Oxbridge Institute of Professional Development (OIPD)-UK is a leading UK based assessment and accreditation body. We are a global, self-regulated Professional membership-based body of individuals and Institutions from around the globe. OIPD is registered in the UK, as a not-for-profit Trust.
We have a simple mission: to help our members make more of their lives through selecting learning that will enhance their career growth and professional status globally.
Whether it's at home, in the classroom or in the workplace, learning is the key to improving our life. To this end, Oxbridge in the UK brings together leading names and Institutions in Education, Learning and Development to provide a blend of content, curricula, assessment, training, and technology to make learning more engaging and effective.
We are also a UK accreditation body as well as an assessment center and are recognized by many international universities. We award Professional Fellowship Grades from a Post-Doctoral Senior Research Fellow, carrying the title ‘Emeritus Professor’, a Professional Specialist Doctoral Fellow (Dr.S) to a TVET Associate Member and other Professional Certifications.
We recognize academic, professional, and vocational qualifications that are globally offered and benchmarked, with educational excellence congruent with names like Oxford and Cambridge.
Oxbridge Institute of Professional Development (OIPD)-UK is a leading UK based assessment and accreditation body. We are a global, self-regulated Professional membership-based body of individuals and Institutions from around the globe.
We have a simple mission: to help our members make more of their lives through selecting learning that will enhance their career and professional growth.
Whether it's at home, in the classroom or in the workplace, learning is the key to improving our life. To this end, Oxbridge in the UK brings together leading names and Institutions in Education, Learning and Development to provide a blend of content, curricula, assessment, training and technology to make learning more engaging and effective.
We are also a UK accreditation body as well as an assessment center and are self-regulated in England & Wales and recognized by many international universities.
We recognize academic, professional and vocational qualifications that are globally offered and benchmarked, with educational excellence congruent with names like Oxford and Cambridge.
Our Values, Vision and Mission
- Absolute Integrity
- Concern for Members Needs
- Collaboration and Trust
- Continuous and Life-Long Learning
- Diversity, Equality, and Inclusiveness
- Professionalism of Service
- Openness and Transparency
To be a globally recognized and valued professional body that enables its members to grow, develop and fulfil their professional and educational aspirations, needs and goals
To help members to make more of their lives through selecting learning and professional growth that will enhance their personal, career and gain recognition from professional development fellowship awards
To provide accreditation of learning facilitators and institutional members as well as of professional certification programs, for listing in the British Professional Qualifications Handbook.
To assess members’ experience, learning and qualifications and provide Recognition of Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for grading and Fellowship Awards – from Basic Certification, TVET, Professional Doctoral, to Post-Doctoral - levels.
Our Values, Vision and Mission
- Absolute Integrity
- Concern for Members Needs
- Collaboration and Trust
- Continuous and Life-Long Learning
- Diversity, Equality, and Inclusiveness
- Professionalism of Service
- Openness and Transparency
To be a valued professional body that enables its members to grow, develop and fulfil their educational aspirations, needs and goals
To help members to make more of their lives through selecting learning that will enhance their personal, career and professional growth
To provide accreditation of institutional member professional certification programs for listing in the British Qualifications Register.
To assess members’ experience, learning and qualifications and provide Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for grading and Fellowship Awards – from Basic Certification, TVET, Professional Doctoral, to Post-Doctoral - levels.
Hi there! Have some questions about OIPD and its Awards? Find the answers below.
1What is the OIPD?
The Oxbridge Institute of Professional Development – UK (OIPD) is a not-for-profit, global, self-regulated professional membership body, registered in the UK and established by the Oxbridge Institute Trust No: XCTRUST80159755, under the Trustee Act 2010, UK. Its vision is to be a valued global body that enables its members to grow, progress and fulfil their informal educational, learning, and professional development aspirations at an affordable rate. OIPD offers membership awards from TVET up to a Professional Doctorate Fellowship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship level, aligned to the UK Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).
2Who is behind OIPD?
There is a Board of Trustees, of nine members from seven countries including the two Founders from the UK. They are the OIPD Principal Patron, Lord Kevin Couling, of Coulinge and Little Neston cum Hargrave, Lord of the Realm who is Chairman and the Vice Chairman, Prof. Dr Peter Shephard. The Patron and the Vice Chairman were founders of the Cambridge Global Learning (CGL) Network in 2010, and it was agreed that CGL merge when OIPD was formed in 2020. CGL then had over 400 members from 30 countries.
3How did the OIPD evolve?
Originally it started as ‘The Oxbridge: The Oxford and Cambridge International Professional Qualifications – United Kingdom, officially listed in the British Qualifications Register. This body owned a College of Education which had to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The Trustees agreed to convert the College into the Oxbridge Institute of Professional Development, so that faculty members and students could continue their work.
