Hello and a warm welcome to the South Yorkshire and District CIPD Branch website. The branch committee is proud to support 2000 members spread across the Barnsley, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield areas in their careers in HR/OD, irrespective of employment status or sector or the stage of their career.

The overall purpose of the branch is to support the CIPD mission to Improve Work and Working Lives, but on a local level.

Our objectives are:

  • to act as Advocates of the CIPD locally in support of national and international member objectives and provide insight and feedback on member needs
  • to provide CPD by hosting/co-sponsoring/running local events to enable local CIPD members to learn from high quality facilitators and from themselves and provide networking opportunities
  • to provide ongoing support to all branch members with their career development
  • to continue to develop and maintain and extend good relations with all local centres offering CIPD programmes
  • to ensure that members are kept up to date with CIPD research and related activities and regularly disseminate information regarding CIPD services.

We will undertake these with clear communication from the Branch and a programme of great, cost-effective events and the continuing development of our mentoring scheme.

We are also proud to have well established links with a range of academic/education centres who offer CIPD programmes such as Doncaster College, Sheffield College, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

Matthew Wood
Chair, CIPD South Yorkshire and District Branch

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About us

About the committee

The SY and District Branch committee is run by group of volunteer HR/OD professionals who work locally to provide you with the information, tools and events that you want.

We are always looking for people to get involved in the branch, and it is a great opportunity for individuals to give something back in a supportive, committed team. Like all volunteering, there is work to be done, but as much as you put in, you will get out.

If you would like to discuss getting involved, please contact Matthew Wood (Branch Chair).

How you can support the branch

Even if you can’t give the committee any time, there are many ways that you can support the branch and its activities, such as:

  • attending as many of our events as possible (and where you book on but can’t attend cancel your booking so we know how many to cater for and whom to expect)
  • providing us feedback on our activities
  • engaging with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Friends of the Committee

This is a scheme that has been developed in other local branches with some success. It is recognised that many CIPD professionals would like to do more with the CIPD but are constrained by work pressures which deter them from committing to membership of the branch committee. Some may even be considering joining the committee but are uncertain as to what time commitment it entails.

'Friends of the Committee' comprises of a group of CIPD members who have expressed an interest in local CIPD affairs and would like to make a contribution. 'Friends of the Committee' will be included on the e-mail list to receive copies of branch communications including local branch minutes. Friends of the committee will be encouraged to make contact with committee members to express their views on current issues and events.

Other advantages of becoming a friend are:

  • being involved in branch consultations on public policy issues
  • being able to attend occasional committee meetings by prior arrangement
  • for those considering joining the committee, invitation to the branch committee training days.

If you are interested in becoming a 'Friend of the Committee' please contact the branch administrator.

Consultants Network Group

The CIPD South Yorkshire and District Branch Consultants Network will be running a series of highly interactive events starting in October 2016 and running through until May 2017.


Tuesday 11 October (evening) - Sheffield
Sheffield City Region and The Growth Hub - David Grimes, Growth Hub Manager

Tuesday 22 November (evening) - Sheffield
New approaches to Leadership Sheffield - Steve Dodd, Consultant


Tuesday 24 January (evening) - Sheffield
How to Develop your Business - Antony Davies, Management Consultant

Tuesday 28 February (evening) - Sheffield University
Supply Chain: Effective HR Practices - Professor Pauline Dibben

Tuesday 28 March (evening) - Sheffield
Problem Solving: An open forum for problem sharing/solving - Mike Sinnett, Consultant

Tuesday 25 April (Half Day) -  Sheffield Hallam University
Organisation Development: Where are we at? - Lynne Booth

Tuesday 30 May (evening) - Rotherham or Sheffield TBC
New Approaches to Learning and Development - Jon Colman, Red Vanilla

The majority of our events will be run at St Mary's Conference Centre, Bramall Lane, Sheffield S2 4QZ from 18:00 to 20:30 with a small buffet at 18:00 and a start at 18:30.

