Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Be innovative, not a restrictive body

There has been much discussed in recent months about the CIPD. These public discussions have sat alongside private conversations I have been having with senior HR colleagues about the value of being part of the institute. It has been particularly interesting to hear the views of senior managers who now occupy roles that are broader than HR.

There is a general feeling of apathy among senior HR professionals. In fact some have, to my surprise, taken the view that it is no longer in their interest to continue their membership as they do not feel it is value for money or serves them well as senior executives.

To me, this is a real shame. What we need are more senior HR professionals (many of whom now occupy broader roles) retaining their interest in and commitment to HR. This way we will be much better equipped to demonstrate the importance of HR on the bottom line and its importance on the board.

There is a perception that the CIPD is trying to change its ways by engaging more senior professionals in groups which determine the future shape of the profession. I am involved in one myself. I have to say, however, that I am not entirely persuaded at this stage about how genuine the desire to engage really is.

Professional interactions with key professionals in the industry is crucial. We are in the best position to know where the profession is heading.

I consider there is a genuine willingness on the part of senior professionals to engage. The CIPD should grasp this opportunity to work with us, and with a range of us. As an HR professional whose role has now expanded beyond HR, I am not prepared to give up on the profession. But the support of a credible professional institute that is not restrictive, but is proactive and innovative, is essential.

Cara Davani
Group director corporate services, Genesis Housing Group

Work with CIPD to get best out of it

The CIPD has always been stronger at developing people new to and moving up the profession. A thriving profession always needs new blood. But it doesn’t end there. Well, not in my view, anyway.

Leadership in dealing with challenges for those of us at or closer to the top of the profession is also important. In recent years, the CIPD’s research agenda has tried to balance practical support for those dealing with day-to-day HR challenges with upmarket research in strategic people management. Currently, it fills the high-level thinking void in the field as well as anyone.

That research is not ‘ivory tower’ stuff. I know from my own involvement in the institute that major pieces of CIPD research involve a range of organisations. The CIPD’s wish to better engage with senior professionals is so improved these days. Much of the credit for that goes to Duncan Brown. That is one of the reasons why I have become a CIPD vice-president.

The CIPD has established research and HR director forums and networks to better meet our needs. At last October’s annual conference, I was one of more than 60 HR directors to appear on stage – a growing sign of the willingness of fellow senior professionals to identify with the CIPD.

It serves a diverse profession, and needs to support people at all levels. The institute plays an important role. It could play an even more pivotal role, but it also relies on us to engage with it.

I have criticised the CIPD in the past. But it responded well to my concerns and I feel that I owe it something back. I’d advise anyone currently criticising the CIPD to take another look, and see how you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with the institute. We will all be stronger as a result.

Martin Tiplady
Director of HR, Metropolitan Police, and CIPD vice-president

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