By CIPD's Richard Goldsbrough, Senior Membership Manager.I am now into my last week with the CIPD, having worked in the membership development team here for just over 5 years. In that time I’ve been incredibly lucky to get a real insight into the HR, OD and L&D profession, working with so many fantastic people throughout the CIPD branch network.From day 1 I've been amazed and impressed with how so many of our members give up so much of their time to volunteer for our branches, creating and delivering exciting, engaging and informative events and conferences across the UK. I’ve been to many branch events and I’ve always been so impressed with the organisation, content and delivery of each of them. Each branch acts as a local face of the CIPD and without the fantastic work of the volunteers there is no way we would be able to engage with so many members, so often.In the time I’ve been at the CIPD, membership has increased from 132,000 to 153,000 and we’ve vastly increased our recruitment of student members. Branches play a big part in this and I am forever grateful and indebted to the many volunteers who have supported us with that work – from going to universities and colleges to talk about the CIPD and membership, to developing and delivering a network of student conferences which more than 1,000 people attended last year. I’ve also seen the fantastic local networks that have developed over time such as the HRConnecting events and meet-ups that happen in many cities in the UK now. All these come from the work of volunteers who are a credit to the profession.Our member research and usage statistics which we collect regularly show us that branches are consistently one of the most used and valued member benefits and we have ensured that funding into branches to support the many activities has grown as we have grown as an organisation. The volunteers and branch network is hugely valuable to the CIPD and I know my colleagues share the view that they are one of the most important parts of the CIPD membership offer.If you would like to learn more about our branches please visit - https://www.cipd.co.uk/learn/branchesA huge thank you to all those CIPD members who have given and continue to give their spare time and I wish you all the very best.
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