.g. CIM diploma)
- UK Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a PR related discipline: business, marketing, management, communications, media or journalism.
- 1 of the following plus 2 years’ relevant full-time employment in public relations (or related sectors) and 5 GCSEs at grade 5 or above, 1 of which must be in the English language*:
- CAM Advanced Diploma in Marketing Communications
- NCTJ Diploma
- UK bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any other subject
- LCCIEB qualification which must comprise 5 level-3 subjects in PR, marketing, advertising, and principles and practice of management
- 4 years’ relevant full-time employment in internal communications (or related sectors) and 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, 1 of which must be in the English language*.
Relevant experience should include at least 50% of the following:
- PR planning and crisis management / managing the PR aspect of a potential crisis situation
- planning, developing and implementing PR strategies
- organising events including press conferences, exhibitions, open days and press tours
- researching, writing and distributing press releases to targeted media
- coaching client representatives in effective communications with the public and with employees
- preparing and delivering speeches to further public relations objectives
- establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, and public interest groups
- preparing or editing organisational publications for internal and external audiences, including employee newsletters and stockholders’ reports.
- If you don’t have sufficient experience in these areas, the Professional PR Certificate or Specialist Certificate (Internal Communications) may be a better starting point for you.