HPMA West Midlands – 3 Years On

David Holmes outlines how the West Midlands branch has gone from one corporate member three years ago to a membership rate of 93%.
Three years ago a group of committed but slightly tentative senior HR Professionals came together under the auspicious of the West HRD Network to form an HPMA Branch Committee.
A number of ambitions were set to achieve the following:
Ø Establish an effective, sustainable branch
Ø Create a programme of development, meeting local needs
Ø Increase corporate membership
Ø Recognise West Midlands good practice
Ø Create a future vision (Academy Model)
Ø Provide collaboration and joint working (CIPD, PPMA)
There had been flares of interest in the past in developing a sustainable HPMA branch, but only one organisation appeared to have (probably inadvertently) retained corporate membership.
Three years on the West Midlands Branch led by David Holmes, HR Director of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and an enthusiastic committee of Deputy Directors of HR has a membership rate of (93%) and has delivered a programme of 8 to 10 events each year, offering over 350 places across a wide range of HR, Organisational Development and skills training.
The Branch hosts an annual innovative employment law update, has organised a HRBP conference and provided an insight into people management in the Military.
The Branch is extremely well supported by three law firms (Capsticks, Mills + Reeve and Bevan Brittan) and has formed links and shared events with CIPD and PPMA.
The HRD network has given its support to the building of a HPMA Academy in the West Midlands.
Suzanne Hartshorne, Deputy Director of HR at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and Vice Chair of HPMA, has reflected on how the HPMA Branch has strengthened the HR family and network in the West Midlands and has provided development for the whole workforce team. She has also commented on the opportunities for her own development and personal profile through HPMA involvement.  
The HPMA West Midlands is now recognised locally and more widely as a vibrant and active branch – but this is of course only achieved through dedication, enthusiasm and the goodwill of a number of key volunteers.
If you want to find out more about how we went about building our branch up or getting involved, please email Clare.Proctor@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk.
David Holmes, Vice President, West Midlands HPMA Branch
What our branch members think
The Branch undertook a ‘What do you think of WM HPMA?’ exercise amongst its members in April – here are some of the comments and quotes:
“My overall experience of attending HPMA events is a very positive one as you offer lots of opportunities for learning/sharing knowledge/sharing best practice.”
“This is an extremely valuable resource that the West Midlands HR practitioners can access to support the development of themselves and their teams. The overwhelming feedback that I have had from staff that have attended these sessions has been very positive.”
“Excellent and broad range of development sessions with member’s feedback listened to and taken forward to develop future developmental sessions for all HR Professionals (junior to senior).  Great value for money for Trusts and opportunities for CPD for everyone!”
“The West Midlands HPMA has been a fantastic vehicle for ensuring HR and Workforce development is a priority within organisations. The programme of events ensures practitioners and organisations are addressing topical and relevant issues and provides a networking opportunity to share best practice and ideas amongst ‘friends’.”
“Really good example of collaborative working, relaxed atmosphere encourages debate and a variety of opinions. Networking opportunities were very welcomed, and sharing processes/policies are a good outcome.”
“The West Midlands Branch have put on some excellent programmes over the last few years.  The HPMA Committee work very hard to ensure that these are reflective of our needs, developmental and informative.”  
“I feel proud to be part of the HPMA committee as it is a way of giving back to a profession that I am proud to be part of.  There is a lot of energy and passion within the group to provide development opportunities to our community in order to take us collectively from strength to strength.”
“I would like to say that events offered cover a great and interesting range of topics.  The events are well planned and delivered, I thoroughly enjoy participating
(Sara Copesake, South Staffordshire & Shropshire).”
“A group of likeminded individual that provide real support and learning opportunities to the NHS HR/OD community in the West Midlands.”
“A great forum for networking with a good mix of experienced and up-and-coming HR professionals, currently focusing on building capability and capacity in the HR profession through an excellent programme of learning and skills development events.”
“I think HPMA West Midlands is useful for networking opportunities and to keep up to date with key HR employment issues.”
“HPMA West Midlands offers a flexible, creative and responsive membership to us as members; both for Trusts as a whole, as well as individuals as part of the membership. We receive regular updates on activity, opportunities for training & development, information on new national policy/practice and design. I benefit from the networking events as these are invaluable in ensuring that we develop joint strategic approaches together at local level, as well as the positive working relationships that secures active system leadership.”
“HPMA West Midlands has achieved a high profile in the HR community in a short space of time.” 
“Responsive to the identified needs from the HR network (as identified via the Deputy HRD network) it offers an excellent selection of tailored learning events – an amazing output from a group of committed volunteers.”
Movement to Work, a collaboration of UK employers that aims to tackle youth unemployment
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