Please check the details on Eventbrite for each event for times and venues.

Kind regards

Barry Senior
Consultant Network Coordinator, CIPD South Yorkshire and District Branch

Mentoring scheme


Welcome to our 2016 Mentoring Scheme.

A quick show of hands at a 2015 event revealed that approximately 5 from an audience of 40 were unaware that the Scheme existed and this was ultimate confirmation that our re-launch was overdue.

Mentoring is very much in the spotlight today with three quarters of organisations currently offering coaching and mentoring to their employees (People Management, November 2015).

What is mentoring and how can it help you in your professional development?

In the context of the workplace, mentoring is where two people enter into a supportive relationship to allow the mentee to strengthen their approach and skills in a particular area or to focus on achieving success in professional life. For example, upgrades to membership or development of personal skills for career progression. Usually they meet regularly over a number of months and the mentor will listen, offer support and challenge to allow the mentee to work at positive change to enhance their chances of success. Through these conversations the mentee is able to understand themselves as a professional at work and strengthen their approaches, tackle issues and move in new directions. Whether you are a seasoned HR practitioner, studying for CIPD qualifications or want to focus on particular areas or issues, mentoring may help you.


For further information about the mentoring scheme or any other queries please contact Kathy Town, the Branch Mentoring Scheme Coordinator.

Please note: the SYCIPD Mentoring Scheme is not linked to the national CIPD Mentoring Scheme.

Code of conduct

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Evaluation form

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Preparation form

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Scheme overview

The South Yorkshire & District Mentoring Scheme provides the opportunity for mentoring relationships, which primarily support Mentees in their professional and personal development. Working within appropriate frameworks, coaching techniques may also be needed during the process and as such, our Mentors will use their broad range of skills as appropriate.

The Scheme also provides opportunities for our Mentors to extend their own personal development, by working with branch members from varied backgrounds.

Our Mentoring relationships typically last around six months, during which around four to six meetings take place.

The purpose of our Scheme is therefore:

  • to provide a valuable Mentoring service for branch members regardless of what stage they are at in their career
  • to offer a list of Mentors with a broad range of skills and experience from which potential Mentees can choose.

Our mentors and how mentees can get in touch

Profiles are available on our Mentoring Scheme page. Once you have chosen a Mentor, please complete a Mentee Application Form and return it to the Mentoring Scheme Coordinator via the website for tracking purposes throughout the process. You may find it useful to consider more than one, in case your chosen Mentor does not have capacity for more relationships. You can then contact them direct.

If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, please complete a Mentor Application Form and return it to the Mentoring Scheme Coordinator.

Further information for mentors

All applications will be considered and we will advise you whether you have been successful. Our first Mentor training event is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2016 and further details will follow in due course.

Anyone wishing to join our Mentor list does not need to have had previous experience of Mentoring. Rather, we believe that it provides an opportunity for those who are keen to develop or enhance these skills.

The requirements are that you:

  • must be a current, professional CIPD member ie Associate Member, Chartered MCIPD or Chartered FCIPD
  • complete an application form
  • understand that the role is entirely voluntary and expenses are therefore not covered
  • commit to participate in Mentoring Scheme activities wherever possible, in order share experiences, participate in peer mentoring and learn about new initiatives/changes to processes
  • give agreement for the highlighted sections of your application form to be shared.

Any questions?

If you need any further information as a Mentor or Mentee, please don’t hesitate to contact our Mentoring Scheme Coordinator, Kathy Town.

Please note:

The South Yorkshire and District Mentoring Scheme is not linked to the national CIPD Mentoring Scheme.

All information you provide is used solely for the purpose of administering, maintaining and evaluating the SYCIPD Mentoring Scheme.

Mentor profiles

The Branch continues to source a range of mentors who have a wide range of skills, experience and approaches. Some have decades of mentoring experience, some have coaching and mentoring qualifications and some have newly entered the HR profession and so know what it feels like to be starting out. All are committed to helping support CIPD members in their professional development.

