CIPD fellowship row as experience is ignored: your responses

HR must never forget fact that CIPD is not a governing body


I read with interest your news story regarding the feeling of discontent among HR professionals about membership criteria for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).


The point which I would like to pick up on is a quote attributed to Emma Hughes: “I feel let down by my own governing body. I want the CIPD to recognise and value what I do.”


This perception is disappointing. The CIPD is not a ‘governing body’. If senior HR professionals are allowing themselves to be governed by the CIPD, then where is the evolution and innovation going to come from that is traditionally stunted by institutionalisation?


Equally, while CIPD status continues to be viewed as the ‘be all and end all’, it places limitations on the growth of new talent in the profession. That’s exactly what Hughes complains about: it puts barriers up to operational managers making the switch.


While recognising the value of the CIPD, its pulling together of industries and minds, promoting best practice, etc, HR professionals need to recognise their own strengths and stand on their own two feet in taking the function forward.


Hiding behind, relying on, or blaming a chartered institute, does not demonstrate the commercial excellence that the profession strives for, and that business expects. It’s no surprise then that HR consistently fails to live up to expectations.


Pete Smith
HR manager, Suzuki GB


CIPD may not be hip, but it’s not hypocritical either


In taking its present stance on setting the criteria for chartered fellowship, I don’t believe the CIPD is being hypocritical. Chartered fellowship is a recognition of depth of experience within the HR profession, albeit with provision for up to three years of the required “10 years’ relevant managerial-level experience” to be outside a specific personnel and development role.


There is an additional requirement for current/most recent experience at a strategic management level and, as the nature of the profession itself changes, it should be axiomatic that a practitioner in a strategic management role has a deep understanding of the business. Otherwise, the individual’s contribution will be without any real value.


But that is not necessarily the same as having managerial experience, even at a senior level, outside the HR profession. I am not suggesting that such experience should be regarded as irrelevant, but to take it into account in every situation is tantamount to saying that anyone with experience of managing people can step into a senior HR role and be regarded as an HR professional. I don’t believe that is what most HR practitioners would want, nor, in my view, is it a line the CIPD should be pursuing.


Ian Wilder
Chartered FCIPD, Ministry of Defence


CIPD makes life difficult for smaller businesses


I am frustrated with the CIPD, which, in my opinion wants to make it very difficult for someone to join the organisation.


Until earlier this year, I was a senior HR manager at the largest retailer in the UK, and I completed my Certificate in Personnel Practice many years ago.


I am now setting up on my own and find that the majority of insurers require membership to the relevant professional body. Having gained 18 years’ experience in HR and training, I find that I cannot begin membership at the level that matches my experience and contribution. To reach it, I should have a Professional Assessment of Competence (PAC), which will cost in the region of £3,500 to £5,000 and will take about a year.


While I realise that the CIPD needs to ensure that members are what they say they are, surely there can be a more timely entry route, not to mention a more cost-effective one. For someone in a business start-up, this is a huge drain on limited resources. I hope the CIPD reviews not only the definition of all membership grades, but also the process for allowing individuals to become members.


Rebecca Maxwell
HR professional


Development professional deserts unthinking ship


The CIPD seems to forget that it is the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


I have 30 years’ experience as a facilitator and trainer, working nationally and internationally with the public, private and voluntary sectors. I have a postgraduate diploma in training and development (T&D), as well as certificates in adult learning. But without taking the very expensive and time-consuming PAC route (having been quoted anything from £2,000 to £6,000), I can only achieve licentiate membership as a T&D specialist.


I also understand that recruitment specialists and pay and benefits specialists are in the same boat. I know some HR administrators who are full members because they have been sponsored through the qualification, and yet spend all of their time processing job application paperwork.


I am aware of many T&D specialists who no longer have any truck with the CIPD and have moved to the Institute of Occupational Learning, thinking – as I do – that it represents and understands my profession far better.


Jo Metcalf
Learning and development professional




Comments are closed.