CIPR terminates membership of Gillian Waddell
Members are invited to note that the CIPR membership of Gillian Waddell has been terminated, following a complaint against her made by the Chief Executive.
Ms Waddell, who runs a PR Agency called Fuel PR, was subject of a disciplinary action by the PRCA in 2015, which resulted in Fuel PR’s removal from PRCA membership and Ms Waddell herself was stripped of her PRCA Fellowship. Ms Waddell, who had previously been a CIPR member, re-joined the Institute in 2016.
Everyone who joins the CIPR is required to disclose whether they have done anything to bring the profession or the Institute into disrepute, and all members are required to do likewise when they renew their membership annually. However if someone lapsed their membership and applied to rejoin within two years, the CIPR did not, until recently, require a similar disclosure from them.
Gillian Waddell’s membership of the CIPR initially lapsed in 2014 and when she applied to rejoin in 2016 she was not asked to make any disclosures. However, when she renewed her membership in 2017 and 2018 she was required to make a disclosure and failed to do so.
Complaints against members of the CIPR are heard by an independent Professional Standard Panel which operates at arms’ length from the Institute. The panel includes both lay and CIPR members.
It was a unanimous decision that the grounds for termination of Fuel PR’s PRCA membership in 2015, as well as the failure to make subsequent disclosures to this effect to the CIPR, were sufficiently serious to warrant the termination of Ms Waddell’s membership.
I am grateful to former PRCA Chairman Richard Houghton for initially bringing this matter to my attention. I have the power to bring complaints against CIPR members in certain circumstances, and in this case that was the most appropriate way of bringing the matter to a Professional Standards Panel. We have now closed the loophole which allowed Gillian Waddell to rejoin.
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About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).