Barry Senior, Chartered FCIPD

A highly experienced Management and Human Resource Development Consultant with over 20 years experience of working in both private and public sectors, working with SME’s and large organisations in the UK and both Bi-lateral and Multi-lateral agencies/governments overseas. Worked at all levels of government and private business from the strategic planning level to the grass roots implementation level, wide experience working as a facilitator/consultant/coach in change management, restructuring and capacity building programmes. Provides one to one coaching to Chief Executive’s of SME’s under the Government funded Business Growth Initiative programme.
Created, run and developed Critical Skills Development Consultancy Company. Qualified member of the “Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs” IOEE National Mentors Scheme.

Experience and skills

  • Business Transformation/Restructuring/Commercialisation
  • Performance Management /Assessment
  • Provision of Mentoring/Coaching
  • Small Business Development
  • Management Training
  • Change Management
  • Organisation Development

Mentoring experience

  • Provision of facilitation and mentoring to Individuals and Groups both within the UK and overseas
  • Provision of mentoring services to SME Chief Executives
  • Provision of Mentoring/Coaching and Process Consultation to Senior/Middle and Junior level staff in large government departments

Willing to work in…
South Yorkshire, Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire

Personal interests
Motorhoming, Travel, Family, Sailing, Sheffield United FC, Golf

Hilary Brearley, Chartered CIPD

I have a broad range of HR and OD experience, working my way through a wide range of HR/OD positions. My final two positions were as HR Director - one in local government and the other in the NHS. Previously, I have worked in the private sector (Retail and Logistics), and last year set up my own business as an HR/OD Consultant.

My roles have all been generalist HR, but with a special interest in Organisation change and workforce development and engagement. I have studied for the ILM Level 7 in Coaching since setting up my own business, as a lot of my Organisation change work includes both individual and team coaching. I also work as an associate trainer for an organisation specialising in workforce wellbeing.

Experience and skills

  • Resourcing (Recruitment, retention, payroll)
  • Organisational transformation
  • Tupe
  • Employee relations
  • Wellbeing
  • Organisation Development and Engagement
  • Coaching
  • Business change facilitation

Mentoring experience
I have worked as a mentor in the course of my HR roles, and as part of a graduate training scheme in one of my employing organisations.

Willing to work in…
South Yorkshire

Personal interests
Horse riding, theatre (ballet), food

Jayne Tory, Chartered FCIPD

As a Senior HR Business Partner for ASDA I operate in a dynamic business where change is the norm. The partnership I have developed with the leadership team I support allows me to deliver an HR service through the line, shaping our operating model, developing talent and creating a culture of engagement.

I have worked for ASDA for 22 years in total in a variety of positions within HR across Reward, Payroll, Incentives, Engagement and Training and Development. In the last five years I have had a fantastic opportunity to be the Country Lead for the introduction of HR optimisation in the UK for Wal-Mart, and have spent a number of weeks a year on the project in the USA.

Experience and skills

  • HR transformation
  • Business partnering
  • Training and development
  • Talent and succession planning
  • Compensation and benefits

Mentoring experience
I have mentored colleagues at work and also mentored as part of an initiative where the aim is to inspire and empower ‘M.A.D.’ – 'Making A Difference', which involves women working in not for profits, charities and social enterprises around the world that are already making a difference to women and girls.

Willing to work in…
Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Leeds and Barnsley

Personal interests
Reading and gardening

Julie Gordon, Chartered FCIPD

My background is in learning and development where I have about 20 years’ experience. This was initially spent within public sector, in particular the rail industry. I have also worked in academic roles and currently run a CIPD/CMI qualification centre so have lots of experience of supporting students through CIPD qualifications. I can also offer insight and support to anyone considering a move towards working independently, perhaps as a consultant.

