CSR academy group meets up for first time

A Government-backed group involving some of the country’s leading community affairs and communications figures has met for the first time to discuss the viability of a national CSR academy.

CSR heavyweights on the Department of Trade and Industry’s steering group on CSR include Business in the Community deputy chief

executive Peter Davies, CBI senior adviser on CSR and globalisation Bryan Cress and BBC CSR head Michael Hastings.

The group is chaired by Shell UK chairman Clive Mather and also includes Church Lukas director of corporate affairs Peter Bateson and Janet Williamson, a policy adviser for the TUC on economic and social affairs.

The group was set up by DTI minister for e-commerce and competitiveness Stephen Timms to look at recommendations made by the department’s CSR consultation group earlier this year. The consultation group, chaired by former Camelot director of external relations Sue Slipman, concluded in April that a dedicated CSR academy was needed to help with training (PRWeek, 18 April).

The first meeting of the steering group discussed the appointment of a project director to examine different methods of CSR training. Although it did not agree on the post’s responsibilities, it is understood the DTI will fund it.

The new project manager will examine how UK and international bodies provide training in CSR before reporting his or her findings.

‘We need to map out what CSR training is already available and see whether we can influence businesses schools to raise the profile of the CSR element in the education they provide,’ said Whitbread Group community investment director Jerry Marston, who is also a member of the steering group.

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