Emily Allen

Emily Allen

What is the CIPD?

As the CIPD approaches its 100th anniversary, we consider how it has transformed HR.

From its humble beginnings as the Welfare Workers’ Association in 1913, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has grown to become the world’s largest professional body for people working in HR. In its 100th year, the CIPD counts more than 135,000 members globally.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the CIPD has helped completely transform the human resources profession. UK government policy has even been influenced at the highest levels by its efforts.

On 6 June 1913 delegates from companies including Boots, Cadbury, Chivers and Rowntree’s attended the first meeting of the Welfare Workers’ Association. The famous industrialist, Seebohm Rowntree, took the Chair. There were just 34 people at the meeting.

Since then, the institute has continued to grow and shift its focus to reflect developments in the industry.

In 1931, for instance, the name was changed to The Institute of Labour Management to reflect the arrival of new, experimental managerial styles.

In 1946, the name changed again, as the ‘personnel department’ emerged as a popular organisational feature. The Institute of Labour Management became the Institute of Personnel Management.

By the 1960s, employees’ rights was a hot topic. Following the 1968 anti-sex-discrimination strikes by female Ford employees, the Institute helped organisations implement the 1970 Equal Pay Act. ‘Thatcherism’ came along at the end of the 1970s.

By the late 1990s, Britain had signed up to the EU’s Social Chapter and introduced a series of new employment rights. By the end of that decade, a national minimum wage was introduced. The Institute dealt with structural and legislative changes at each milestone.

At significant points over the past 100 years, the CIPD and its former incarnations have played a key role in implementing changes and also, at times, in directly influencing them.

The institute has researched and held conferences on contemporary topics throughout its lifespan. And it continues today, helping individuals and organisations through what has been a tough climate but with an improving labour market.

To organisations, the CIPD offers unparalleled support through leadership development programmes, HR consultancy and much more.

To its members, it offers access to the hugely successful ‘My HR Map’ professional development support tool, as well as world-class networking events and a wealth of invaluable resource materials.

We look forward to the next 100 years!