CIPD Professional Communities Guidelines (the "Guidelines")
CIPD Professional Communities (the "Community") is a CIPD Member-only resource. The purpose of the Community is to allow you to exchange ideas, views, advice and resources with other CIPD Members in a secure and supportive environment.
These Guidelines are here to help you understand what it means to be a contributor to the Community. You are reminded that your use of this Community is subject to these Guidelines, the CIPD Website Terms and Conditions and adherence to the CIPD Code of Professional Conduct. Please read this document including the Disclaimer before participating in the Community.
Firstly, something we have always been upfront about: We do not allow people to post anonymously to the Community. The consensus is that this is consistent with the welcoming space for CIPD Members we have carefully and collectively built over the years.
How to get the most value from the Community:
Do enjoy the diversity
We're a community of many different experiences and competencies of people, who have the right to feel comfortable and who may not think the way that you think, or express themselves in the same way.
Do lead by example
Listen before you talk. Before posting, understand the context. We welcome lively, robust, intelligent debate and discussion, but you know there is a line. Don't cross that line. Be patient, civil, respectful and tasteful in your interactions with other members.
Do spell check
Once you've posted you can't go back in to change your post or alter typos but you do get a preview screen to check it before you submit.
Do keep it relevant
When you open a new discussion, think carefully about how you choose a title for your thread. We recognise that some topics can be wide-ranging and technical, but try to avoid slipping into legalese when describing the finer legal points (although we have nothing against lawyers). When you post a comment, brevity beats long-windedness.
Do be discreet
It is important you retain professional confidentiality at all times. With sensitive situations, you may need to phrase your comments in such a way that individuals cannot be identified from them.
Do be worldly wise
Take care when using ambiguous language or humour that may inadvertently offend. This Community is an international one, so try to see the world through others' eyes and consider your impact on others when making your contribution.
Do be generous
Offer helpful advice and comment on current practice. Share. When adding attachments to a post, we recommend you state in your message the appropriate document format (e.g. PDF, Word doc) and file size (no bigger than 2 MB). The CIPD cannot vouch for the content of such documents, as we always advise members to consult the resources elsewhere on the CIPD website.
Do make recommendations
From time to time it may be appropriate to share the details of the services provided by companies you trust, provided this is in the context of a direct question. This does not extend to recommending your own services and passing yourself off as an individual.
Do share something about yourself
Keep your 'My Profile' up-to-date. Members continually tell us that they like to see brief biographical details about contributors. Upload a head and shoulders photo that is appropriate for a professional community (i.e. no pets!).
Do respect copyright
If you quote a publication, website or other reference please clearly cite your source, and do not quote more than is permitted by normal copyright restrictions.
Do show your gratitude
Much can be gained from returning to the thread you opened to thank those who offered their advice willingly. The Community loves to hear a happy ending (or at least one from which we can all learn), so tell us what happened.
Many of you already use the 'Contact' feature (a link shown below a contributor's name) to network with other CIPD members, and to continue the conversation privately outside of the Community.
Do manage your subscriptions
Otherwise you may find your mailbox inundated with email alerts. Keep the number of threads to which you subscribe to a minimum. This is the link you need: http://www.cipd.co.uk/community/forums/ForumSubscriptions
Do show us the value
Do remember to tell us when you find a discussion particularly helpful to you personally, or valuable to your employer (this will help us build some compelling evidence for demonstrating just how remarkable CIPD Members really are!).
Things you probably should avoid:
We're all grown up professionals, and you should know that no individual has yet been banned from the Community. However, the CIPD, through the Community moderators, reserve the right to remove content and posts, which in our opinion do not observe these Guidelines, and/or to prevent persistent abusers from adding further contributions.
It is therefore advisable that you:
Do not provide details that identify individuals or cases, when discussing professional issues.
Do not make unwarranted criticism, abusive or libellous comments about other people or organisations, commercial or non-commercial.
Do not include any personal contact information (e.g. telephone, membership no. email address, company) within the body of your posting. If you do, we reserve the right to remove it.
Do not openly advertise your services, or the services of any company or organisation with which you are associated. If in doubt, leave it out (or check with us first (firstname.lastname@example.org)).
Do not post any content that may put you or the CIPD in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libellous or defamatory comments, or text or graphics that are copyright protected (unless you have clear permission to do so).
Do not ask your peers to complete your assignment or write your staff handbook on your behalf. Demonstrate that you have put in some effort yourself, and you will be rewarded.
The CIPD has crafted these Guidelines to ensure that everyone within the Community has a positive experience. We are committed to demonstrating consistency in the way we moderate contributions, but as we are real people (and not robots) these are Guidelines to allow for nuance, and not hard and fast rules.
As always, let us know if you think of ways that the CIPD can enhance your experience based on your participation in the Community. We believe that we have only scratched the surface of what may be possible together through collaboration. If you have any questions or doubts about any aspect of the Community, or feel that any behaviour in the Community is unacceptable for any reason, please seek the advice of the Community Manager: email@example.com.
The Legal bit
By contributing to the Community, you agree to receive private messages from other users through the 'Contact' function. The 'Contact' function is a veiled email system which allows other Community users to send you a private electronic message but preserves the confidentiality of your email address. Whilst you consent to receiving messages in this way, you are under no obligation to respond to the message sender (although, of course, we hope that you will most of the time).
The CIPD endeavours to ensure that the information it provides through its website is accurate and accepts no liability for any errors and omissions, or misuse of copyright or personal information in breach of the above Guidelines.
The CIPD does not accept any liability for views, opinions or advice expressed by users contributing to the Community, which are those of the users alone.
You may access other websites via the hypertext links provided. You use such links and other websites entirely at your own risk. Such websites are provided by independent third parties and CIPD accepts no responsibility for the availability, content or use of such websites nor for any information contained therein.
CIPD Professional Communities Guidelines