This week’s letters

Raise standards to raise HR profile

As a member of the CIPD, I support Paul Kearns’ call for the institute to
crack down on poor practice (Opinion, 23 October).

I remember a newspaper article from about 18 months ago relating to a sex
bias case where the tribunal heard that the HR manager played an active part in
the discrimination. The code of practice did not stop this HR manager acting in
a highly unprofessional manner, and yet I have never heard of anyone taking
action taken against the institute.

I don’t see how we can expect to be viewed by others as professional when we
allow poor standards of HR to prevail.

This is not just a matter of how other professional bodies see us, but how
the general public sees us. We must practice what we preach.

I can’t see how we can stop non-institute people from practising HR, but I
do believe that members of the CIPD should be made to follow its standards and

The more people that see the CIPD acting in a professional manner, the more
active support I believe the profession will get from all sectors of the
community for the work it does.

Iain Young FCIPD
Via e-mail

Body’s role to set out good practice

I work as a training manager in a hospital and am constantly inspired and impressed
by the high standards of professionalism demonstrated by the many bodies
represented in my organisation.

For example, the current drive to raise standards through clinical
governance stresses that practice should be based on clear evidence – research
– and not on a whim.

I believe the CIPD should have the power to stop members from practising, as
Paul Kearns suggests. Although, at the same time, I believe that the sort of
rigour in practice described above would do as much to raise the credibility of
HR professionals as the potential for members to be struck off.

Jean Hill

CIPD does give value for money

In your "Head to Head" feature (Careerwise, 16 October), Ralph
Tribe praises SHRM for telling members what they get for their subscription,
and states "Imagine the CIPD trying to do this? Frightening."

Well, it would include open access to the CIPD website at, say, (a
commercial) registration cost of £30 per month, plus an average of two (free)
branch events per month at about £5 per event, plus an inclusive subscription
to the CIPD journal at £88 for 25 issues, a three-day ticket to Europe’s
largest management conference at Harrogate at a 50 per cent subsidised rate of

I make that to be a return of £1,373 for an investment of £93 for a full
member subscription – and that is just the supply side.

For the demand side, if you assume an average 20 per cent salary uplift for
those with a CIPD qualification, and use an average advertised salary of
£20,985 quoted for an HR officer in last week’s Salary Monitor then there is a
£3,498 return.

Now, that’s "frightening".

Ivor Harland FCIPD
Joint managing director, DMS Consultants and Chairman CIPD West of England
branch Mere, Wiltshire

Career dilemma struck a chord

I am HR manager for an engineering company which employs about 150 people –
a role I’ve been in for 18 months.

The article "Managers Keep Breaking the Law" (Careerwise, 16
October) from another HR manager in engineering rang true for me.

It is difficult to introduce HR into the world of engineering – it is a
dinosaur sector. Employers’ lack of commitment to training and development
means that the sector would collapse without the ECITB.

Admittedly, a company choosing to employ an HR manager has at least taken a
step in the right direction, but when you ask them why they took you on you
have to be prepared for the answer. It is either because they need someone to
do the scary stuff, such as disciplinaries, or they want you to tackle staffing
problems but have difficulty relinquishing control to HR.

As the HR manager in Career Coach suggested – it’s a long road.

Name and address withheld

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