Grassroots call for a more political CIPD

A survey of HR professionals carried out by Personnel Today this week reveals grass-roots calls for the CIPD to be more political.

The findings demonstrate a groundswell of opinion among practitioners in favour of the institute adopting a higher profile as well as being more proactive in the political arena.

There was also criticism of the CIPD’s leadership with some saying they are unaware who the institute’s leader is.

The survey comes after new CIPD president Don Beattie raised the issue at Harrogate of the institute exerting more influence over Downing Street thinking (News, 31 October).

Beattie also said Chancellor Gordon Brown’s invitation to the CBI and TUC to talks on UK productivity was too narrow a focus.

Among those surveyed, Richard Coombes, director of HR at media communication group Starcom Motive Partnership, said the institute should raise its game, using public relations professionals to get its message across.

“The leadership of the CIPD needs to be stronger. I’ve no idea who the leader is – is there a leader?” he added.

Mike Gooddie, HR director at GNER, praised the institute but said it needs to broaden its agenda and increase dialogue with the Government.

Ian Parkes, director of organisational development at Nycomed Amersham, described it as “just a nice, clubby organisation”.

A CIPD spokesman pointed to the appointment of John Philpott as chief economist as proof of its commitment to getting its message through to government.

He said it was more important for the president to put HR at the centre of strategy on the basis of research. “Rather than having a rent-a-quote that can go out there and make a big noise, it is a long-term approach that will pay dividends,” he said.

By Helen Rowe

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