Experience and skills
I have experience and skills in all aspects of the training cycle, as well as work-based learning and management and leadership development. I have a number of years’ experience of working with individuals studying for CIPD qualifications. I can also pass on my knowledge and experience of moving into self-employment and business start-up.

Mentoring experience
I have mentored professionals through job search, CIPD qualifications and routes to membership as well as through career change. I led on establishing the CIPD South Yorkshire Branch mentoring scheme and also have experience of setting up a mentoring scheme that involved CIPD students having a workplace mentor.

Willing to work in…
Doncaster and surrounding area

Personal interests
Gardening, reading autobiographies, walking, playing squash
, dance – modern jive and ballet

Kathy Town, Chartered MCIPD

My background was in financial services for over 30 years and at senior management level for over 25 years. I am currently working in the NHS on Quality and Leadership Development I have managed teams of various sizes, worked as part of a team and also in self-contained roles. My main focus has always been in the areas of personal development and business excellence.

Experience and skills

  • Employee Engagement
  • Business planning
  • Vision and values
  • Culture
  • HR
  • Customer Services
  • Payroll
  • Pensions
  • Accredited EFQM Excellence Model Assessor
  • PgCert Coaching & Mentoring

Mentoring experience
I have experience of mentoring and coaching across all levels of the organisation - from Chairman and Chief Executive to front line employee.

Willing to work in…
Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and East Midlands

Personal interests
Formula 1, football, live music, cinema, reading, gardening, yoga

Lynn Clark, Chartered FCIPD 

Lynn is an HR and development professional with considerable commercial experience, including setting up and running her own businesses. Her career in operational HR roles initially covered patients, toilet rolls, peas, pick and mix and money lending. She has since worked in consultancy and interim roles in financial services, distribution, transport, police, fire and rescue, local government and not for profit sector. Personal and management development, career coaching and outplacement, and business start up and growth, have been the focus of her work over recent years, working with groups and individuals at all levels across a variety of contexts. A skilled facilitator and coach, her approach to working with individuals and groups is informal, supportive, non-judgmental and pragmatic with a focus on ensuring that learning is applied to the real working environment and that personal development is achieved.

Experience and skills

  • Facilitating and supporting change at organisational and individual levels
  • Personal development, designing and delivering programmes and coaching individuals and groups
  • Leadership and management development – designing and delivering training and providing group and one to one coaching
  • Facilitation for away-days, effective working and business planning
  • Developing rapport and productive working relationships
  • Incisive, quickly establishing what needs to happen and how
  • Skilled communicator and presenter
  • Leadership and management of groups, including volunteers (CIPD Chair roles)

Mentoring experience

  • Development of trainers in design and delivery
  • Supporting individuals through job search and career transition
  • One to one coaching at senior management level
  • Supporting SME’s for business growth - new business start ups
  • HR support to small businesses and sole HR practitioners

Willing to work in…
South Yorkshire
, North Derbyshire, Greater Manchester

Personal interests
I am a very sociable person and enjoy spending time with people, friends and family. I enjoy walking and spending time in the countryside. 
I love music, especially live, and enjoy the theatre. Have recently become a volunteer at the Shepherd Wheel.

Mike Sinnett, Chartered FCIPD

Hi, I’m Mike and I live in Sheffield. I have a wife and a daughter, who is currently studying to become a dance teacher. I started my career in the IT industry but after 4 years I became fed up with that. I moved into teaching spending 3 years as a Computer Studies Lecturer in a Technical College. I then joined HSBC and for the next 30 years worked in both HR and L&D. My roles included: trainer, L&D manager, internal L&D consultant and HR Specialist. During my HSBC career I delivered training programmes overseas as well as spending 3 years running the L&D team in HSBC Bank Malta. I left HSBC in 2008 to become an independent consultant providing coaching and training in every aspect of people development and communication.

Experience and skills
My L&D experience includes the design and delivery of training programmes in:

  • leadership and management
  • performance management
  • coaching
  • mentoring
  • teamwork
  • effective communication
  • personal effectiveness
  • recruitment and selection
  • interviewing.

