Dear PPMA colleagues and friends.

It’s a belated New Year from me and all of us at PPMA.  We’ve all been incredibly busy here in January already and it sadly feels like Christmas and the New Year was an awfully long time ago.  I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends.  My husband Kevin and I spent a few days over the holidays in beautiful Gloucester.  It was a wonderful opportunity to relax and reflect on what we have been doing since last April.

Time passes so quickly, but I feel very strongly that we have made some real progress with our Agenda and I’m looking forward to the rest of my term.  Since you last heard from me, I have visited colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland (our SPDS colleagues) and down in the South West, where our Regional Chair Julie Biggs and her colleagues put on a fantastic event focused on Wellbeing.

I also had the opportunity to talk at the HPMA conference in Leeds in November.  We’ve made some really positive and sustainable progress in building our relationships with other groups this year and it’s a constant inspiration to me to see the passion, commitment and energy of like-minded professionals up close.  I increasingly worry about our ability to keep abreast of change so it’s always refreshing to be with highly committed colleagues.

There is a key area though where I’m not sure that we are keeping up.  And that is the critical issue of our own professional development.  We heard from one of our Sponsors, Osborne Thomas at our October Northern Forum about research they had done with the LGA.  This showed that HR and OD professionals just aren’t focusing on their own development.  No I know we are busy BUT it’s critical we keep up with our own CPD.

I’m really pleased to say that Rising Stars and Apprentice of the Year 2018 programmes are underway.  Leatham Green is leading on this and I know he’s excited about entrants so far, but it’s critical we all continue to push these very important programmes.  Given the research I just mentioned, we can’t be satisfied until we have an overwhelming response to these programmes.

Turning my eye to this next few months, we’re obviously focusing on this years awards and of course Annual Conference in April.  Karen will be updating you more on this over the next few weeks, but don’t forget conference booking has been open for several months.  We’ve been using our social media channels heavily.

Talk of social media, this is one area that our new PPMA Business Admin and Marketing Support Officer will be working with us and TenHorizon on.  We failed to find a snappy title for our new full time role, but we absolutely succeeded in finding the right person for the role.  My final note for this blog is to introduce you to Grace Davies.  Grace has been with us since the beginning of January and she has already made herself a critical part of our team.  Grace has put together a short film below – go and make a cuppa and then listen to what she has to say.

Until next time and with very best wishes