Welcome to the Thames Valley Branch
Our Branch covers the whole of Oxfordshire and Berkshire as well as North Hampshire and with a membership of around 4,300 is one of the largest branches in the country.
Keep up to date with what's happening in and around the Branch!
Members can find out about forthcoming events, local news and information through our quarterly e-newsletter. We also send out a regular email about forthcoming events. Our members automatically receive this.
Please remember to update your email address in My Profile (click on 'Welcome, [your name]' when logged in). If you would like to submit an article for the e-newsletter, please contact our Branch Administrator.
Do you enjoy our events?
Our branch is one of the largest in the country. Our teams of volunteers organise over 35 events each year to support the continuing professional development of our HR colleagues.
If you can offer some of your time and expertise to help as a volunteer, we would love to hear from you. The time commitment is flexible and the rewards can be tremendous! Contact a member of the Branch or Group committee for an informal discussion.
We aim to support, inform and inspire everyone who has an interest in people management in the Thames Valley area.
What can we offer?
- An integrated programme of events throughout the year designed to meet the needs of our members, from students to senior practitioners, and support continuing professional development
- Membership upgrading advice and guidance
- Specialist events and conferences focusing on specific groups of members and/or key HR and Development topics
- A quarterly e-newsletter (usually in April, July, September and January) with news about events in the Thames Valley, information about the CIPD and articles on current HR thinking both locally and nationally
- A Thames Valley CIPD "LinkedIn" Group to share ideas, practice and experiences
- Two Special Interest Groups (SIG): Our Independent Consultants' SIG which focuses on the needs of the increasing number of our members who are self employed or running small businesses as independent consultants and trainers. Our Coaching and Mentoring SIG looks at this area in more detail, and provides members with an opportunity to share good practice and experiences.
Members and their guests are welcome to attend any of our events runs by our four local geographical groups and SIGs:
- Bracknell and Windsor
- Reading and Newbury
- Coaching and Mentoring SIG
- Independent Consultants SIG
This area is designed to be of benefit to branch members and visitors to give quick access to information about future events in your local area.
The Branch provides an annual programme of events to appeal to the broad range of interests of our membership in the Thames Valley area. The events are to provide relevant and interesting CPD experience and an opportunity to meet and network with HR and training professionals from a wide range of industries and employers.
We have tried to be up to date and original with as much of our programme as possible and we hope we have got it right, but welcome your feedback and questions.
If you would like to attend any of our events, please follow the links to book online on the relevant event page. If you experience any problems, please contact our Branch Administrator.
We have been extremely well treated by our many hosts around the town. They are more than generous by providing venues and substantial buffet food for our meetings, so we hope you will feel well looked after when you attend our events.
Lara Pletcher and Peter Beisty
Basingstoke Group Co-Chairs
Bracknell and Windsor
Despite being one of the smaller groups within the Thames Valley Branch, we at the Bracknell and Windsor Group pride ourselves on being a lively group with a reputation for both challenging speakers and inviting topics. We run a diverse programme of talks and workshops usually on an alternative month basis. We welcome new CIPD members and students, and are particularly pleased to see members who may have "lapsed" in their attendance! Non-members who are colleagues of members are always welcome when the topic has a broader, more general management appeal.
We meet in the Recital Room at South Hill Park Arts Centre on Ringmead in Bracknell, usually at 18.00 for a 18.30 start on the last Monday of the relevant month. There is plenty of parking and the venue has the advantage of a bar and outside terrace (weather permitting) for social and business networking before or after meetings. Details of our events can be found by following the "Events" link from this page. Please use the "book event" link from the relevant event page to request your place.
The committee is always on the look-out for ideas about topics or suggestions for possible speakers. Recent speakers have included John Sneddon of Vanguard Consulting, Professor Adrian Furnham of UCL, Nancy Slessenger of Vinehouse, Professor Rob Briner of Birkbeck College and Steve Pierce, HR Director of Hitachi. Planning for the events programme between September and June takes place in the spring each year.
We look forward to welcoming you.
Bracknell and Windsor Group Chair
On behalf of the Oxford Group Committee, I would like to welcome you to our website. The Committee is made up of volunteers who generously give up their own free time to organise and deliver a programme of HR events to help cater to the networking and CPD needs of the area group membership. If you would like to know more about the committee and be involved then please contact our Branch Administrator.
Every year we consider the hot topics within human resources and aim to provide events which are interesting and informative. Please visit the main Branch pages to find full details of all our events and to book your place. We hope to meet you at events and always welcome any feedback on the programme so please get in touch with us.
Oxford Group Chair
Reading and Newbury
The Reading and Newbury Group is chaired by Andrew Willis. Please see the main Branch pages for details of our events programme for the coming year.
Coaching and Mentoring Special Interest Group
This Special Interest Group (SIG) was created in 2012 to respond to the increased interest in Coaching and Mentoring both within organisations and as independent coaches. The Group focuses on sharing the knowledge and experience of Coaching and Mentoring It was created to support Thames Valley Branch CIPD members who are either Independent Coaches, Internal Coaches, Learning Development specialist who have an interest or have HR responsible for coaching. Recent CIPD research shows that more than 86% of organisation undertakes coaching activities.
In the Thames Valley region there are several Academic Institutes that are leading the way in coaching and mentoring education and training including Reading University, Oxford Brookes University and Henley Management College.
The group organises events 5/6 times a year around the Thames Valley and invites leading practitioners to share their skills and experience, the meetings are interactive and very collaborative. Speakers have been invited to cover a range of topics, including Coaching Culture, Internal Coaching, Coaching and Mentoring Models and theories, Case studies from Coaching and Mentoring. There are opportunities to network at all meetings and building your professional community.
This group will be of interest to CIPD members who are Independent Coaches/Mentors, Internal Coaches/Mentors, or Learning Development specialists who have an interest or have responsibility for coaching or mentoring.
Independent Consultants Special Interest Group
This Special Interest Group (SIG) was created in 2003 to respond to the needs of the increasing numbers of CIPD members who are self employed or running small businesses as independent consultants and trainers. The Group focuses on the knowledge and skills associated with running such businesses rather than the development of professional knowledge, which is well catered for by other branch and national activities. Its main objectives are:
- to provide a mechanism for sharing knowledge and experience amongst members
- to offer opportunities to develop networking and marketing and business management skills
- to enable members to promote their professional services more effectively
The group meets approximately every six weeks in Theale, near Reading on weekday evenings. All meetings start with informal and formal networking activities. Speakers have been invited for a number of topics, including growing your business, developing your sales process and finding your ideal clients, but there is always an emphasis on sharing, and learning from the wide range of experiences within the group. As members get to know each other's professional strengths and expertise there will be increasing opportunities to collaborate on client assignments requiring greater breadth or resources than can be provided by one person.