4What does the OIPD do?
Like any Professional Membership body, it has to offer services that appeal to its stakeholders. Its charter is to offer members development opportunities and to Recognise and Reward Professional Achievement. This includes a system of grades and awards from TVET, Certificate, Professional Certification, Diploma, Masters and Doctoral Fellowships, including Post- Doctoral Research Professorships. OIPD also publishes an International Journal (IJPD) & CGL’s Magazine. CGL is the ‘Education, Learning & Training’ arm. OIPD provides member & course Accreditation.
5How are the OIPD awards recognised?
There are many forms of recognition. The first is by the members themselves, especially for Professional Doctoral or Post-Doctoral recognition. The second is recognition by employers. Here, the quality of Assessing a candidates work experience and their ‘Experiential Learning and Competencies’ is paramount. OIPD adheres to the UK Professional Development APEL & CPD guidelines and standards, It must be noted that many members achieving Doctoral status are highly experienced professionals, most in their late 40’s to mid-50’s, self-employed and running their own business, so do not seek employment or promotion. For many, it is about personal ‘branding’, enhanced status, and professional credibility. It is about being recognized for their professional work-based experience and competence rather than merely academic.
6Who gives OIPD the authority to award a Doctorate?
OIPD is the approved centre of the Oxbridge Institute Trust that has its International Professional Qualifications listed in the British Qualifications Register, a recognized authority by the UK Government which is also published annually as a handbook. The professional doctorate qualification is endorsed by OIPD as the awarding Professional Body as stipulated in clause 11 (objects) of the Oxbridge Trust Deed. Such qualifications are similar to those offered by other UK Professional Membership Bodies like the AMS, CIPD, CIPM, CIMA or IPMA etc., as private self-governed and non-academic institutions that do not come under any Government or Ministry jurisdiction such as in the formal education sectors, like Universities for example.
7What are the awards that OIPD is able to offer?
As OIPD is a ‘Self-regulated, private and independent awarding body’, it must adhere to its Statutes. These provide for the ‘Professional awards at TVET, Certificate, Diploma, Masters and Doctoral or Post-Doctoral levels, which are aligned to the UK - Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and only to members. That is, they are membership grade awards. It is important to note that OIPD offers ‘Professional’ awards based on experience and competence, not academic qualifications.
8As an OIPD member can I get any exemptions if I want to pursue an Academic Degree?
Yes, but note that a professional doctorate qualification is not an academic doctorate degree but equivalent to that according to Level 8 of the UK Qualifications Framework (RQF). Anyone needing to pursue an academic doctorate degree (EG., a Ph.D.) could have the path to an Oxbridge Partner University with full or partial credit exemption. That means they often only need to complete their thesis/dissertation, to obtain their academic doctorate degree.
9Does the same apply to other OIPD awards, such as a Professional Masters?
The same applies to the recognition of a Professional Masters or a Professional Certification, as they are also listed in the British Professional Qualifications Handbook. However, a candidate first needs to complete an assessment of their Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) or what is also referred to as, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). This can include all Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. The more work experience one has, the greater will be the accumulation of points that count as credits to a Professional Award.
10Where can I find the British Professional Qualifications Handbook?
In any office of the British Council. When searching in the Handbook, look for ‘The Oxbridge: Oxford and Cambridge Professional Qualifications’ which is the name of the educational trust that established the Oxbridge professional membership awards, grades, or qualifications. This listing can be found on page 563 of the 2020 edition of the handbook. This is published now also as an online version by Kogan-Page.
11How can the OIPD offer the Accreditation of courses?
One Statute provides for the OIPD to Accredit courses only offered by Institutional members. These include short skills training programs, such as in TVET or longer Professional Certification programs, like CGL’s Certified International Professional Trainer, Coach, Facilitator, Strategist or Leader etc. We cannot accredit programs from Government Institutions of Higher Learning, as they come under the Ministry of Education, but we can for Private Institutions, like Academies or Colleges and Learning Providers.
12As I already have a Doctorate, how do I qualify for a ‘Post-Doctoral’ Professorship?
Professor is a ‘Title’ of rank, or a position rank, not an award, similar to the rank of a Captain or a Colonel in the army. In OIPD it is only earned by doing research and writing a ‘peer- reviewed’ 3000-to-4000-word research paper. You will then receive an award of 'Post-Doctoral Senior Research Fellow' from OIPD. You can call yourself a Research ‘Professor Emeritus’ with OIPD. (Prof. Dr Citizen Joe), but you are still not a ‘University’ Professor. The membership fee is a one-time payment of £250 and is for Life. The word ‘Emeritus’ means ‘Distinguished’ and usually applies to those who have retired from formal employment. E.G., one can be a Chairman Emeritus, Bishop Emeritus, Columnist Emeritus or Art Director Emeritus, not only in academia.
