Institute is accused of bias to private sector

The IPD is failing its members in local government by placing too much
emphasis on the private sector, according to local council chief personnel
officers.

Terry Gorman, assistant chief executive of personnel and corporate services
at Nottinghamshire Council and president- elect of Socpo, said last week there
are "very strong feelings" that the IPD’s research and training are
geared towards private business.

He said concerns specific to HR in local authorities are being ignored.
"People feel that once they have gained their IPD qualification they pay
their fees and get a copy of People Management. How is that helping us do our
jobs? There seems to be little by way of continuous professional development
that is relevant to personnel in local authorities."

Socpo president Rita Sammons said the institute needs to acknowledge the
"massive" cultural changes in the public sector due to the modern-
isation of government programme, including best value in local authorities.

"The public sector of today is nothing like the public sector of five
years ago, never mind 10. We want to be sure that the way new and emerging
students are being taught reflects the new world."

But she added that representatives from the two groups had met in December
and progress is being made. "We acknowledge the appointment of Ward
Griffiths from local government as a major step," she said.

The IPD denied that it is biased towards the private sector. Spokesman Nick
Isles said public sector employers are often used as case studies in research
and the institute runs a public sector forum. He added that a third of
conference delegates are from the public sector.

By Dominique Hammond

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