Hello PPMA members and colleagues

Today is International HR Day and we wanted to acknowledge this, and the great work done by all of the amazing public services HR and OD teams across the country. So we asked new PPMA President and Assistant Director, Corporate Services, Leicestershire County Council, Gordon McFarlane to share a few words about how he got involved in HR in the first place, his experience of working in the field and what he believes the future holds for the profession. It’s an interesting journey!


“Up to the mid 1990s, I worked in local government in generic admin roles. I knew that to progress I needed to specialise, and I almost fell into HR (Personnel in those days) via a secondment.

Several decades later, I haven’t looked back, and have been really fortunate to have been able to work in a number of different Councils in a variety of HR roles. I’ve also worked with some hugely talented people, including some great role models, and I’ve drawn on their skills, experience and approaches.

As a profession, we’re facing some significant strategic and tactical challenges, but these are also great opportunities to make a positive and sustained difference in our organisations. I’ve talked recently about the PPMA’s areas of focus and priority – e.g. recruitment and retention, EDI, workforce and succession planning, hybrid working, partnership working, and ultimately modernising the workforce.

In the current economic context that we find ourselves working in, these are huge challenges, but as a profession, we have the skills, experience and creativity to make a real difference.

In conclusion, on International HR Day, let’s celebrate our profession, and embrace the opportunities!”

Gordon McFarlane