13Who typically might be attracted to become a Member of the OIPD?
Professionals who are mature, with many years of experience and high levels of competence, including ‘Retirees’, who believe they qualify for greater professional recognition in their field of specialization. This may be in the form of a professional certificate, diploma, master’s, or a doctorate, or even a post-doctoral award. They may not need an academic degree or want to spend time studying at university. In fact, they may know more in their field, than any lecturer.
14Is there an age limit to OIPD membership?
There is no upper limit. We have many members in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s and membership is for ‘Life’. There is no ‘Annual’ subscription or renewal fee, with one exception, which is £250 for Institutional membership for 5 years (renewable). The Principal Officer/CEO, or their nominee receives a Senior Fellow award for 5 years. While there is a lower age limit of 16 (for Apprentices or TVET candidates) most Doctoral candidates would usually be aged 40-60 years as they need the 20 or 30-years of experience to qualify as a specialist and gain enough APEL and/or CPD credit points.
15What are the main benefits of joining the OIPD?
OIPD attracts many professionals who believe they deserve more recognition for their expertise. It also appeals to those who value an award from a ‘Prestigious British Institution’ and the ‘Brand Image’ of the ‘Oxbridge’ name. Also, many Professionals have been busy seeking success for themselves or their organization and may have neglected their own professional status. Being able to ‘turn all that experience’ into a Doctoral award for as little as only UK£2000, may seem very attractive. We have posted on OIPD’s website (www.oipd.org.uk) this list of 20 Benefits of becoming a member. Our ‘Tagline’ sums it up, “Recognizing and Rewarding Experience and Competence”.
1616. What are the minimum educational qualifications for the Professional Doctoral award?
Technically none. Awards/Grades are based on ‘work-based Learning’ where APEL (Accredited Prior Experiential Learning) and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) credit points are accumulated over a lifetime of learning. However, the more qualifications one has, the more points one can amass. How to calculate all these points is on our website.
17How long does it take to get my Professional Doctorate?
This depends on the time it takes a candidate to prepare a written ‘Portfolio’ on their work-life experience and list the relevant competencies they have developed from this experience. Each candidate differs in how much time they must assemble this. If you have a detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) which sets out all your qualifications, jobs held, courses or conferences attended etc., then this is easier to expand on and describe your specialist expertise in detail, unfolding as your ‘life-story’ in around 5,000 words. This becomes your portfolio report. Some candidates take a few weeks, and some take a few months. This report is then submitted to OIPD for a panel of 2-4 Assessors to review and then you may be required to attend a 30-40 minute ‘Viva’. We provide some guidelines for this and 2-3 sample portfolio reports to serve as guidelines.
18What gives the OIPD the qualifications to accredit Professional Awards?
OIPD has an Assessment Board of over 20 eminently qualified educationists and development professionals, from 16 countries. Most have a doctorate, but more importantly, each with decades of professional experience and many having authored books or research papers in their sphere of influence. 3 Assessors for candidate Portfolio Reports and their viva’s are selected from Board members. This Board is responsible for upholding standards to the level expected by employers, other similar professional bodies, or related authorities and is responsible to ensure the quality of the assessment criteria applied to awards, comply with standards of professional excellence and best practices, globally. This is how Institutional Members courses are accredited.
19Does OIPD offer a Professional Masters, as I lack enough experience for a Doctorate?
OIPD can offer a Professional ‘Specialist’ Masters, like an M.A or M.Sc., in Entrepreneurship, for example. A Portfolio Report of 3 to 4 thousand words, based on your APEL & a Viva is required. For an MBA which is a ‘Generalist’ award, for those areas that you do not have enough know-how, you will need to write a 500-word outline of the subject’s key concepts and principles. Thus, a GM/Director of Marketing, in a services organization, may not know about manufacturing. And, they should have an adequate sound knowledge of these other non- marketing functions such as, Manufacturing, Production, Operations, Accounting & Finance, HR, IT & Strategy etc.
20What is the difference between a Professional, Specialist Doctorate (Dr.S), and a DBA?
The Dr.S, as indicated is a ‘Specialist’ award, based on a candidates many years of experience in a specific field, as for example, leadership, education, learning or development etc. Whereas a Professional DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) is a ‘Generalist versus a Specialist’ award. Usually, a candidate will have worked in General Management with a wide range of experience in Finance, Marketing, Operations, Project Management and Human Resources Management or Organization Development, etc.
21Is there a published list of members and the respective countries in which they reside?
While the secretariat maintains an email register, as OIPD was only established in 2020 it is still in the process of building up a register of member names to put on the website. OIPD does not publish their contact details, such as email addresses, to respect members rights to privacy.
22Is there a list of Testimonials from any members, especially from those who have received promotion or recognition from employees?
