The worlds of work and people practice are changing, presenting a huge opportunity to drive lasting change. Our job now is to take full advantage, so we can make the biggest impact possible – for our members, customers and society as a whole.

Our strategy for championing better work and working lives:

  • making the case for better work – and raising the profile of the people profession as its champions
  • building the capability of the profession as experts in people, work and change
  • developing a sustainable, future-fit organisation able to meet the needs of our customers, our business and our people.

Our charitable purpose is the promotion of the art and science of the management and development of people for the public benefit; in other words, to champion better work and working lives. Our growth – both in terms of membership and broader reach – is crucial to fulfilling that purpose. The more people professionals who uphold our Code of Conduct and map their career development against our Professional Standards, the more working lives we’ll improve and the more organisations will reap the benefits of world-class people management and development. And, the more hearts and minds we change about the role of the people profession as champions of good work, the more demand we’ll see for our members’ expertise.

In 2016, we set out a long-term plan in support of our purpose, divided into three phases:

  1. 'Getting in shape' (rationalising costs and improving business practices)
  2. 'Playing to our strengths' (improving our capabilities through strategic partnerships)
  3. 'Going for growth' (achieving greater reach and impact).

We're now in phase three, focused on growth in three key areas:

  • building membership levels up to around 200,000 over the next five years – by strengthening our membership pipeline and making membership more attractive for existing and potential members

  • significantly increasing the number of strong relationships we hold with large organisations by providing a more compelling and scalable proposition to suit their needs

  • becoming a more influential voice on the future of work and people management, strengthening our presence in international markets and among small organisations and people managers.

Laying the foundations for growth

Based on customer and member feedback, as well as external market analysis, we’ve identified three key areas in which we need to build stronger foundations to achieve our growth ambitions:

  • helping professionals and organisations do better work by developing and sharing relevant, up-to-the-minute and evidence-based knowledge and good practice

  • helping people to build their careers and achieve more impact by providing learning opportunities, setting standards and assessing people’s progress against these

  • understanding our customers' businesses and working lives, making it easy for them to get what they need from us, and managing our relationships with them smartly.

All three of these areas of strength need to be supported by: skilled, knowledgeable people; ways of working that help us to make the most of our time and talents; a culture that helps us all do our best work in support of our members, customers and purpose; and data that is accurate and well managed, systems that support our ways of working and a digital experience that works brilliantly for us and our customers.

Achieving all of this will require significant change. So we’ve established a new Programme Management Office to plan and co-ordinate change activities and to support those responsible for delivering them to do so effectively and collaboratively.

Ultimately, we’ll create a more customer-focused, digitally enabled and simplified CIPD.

"Ultimately, we’ll create a more customer-focused, digitally-enabled and simplified CIPD."

Digital enablement

Digital enablement will be key to our success. Over the last financial year we've continued our investment in our digital infrastructure – both in member-facing areas and our back office.

Enhancing the member experience

We added a number of new features to our website this year to allow members to more easily see the benefits available to them, as well as a new preference centre where members can manage the information they receive from us. We also made the site easier to use and navigate, in direct response to user feedback.

We built a new online portal for our study centres to submit results of qualifications. This has significantly reduced the complexity and time taken to provide that information, so we'll be able to issue certificates recognising our student members’ qualifications faster than ever before.

Digital learning

There’s been a significant increase over the last few years in CIPD students choosing online study as their primary learning channel. To improve support for students studying directly with CIPD Training, we upgraded our digital learning platform to provide a far better learning experience. With the improved tools available we also started to offer digital delivery for some of our short courses.

Back-office developments

We continued to invest in our underlying technology in many areas, including enhancing our cybersecurity in response to the continually changing threat landscape. For example, we rolled out multi-factor authentication for staff. We’ve also moved much of our main infrastructure to a new private cloud environment. While we were already operating in this way, our new provider allows us to reduce costs and improve the robustness of our technology as we move the remaining services to this new environment. These developments will enable us to provide our customers with a more reliable service.

Investing in a digital future

To achieve our growth plans, we’ll need to considerably increase our investment in our digital capabilities and infrastructure. We know, for example, that our data, e-commerce and content systems are all in need of significant development. The CIPD board is now considering the scale and pace of investment needed – perhaps as much as doubling our £2 million a year in strategic investments for a short time. But we also recognise the importance of investing our customers' and members' money wisely and are putting measures in place to ensure that all investments are supported by well-evidenced business cases.

"To achieve our growth plans, we'll need to considerably increase our investment in our digital capabilities and infrastructure."

Our commitment to sustainability

Work can and should be a force for good – not just for people and business, and not just for the economies we work in, but for the society and environment we all live in too. As such, we're committed to becoming a more environmentally conscious organisation and minimising our environmental impact and carbon footprint as we grow.

We've already eliminated the use of plastic in our membership cards, built a digital membership card into our new mobile app and sourced new outer packaging for our People Management magazine, to improve recyclability. We’ve also reduced the use of plastic cups and cutlery in our head office by 25%.

Next year we'll work with staff, members, partners and stakeholders to develop a holistic sustainability plan covering all aspects of our work, including our supply chain, strategic partnerships and financial investments. This work will be led by a group of dedicated individuals from across our workforce, sponsored by a member of our senior leadership team to ensure it has the mandate and support needed to make change happen.

"We're committed to becoming a more environmentally-conscious organisation and minimising our environmental impact and carbon footprint as we grow."