I am an HR and equalities professional with 30 years’ experience and achievement in the areas of investigation, employee engagement and organisational development across all sectors. I have particular expertise in conducting complex workplace investigations, complemented by my knowledge of HR and equalities and best practise of each sector. I deliver equality awareness training and support organisations to engage staff, customers and service users on their journey to improvement. I have been successful in delivering change by adopting an ethical approach, shaped by a career which has included leading roles in the development of organisational values and oversight of professional standards. Finally, I am in the unique position of having spent 10 years in an emergency planning officer role, which has included planning for major incidents and pandemics.
With 30 years’ HR experience in investigation, employee engagement, organisational development and policy formulation, in the public, private and voluntary sectors, I regularly operate in executive and advisory capacities. I am confident engaging with employees of all grades and roles and, as a qualified LGA member peer, elected members. My most recent experience has been in conducting complex workplace investigations, for which I am ILM accredited and which is also complemented by my knowledge and experience of providing HR advice, developing policy and delivering training in equalities and cultural change. I have worked in local government, the NHS and emergency services and with the private and voluntary sectors and so can adapt investigation work, learning and policy development to move seamlessly between these sectors, enhanced by my knowledge of best practise in each. In a post-Covid world, values and priorities will evolve and we look forward to a new normal for the workplace of the future. My experience is further enhanced by a decade as a HR professional in senior emergency planning roles and 20 years in local government promoting and developing ethical practises and oversight of professional standards.
Background, Work history, Special Sector Knowledge
I have a background in HR and Equalities, mostly in Local government and in the emergency services, in leadership, non-executive, managerial and practitioner capacities. From 1981, at the outset of my career, I developed my knowledge and experience in the Fire sector, first as a HR generalist. In 1989, I applied my skills to an emergency planning role in which I worked in partnership with stakeholder organisations, voluntary organisations and the general public most in need of support. This led seamlessly to a specialist role in equalities, including 12 months acting as Head of Equalities, in which I led on the development and delivery of an organisation wide programme to educate, promote and secure support for cultural transformation during a rapid period of organisational change, as well as gaining experience in workplace investigations in which I would later specialise.
From 1998, I began my 20-year association with the police, first as a member of the former West Midlands Police Authority, leading on the delivery of equalities and cultural change and oversight of professional standards and complaints handling. During this period, I also served as a non-executive director in the NHS, first at district then sub regional level (Strategic Health Authority) level, leading on equalities and cultural change and the NHS Improving Working Lives accreditation. In 2012 with the arrival of PCCs, I worked in West Midlands for the three politicians who have held the post,
supporting each in holding the Force to account on HR, equalities, complaints handling, professional standards and employee engagement. I also led a major restructure of the office of the PCC, improving staff diversity, pay and conditions whilst delivering substantial efficiency savings. Since 2018, I have been self-employed and specialise in complex workplace investigations.
Qualifications and Membership
The qualifications I have chosen to pursue and the organisations I have chosen to subscribe to reflect my professional interests and personal values. I graduated in 1987 with a Master’s Degree in Public Sector Management (specialising in equalities and organisational culture) from Aston University and continue my association sponsoring disadvantaged students. I am an Associate member of the CIPD and practise continuous professional development across a range of HR issues, most recently related to the pandemic response and recovery, and am shortly to pursue Chartered Membership. I am also an active member of the Emergency Planning Society working with members and officers to share best practise including the impact of the pandemic on the workplace. I am also an LGA member peer, qualified and experienced to work with elected members to develop and deliver their responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
As an investigator, I am ILM accredited (high pass) and my work is also enhanced by my membership of the Traumatic Incident Reduction Association, an international organisation devoted to providing treatment and recovery support to victims of trauma and PTSD, which can be triggered by work related incidents faced by emergency workers as well as major disasters. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, which ‘’believes in a world where everyone is able to participate in a creating a better future’’ and Amnesty International, each of which have roles in advancing the interests of those who are disadvantage at home and abroad.