Hereford and Worcester Branch

CIPD Branches - networking, insights and professional support

Welcome to the Hereford and Worcester Branch

We are an active, friendly branch with around 1500 members across the two counties. We hold regular, monthly meetings on a variety of HR topics, to which all members and their guests are welcome. 

Our full events and activities programme for 2014 is now available and a printed copy of the programme has also been distributed to all members. We recommend you keep hold of a copy of the programme for this period, to make sure you don't miss anything from our exciting range of events. 

In the meantime, you can visit our events listings for basic details of forthcoming meetings. This section will be updated on a regular basis, so make sure you check back to keep right up-to-date. 

To find out more about the branch and how you can get involved, see the 'About Us' section. We look forward to welcoming you to one of our events soon.

Welcome from the Chair

My name is Tracy Arlott and I am the new Branch Chair.

First of all I would like to say on behalf of the Branch team a huge thank you to our previous Chair Nicholas Blake for all of his hard work and commitment to the Branch over the years as Chair, Vice-Chair, Newsletter Editor and Programme Co-ordinator. Nick has stepped down from Branch activities as he approaches retirement and we wish him all the very best for the future. 

Recruited by Nick, I have been a member of the H&W Branch team since 2006 and to date have undertaken Events Co-ordinator, Secretary, Rep to Council and Vice Chair roles. My background has predominantly been in the public sector; working for the NHS, and currently for Worcestershire County Council. I am a HR Manager, Coaching Practitioner and Trainer. 

We have a committed, enthusiastic and inventive Branch team, who as I'm sure you know, are all volunteers that work very hard to fly the CIPD flag! I have known many of the Branch team for a number of years now and I look forward to working with them in my capacity as Branch Chair.

Like all branches, we are always looking for volunteers to help run the Branch and optimise what we can offer to local members, so if you want to develop your skills and build your professional network, not to mention enhance your CPD, please get in touch. 

I am very proud and excited to be undertaking the role as Chair – please keep coming to events, keep giving us feedback, join in if you can and help us to deliver the best local professional support to all of you!

Tracey Arlott
Branch Chair

Our events

Hereford and Worcester CIPD run a lively, inter-active programme of events and aim to provide something for everyone. Full details of our regular evening meetings can be found on the events listing page. The meetings are a great way to network and update your professional knowledge - and of course they also contribute towards your CPD. All evening events are free of charge - although we do appreciate it if you could book beforehand, either via the Events link or by contacting our administrator Fiona Ritchie using the Contact Us link.

Our mentoring initiative

CIPD’s Steps Ahead Mentoring for unemployed 18-24 year olds in your local area is still looking for mentors. 

In August 2011, the CIPD launched a mentoring initiative in Coventry and Warwickshire, with the hope that it would bring young unemployed people closer to the labour market.

By working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus offices within Coventry and Warwickshire, we have received over 150 young people’s referral forms for young people who wish to be mentored. 

We have had continued success which has allowed us to put together an expansion plan.

If you feel that you can volunteer your time to help a young person who is struggling to find employment then please let us know. Alternatively if you cannot offer your time as a mentor, can your company or do you know someone that can offer work experience or a shadow day to a young person? This helps them to gain experience.

Get involved

We are always looking for new people to join our Branch Team and get involved in the running of the branch. People of all levels of experience are welcome - it's enthusiasm and ideas that count. 

We are particularly keen to find new members from the public sector, which is currently under-represented on the team. To find out more, contact us.

Learning and Development Special Interest Group

The Learning and Development Group provides a forum for members who work in Learning and Development or who have a key role or interest in people and organisational development. 

The group was set up with the aim of recognising the importance of L&D in the field of HR and to provide interesting and innovative opportunties for members to share and develop their knowledge and skills.

If you have a particular interest in learning and development issues why not join our L&D special interest group? The group holds regular bi-monthly meetings where like-minded professionals can network, problem solve, share best practice and update their knowledge. 

