Barry Pirie

 Associate Director, People and Business (Wiltshire Council)

Tel: 01225 718266





“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

As your PPMA, President it is going to be a pleasure and honour to be able to build on the 40 year legacy defined by our founders of SOCPO.

I am passionate and proud to be involved in the PPMA and I look forward to leading debate and shaping the public services workforce agenda in 2015/16 and like predecessors, make my own unique contribution.

At our recent and successful PPMA annual seminar 2015 “Our past, Our present and Our future” We celebrated 40 years of PPMA and its predecessor SOCPO (Society of Chief Personnel Officers) looking back at the last 40 years and at what has influenced us all to the present day.

This coming year we will be looking forward to the next 40 years of HR, People Management and Organisational Development, in the local, regional, central government arena in fact across all public services. We will recognise 40 years of progress, celebrate the achievements of members and partners, and look forward to equipping the workforce of the future.

Some would say that it’s been a journey of evolution for HR /OD as a profession and many would argue we have been reactors to circumstance and this has shaped our role and determined how we are perceived as either value adding business partners or still showing too many signs of our compliance, policy policing characteristics from the 1960’s when these issues seemed to dominate.

My challenging view has been Austerity has been good for the public sector – it has forced our organisations to think beyond incremental change and reinvent how they/we work

·         I believe that we in many areas across HR/OD in Public Services are leading creativity and innovation in business transformational change and introduction of different business delivery models.

·         I believe HR/OD have been the opportunity to excel and change our offer and position ourselves in a leading role in our organisations

·         I believe many of you / us have grasped the challenge and are delivering high performance in challenging yet exciting times

·         I don’t think I would want to have missed this journey for anything and am hanging on this rollercoaster journey for some time yet!!!!

·         The landscape has changed so much and will continue to change? And we need to be at the leading edge of this change


The quality of public service provision sits at the heart of all our communities and I believe HR/OD and PPMA has a key role to play in helping our organisations deliver this. As President I am confident I can build on the legacy of the last 40 years and take us onto the next phase of our development.

I will not be doing any of this without huge ongoing support from the PPMA Principal officers Board Members and all of you our members 

A few minutes with....Barry Pirie

Q: What makes you have a good day at work?

Driving home tired but elated knowing that I, my service heads, managers and employees have made a positive difference to our customers across Wiltshire and beyond. Always nice to be recognised as a team for delivering innovative and robust solutions to challenging issues.

Q: Couldn't live without

Family- My wife, Dawn, of 15 years and Charlie (AKA Charlotte) my 13 year old daughter who believes she is 21. Oh and my 5 year old, brown Cocker Spaniel…Poppy who still thinks she is a puppy!!!? A hug from all three or just one helps to make a bad day more bearable!

Teams at Wiltshire Council- I am always impressed and inspired by all the diverse, experienced, skilled and motivated teams I lead in Wiltshire Council. The public services sector and Local Government continues to be a challenging yet inspiring place to work.

A wee dram– yip it wouldn’t be the same without a wee dram of whisky to celebrate the end to another fantastic day! Though I may become worried if I had a wee dram to celebrate the start of another day!

Q: Room 101

·         People who can’t say “Good morning” “Hello”…..when you pass them in the corridor!

·         People who can’t say “Good morning” “Hello” and smile…..when you want to pay for something in a shop. They are really not doing me a favour taking my money!

·         Self Service check outs in supermarkets – no thanks! It would be nice to have a nice smile and thank you from a highly skilled member of staff!

·         Generally poor customer service as you can see from most of the above!

·         Politicians, people and the media who are unfairly negative about public services and in particular local government

·         I could actually go on but then you may think I am a “Grumpy Old Man” Well I can say that!  


Q: What being a Member of the PPMA means to you.

It allows me to work, network with and quite frankly be inspired by numerous talented and highly skilled HR/OD professionals nationally and learn from them. Hopefully I can also inspire others in a small way too!

Q: What words would you use to describe a world class HR function?

A function leading and driving business transformation and service improvement through an innovative, flexible, reliable, customer focused, efficient and proactive approach.

I leave you with a thought:

"Before you pray: BELIEVE
Before you speak: LISTEN
Before you spend: EARN
Before you write: THINK
Before you quit: TRY
Before you die: LIVE" 
- Anon 

  • Ernst & Young
  • Green Park
  • Mercer
  • ManpowerGroup
  • Smart Search
  • Croner
  • Success Factors
  • DAC Beachcroft
  • Jobs go Public
  • The Development Company
  • Gatenby Sanderson
  • LGE
  • Matrix SCM
  • TMP Worldwide
  • Institute of Employment
  • Community Care Jobs
  • The Planner
  • iKen
  • Guidant Group
  • DAC Beachcroft
  • Learning Pool
  • LPFA
  • Serco
  • NGA Human Resources
  • Chartered Management Institute
  • The MJ
  • Comenius Talent Management