Hello PPMA Friends

This year has been the most extraordinary experience for all of us – a time of huge contrasts and extremes. For many there has been tragedy which some of you will have witnessed first hand, for some isolation, and others a time of positive reflection and growth.

Without question though, much of what has carried us through this unprecedented time is an overwhelming sense of humanitarian compassion that has been shared openly throughout this time of fear and uncertainty, bringing the people agenda front and centre for all organisations.

It has been extraordinary to witness how the HR profession has stepped up to this unique challenge, highlighting, more than ever, the need for high quality HR and OD professionals across the sector.

This has been a hugely challenging year for PPMA and we have needed to completely refocus the way we engage with our membership, partners and sponsors to ensure we remain relevant and of value to all communities.

More than ever it is important to have a place for our profession to come together for support, reflection, learning and sharing is so important. Since May, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, strategic partners and professional networks, we have delivered over 50 webinars, across the range of HR/OD challenges packed full of learning and discovery.

We held our first 2 day virtual conference and on-line awards experience which were a resounding success and for many PPMA members this was a great opportunity to experience the conference experience.

We intend to continue to offer our membership a range of on-line networking and learning opportunities throughout 2021 and we will look forward to hosting our second on line conference experience later in the year. Hopefully, we will be able to celebrate together in style in 2022!

More than ever, it is essential that your association is seen to have a clear and relevant voice and meaningfully influence the emerging landscape of public sector workforce. We have taken the opportunity to strengthen our Strategic Board, making it more representative and resilient.

Steve Davies, Head of London Regions Employers Organisation, stepped in to cover the role of PPMA President following the resignation of Karen Grave. Alongside Steve, we have recruited Gordon McFarlane, Assistant Director, Corporate Services. Leicestershire County Council; Andy Dodman, Chief Officer, HR, Leeds City Council, to join our community of Vice Presidents alongside Sonia Grewal, Director HR & OD, Swindon Council, Sam Betts, Assistant Director HR, Salford Council and Tracy Brennand, Assistant Executive Director HR, Tameside Council.

Collectively they will be the voice of PPMA, representing the challenges faced day in day out across the sector. We believe it essential at this time that our strategic Board has breadth and depth of operational knowledge and expertise.

It was a delight to welcome the winners from our three talent programmes who joined PPMA Leadership Team – the joint winners of the Peer into the Future Programme, Emily Drake (Tameside Council) and Shawnna Gleeson (Manchester City Council) and the winner of HR Rising Star Neisha Porter (LB Southwark). Together, they have already made a great contribution in refreshing the 2021 talent programmes.

Our experiences over the last year demonstrates more than ever the importance of engaging with the talent we have across our sector. It is such a delight to be able to share that we will therefore be running all of our talent development programmes over the coming year. We have now launched the Peer into the Future programme for 2021. The Public Sector Apprentice of the Year will be launched soon and HR Rising Star and One to Watch in January. If necessary we will deliver all programmes on-line, but we do hope there will be the chance to bring people together in compliance with all social distancing guidelines if at all possible.

More than ever this year we would like to extend a huge thanks to you, our membership for your continued support and also from our commercial sponsors. Together, you have enabled the Association to survive through this very difficult time and we shared the challenges ahead at our first ever Annual General Meeting. While it has been a year of lows, there have been many positive developments for PPMA that have emerged and our ability to adapt creatively to the volatile situation has enabled us to provide more content than ever before, open up learning to a wider PPMA audience, and engage with our sponsors and partners with meaning and impact. We can therefore look forward to a new year with confidence and above all hope and joy.

Hope and joy were the two themes to emerge from our summer conference and we will continue to strive to ensure we create the conditions to provide you with a range of opportunities to network, share, learn and grow sprinkled with moments where we can come together to smile and laugh out loud!!

Thank you from us all at PPMA for your support, encouragement and enthusiasm and more than ever it is important for us to come together with a sense of community.