Independent HR practitioners special interest group

Do you work independently? 

Are you making use of your local Special Interest Group? 

If you are a sole trader or small business providing HR support and services to clients, then you may already be aware of the existence and activities of the Independent HR Practitioners’ Special Interest Group (IHRP). 

This is a sub-group of the Hereford and Worcester Branch which was set up some years ago to focus on the particular needs of the many independents operating within the branch. Its main objective is to provide a forum for members to network and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed on their own. For example: 

  • Working independently, often spending much of your time in the home office, can be a lonely existence and one which HR professionals often find difficult – IHRP offers you the opportunity to meet with others in a similar situation, sharing ideas and using each other as a sounding board just as you will have done in the corporate world 
  • Working on your own or in a small business means you have limited resources – IHRP enables you to develop associate relationships with other independents so you can lend each other mutual support through the peaks and troughs of work or combine your different specialisms to meet a particular client’s needs 
  • You’ll be concerned to keep your skills up to date – and may need to develop new skills if you’re just setting up a business – but training courses, seminars etc can be an expensive option for the small business. IHRP offers you a programme of informative meetings on topics relevant to independents, where you can learn both from our speakers and other members. 

You will by now have seen our programme for the next 12 months and I hope there will be something there to interest all independent practitioners (and perhaps some who work in employed roles too). We aim to keep the meetings short and focused – it’s not easy listening to speakers after a long day at work so we ask our presenters to make their sessions as interactive as possible. If you’re new to working independently or just wondering whether it might be right for you, come along and hear it from the horses’ mouths. It will also be a great networking opportunity!

Events can be booked by using the online booking system on the CIPD website. All branch members are welcome to attend. 

On the subject of networking, the IHRPG is really paying dividends now for those who have been active in the group for some time. As well as leading to the establishment of the group of HR Consultants who operate under the HR-in Action banner providing a service through the local Chamber of Commerce, it has also led to a considerable amount of referral and associate activity.

Rather than feeling that we’re in direct competition and therefore reluctant to share too much information about our businesses, many of us have discovered the value of having other professionals on hand - for example when a client needs some specialist expertise we don’t have or when we just don’t have the capacity for a piece of work but don’t want to turn the client away. 

Come and meet us and share in the benefits this group can offer. 


Deirdre Myers
IHRP Group Co-ordinator