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RAF awarded coveted People Development Partner with the CIPD

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has awarded the Royal Air Force the coveted status of People Development Partner - the first military organisation to achieve this.

People Development Partner (PDP) status is bestowed on organisations who have committed to high levels of professional development and maintaining standards through the CIPD.

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It is an innovative measure that was launched in 2019 with 15 organisations being awarded to date, which include Tesco, Network Rail, Department of Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs.

The award of PDP status is seen as professional recognition from the leading organisation in the field of HR and provides confidence in the professional HR support that is being delivered in the Royal Air Force.

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People Ops Profession Advisor, Wing Commander Steve Parkes, has been instrumental in arranging the necessary requirements to achieve the Partnership status.

The RAF has always strived to recognise the value of its people, and as our HR policies and legislation become more aligned with the Private Sector it is important that every opportunity is taken to benchmark our capability, and to identify with best practice. Not only does this ensure that we are always aware of the latest HR information, knowledge, and activities, but it also provides transparency and therefore recognition that the military is at the forefront of delivery, whatever the capability.

For me personally, as I come to the end of 47-years in the RAF, with the last 14-years as the People Ops Profession Advisor, I’ve been privileged to work with such dedicated and passionate HR professionals, and I am delighted that the Award provides the recognition that the Profession truly deserves; I couldn’t be more proud for this to have been achieved before I leave.

Wing Commander Steve Parkes
People Ops Profession Advisor

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The CIPD have made PDP the gold standard of organisational excellence, as well as celebrating individual teams and functions, and to meet the exacting criteria, the RAF has invested heavily in raising the capability and impact of its people function by aligning its values with the CIPD Profession Map, building skills and knowledge, and ensuring individuals are recognised through CIPD professional membership.

The award is a ringing endorsement of the Royal Air Force’s Professions programme, providing highly respected industry level recognition for our approach to delivering professional HR Support. It marks the Royal Air Force out as a progressive employer that demonstrably values its people, through the offer of higher level academic and accreditation routes for Aviators in the People Operations Profession. Their enhanced professional qualifications in turn support the Royal Air Force to deliver a better Human Resources offer to all Aviators, ensuring that we can deliver our strategic objectives more effectively.

Air Vice-Marshal Maria Byford
Chief of Staff Personnel

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The RAF is also investing in supporting staff with CIPD qualifications, training and ongoing professionalisation through the CIPD’s Experience Assessment. There has also been a focus on providing entry level career pathways as well as access to development through volunteering opportunities.

We are delighted to recognise the RAF as our first military People Development Partner. The award demonstrates an exceptional degree of commitment to developing people professionals, ensuring they are the best they can be. Much work has taken place to achieve PDP status and we look forward to continuing our work with the RAF in the years to come.

Adam Stanbury
CIPD Global Head of Employer Solutions

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Recently, the first two cohorts of personnel graduated, with 33 gaining CIPD Membership through the Experience Assessment route at either Chartered Fellow, Chartered Member or Associate Member Levels. There are a further 50 personnel provisionally selected for the next three cohorts.

The award of CIPD Development Partner status to the Royal Air Force is in equal parts humbling and inspiring.  It recognises the superb work of our people to enhance their skills while also acknowledging the Professionalism of the RAF in striving to deliver modern and inclusive HR practices. As an individual with CIPD and post grad HR qualifications I have seen for myself how the CIPD resources and network of HR specialists has enabled the Royal Air Force to take the very best ideas in private sector HR and bring it into the RAF and from there to the front line and operations.

Air Commodore Adrian Burns
Deputy Head of the People Ops Profession

Image shows RAF Regiment holding rifles during parade.