Special interest and geographical groups

In addition to our main branch event each month we currently have special interest groups in Learning & Development, Mediation , Mentoring, Knowledge into Practice (KIP) and HR Systems. Geographical groups are also running in The Borders and West Lothian. Each of these groups runs smaller events on a regular basis.

Please see below for further information on the groups and a contact for each of them and go to the Events page for details of special interest and geographical group events coming up shortly.

Please note that all special interest group events are open to all CIPD branch members and are free of charge (unless otherwise indicated). We look forward to seeing you at a branch event soon.

Learning & Development Group 

The Learning & Development Group welcomes all those who have an interest in training, coaching, distance learning, e-learning or any other aspect of developing people. 

Our events are planned, managed and run by the members themselves through a small and dedicated team of volunteers. Sessions are designed to be interactive, engaging and educational and take place once a month from September to April at venues throughout Edinburgh city centre. 

Events start at 18:00 with refreshments and informal networking followed by a facilitated session running from 18:30 until 20:00. 

If you would like to be kept up to date with our programme and/or you would like to contribute to our LinkedIn discussion page, please contact us and we will put you on our mailing list. 


To provide a networking forum for Learning & Development professionals to learn from each other through sharing knowledge, skills and best practice. 


To be the networking forum of choice for Learning & Development professionals in South East Scotland. 


  • Challenging - We encourage robust conversation, discussion and provocative debate.
  • Practical – Participants take away insights, information and tools which they can readily apply.
  • Diverse – We actively seek to include people from all employment sectors and all types and size of organisation.

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Mediation Group 

The main aims of the Mediation Group are to raise the profile of Mediation, to highlight the positive role it can have in the workplace and to promote a wider understanding of the appropriate uses of Mediation to resolve disputes.

Events will commence at 18:30 and we encourage all attendees to arrive at 18:00 for refreshments and a chance to meet other attendees and network until the event commences. All events will finish by 20:00.

If you would like further information on the group or to join our email list, please contact Derek Liddell. This will allow us to ensure you are prompted for each event with more specific details and also ensure you are notified of any late changes to the programme, venue or cancellations.

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Knowledge into Practice Group 

The KIP group is an active network of HR academics and practitioners within the Branch brought together to create and disseminate state-of-the-art research in HRM policy and practice. Activities this year will centre on the building of collaborative networks across all sectors of the Scottish economy that provide an active and flexible interface between academia, policy makers and HR practitioners. For further information, please contact Kirsteen Grant.

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Borders Geographical Group 

The Borders group is growing in numbers and we have had a full programme of events this year. After a recent event looking at the CIPD’s MegaTrends report we have decided to focus on some of the areas highlighted in that report surrounding the trends and drivers that shape our Work, Workforce and Workplace. The events will be published in the usual way within the Branch Programme and on the website. If you would like any further information, please contact Deborah Taggart.

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West Lothian Geographical Group 

The West Lothian Group welcomes all those who have an interest in HR with an aim to developing members' networks within the wider HR community. Our events are designed to be interactive, engaging and informative, encouraging the HR Community to share ideas and experiences.

After four successful events in 2015/2016 the West Lothian Branch will return for 2016/2017 to host another four events. Events will start at 18:30 and will finish by 20:00. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at 18:00 to allow time for networking.

For more information or if you would like to join the group or the planning committee, please contact Group Leads Kirsten Lunn and Caroline McInally.

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HR Systems Group 

The purpose of the group is to provide a forum for members of SE Scotland and Mid Scotland branches to discuss and knowledge share on HR systems related issues and developments.

The objectives of the group include:

  • the development of links between group members to facilitate the mutual learning & understanding of HR systems related issues and developments.
  • the organisation and delivery of events on subjects that are of interest to the group and to SE Scotland and Mid Scotland branches to an agreed publicised timetable.
  • the provision of advice to members on HR systems related issues and developments from other group members.
  • the provision of 'spotlight' sessions on specific HR systems hot topics by inviting guest speakers or utilising the expertise within the group.
  • the sharing of ideas in order to improve the understanding of HR systems.

The group will not be a forum for software companies to showcase their products and services.

For more information or if you would like to join the group, please contact Ged Crotty.

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New & Aspiring Professionals Group 

Deciding to embark upon an HR career can be exciting, though may raise many questions, such as:

  • which qualification routes are best?
  • how do I get my first HR role?
  • what’s the best way to get employee relations experience?

There is lots of information available both on the CIPD website and via many other resources. However, working your way through all the advice may be overwhelming if it’s unfamiliar. 

The truth is there isn’t necessarily a prescribed road map everyone follows when starting an HR career. It’s often about what’s right for you in line with your career ambitions. And that’s where we can help. 

The New & Aspiring Professionals Group has been formed to support and guide you through the myriad of information out there. That might be helping you interpret the advice on the CIPD website, utilising the extensive resources available to you via the South East Scotland Branch, or simply answering any questions you might have about accessing and progressing in your HR career. 

There’s also the opportunity to get involved in volunteering for this group and indeed other groups within the Branch. It’s a great way to start immersing yourself in the HR world and building your professional network. 

To find out more, please contact Jill Grimmond.

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