Special interest groups

CIPD special interest groups are a great way to take part in the exchange of ideas, insights and knowledge in specific areas of HR and L&D. Open to CIPD members exclusively, the groups provide invaluable opportunities to network with peers, interact with subject and industry experts and progress your continuous professional development. 

CIPD special interest groups enable you to:

  • stay up to day with the latest developments
  • enjoy access to our updated factsheets and other subject resources
  • hear from expert speakers in specialist areas through conferences, events, webinars and podcasts
  • benefit from support and guidance on technical queries from other members in our online communities.

There are currently two special interest groups. However, watch this space, as there are plans to set up more.

Learning and Development

The Learning and Development special interest group is for professionals engaged in developing the skills and knowledge of the workforce to enhance performance. The programme of events aims to promote topics that will encourage motivation, inspiration, learning and growth.

Leaders in Learning network – this free to attend network for senior L&D professionals and managers meets quarterly to network, discuss and explore L&D themes, hear presentations from other network members and socialise. Regional network groups are now running in London, Edinburgh, Newmarket, Bristol and Manchester. Professionals can join the network by invitation or application. If you would like to be a part of CIPD’s Leaders in Learning Network please email us.

View resources on learning and development


The Reward special interest group engages HR professionals in discussion and debate on recent reward management and planning issues. Typical topics include reward and engagement, employee benefits, reward in the public sector, auto enrolment and RTI.

Read the latest Reward blog on Financial Wellbeing

Topic Context

Developing an attractive reward package in an increasingly competitive market is becoming harder. Organisations are having to create a more innovate reward strategy to build their Employee Value Proposition and stand out. In a market where productivity is slowing, it becomes important to attract and then retain the right talent to help create and maintain a more productive workforce.

Reward professionals also have the extra pressure of having to consider the recent implementation of the National Living Wage and legal policy changes including pension’s taxation and equal pay reporting. The Reward Conference and Workshop this year focused on increasing productivity in an increasingly competitive world. Speakers included River Island, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Three UK.

Key Themes

  • Importance of employee voice
    The key to understanding the motivations of your workforce is to question what they really want. Getting feedback from staff allows you to then tailor your reward strategy to meet their needs – particularly in a changing workforce where we are seeing an influx of younger talent with differing needs, we need to understand how to increase their productivity. This was reiterated by River Island and IHG.
  • Holistic approach to reward
    A total reward approach needs to take into account the employer brand, business strategy, culture, work environment etc. in order to be successful. Jean-Pierre Noel reinforced the idea that engagement and collaboration is key because when people perform at their best, the business performs at its best.
  • Communication
    It's important to communicate your reward offerings clearly throughout the organisation so employees understand how best to make efficient use of what is offered to them. If not communicated properly, employees may have a distorted view of what benefits they receive.
  • Implication of National Living Wage
    Reward professionals need to consider the impact of the National Living Wage and try and minimise the negative effects that could emerge from its implementation. David Frost from Produceworld explain the evaluation they had to undertake of the impact of the NLW. The impact financially may lead to increase in redundancies which could also impact on the wellbeing of the staff.
  • Non-financial Reward
    Non-financial reward plays a big part in River Island, where they have limited budget and resources. After asking the employees what they valued the most and what they wanted, they implemented ‘Summer Fridays’. This allowed employees to leave work on Friday’s at 3pm during the summer months. This was very well received and employee feedback was very positive.
  • Collaboration with the business
    It’s necessary to display how the reward strategy will impact on the bottom line. The reward strategy needs to align to the business objectives and help with organisational strategy. IHG showed how they insure their reward strategy is in line with the business’ strategic growth.

View resources on reward management


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