The decision last week by the Privy Council to grant chartered status to the
personnel sector is a momentous achievement for the profession and the IPD.
It comes at the end of a six-year campaign to obtain the coveted moniker.
At the core of the decision by the council is the recognition that personnel
management is a discrete area of expertise. It will confer equal status for the
profession alongside those professions that carry weight in the board room like
finance and marketing. What a fantastic boost for the profession.
The institute and the profession should take time to pat themselves on the
back and enjoy a glass of champagne – even take a holiday. Because now the real
Yes, there are outstanding issues about the examination system and the
granting of individual chartered status. And, of course, there is all that
re-branding. Standards will also have to be maintained.
It is important to get these things right, but there is a more profound
challenge for the institute. The new title is not only a chance to change the
logo, it is an opportunity to reform the institute’s values: to pull together
its various factions with a single focus, and create an institute which will
raise the standards and confidence of the profession to punch its weight in the
workplace and in political circles.
This inevitably means continuing to push the cause of linking personnel to
business and organisational needs. The demand is out there and the profession
is crying out for help in developing the right skills.
We see this week that institutional investors – which, remember, own 75 per
cent of the UK stock market – are calling on firms to put the money where their
mouth is when they say people are their main asset.
The climate is there for a stratospheric rise for the profession, but the
IPD needs to lead the way.
While there is no doubt the institute does a lot of good work, it is failing
to get that message across and command the affection that might be expected. It
is a wealthy powerful body, it is just lacks a bit of zing.
This is an exciting opportunity. Grab it with both hands.