Yes, there are a few on the website and several more are being sought, but OIPD is still young. About 20% of Doctoral candidate members are still putting together their portfolio reports. We do have news from some members where for example, one was appointed to the Senate in one country, and another believed that it helped them secure a senior post in a listed company. Both had just received their Professional Specialist Doctorate award and added it to their CV’s. At the other end of the spectrum, many TVET graduates (Associate members) said it helped them get employment. For some of the older ones they said, “this was their first award since leaving school” and were so proud to show their certificates to their parents and friends.
23What happens if an employer sponsors employees, they get their award & then leave?
The idea of sponsorship is to give employees a sense of recognition and a reward for being valued. It is supposed to make them feel a greater loyalty to the organization. Of course, there is always the risk of losing them. Some employers will ‘bond’ employees with agreed terms that they must repay the bond fee if they leave within a stipulated time frame. Research into talent loss shows that the main reason for attrition is due to a poor relationship with their immediate boss. People value jobs where they have learning and growth opportunities, where their job is meaningful, and they can apply their talents to achieving something significant for which they feel a sense of accomplishment (Intrinsic Motivation) and are also recognized and rewarded for their efforts and contribution (Extrinsic Motivation).
There is a well-known answer to a question posed to Sir Richard Branson. The question was, “What happens if we train our employees, and they leave”? His answer was, “What happens if we don’t train them, and they stay”?
24How are the OIPD awards recognised by employers and/government?
OIPD’s tagline is “Recognizing and Rewarding Experience and Competence”. OIPD is recognizing the employee for their Professionalism, Learning and Competence developed from a lifetime of experience which is written-up in a ‘Portfolio Report’ of a minimum of 5000 words. (most reports far exceed this and often come to 12 to 15,000 words). These are assessed by a panel of experts who also interview candidates. Successful candidates receive their related membership grade and certification. Employers are welcome to be privy to this process if they wish. The Government sector can equally do so, but OIPD does not solicit their recognition.
25I have not heard of these Professional awards before. Are they not similar to those degrees offered by ‘Degree Mills’?
Professional awards are relatively unheard of in many countries, but quite common in the UK. In fact, one of the older and well-established Professional Membership bodies in the UK, founded in 1995, has been awarding Professional Doctorates/Fellowships to its members in many countries around the world (Mostly from the British Commonwealth). Professional awards are based on competence developed through work-based learning and must be ‘evidence-based’, often from 15, 20, or 25 years of real ‘on-the-job’ (OTJ) learning. Degree mills are very different. They print certificates for a payment and do not worry what a candidate has.
2626. What are the “real benefits” of membership, beyond the awards? How can becoming a member help in my career development or making a career change?
OIPD is a Professional Membership body, and all members receive a grade from Associate, Associate Member, to various grades of Fellowship. To help members with their Personal and Professional Development, career guidance counselling is available. Also being a member of a global body, networking with members can help. Members receive a 70-page e-Magazine on Learning, entitled ‘REALIZE’ and a 70-page International Journal of Professional Development (IJPD), each on a quarterly basis. On OIPD’s website, 30 benefits of membership are listed.
27I am a Fellow of Cambridge Global Learning (CGL). What is my status in the OIPD?
All members of CGL automatically became members in OIPD upon CGL’s merger with OIPD. Many CGL members gained a Professional Certification and a Fellowship award. These programs have been accredited by OIPD, so they can state their course is UK Accredited. CGL Fellows may also apply to do their Doctorate at the rate of £1650 (vs £2000) and receive a Principal Fellow award. Lower-level Certificate or TVET graduates can become OIPD Associates.
28How does a CGL Professional Certificate or Basic Certificate, equate to an OIPD award?
A CGL Professional Certification course means it is usually offered by a College, Academy or any other ‘Learning Provider’ such as Consultancy or a Training Institution, which is ‘certified’ by CGL. Depending on the type and level of the course (See Q 7 on the UK – RQF), an OIPD members receives a Grade from Associate Member (Level 2) to a Senior Fellow (Level 7, such as a Professional Certificate.
29How do the OIPD’s Regional Centres operate and differ from ‘National Centres?
Oxbridge Assessment Centres (OAC’s) have been set up in Africa, the Middle East, S.E.Asia and the UK. It is envisioned that conferences and ‘Award Ceremonies’ will be held regionally, although an annual award ceremony is planned for the UK each year. The OAC (S.E.Asia) operates as the Secretariat and currently the OIPD’s centre for financial and banking services. . On the other hand, National Development Centres (‘Strategic National Alliance Partners’) or ‘SNAP’ for short, are to help members with their Career or Professional Development, especially in guiding candidates through the writing of their Portfolio Report or preparing for their Viva. They may also offer Professional Certification courses in their own right.
30Why is the International Secretariat in Malaysia and not the UK?