IPA plans to establish permanent HR training course

The IPA is opting to make its pilot scheme for developing agency human-resource specialists into a permanent fixture after finding that existing courses are largely irrelevant.

The trade body is working with Nabs to develop the HR Knowledge Certificate course on an annual basis after the first six candidates successfully completed the pilot project, comprising a ten-week series of training sessions.

The IPA set up the course to help agency staff involved in HR to operate in an area where the law is constantly changing.

Mary Budd, the IPA's employment affairs advisor, said: "There are loads of courses offering HR qualifications but none offers the kind of knowledge you need if you work in advertising."

She added: "You don't need to know about negotiating with trade unions, but you do need to know about hiring people in pairs. The legal side is growing enormously complex and can be very tough for small- or medium-sized companies to handle."

The first of the permanent courses will begin in September and will be open to anybody - from an agency chief executive to a chairman's PA - who has human resources responsibilities.

Nabs executives will talk to candidates about the human impact of HR decisions and the particular problems of handling redundancies.

Kate Harris, the Nabs chief executive, said: "We do a great deal of work with HR people and felt that we wanted to provide some professional guidance that would help make their very difficult jobs that bit easier."

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