My HR experience includes the design and delivery of HR processes for performance management, career development, recruitment and selection, job descriptions and job evaluation, absence management and talent management.

Mentoring experience
I have been a mentoring professionally for 25 years. I have mentored people at all levels in the following situations:

  • graduates joining HSBC
  • people experiencing major change including takeovers/mergers and working overseas
  • helping people to achieve their personal goals
  • helping people with their job search and ideal role identification.

Willing to work in…
South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire

Personal interests
Keeping up to date with the latest trends in L&D and HR, going to the theatre, dining out, travel, spending time with my family

Robert Miller, Chartered MCIPD

I am an HR manager and have spent most of my career working for the DWP. I initially worked in Jobcentres delivering a range of job broking services to claimants. I moved to Sheffield in 1985 to undertake a more corporate role and at that point moved into an HR role. The role of HR in government has undergone a radical transformation in the time I’ve been here. We were initially seen as a function that dealt with and resolved a whole range of ‘personnel’ matters/problems with strict adherence to HR policies and past precedent. Now the role is a much more strategic one working with the business through a network of HR Business Partners to help support and deliver the department’s objectives.

Experience and skills
Good generalist experience gained from working in a large government Dept. For example, attendance management, performance management, employee relations. Currently engaged in a range of strategic workforce planning issues (working closely with Finance colleagues) as the Dept seeks to re-structure its workforce to take account of the government’s welfare reforms, deficit reduction targets and the growing digital agenda. This involves a host of re-balancing activity like progression, external fixed term recruitment, compulsory transfers and seeking early retirements from amongst some of our workforce.

Mentoring experience
More so in a work sense, helping mentor colleagues new to the HR work role. Couple of earlier instances via the Branch, but not particularly successful. Contributed to the mentor document the branch produced 2 years ago.

Willing to work in…
In and around Sheffield

Personal interests
Gardening, DIY, music, reading member of gym, some sport

Susan Anne Saunders, Chartered FCIPD

Following a long and successful career in a variety of senior line management roles in business, sales, operations and HR/OD across a range of environments I became self-employed in 2000 as a Consultant and Personal/Business Coach. With a postgraduate qualification (level 7) in coaching from Chester University I am a member of the International Coaching Federation [ICF]. I am a Mindfulness Practitioner and student. I am trained and accredited to use psychometrics including Myers Briggs Step I and II and 16PF along with a range of other similar instruments. I have coached managers and executives with a variety of coaching models and in a number of different settings; including working with and coaching teams. I design and deliver bespoke leadership programmes within organisations and undertake one-to-one and team/leadership coaching and individual development project work tailored to the needs of organisations.

Experience and skills

  • Recruitment – on-boarding
  • Mediation and Employee Relations
  • Re-structures and start-ups
  • Appraisal and development systems and processes
  • HR/OD Consultancy including Shared Services

Mentoring experience
I have provided mentoring for over 30 years in both operational and HR roles. This includes a number of mentees via CIPD mentoring schemes.

Willing to work in…
Negotiable, Skype/Telephone preferred

Personal interests
Travel in Europe with family, walking, spending time in Anglesey and North Wales, mindfulness practice and yoga, creative writing

CIPD branch events

Local branch events

We offer a range of events and services to HR and L&D professionals as well as the wider business community. We provide opportunities for networking and continuous professional development (CPD) through our exciting events programme; promoting best HR&D practice and raising the profile of the CIPD within the South Yorkshire region.

Find out what events are happening in your area

Contact us

Contact the team with your enquiries about local events or feedback on the future shape of branches

Email us
CIPD Northern Area Partnership branch

Northern Area Partnership

We are also a part of a longstanding voluntary partnership of the ten northern England branches covering between them an area from the Scottish border down to Cheshire in the West and South Yorkshire in the East and providing services to around 24,000 members.

Northern Area Partnership