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Is £500,000 enough for your professional association boss?


I see £500,000 is on offer for the new director - general of the CIPD - simple question is the job it worth it and does this represent value for money for members?
Juliet LeFevre

33 Responses

  1. alternative ways to look at it
    interesting question…

    looked at a different way:
    -the cost to each member of the D-G is £3.94 per annum
    -or 3.49% of all subscription income goes to the D-Gs salary
    -or the D-G is being paid £256 an hour
    -or if the new D-G stays the same term as the outgoing D-G (s)he will be paid £7.5 million in total.

    Is the job worth it?…
    -that will depend on what the performance criteria are and what the risks are (amongst other things)

    I know this doesn’t answer the question but I have let my CIPD membership lapse so I am not allowed to voice an opinion!


  2. Where the £ came from?
    I know the summer conference for CIPD tutors at Keele University has been reduced from 3 days to 2, I can now guess why.

  3. 500K
    Hi Juliet, your question and the responses so far prompted another question – who decided that Training (or Learning) was HR’s little sister and lumped us into CIPD in the first place?

    I think it is time that Learning and Development got its act together and did its own thing. The CIPD is an impressive organisation but it has always put (to me, at least) an HR spin on learning. Is learning not about more than that?

    Interested to know if I will be alone at the barricades?


  4. Who put HR & L&D together?
    Hi Colin
    You asked who put HR & L&D together – easy…

    Members of the IPM (HR) and the ITD (L&D) voted for a merger.

    There were some of us that were members of both that voted against – but the majority wanted the two to be one organisation.


  5. CIPD
    Thanks Mike.

    Similar to coporate ‘mergers’, there often seems to be a dominant partner.

    Maybe it is time for a de-merger, I have nothing against HR but believe that the importance and understanding of wider learning issues are often blurred when viewed through HR goggles.

    It has got me thinking though, I need to find out what happens elsewhere in the world. Is this arranged marriage the norm elsewhere?



  6. Maybe
    As a Fellow of the CIPD and having been a member since 1988 I do that I have the right to comment on both sides of the affair.

    The CIPD does not believe that it has a position in lobbying the Government on people or employment law related matters. This statement was made to me a little while ago when I asked the CIPD what submission was going to be made in response to the consultation paper on the revised TUPE legislation that has recently come into effect.

    The CIPD’s position may of chnaged since this statement was made but I don’t see the evidence.

    Unlike other professional bodies the CIPD fails to monitor the professional standards of its members. We regularly see in the press incidents of race or some other from of discrimination or harassment where the HR manager or the HR Director has played a part in the action or has failed to take any action to ensure the matter is resolved.

    The HR manager at my wife’s former employer honestly believed by she could exempt herself from TUPE legislation as she and her boss considered the matter to be confidential.

    If a lawyer or accountant fails to perform their duties in a professional manner the matter is dealt with by their professional standards committee.

    My experiences as a student of CIPD branch meetings has put me off them for life. The meetings I have been to, (mind you not for quite some while) have been a bit of an old boys/girls club, where intruders are not welcome.

    We are very good at telling others what to do on equality etc but our own membership does not reflect this with more women than men and I have had young men saying they can’t get into HR. 73% Female against 23% men.
    The figures by grade are not available.

    However, to those sitting on the outside throwing stones I don’t believe that unless you are a member you are going to change anything or in a position to throw stones. Yes the CIPD has got to change, but they will only listen when there are enough Senior Managers as members telling them that this is not what they want.

    It is essential that the CIPD does change to improve how it and the profession are viewed both from within the HR community and business as a whole if a new director comes in on this agenda and forces change and brings the CIPD into the 21st Century then they will be worth the £500,000 salary.

  7. arranged marrage
    No in most of the world they are separate, but then in the UK we like our professional memberships. Ironically the HR people (IPM) needed the merger for financial reasons – the training people (ITD) agreed because at the time they saw it as an opportunity to raise there professional status – how things change!

    As for free stuff – sorry no such thing – someone somewhere has to pay, be it advertisers etc. For example you can buy email lists from the free organisations but not as easily from the pay for sites.

    In this life you pay your money and take your choice.

