HR - Training and Advice

This is the first time using the blog and thank you for taking time to read and advise me. I’ve worked for my current employer 28 years and now in my early fifties there are big changes a head for me.

A profile history and apologies if I go on too much. 

Since joining my employer’s company in the IT industry, I became the 15th employee increasing to 50 over the last 5 years.  I started as a secretary to the company proprietors and then became the PA to the Chairman and later HR Officer in about 2006 and my role became a dual position.  The role as HR has developed these past 4 years more formally since the addition of our chairman’s son in law who has a wealth of experience in legal and finance. He strongly relied on my support as HR and eventually made me HR manager. He became my mentor and my second direct report as Company Director. He involved me in implementation of formalised HR policies; performance reviews, disciplinary and grievance, recruitment and interviewing, employee well-being, automatic pension scheme, policies for sickness and annual leave, and in the last few years I implemented and now manage our sponsorship license membership; arranging Visa applications for applicants with specialist skills. And, I had 9 months working with an employee with alcoholic issues; I assisted with all the legal requirements and correspondence and managing the employee through the whole disciplinary process which inevitably lead to dismissal. The hardest thing I had to do during my career.  I also have a wealth of experience in admin and assist with expenses accounts and payroll, medical expenses etc; etc; and I have been involved in the recent redundancy process of 22 employees  - another learning experience. 

But, I have no real formal qualifications in HR. I tried an HR law course with CIPD (but failed) 12 years ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same amount of support from the company as much as I have now. Not to blame the company entirely for my failings, but, I have always worked full time and achieved  ‘open university’ courses in other areas of interests and passed four exams with them!  Meanwhile, I have always kept well informed with HR law on line, joining an HR network discussion group with a legal firm where we get together every 3 months. 

I have positive endorsements from the director and chairman with salary increases in the past two years, but unfortunately, the company is downsizing considerably, hence the redundancies and will cease to run by 2020. Although I’ve been told I will have a job for a few years I need to think about what the future holds career-wise. I almost find the thought of studying again a chore at my age!  Personally, I would like to do an on line courses versus attending a training centre. If I decide to stay in an HR role, I would prefer not to start with a level too low on the basics of HR, but my other dilemma is I won’t be working in a thriving HR position much longer due to further redundancies up to 2018 and not too sure how I would be able to demonstrate my HR knowledge in course work and examinations with less interaction and support within the company over a period of time. I have looked at how I could enhance my skills set and have considered a Technical Payroll Certificate – useful I believe for those in HR?  And, I volunteer in a sector completely different to IT occasionally, this is for personal development to see how another organisation operates and how it could enhance my skills. This sector is one of interest to me in the arts volunteering at museums. 

Any advice please on going forward will be much appreciated. 

  • Elizabeth

    | 2477 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    31 Mar, 2017 17:15

    Hi Geraldine

    Have a look at Experience Assessment on the CIPD website. It sounds ideal for you.

  • David Perry

    | 5239 Posts

    Chartered Member

    1 Apr, 2017 05:35

    I haven't a clue about other routes to becoming qualified Geraldine, but I wouldn't let my age stop me if I wished. I too was a mature adult when I decided to go to Uni to do my DPM even though I hadn't a qualification to my name.

    That said I've known a fair few HR managers who've not had any formal training or qualifications and it does not appear to have hampered them in moving elsewhere, although in fairness this was some years ago.
  • In reply to Elizabeth:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Thank you for this, I will take a look.
  • Julia

    | 128 Posts

    Chartered Member

    10 Apr, 2017 14:30

    I faced similar challenges though I was qualified so I realise the thought of further study can be offputting. I think you need to think about your future more generally perhaps and think of your long term aims and then see whether this is all in HR or whether you want to develop other aspects of your life as you indicate with your volunteering and then perhaps shorter term goals in terms of your career. If you want to correspond about this just send me a pm and we could discuss over email.
    All the best Julia
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