James Bird and Rebecca Lea


James Bird, Gloucestershire County Council and Rebecca Lea, Salford City Council, our HR Rising Star Winners 2023


All of our HR Rising Star finalists did a fantastic job during the two day programme and we hope that they have all grown from the experience.


Sophie Atkin, London Borough of Newham

James Bird, Gloucestershire County Council

Angela Brannelly, Tameside Council

Shivaun Dexter, Lincolnshire County Council

Kelly Handyside, Northumberland County Council

Sian Holbrook, Leicestershire County Council

Rebecca Lea, Salford City Council

Misha Liddiatt, Somerset Council

Madeleine Perrin, Lincolnshire County Council

Joanna Perry, Sandwell MBC

Katherine Rodwell, Central Bedfordshire Council

Jade Shorrocks, Derbyshire County Council

Lauren Tovey, Swindon Borough Council



Sophie Coubrough


Sophie Coubrough, Brentwood Borough Council and Rochford District Council our One to Watch Winner 2023 with Judges, Sapna Sharma, Senior Consultant, Executive Search, Penna, Claire Kirke, Bury Council & PPMA One to Watch Winner 2022 and Gordon McFarlane PPMA President 2022/2024

We would also like to congratulate all of our one to watch development programme participants detailed below:


Sophie Eatock, Wigan Council –  with special recognition for reflected the spirit of One to Watch by demonstrably taking on board the development, stretching herself and showing personal growth over the 2 days.

Laura Fry, Basildon Borough Council

Heather Furnell, Central Bedfordshire Council

Lucy Griffths, Bury Council

June-Ann Joseph, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Lucia Mitringova, National Audit Office

Adam Pringle, Northumberland County Council

Alexandra Reis-Frost, Rochdale Council

Melissa Schofield, Bury Council



About the Programmes

The PPMA is keen to create an environment where talent can shine, and to offer opportunities for everyone to learn, grow and stretch themselves. Through your participation, your organisation is telling you that you have the potential skills and qualities to be a future leader in the Public Sector. It will be up to you to make the most of this unique experience and to cherish your networks online and offline over the coming months and years.

This programme is all about identifying and showcasing the tremendous breadth and depth of emerging talent that we have in the Public Sector. Below and included in the briefing packs for each programme is everything you need to know about the programme, what you have to do next, dates and deadlines, how the competition element will work and the results and rewards.

Who can take part?
Our programmes are open to all HR & OD colleagues across public service organisations. More about entry criteria for each programme are detailed below.


The PPMA HR Rising Star programme is for applicants with at least 5 years operating experience as an HR professional and now looking to take the step into a senior HR role in the near future. It has been designed to test your personal qualities in a range of activities, whilst at the same time helping you to enhance your confidence and resilience. We hope that this programme will encourage you to achieve more than you thought possible in your career.



The PPMA One to Watch programme has been designed for applicants at the early stage of their HR professional career and to test your personal qualities in a range of activities, whilst at the same time helping you to enhance your confidence and resilience. We hope that participating in this talent development programme will encourage you to achieve more than you thought possible in your career.



.How does it work?

To participate in either of the talent development programmes, please complete the application form which you can download by clicking on the programme you are interested in entering below and send it to [email protected] by Thursday 15th June 2023. Shortlisting will then take place and successful applicants will be notified and invited to attend the event.


.The Assessment

Successful applicants will be invited to take part in a two day assessment of individual and group activities and presentations  at the University of Warwick

A master class in communication techniques will be held on the first day and we will provide you with additional guidance, support and coaching for the remainder of the programme.

At the end of the two days, the overall winner will be announced, and the winner will be celebrated at the PPMA Annual Conference 2024.


Price (+VAT)

£300 pp   PPMA member

£500 pp   non-member

Please send PO’s to [email protected], alternatively to pay by card online please click the payment button in the top right hand corner of our website.





Past Programmes

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact [email protected].

Here is a fabulous taster from our previous One to Watch and Rising Star cohorts:

‘This has been a life changing experience and will stay with me forever!’

‘It’s great to see the wide range of talent and how much people have improved  over the programme’

The Confidence I have developed and gained, will only serve to drive me on in my career’

‘Thank you so much for a fantastic and inspiring few days’