The origin of the Southern Region CIPD dates back to pre 1965 when the Cork Group affiliated to the Institute of Personnel Management. Some entrusted with the role of Industrial Relations Negotiators in industry were members of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and had some Legal Training. With a common interest, a group met monthly at the Cork Harbour Commissioners office. At the time the science of managing people was known as Personnel Management, rather than the modern term, Human Resource Management (HR) and the approach was different. The main activity within Personnel Departments was Industrial Relations, welfare, wages and administration. There were no national wage agreements at the time. Most Private Sector pay wage and salary structures were modelled on those in the Public Service.
The Southern PM Group was dominated initially by C I E, in the person of Jack Ridgeway, Chairman from 1965 to 1973, (Jack later joined H G W Paints), Dave McInerney, of the Port of Cork, Chair from 1973 to 1985. Jack and David were joined by many notables which included, Frank McCoy of IFI, Joe Rodgers of IFI, Frank FitzGibbon of Penn Chemicals, Joe Cogan of Pfizers, Alan Nevin of Lilly, Donal Lehane of VCD, Vince Barrett of Cork City Council and Syd Crewe of Irish Refining.
In 1978 the regular membership of the group stood at about 14, and grew at a fast pace thereafter.
In 1993 it was decided by the head offices of both the IPM and Institute of Training and Development, (UK, to which IPM Ireland was affiliated), to amalgamate and form the Institute of Personnel and Development as a 1st step to improving standards and gaining Chartered Status. It was not until the year 2000 that Chartered Status was granted and from then the Institute has been known as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, or CIPD.