Letters of the weekOn 1 Feb 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Theory is fine, but realism is key• I read with interest Ralph Tribe’s piece in response to the recent debateover the value of IPD qualifications (11 January). It seems Ralph has itabsolutely right. I do not wish to rubbish the IPD qualification scheme, butmust point out my own experiences.I am a licentiate of the institute having gone through the various stages of”learning” up to and including PQS II Core P&D. I returned to thescheme to complete my final year, having taken a break, and realised just howpainful the process can be. My method of study was day release.With five years’ experience in frontline HR in a fast-moving manufacturingenvironment, I found the experience of returning to the IPD electivesdisappointing. I was learning very little, being subjected to case study aftercase study, going back over old ground and having to listen to the bestpractice solutions of a predominantly public sector/local authority group ofclassmates.Perceived best practice is sometimes not viable in the world of making moneyfor shareholders. You can have all the theories in the world but they won’tmake money unless they fit the situation. This realism seemed to be lost on thegroup and, to some extent, the lecturer.After eight weeks it was obvious my time would be better spent making moneyfor my shareholders, so I left the course.The previous stages of the syllabus had given me an excellent grounding inmy early HR career and were most valuable.It seems the IPD is grasping at straws trying to find things to teach in thefinal stage of PQS II.We have a very professional HR department at our organisation which providesrealistic yet innovative solutions to a complex and very large business. I havelearnt a huge amount during my time in HR and am proud to be associated withthe profession but I do feel the reverence with which the IPD is held might bea bit old school tie if not mason-like.The other services provided by the institute are useful, therefore I hopeyou do not think me hypo-critical if I hang on to my membership and endorse theIPD as worth its weight in mortar boards.The moral of the story is, that the theory is fine, but realism andexperience is the key.Glen CookHR OfficerAddress the root cause of stress• Nottingham City Council has made headway in reducing sickness and absenteeism(January 11). In so doing, it has identified the need for intervention tocombat the root causes.However, it is difficult to consider the incidence of sickness andabsenteeism in isolation. These issues can be indicative of low performance andproductivity. Many employees remain in work while experiencing the sameproblems as those absent.It is often found by employee assistance programmes that effectiveinterventions can increase sickness and absenteeism in the short term, asemployees take responsibility for their well-being. In the long term,interventions must go beyond the individual employee to supporting them inconfronting difficulties.It is important any interventions employed, while correcting the symptoms ofproblems, also pursue and address the stressors.Dr Angela HetheringtonClinical directorPPC UKTime to practise what you preach• In response to “HR kept off the board as skills gap shows” (18January), the HR function itself bears the responsibility through an increasedemphasis on a self-contained closed “professionalism” rather than abroad business approach using specialised HR skills. This starts at therecruitment stage with entry dominated by social science or specialist HRqualifications.How many in the Institute of Personnel and Development welcomed the move tochartered status as building a stronger professional fence around the function– perhaps leading to making an IPD qualification legally required for the topHR posts?More HR professionals need to either use executive coaches to help themintegrate into the management of the business, or practise what they preach byactively managing their own careers to include a spell in positions with directbusiness responsibilities.Bill RobbinsDirector, senior executive centreDrake Beam Morin Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.