Letter to members from Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015

Dear Members

At the end of last year more than two thousand of you contributed to our annual State of the Profession survey, and we published the findings last month. This week the CIPR Board of Directors met for a day to consider what you had told us, its implications for the future of public relations, and how the CIPR should respond. Our day was spent discussing how best to lead the transformation of today’s PR workforce into the professionals of tomorrow.I wanted to share headlines of what was agreed:

The Changing PR Landscape

  • As automation gathers pace we anticipate that the proportion of income members earn from media relations will decline. We will support members in developing and broadening their skills base so they can continue to add value to their clients and employers in innovative ways, and connect with their publics
  • As well as helping members develop as PR practitioners we must address the need to help them prepare for and deliver value in senior management and Board-level roles in their organisations
  • Our Professional Development & Membership Committee will oversee development of our training offer to members in line with these objectives.

Professional and Ethical Accountability

  • It is clear that there are divergent understandings of what ‘professionalism’ means. We will work to ensure that ethics, accountability and continuing professional development are well-understood and at the core of our professional identity. Currently, for a large number of members, they are not
  • Our Professional Practices Committee, will produce new guidance in specific fields of work to enable members to develop their ethical competence under the CIPR Code of Conduct
  • We will develop our PRide and Excellence Awards in ways which reinforce our professional standards, so that we are consistent in recognising achievements which most clearly embody the values we represent. 

Skills, Qualifications and Competencies

  • In the light of research into future skills needs which the CIPR has commissioned, our Professional Development & Membership Committee will create a competency framework to support recruiters, training managers and individual practitioners 
  • Our qualifications do not necessarily align clearly with the key stages of a practitioner’s career. In 2015 we will begin a comprehensive review of every syllabus to ensure that our offer is more clearly relevant to specific needs
  • Over the years we have developed training, qualifications, CPD and Chartered status in a way which means that the links between them are often not clear. This year we will draw them together to provide a more coherent route to greater professionalism
  • Chartered status will continue to be the flagship validation of overall professional experience.

Enhancing and reinforcing CPD

  • When the CPD Ladder reopens in mid-March for the new CPD year there will be a number of enhancements to make it more useful. Later in the year we will also be introducing a planning tool to emphasise and identify your future needs rather than retrospectively recording learning
  • We will require engagement with CPD as a qualification for members to judge CIPR awards
  • In June, at our national AGM in Bristol, we will propose that future nominations for CIPR Fellowship include a requirement for prior completion of CPD and future commitment to it. 

Gender Pay Gap

  • The CIPR Gender Pay Gap Manifesto, published today, sets out how the CIPR will work to narrow pay inequality between men and women working in public relations.

The CIPR is the driving force for professionalism in public relations. Professionals deliver better results for their clients, employers, stakeholders and work in the public interest. By aiming to become an Institute of Chartered Professionals, the CIPR is developing the roadmap to a stronger, better-equipped and more effective UK public relations industry.Thank you for the experience and insight you have shared with us in the State of the Profession survey. I hope you can see that we have listened and we are acting on your feedback. We will continue to use it in future years to inform how we serve you.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

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).