Hello PPMA members and friends

2006 was the year SOCPO became PPMA and Angela O’Connor was our President at this time and oversaw the transition into the Association we know today.

“2006 seems a long time ago but my memories of Conference in Brighton are very clear. Nine years ago PPMA didn’t even exist. We were still SOCPO and it was time for a change. Our members were very adventurous and agreed to change our, name, our brand, our website, our membership criteria and appoint their first ever civil service president.

We went into conference as SOCPO and emerged as PPMA. We re-established our international links and welcomed new members from across the civil service and wider emergency services, boosting our financial and membership base.

What was more important than the increase in numbers, was the broader professional community that we embraced. This gave us the national profile that we needed and allowed us a place at the table of national debate and comment.

The key issues that we developed approaches to were:

  • a developing organisational citizenship through sensible performance management
  • a developing the employment brand of the public sector as a great place to work
  • a driving the efficiency agenda

These issues are still important as we look at today’s public services. Reputation matters and the failures in a range of institutions reminds us of how important it is for HR leaders to have courage, to stand up to poor practice, to challenge low standards and to demand adequate funding to deliver great services.

I look back on my time with PPMA with great fondness for the generous and talented HR leaders who shared their wisdom and friendship. Some of those such as Susan Thomas and Jan Parkinson are no longer with us, but they are not forgotten.

PPMA gave me opportunities and friendships that I will always treasure.

It was a wonderful 2015 conference and here’s to many more to come.”

Angela O’Connor is former president of PPMA (2006-07)