    While the £113 subscription fee may look expensive:
    You get a great source of info,
    a regular magazine,
    free legal helpline
    Lib and research facilities etc.. worth a lot more than 113!

    People that get hung up on the cost of things rather than the value to me are missing opportunities on so many levels. In this country we get our mobile phone for free (most cost £200 upwards to make) and then moan when the call charges are too high – well folks you cannot have your cake and eat it.


  8. Propaganda??
    Mike you also get a whole load of politics and a very particular ethical standpoint – it wasnt long ago that trainers questioned the CIPD’s value on their own forum – the most popular thread on CIPD discussion forums ever – what did they do? Failed to adequately engage in the debate and banned guests from contributing.(see here)

    Info is free on the web and contains many differing viewpoints, the magazine contains only a couple of pages of L&D.

    As Iain states there are broader ethical/political issues to consider and as trainers we are here to question and educate.

    The great thing about the web is that the CIPD have to be invited to contribute to this debate and they cant simply censor postings they disagree with should they choose to.

  9. CIPD
    One the subject of the CIPD there was a suggestion 2 or 3 years ago as one of the topics for discussion at Richmond Events Annual HR Forum on board the Aurora an open forum on the role of the CIPD and where it should be heading.

    It never happened as I understand the CIPD would not take part.

  10. Can you change an organisation from the outside – or can you rea
    Every organisation has its politics, some stronger than others, indeed there are politics here on TrainingZone. Remember TrainingZone is more than just the forum.

    there are several trainer only institutions and special interest groups within others – why only slate the CIPD – it was trainers that ultimately made the decision.
    At the time I was a very loud voice against the merger – we will not see a de-merger in a professional body (I will eat my hat if it does).
    post the merger I got myself elected to the Central London Branch to work within and ensure we (trainers) were listed to – I did that for 3 years. Unfortunately few other trainers came forward to support.

    What about the IITT or ITOL – they are not free – are they not good value? why?

    What about accreditation are you a TAP accredited trainer? what do you do to show your customers/ employer that you are keeping up to date? How many courses/ seminars do you attend a year. What journals do you read on a regular basis: management today, professional manager, training journal etc??

    Don’t get me wrong I think the CIPD has done a lot wrong, but I blame other members for not taking equal action, not the resulting organisation. It is always stronger to fight from within (trojan horse) than it is to throw stones from outside.

    What does the boss of your professional body get paid?


  11. Still on my high horse
    Mike, I think you make some valid points. It comes down to what you think a professional body should do for you and certainly organisational politics are unavoidable. If that kind of thing doesn’t suit then it’s best to avoid it.

    I think Training Zone actually serves many of the professional needs I have for contact, information and stimulation (!). However, for some employers, it is very convenient to be able to ask training professionals to be CIPD members – without really knowing or understanding what that might entail. And for employers with HR departments it serves their interests to make it a pre-condition. ITOL and others really just haven’t got it right (yet) so I can understand why CIPD retains its status as the approved brand.

    However, I worry about what these professional organisations really do for the vast majority of people they are supposedley there to serve. Perhaps the age of the internet will start to make people working in the knowledge services sector to think more creatively – this medim is ideal for our sphere of work, do we even need a building with a chief exec and all the trappings? It also means you don’t have to rely on people turning up – like the issues Mike faced when trying to get trainers to be involved in CIPD.

    Anyway, I think this thread is about to diappear off the bottom of the ‘any answers’ section – I have enjoyed this one. Thanks Juliet for helping me onto my high horse.

  12. Better the devil you know?
    Hi Colin
    Hey we all get on our high horse from time to time!

    Just to set the record straight:
    I think the CIPD IS good value for money – it could be better but it is good.
    Access to the library, its information store and 1000’s of journals would cost over £300 . Is it training focused – no, but development – yes.

    What do you get for your money?
    The legal services are worth their weight in gold when needed – used them 3 times in the last 5 years – I believe I have saved over £400 on this alone.

    Access to employment – as you say most organisations recognise the CIPD membership, others in the training world do not (yet) hold the same standing.
    Networks and contacts etc

    I also think that people in HR have ‘unfair’ expectations of a professional body. I am also a registered engineer and must say that the services provided by my engineering institution are not as comprehensive as the CIPD, but keep this up as it helps gain work in some places.

