Skills chief accuses CIPD of unprofessionalism over quango blunder report

The boss of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service – one of the organisations mistakenly labelled by the CIPD as a “quango” that should be scrapped – has accused the institute of being “unprofessional” and “wildly inaccurate”.

David Collins, chief executive of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), made the accusations in a letter to the Daily Telegraph in response to the controversial report on scrapping skills quangos.

The CIPD report – which has been removed from the institute’s website – questioned the value of these quangos and claimed the government could save more than £500m by ditching a number of them, including the LSIS.

In what is a further PR disaster for the CIPD, Collins stated in his letter: “Unfortunately the section of the CIPD report that relates to LSIS – which incidentally is not a quango but a sector-led body – is wildly inaccurate. We do not fund LSN as is stated and there is no mention of the £80m cut that has been made this year in our funding.

“Neither is the fact that we use the sector itself to support improvement by providing staff development, materials and consultancy in areas of government priority.”

“It is unfortunate that an organisation such as the CIPD that purports to support professional development can be both so inaccurate and dismissive of this activity. It’s a pity too that they can be so unprofessional as to not check their facts or find out how an organisation really works or what it does before rushing into print.

“I’m sure many of their existing members will be very disappointed in what is clearly a lack of professional competence.”

In a letter to Collins, seen by Personnel Today, CIPD chief executive Jackie Orme admitted the report contained “factual inaccuracies” and apologised for any “embarrassment” it had caused LSIS. She went on to say “a thorough review of processes was underway to ensure that such an error does not happen again”.

Orme had already apologised to voluntary organisation NIACE.

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