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The Fees Increase and Improvements to Communication/Website etc

 COPY FOR PUBLICATION
 
To: Susannah Clements/Peter Cheese
Copied to: Richard Hearn (Membership Dev) CIPD Chief Executive/Cheryl Myles (Branch Networks)/Johanna Ratcliffe (Digital Strategy)

Dear Peter

I sent the attached note below nearly five months ago to you and Susannah Clements, who we understand has now left the Institute. (We don't know who is now responsible for internal Institute affairs).

Do you not feel inclined to respond to at least some of the questions I raised? I don't want a protracted correspondence on these issues, particularly where you do not accept the criticisms I make (made not just on my part, but the part of others, but I do feel you could do something to address the factual enquiries I have made on behalf of myself and others (blind copied here on email). They too have not received satisfactory responses to specific enquiries they have made.

Can you confirm the current membership figures?
(We understand it has fallen to 131,000 from 135,000 at time of the fee increase as we feared. We believe these to be mainly the more experienced members of the Institute. This is an most unwelcome development).
Can you break these down by grades?
Can you confirm the increase in Fees has been revenue neutral, as intended?
With reference to the CIPD Website, when do you intend to communicate a project plan about the upgrade?
(We are all desperate for it to be improved, and there are quick easy wins we have asked for).
Do you intend to ask the Membership about what it sees as important, and deal with these items as priorities?
(The only priorities you mention are better booking for Conferences and Events - all revenue raising initiatives).
Can you provide any detailed plans about how you intend to improve communications with the Membership and dates by which you intend to achieve this?
When can we expect to notice a difference?
When do you intend to present the "detailed reader research" about the new quarterly magazine?
Where is the evidence of any formal regular feedback to our Membership about these issues, as was promised by you and others at the time of the Fee increase.

The CIPD has long-developed a practice of "playing the man and not the ball" with regard to its Membership.

We would prefer to see issues addressed, rather than personal criticisms directed at paying Members. I hope you will turn your attention to these widely-felt views, and address the issues raised above in detail.
 
Mark Law
  • Hi all 

    I work in the social and communities team at CIPD and also Mark cc'd me on the email he's posted above. I'm aware Peter, our CEO, has responded to you offline Mark so for the benefit of others who are interested, Peter is happy for me to share a few points of clarification relating to Mark's questions above - I've picked these out myself - and paraphrased in places so the post is not a mile long - so I hope they are still useful: 

    Current membership figures: 

    Overall our membership numbers are growing year on year, as you will see from our Annual Reviews each year. We will publish this year’s figures after the end of the financial year, (for us it is end June) as we always do, which allows for meaningful year on year comparisons. This year we expect to end with close to 137,000 members which is a positive increase on last year. 

    Website and digital content access: 

    We've been working on the development and upgrade plans for our site over the last 6 months (my colleague, Stephen Dunn posted to the group a week or two ago about some focus groups we've been running on aspects of this eg information architecture.) It is a complex project of work, linked to our plans not only to refresh the website, but to provide better digital content access, community connections and many other things that are part of our wider digital strategy. We don’t intend to publish a project plan. But we’ll be communicating our plans shortly, and indeed are looking at “quick wins”, alongside a much more fundamental upgrade over time. 

    Membership research and services: 

    We've recently emailed out our annual membership survey to all members, asking them what they feel is important. Results are now in and we're analysing the data. We'll send a summary of results to members who completed the survey in mid April and we'll publicise it more widely on our website etc at end April. Additionally, we're conducting more specific research around our content and research, not only to members, but to the many other groups such as policy makers who also access our research. 

    We are continuing to develop specific membership services beyond conferences and events, including Fellow networks, mentoring support, careers guidance and support, and engaging the membership on key research themes. We believe through all this we have been improving communications with the membership, but also recognise more can always be done. The digital and technology investments we are making will help this further, together with investments we are going to be making in new CRM systems that will better support our information and dialogue with members everywhere. 

    The quarterly magazine for CIPD Chartered Fellows, 'Work.' 

    Haymarket, our publishing partner, are starting some reader research now, to coincide with the first anniversary of Work., - we expect to have the feedback from that in the next couple of months. Anecdotally, the feedback has continued to be extremely positive. 

    Branches and Council: 

    We talk all the time to our Branches and to Council and take regular soundings. 

    Peter says, 'I spend a lot of time out at different events, Branch meetings and conferences, and I get a lot of very positive feedback about what we are doing and the direction of travel. We still have much to do, but we are definitely making progress. This is a large organisation with a very large membership, and it takes time to change, particularly where we may be dependent on significant investments in areas like digital and technology.' 

    And there ends my round up! Thank you for reading - any questions just ask. 

    All the best 

    Johanna
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