    If members did not find their professional body of value then I hope they would either do something about it or leave.

    ‘Dissing’ an organisation without attempting to do something about it is in my opinion not professional.

    It is great that forums like this are there to keep some of the professional bodies on their toes. Traditionally professional bodies were ‘learned’ societies – now they are slowly becoming learning societies and they have to react to their members. Forums and communities like TZ are great and add to the richness of our work.

    Leaving an organisation like the CIPD can be a difficult choice for some – as once you leave it is very difficult to get back in.

    What worries me most is that as a profession we like to ‘borrow’ ideas from others, while in itself this is harmless, we also need to develop new material and ideas, developing new ideas effectively is expensive, getting it into the public consciousness is even more expensive, if we as a profession lose the willingness to pay for ‘stuff’ the whole system will eventually collapse. We need to build a sustainable model.


  13. Standards
    Whilst I would agree that the CIPD is reasonable value for money with the libary service and the employment law service.

    I would like to see changes:

    Why don’t we offer professional indemity insurance.
    Why don’t we offer discounts to members with various suppliers as many professional bodies do.
    Why can’t we as memebers use the canteen at CIPD House.
    Why don’t the CIPD see their role as to comment of draft employment legislation or Government skills and training plans.
    Why won’t they allow open internal debate.
    Why is so little being done to bring those that don’t belong or have let their memebership laps back into the fold.
    Why aren’t those that bring the professional into disrepute held accountable by the professional body for the public to see.

    The list could go on.

    In answer to the question why so many organisations require CIPD. It is seen as a standard of proficiency. HR Manager, Head of Mgr, HR Director, Trainer, Training Mgr, anyone can call themselves anything.

    It’s a lot like plumbers or builders there are some good and bad and unless you have some thing to measure them by you don’t know if you are getting a cowboy.

    As ours is often the only post in the company
    Management of firms need something to establish if there is any chance that the person is what they say they are.

  14. agree – how to ask the questions?
    I agree (although insurance is available at a discount)

    Are you going to post the questions in the institute forum or shall I?

  15. Run with it
    Mike as a committed CIPD member (with successes in the past) and one who advocates action rather than sitting on the sidelines, would you care to put Iain’s questions to the CIPD?

    Please rmemeber those of us who were members would like to see the comments on the debate as it may inform our future membership decisions. Lets not keep it all ‘internal’.

    PS. I have another – Why do they keep the lights on in the HQ all night??


  16. Wasted effort?
    Juliet asks:

    “Mike as a committed CIPD member (with successes in the past) and one who advocates action rather than sitting on the sidelines, would you care to put Iain’s questions to the CIPD?”

    Am I a committed member? – well if you have read any of my threads on the CIPD forum you will know I have been a pain in the proverbial back side – however it is in arguments like this (it is not a debate – people in a debate are often prepared to listen and change their position) that I ‘turn’, Unfortunately ‘dissing’ a professional body – for whatever reason does nothing for ones public credibility. Iain is also a CIPD member it is for him to decide if he is prepared to put them up first – they are his questions. If he would prefer another to ask the questions that is his decision – you asked the questions once and did not like the answers.

    “Please remember those of us who were members would like to see the comments on the debate as it may inform our future membership decisions. Lets not keep it all ‘internal’.”

    Juliet I am sure you know it is against copyright laws to copy information from one system to another without individuals permission (as a non member you can register for use of the forums, I believe) So I cannot do this, although I will be pro-active in the debate – if you (or others) decide to re-join talk to the membership department – unlike my IOD membership I do not get any reward for recommending members.

    In an earlier thread you said that “…- it wasnt long ago that trainers questioned the CIPD’s value on their own forum – the most popular thread on CIPD discussion forums ever – what did they do? Failed to adequately engage in the debate and banned guests from contributing.”

    Lets be realistic here, if one cannot be constructive as a guest then why would an institution want that person participating?

    Remember MEMBERS voted for the merger – they knew exactly what was going to happen and yet they still voted. One cannot shut the door after the horse has bolted.

