Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. The changing role of the HR instituteOn 4 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Duncan Brown and Ralph Tribe discuss the value that the Chartered Instituteof Personnel and Development provides to the professionDuncan Brown, assistant director-general of the CIPDIn 31 Songs, Nick Hornby says it is far easier to write about thingsyou don’t like than those you do. Maybe this is what motivates the occasionalcritics of the CIPD who appear in the pages of Personnel Today. The CIPD is not perfect – far from it. But we offer good value for our £96annual membership fee. And most of our 117,000 members agree. Our latestindependent research found that three-quarters of members “value thestatus [their] CIPD membership carries”; two-thirds feel the CIPD hashelped their career development and provides thought leadership; and 88 percent agree that it speaks with authority on professional issues. It isn’t just an internal love-in, either. Membership has grown by 56 percent since 1995. Usage of our website has risen by 17 per cent in the past yearto 150,000 user sessions and seven million hits a month – half of which are bynon-members. So what have the modern day Romans of the people management and developmentprofession ever done for you? The CIPD has more than 35,000 students. A quarter study through the flexiblelearning route, and 4,700 graduated last year. And we have just finishedre-accrediting hundreds of our qualification providers against a new set ofprofessional standards. We have introduced innovative certified programmes, such as our advancede-learning certificate. Around 12,000 delegates took part in CIPD trainingevents and courses last year, while HRD week in April is the premier event inEurope for training professionals. The institute has also led the way in demonstrating links between HRpractices and organisation performance. We will release case studies on makingthese relationships happen at a public sector conference with the CabinetOffice in March, and in May, we will publish results from our two-year studyinto organisations such as Jaguar, Tesco and Nationwide. We draw many senior professionals into our work, with an influential groupof vice-presidents and policy panels. Those who have recently been involved onour information and consultation taskforce include the HR directors of Corus,Granada, and the Prison Service, while the HR/organisation design directors ofM&S, Cadbury Schweppes and Oxfam were part of our ‘Organising for Success’group. More than 500 CEOs and HR directors took part in this latter study. Our annual conference and exhibition in Harrogate attracts more than 7,000visitors, including leading thinkers such as Gary Hamel, Charles Handy andMichael Porter. We also offer a huge range of information and advice on practical issues. Werun a dozen surveys of trends and practices each year, with 5,000 copiesdownloaded for free each month. As many as 14,000 people a month view the QuickFacts section on our website, and 3,500 people use our library and legaltelephone helplines each month. Our specialist forums have 6,000 members andhold 40 events a year, and our 48 branches host more than 300. But are we influential? Last year, the CIPD’s media coverage doubled, with200 mentions a month in the press. Examples include our absence survey andpensions work on BBC Business Breakfast, and features in the FinancialTimes on organisation design and human capital research. We have strengthened our relationships with the Government to betterrepresent our members’ views. For example, we helped the DTI host discussiongroups on information and consultation, and chaired the Department of Work andPension’s working party on age diversity. Contributing to the public good is also an important objective. Our work onemploying ex-offenders has drawn this issue to national attention. More than40,000 free copies of the findings have been distributed. Along with Businessin the Community, we are researching the effects of corporate social responsibilityon career decisions, and producing free member guides on CSR and pensions. The challenges facing the profession are rapidly shifting, and the CIPDneeds to continually improve its response. Plans for the next year includeadopting chartered individual membership status, redesigning the website, freemember toolkits, implementing new member communications and further enhancingour conferences and courses. We would welcome feedback from the HR community, but remember: Rome was notbuilt in a day. Comments are closed. Ralph Tribe, CIPD member and vice-president of HR for a global media companyWhen will the CIPD will stop telling the HR profession how relevant it isand how much value it creates, and start asking us? When people – particularly senior members – talk about the CIPD, they almostinvariably express a huge frustration with its inability to demonstratetangible value. The CIPD clearly has an obligation to address this perception.Yet disappointingly, its leadership has consistently chosen to ignore ordispute this feedback, arrogantly dismissing it as a marginal view, rather thana mainstream one. The organisation draws significant revenues from membership fees and othercommercial activities (nearly £30m per annum), but seems largely incapable ofredistributing that value in any measurable or meaningful way to its members orto the profession – which presumably is the sole reason for its existence. HRprofessionals are entering an era where failure to demonstrate measurable valueis no longer an option. Yet the leaders of our professional institute seemunwilling to respond thoughtfully or constructively to this challengethemselves – it feels like a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’. No doubt the CIPD will respond to my opinions with protestations that itdoes offer value for money to its members, through its support of strategic HR,its achievement of chartered status, its educational efforts, and the ‘valuefor money’ products and services it provides. But such assertions are questionable. Its lack of strategic impact isblindingly obvious to anyone remotely interested in seeing tangible results. Itis likely that the CIPD has spent millions over the years on research that islargely unknown or inaccessible, and which therefore fails to educate orinfluence. Ask yourself: what specific piece of CIPD research has genuinelymade any difference to you or your organisation? I assume the silence isdeafening. With regard to chartered status, the CIPD apparently fails to see thehypocrisy in trying to create a closed shop within a profession where most ofus want to make it easier for good people from other disciplines to move intoHR, not harder. On education, surely most of the credit has to go to theinstitutions providing it, rather than the institute. And in terms of products and services, the CIPD doesn’t provide anythingthat other commercial organisations couldn’t deliver to us – often at lower orzero cost. For example, two of the three main publications in the HR market arefree to readers, and yet our own institute effectively charges us via ourmembership fees for receiving the third. It advertises this as an importantbenefit of paid membership. Should we really feel grateful? Similarly, we are apparently lucky enough to receive a discounted rate forthe Harrogate conference. Yet, among others, Richmond Events (which runssomething comparable on the Oriana) provides free access for delegates –commercial exhibitors fully subsidise delegates, effectively paying for theright to talk to us. The CIPD charges HR vendors to talk to us, but in contrast, it also chargesus for the privilege. Anyone who has seen its palatial surroundings in Wimbledon, or noticed thedirector-general Geoff Armstrong’s compensation package – which comfortablyexceeds £300,000 a year – has to wonder whether the creation of member value isthe absolute priority it should be for this leadership team. Where is the valuethat the CIPD’s significant revenues should be delivering? If the CIPD is to avoid a crisis, Armstrong and his colleagues need to wakeup to the fact that their membership is increasingly disenfranchised oralienated to the point where, if there were a credible alternative professionalbody for HR professionals, a frighteningly high proportion of us would probablydefect without a backward glance. The CIPD must start listening. If it can’t deliver a more compelling valueproposition for our membership, then it doesn’t deserve our loyalty, and wewill have to go it alone.