Meet the tutor: Gary Cookson

Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) Fellow, Gary, joined MOL as an associate tutor in 2018. He delivers the Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Human Resources – Live Online.

A former Human Resources (HR) Director for a government agency and further education college, and now owner of a consultancy specialising in HR, Organisational Development (OD), Learning and Development (L&D) and Personal Training, Gary Cookson has been part of the sector for most of his working life.

Gary’s CV details a long list of accomplishments and prestigious positions that span a career that began as a history teacher in a secondary school, before changing direction into roles that include Head of HR and OD for a social housing organisation, Associate HR Director of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and HR Director of Trafford College. He has his own company, EPIC, which specialises in helping people and places to improve. 

His passion for helping people led him to delivering CIPD courses to learners and it is this drive and passion that helps our learners achieve their goals. As Gary says: “I love HR because it taps into my passion of helping people and places to improve. No two days, sometimes no two hours, are the same. CIPD is close to my heart and I enjoy developing the people who will lead and develop the way organisations grow their people.”

However it isn’t just Gary’s real-world experience of leading people at a myriad of companies that our learners benefit from. His ‘championing’ approach to HR Management is exactly the kind of expertise our learners can expect to gain from Gary’s classes.

A father of four and family man, Gary firmly believes in a work-life balance by promoting flexible working. With a direct correlation between flexibility and productivity, he thinks all employers should be embracing flexible working, and provides advice to those companies who aren’t yet on board. As he says: “I tell employers ‘don’t say if I let X work flexibly, it'll set a precedent and they'll all want to do it - encourage all of them to do it.’ Why would you settle for just one of your staff being more productive when they all could be?”

As a tutor, CIPD and LPI Fellow, teacher, triathlete, personal trainer and father, Gary is realistic on the difficulty of learning when juggling family or personal obligations, career and studies. His advice is simple: “It can be difficult balancing study with work and a life, and your tutors know this as they do the same – so don’t feel afraid to reach out for support or advice.” 

Gary is an advocate of professional development, and his mantra his classes is “enjoy the experience. Studying is something you may look back on fondly in years to come, so make the most of it – you’ve unparalleled access to great tutors, awesome resources and fantastic fellow learners.” And it’s not just Gary’s learners who benefit from study. “I’m also still learning, every day, and enjoy interacting with learners to find out what they do and what they can teach me!”

And one interesting fact about Gary? He has competed in over fifty triathlons! 

Gary delivers the CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Human Resources – Live Online