Recent topics have included innovative ice-breakers, accelerated learning and equal opportunities and diversity in the learning environment. 

Meetings are held at The Swan in Whittington (just off the M5 at Junction 7) between 18.30 and 20.30. If you would like to join the group and receive regular reminders about meetings, please contact us.

Independent HR Practitioners' Special Interest Group

This group focuses on topics of particular interest to CIPD members who work in HR as independent practitioners, applying their HR expertise for the benefit of more than one client organisation. 

The group organises 'themed' meetings where members can share knowledge and experience and also offers opportunities to develop networking, marketing and business management skills and initiatives. It also enables members to promote their professional services and to network within the branch region more effectively.

It is an inclusive group, open to members operating as consultants, interim managers, or HR professionals working for several clients on a retained basis - in fact anyone who is a knowledge-based worker, independent of an employing organisation, regardless of what term they use to define themselves. We welcome all members, including those who are planning to become independent practitioners in the future and are preparing for transition. 

See events listings for details of forthcoming meetings, or to register an interest in the group, get in touch with Deirdre Myers via Contact Us.

Herefordshire Group

A geographic group based on Herefordshire has been established to organise activities for members living/working in Herefordshire.  To register your interest please contact  Alan Austin using the Contact Us link.

CIPD courses at Herefordshire College of Technology

Herefordshire College of Technology has well established and successful CIPD programmes that offer an excellent mix of relevant practical and theoretical approaches and have high success rates. 

At Foundation level (level 3) HCT offers the full Diploma in HR Practice covering eight units. It is ideal for someone starting their career in HR. This runs weekly 17.30 – 21.00 usually on Thursdays. 

HCT also offers the Certificate in Learning and Development Practice and the Award in Learning and Development Essentials (coaching and mentoring). 

At Intermediate level (Level 5) HCT offers the full Diploma in Human Resource Management covering nine units that include employment law and the opportunity to take part in a Mock Employment Tribunal run in partnership with Kidwells solicitors in Hereford. The course is weekly and usually runs on Tuesdays from 16.00 – 21.00. 

All students have the opportunity to attend one to one tutorials and the support offered by teaching staff is excellent (based on feedback from students). Herefordshire College of Technology attracts students to their CIPD programmes from Cardiff, South Gloucestershire and Mid Wales. 

For more information contact Robin Pickston

Leading by example

National studies have shown that re-entering employment is a key stage in mental health recovery. Therefore Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has helped over 40 former clients back into employment in its own workforce offering placements in admin, catering, portering, finance, estates and clerical environments. 

Former clients have said a chance to work means:- 

“I feel useful again and worth something not just to myself but to other people as well.” 

“I can smile as I regain my pride and self-esteem working as part of a Team.” 

“It gives me meaning.” 

The Trust is now keen to encourage other employers to follow suit and hopes its Paid Training Placement model may help. 

The Model: 

  • 6 months long placements paid at National Minimum Wage by the organisation offering the placement 
  • Part-time, usually 8-16 hrs per week 
  • Trial run: 1 month initial unpaid placement to see how things work out with no commitment to employ 
  • Ongoing input from an NHS employment support worker available to both manager and employee who will give advice and support 
  • Many workers come with great skills, knowledge and experience, they just need to get their confidence back; others have completed pre-placement , or on-the-job, training to support them in carrying out the duties needed. 

Pete Jordan, who leads Employment Services for the Trust, describes typical placements - “Often people have worked previously at a higher level : perhaps a PA who wants to get back to work via more routine admin duties, or a qualified chef who would value starting back with basic food preparation. Both have large amounts to offer the employer. Now recovered following ill health, they are seeking re-entry to the workplace, using some of their former skills but rebuilding confidence and stamina by restarting with more basic duties. The placements benefit employers by enabling them to identify and recruit motivated people with potential whilst helping to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibility commitment to the local community. 

For further information please contact Peter Jordon