A Profession to be Proud of

...And that’s exactly how I felt after hearing Peter Cheese speak at the recent CIPD Northern Area Partnership conference in York (9 & 10th June 2017).

Peter Cheese was the keynote speaker at the second day of this event, which was taking place immediately after the general election. I have never heard him speak so passionately or movingly about our profession of HR. And judging by the response of the people around me and on Twitter, I was not alone in the way this resonated with me.

He began by speaking about the election and the responsibilities of leadership, before moving seamlessly through the challenges of living under the curse of ‘interesting times’, to the difficulties facing the world of work, with automation, the productivity puzzle in the UK and the growth of the ‘gig economy’ and zero hours contracts. So much has been written about the negative effects of zero hours contracts, however, Peter distinguished between contracts where people are poorly treated and where people are respectfully treated – it all depends upon how people are managed. And this is where we can make a difference. Work can and should be a force for good, he said. Which is what CIPD is all about.

But the real impact, for me, came when he spoke about how terrible ‘in-work poverty’ is, about who benefits when productivity does increase within an organisation, and about pay ratios, fair reward and the need for greater transparency and accountability in these areas. These, along with a need for greater diversity and inclusion, were just some of the issues he touched on as aspects of the ‘social and ethical responsibility’ being developed within the new Professional Standards Framework. It is this concern with ‘good work’, this way of thinking about work that resonates deeply with me and fills me with pride to be part of the HR and L&D profession.

The CIPD is in the process of creating this new Professional Standards Framework that will be: principles-led; evidence-based; and outcomes-driven. The goal is to create a framework to support the HR profession to work with our daily realities, with clear principles to base judgements on and so be highly effective.

The development of these standards is now at the stage where all of us in HR and L&D need to get involved and contribute to their further development. One way to get involved, if you are in the North West, is to come along to the ‘Shape the Future’ event being hosted by CIPD Manchester on Thursday 13 July from 16:30 - 19:30. This is a great opportunity to share your experience and contribute your ideas to the development of these standards.

Why not join us there and have your say in creating a profession to be proud of? I look forward to meeting you.

Rachel Burnham
Founder & L&D Consultant Burnham L&D
Public Policy Adviser CIPD Manchester
Further information
Watch the video for the ‘Shape the Future’ event held in London in March 2017
• For more information on the new Professional Standards Framework, visit www.cipd.co.uk/framework
• Get involved on Twitter using the hashtag #ChangingHR
• If you can’t make an event in Manchester but would still like to have your say, email us at psf@cipd.co.uk and the CIPD will keep you updated about other opportunities to get involved - both online and in your local areas.

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