    “PS. I have another – Why do they keep the lights on in the HQ all night??” –

    Pass have you asked them? I am not the solo environmental or thought police. When one is making a purchasing decision it needs to be an informed one – either one likes the offer or one does not – if not then buy from somewhere else.

    You ask a lot of questions often in a negative tone – I would be interested to know what professional bodies you belong to or what paid networks you contribute to, I know you used to belong to UKHRD – what was your reason for leaving? – it is a wonderful and thriving community.

    Mike Morrison FCIPD MIBC MIoD MIET etc…

  17. Schtum
    Lots more here, although I am now in two minds about which thread to follow!

    Mike, thanks for your personal comments (beware the moderators).

    You are right I am forthright and direct online I find it a frustrating communicaton method, but it does yield results and I find people know where they stand. In real life I’m smiley and cuddley, like your goodself ;-).

    As for my memberships, its not really the point is it? I’m not paid £500K however disagreeable you might think me.

    My personal credibility is not the issue and I disagree about ‘dissing’ organisations, its called holding them to account, its an ethical, worthy and noble thing to do…

    “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” Jack London

  18. CIPD
    I have asked these questions in the past and got the normal run around.

  19. Managing change
    Then with your permission I will re-raise the issues – I do believe that the CIPD do listen but like any business they have a plan and any new ideas need to be delivered in time with that plan.
    The CIPD is a business and if ideas are put forward that either retain or increase membership then I am sure they will be considered. (If not then yes the management need sacking)

    You say “My personal credibility is not the issue and I disagree about ‘dissing’ organisations, its called holding them to account, its an ethical, worthy and noble thing to do..”
    This is not a personal attack on your credibility, it is honest questions about the approach you appear to take.
    Holding them (the CIPD) to account is the role of the members and the local community that live near their premises. Locals can write to their local paper if they feel a local business is not listening to them. This has been an effective approach for other groups. The members can – if they have the inclination do something about it. If any organisation repeatedly sees one individual openly criticising them generally this will build immunity in the organisation to these issues (look at the petrochemical. Industry – for years they ignored environmental issues as it was a ‘niche’ group shouting – as soon as the population moved action started to be taken) With the CIPD the population is the members. If you want change – join up and change from within.

    The statistics show that out of the 128499 members only 16051 have declared themselves as trainers. That means that for the CIPD to change much in the way of focus will not benefit the majority. I understand that the services for members are in fact subsidised by the commercial side currently.

    Interesting debate – what do others think?

  20. Motivational

    Cheers, I was a member, like others I did try. I gave up in the end.

    As for the life coaching advice., thanks but I’m not interested – this is a free website, genteel conversation and cucumber sandwiches are not de riguer – live with it, I am me and you are you we are not at work or at the in-laws, we are in a debating chamber and any debating arena anywhere in the world contains robust, direct and forthright discussion. If that aint your cup of tea – tough! Maybe a bit more hard hitting conversation is what CIPD need? Richard Gutteridge’s comments seems to reinforce that…..

    Please dont try and convince me that there IS a body of evidence that the CIPD are willing to listen. They arent and there are plenty of people members and ex-members who say they arent.

    and until they are, why should I and other waste my money? Like you say commercialism and ‘hitting them in the pocket’ is a valid influencing tool. I weigh up the full package and an organisation that isnt listening isn’t a club I wish to support, financially or otherwise.
    Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of motivation – one must value the ultimate reward and believe one’s efforts will enable to gain said reward – and if one continues to value the ultimate reward then motivation will be high.

    We all have our methods and approaches and not all will be to everyone’s tastes, please try and understand others are motivated by Vroom and this affects how they are willing to engage with an organisation where we no longer value the reward.

    Juliet (BA in Moth & Er. Univ. of Life)

  21. Professions
    I note the comment about how many people have declared themselves as trainers, what is may be of interest is that the list of HR skills offered to members to declare their specialities does not totally reflect modern HR.

    A perfect example if CHRIS (Computerised HR Information Systems) the CIPD run an annual exhibition and conference on the subject but won’t recognise it as a specialist area.

