HR in Wales? There will be hugs!

Lesley Richards, Head of CIPD Wales, explains how Welsh passion is driving HR in the region – and that includes hugs!

As the Head of the CIPD in Wales, my role can be quite varied, but there’s one thing that’s consistent: big, genuine, friendly hugs!  Some colleagues based outside Wales find it both amusing and bemusing – no air-kissing for us!

However, there’s something else that I share with my Welsh HR colleagues – passion for our profession.

Almost every HR professional I speak to wants to see our profession grow and deliver excellence to Welsh workplaces – and the CIPD Wales region is working hard to achieve that.

We are a region whose members have faced unique challenges and have much to offer, not only in Wales but to the profession as a whole.

Here’s just some of the things CIPD Wales has done since being established 18 months ago:


  • Produced “Opportunity through Work” – a policy programme, based on the CIPD Manifesto for work, to champion better work and working lives in Wales
  • Established the CIPD Wales HR Public Policy Forum, supported by our central Public Policy and Public Affairs teams to help inform our thinking and responses to Welsh Government
  • Strengthened our relationship with the academic centres which offer CIPD accredited courses across Wales
  • Shared our expertise both in-house and at industry/sector seminars and conferences
  • Continued to operate a full programme of CPD opportunities across four branch teams
  • Established additional hubs of activity in more remote areas of Wales
  • Created an HR Leaders networks, targeting senior practitioners and decision-makers
  • Delivered the first CIPD Wales conference – one of the most successful events ever run by the Institute.


There is still much to do to get Wales recognised as a centre of excellence for HR.  The Editor of HR News, based just outside Bridgend, tells me that other journalists simply assume the national magazine “must” be based in London and are surprised to learn it’s Wales-based.  Why?  Wherever people work, we need good HR people – and our region has more than our fair share of those.

Here in Wales we have a hub of skilled HR professionals who have managed HR challenges like no other region.  We’ve struggled through the decimation of our traditional industries and our HR people have been instrumental in the rebuilding, retraining and regrouping of new workplaces and creation of new opportunities as our region has been re-energised.  Our HR people deserve recognition, and CIPD Wales will keep working for that.

I’m pleased to say that we are now able to celebrate excellence among the HR profession in Wales with the inaugural CIPD Wales People Management Awards which take place this October.  Nominations are already open and we would encourage the profession to nominate and recognise the HR stars of our region who are inspiring their people and transforming workplaces.

I’m looking forward to an inspirational event, where we can give long overdue recognition to the HR champions of our region.   I am pleased to say with absolute certainty, the evening will be a great night in its own right, with a superb gala dinner and drinks.  There will be excellence, award, acceptance speeches… there may even be tears.  However, as part of any celebration of the best HR professionals in Wales, there will, undoubtedly, also be hugs.

I look forward to seeing you there!


Author: Editorial Team

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