Hi all,

just writing my 1st DVP assessment. Aside from my battle with writing and referencing after 20 years since being at university, is any one else struggling with the word count? Any suggestions as to how much for each section there should be?

so far, mine is 

heavily weighted for answer a) I have used

250 words to describe the map and purpose

450 to identify knowledge, skills and behaviours for effective performance using the map, and practical application

answer b) 450 words but have used a table format to reduce some 

answer  c) only 450 words left but seems quite a lot to answer here?? 


Look forward to your thoughts!


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  • Thanks Georgina, Cliff and Gary for your replies, and apologies for the delay - have been on a wndowsill-bay holiday!

    I think as Gary and Cliff say, the key is really drilling down to see if each paragraph written is relevant to the criteria and be quite ruthless. From the tutorial video I think is it easy to fall down the trap of writing too much of an explanation of what the MAP is first and those words would be better used to show understanding of ' How to be an effective and efficient HR professional' . The clue is in the title and its good to keep refering back to that and the criteria! I think a major part of the concern for me too was the referencing which was distracting my concentration from what I wanted to convey.

    I have passed points b and c and (as suspected) need another go at the first section to show my understanding. 

    I have also started the second module assessment so have had more practice which really helps to get back into the swing of it.  Now I have got to grips with the referencing, I think I can concentrate more confidently on expressing what I want to say and not worried about how to back it up  

    good luck all!


  • Hi 

    Here are a few tips I borrowed from another post on the subject of word count:

    Read your work and match passages in your work to the assessment criteria. After you’ve done that, look to see if any passages don’t relate to the assessment criteria. Consider removing any such passages. This is one of the biggest causes of people going over word count: they write lots of interesting material, but it must be what was asked for.

    Imagine your line manager has asked you to produce this work; imagine they only have capacity to read within the word count; imagine they need the result concisely and don’t appreciate extraneous information. This may help you get into the mindset of getting to the point as succinctly as possible.

  • Hi Jo.

    You stimulated some great ideas here. Thanks. I am a Director at DPG and picked up HR responsibilities so I joined the DPG HRM Level 5 programme. I attended the webinars by Tamasin and Jenni and found them so helpful - staying focused on the learning outcomes was a tip that stopped me meandering away from the core of the assessors need to see... and helps to keep within the word count. 

    Finding a tool for Harvard referencing, as in the tip from Laura is great advice. I use ZOTERO (www.zotero.us). It has a WORD plugin and stamps your reference in Harvard (or other) format into your text in brackets for you, and at the click of a button created a bibliography for you....if settings are right it will be in alphabetical and date order for you. :). Even better...is that your library of references builds up in the tool for other assignments for you. :)

    Google Scholar is a great way to find the source and the ZOTERO plugin to Chrome means you can add a webpage, research paper or article at the click of a "REFMAN" button.

    All this means you can focus on your assignment and the difference it can make for your organisation. :)


  •  Hi Jo,

    I am in the same boat as you. I have been writing this assignment for two months and have really struggled with the word count. I have listen to the DVP assignment tutorial and a specific DVP assignment help thing with the assessors and still really struggling to cut the word count down to 1,760. I have worked out each question should be 586 words if you want to split it fairly between each question.


    Good luck with it

  • Thanks Jo for asking this question I was also struggling to process how to do this in exactly the same assignment and much like you the help from Clair and David below has also spurred me on after a week of procrastination.... 

    If any one has any tips on how to reference I would love to hear them also!

    Thanks and Good Luck all

    • Hi Laura,

      Referencing is something else I had to re-teach myself it had been so long and is a personal bug bear!

      my top tips so far ...

      1) I have got myself a notebook (old school)since completing the DVP module as I thought it was something I really needed to get to grips with and throughout the module I write any references and bibliography of interesting things in there, if I am on my phone looking at stuff online I copy the link and paste it into the notes app with a brief description.

      2) We have to use Harvard referencing -  there's a factsheet on CIPD https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/new-cipd-standard-bibliographic-forma...

      this lays out what info you need for internet based/ books/ journals/ articles etc  and is good to refer to.

      3) Google a tutorial on how to Harvard reference in microsoft word. It's a great tool you can use to insert references as you go along and also build up a reference list and bibliography that inserts at the end of the assessment. You select Harvard style and the source and it tells you what info you need to know. Once you have used it a couple of times you get the hang of it. 

      good luck!

  • Hi, thanks Clair and David for your top tips. Much appreciated and will have another stab at it today with renewed enthusiasm!

  • Hi Jo

    I always find that if you're over word count at the end of the assignment - go back through and try re-phrasing sentances. I also use pictures of diagrams etc...you can then just refer to them - like the profession map. 

    I also went through my assignment and took out unnecessary words and instead of writing it is - write it's etc...


  • Thanks David! This has helped me too


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