    Every year for past 4 or5 years everytime the annual skills survey comes out I point this out and every year they say they will take note for next year but every year it is the same.

  22. CIPD
    Mikes posting on the CIPD website is starting to attract interest. I would urge other CIPD members to add their views and comments.

  23. A stone’s throw
    Mike said “With the CIPD the population is the members. If you want change – join up and change from within.”

    Absolutely, have used this argument many times with disgruntled staff when they complain about the people they work for.

    Trouble is, I’m not a member – I did make an attempt a few years ago but the obstacles that were put in the way for APL – as a trainer I was very disillusioned by the people who were supposed to take the lead on learning being awkward about APL. So, I stand outside and throw a few stones at the windows. Pathetic, I know but I feel good. However, when I see how few trainers are actually members I go back to my original assertion – we need our own organisation, seems to me people are voting with their feet. Or perhaps trainers are naturally apathetic, whinging etc…

    I took a look at the CIPD brochure though – £8,811 to do the certificate in training practice. I choked on my Chelsea Bun. AND, the residential bit is in Surrey. Bit of a sore point for anyone who lives north of Watford. A person can complete a doctorate with quite reputable organisations for not much more than that – they have to kidding. I think that quality costs, but what happened to making learning and qualifications accessible?

    No, I think by mutual disagreement, the CIPD and me (and probably others like me) have nothing to offer one another.

    I wish you success with getting a bit of internal debate going, if you hear gentle ‘tap, tap, tap’ it’s me offering my support from outside. At least I know where to direct the stones if they leave the lights on.



  24. Value of CIPD to trainers…
    Hi Colin
    Well you could always join as an associate…. 😎 (I wish I was on commission)

    Interestingly while the % of CIPD membership declaring themselves as trainers is small BUT when you look at sites like TrainerBase ( ) – the majority of the ‘top 20’ are CIPD members.

    12 out of 20 are CIPD and 4 out of 20 are ITOL and one IITT – the 3 remaining differenciate themselves as IiP so may be CIPD or ITOL (more likely CIPD)


  25. Differentiators

    To expand on the number of members of TrainerBase that have asked to be differentiated by institute membership I pulled off the following numbers:
    255 CIPD
    26 IITT
    16 ITOL
    9 IOSH
    It would appear that around 10% of our trainers are CIPD members.

    As for CIPD figures; how much money and effort will any business put into developing a customer sector that accounts for less than 4% of its total; doesn’t make commercial sense. The convers to that is of course that providing the services that they do does create a barrier to entry for others that may want to pursue a potential niche in the market.

    Onwards and upwards

    AKA Ed
    Founder and Editor of TrainerBase

  26. Movement or desperation to plug the leak?
    Have just received a letter from CIPD inviting me to rejoin CIPD offering a 50% discount.
    That’s £117 discount. (usually the ‘admission or subscriptioin’ fee)

    Should I view this cynically or with open arms – either way its a MASSIVE discount?

  27. Update please
    Dear Mike,

    6 weeks on, any chance of an update on your CIPD posting? What has been achieved?

    Thanks for your efforts.

  28. Waste of time?
    In the absence of Mike I’ll update everyone. I checked the discussion thread on the CIPD website started 11th May 2007.
    Despite 6 separate contributors and an an assurance from CIPD that they are listening there is no formal response (well done to Mike for asking for one) and the thread has been allowed to trail off.

    Drearily I sigh “we’ve seen it all before.” I was always taught that listening was an active verb and hearing was passive.
    Platitudes, platitudes.

  29. Progress
    Hi Juliet and all
    I have been working away – so not been on the site as much as I wanted to be.

    As you say – the discussion has not grown much – but it has opened some interesting avenues… When I have something specific to share I will

    Just out of interest – if you can access the CIPD site – why did you not post the question?


  30. Moi
    I didnt write it because I have no faith in their ability to take action on CIPD critical subjects, this has been my argument all along. Time and time again they talk about ‘listening’ which actually means doing nothing. I think 9 weeks is long enough for any organisation to, at the very least, construct a reply to its paying members (customers). They do reply to some subjects – clearly there is a policy of ‘pick and choose.’

    As it is nothing has been achieved once again.


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