CIPD: Useful or Not?

With 4 years’ experience recruiting within HR & L&D, and with 2 weeks until I finish my CIPD Level 5, I keep coming across various opinions of the usefulness of CIPD.
Our clients have differing opinions on the topic. There are job specs where having a CIPD is essential and then there are job specs where a CIPD qualification is desirable but not essential. I have also come across job specs where CIPD is not required at all, yet the jobs are often similar.
According to CIPD themselves with their qualification being the most recognised – they are the world’s largest and oldest institute – and they also position themselves as a partner to your successful career. With its “exclusive” members club, you have access to their varied career development tools and to numerous other resources to help you excel in your role as a policy maker; becoming a true leader and champion of best practise within your current position or new role.
But can a CIPD qualification really be more valuable than years of experience? Some argue that the CIPD qualification can’t replace hands on experience. For example, during an interview you must demonstrate in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience. Therefore, the argument goes, the hands-on experience cannot be replaced by the theoretical knowledge of the CIPD.
During my career, I have recruited many senior managers and it has been extremely surprising to see candidates with 30 years of experience in the field being rejected for the role just because they don’t have a CIPD qualification. Those with 30 years’ experience do have an option of fast-tracking to get their qualification, however, are often left not only surprised by the assessment they must go through but also, they can find it disheartening.
Many argue that gaining a CIPD is important nowadays for progression. Getting CIPD qualification seems to be more important for those entering the HR Profession who wish to develop their careers.
We see that more and more are becoming CIPD qualified with more than 80% of HR professionals now holding the qualification.
It seems that it is “safer” to have a CIPD qualification rather than not, especially if you are looking to progress or apply for that dream job which requires the CIPD qualification. With 80% already qualified, you are most likely to be up against someone who has the qualification.