CIPR scraps commercial department as part of downsizing drive

The CIPR has made four redundancies in its commercial department, which has been disbanded with responsibilities moved to other parts of the organisation.

Alastair McCapra: Shaking up the CIPR
Alastair McCapra: Shaking up the CIPR

The losses are due to the strategy pursued by new CEO Alastair McCapra, who stressed the CIPR would still be "working hard to build new commercial relationships" and he would take personal responsibility for commercial partners and sponsors.

Overall staff numbers have been cut from 38 to 32, as part of efforts outlined by McCapra last month to add around £100,000 to the body's profits. As part of the changes the events programme has been absorbed into the marketing team, while facilities management is now being overseen as part of a new joint role also looking after HR.

So far the cutting of CIPR events will see a reduction in the number of PRide awards, though to what extent is not likely to be determined until the end of the month.

McCapra said that there "no more" plans for further staffing cuts. Pointing to the fact that the "overwhelming bulk" of income came from membership, qualifications and training, he added that the changes were to help focus on the CIPR’s "core business".

He added: "This change in focus is a deliberate shift as we look to deliver more events through our national, regional and sector groups up and down the country, rather than trying to run everything from central London, in central London."

Alongside the staff cuts, changes to the body's governing structure are also in full swing. 

At the end of last month, the CIPR’s council voted in favour of reducing its numbers from 50 to 30, with a 10-strong executive board. 

The changes now need to be approved at the AGM in June before getting a final go-ahead from the Privy Council Office.

If they happen members of the executive board would now need to be chartered or accredited practitioners and all council seats would be contestable, McCapra said, adding: 

"These changes are very important. Under the current rules it is extremely difficult for council to function as a coherent decision-making body."

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