To what extent has the pandemic brought the industry you serve together and fostered joint initiatives and the sharing of best practice?


Debbie Dore, CEO, Association For Project Management

Debbie Dore, CEO, Association For Project Management (APM)

From the beginnings of the pandemic, the project profession has been at the forefront of delivering change for the benefit of businesses and communities, working in unison to meet emerging needs. Notable examples include the Nightingale Hospitals; the many manufacturing companies that pivoted rapidly to start making ventilators, hand sanitizer and PPE; and the supermarkets who quickly stepped up their online offering and increased their delivery capacity to keep the nation fed.

As the workplace has shifted to the online space, the importance of digital skills and data analytics has been emphasised. The Project Data Analytics Research Network, a joint initiative between APM, employers and academics, is an example of how the profession is putting itself at the crest of an emerging wave.

Ken Pullar, CEO,
Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP)

Ken Pullar, CEO, Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP)

The payroll community has always been a close-knit community, but the pandemic has definitely bought us closer together. We found ourselves trying to understand, communicate and implement changes at a speed we’d never encountered before.

We began to see the community sharing ideas, asking questions, supporting each other, and using various digital and social media channels to do this. A great example of this was our annual National Payroll Week. The week is designed to demonstrate the impact the payroll industry has in the UK through the collection of income tax and National Insurance, which is expected to contribute in the region of £325.7bn* to the UK economy in 2020/21. We saw a record number of people downloading our packs, sharing the contents, and celebrating their and their colleagues’ commitment to the profession.

We were thrilled to have once again received the backing from the UK government for our National Payroll Week. Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP penned a letter of endorsement , praising not only the hard work done by the CIPP with regards to National Payroll Week, but to all payroll professionals in the UK for ‘keeping the UK paid’. We also received a letter of endorsement from Solihull’s very own MP Julian Knight who stated: “Payroll professionals are vitally important to our economy, and are a profession often not seen but are vital to keeping the UK paid”. These letters were shared with the payroll community throughout September to encourage feelings of positivity, community and togetherness.

During September, we also saw Portfolio Payroll launch their ‘Payroll Heroes’ campaign, which again celebrated the payroll community and highlighted those in the industry who had gone above and beyond to make sure we all kept the UKPaid.

On the subject of awards, our very own Annual Excellence Awards, held during our annual conference in October, were a great way to promote and celebrate those true payroll and pension professionals who have made an outstanding contribution and demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their profession. With the awards being digital this year, alongside our conference, this meant we could broadcast to a wider audience and could share examples of best practice with the wider community.

Our policy and research technical lead, Samantha Mann MAAT, MCIPPDip along with our wider policy team have taken part in a variety of consultation panels and have fostered excellent relationships with HMRC and the Government, in order to work together, to understand the future of payroll, the legislation updates and to be the first to communicate the changes to the payroll community.

The CIPP is the first place the payroll community come to, whether that be for their training needs, their qualifications or for their membership support. The pandemic has bought us closer together as we chat online, we train online, we support and share online and we meet online, together.



Chris Skeith

Chris Skeith, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Event Organisers

Chris Skeith, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Event Organisers

We were fortunate to have an already engaged membership across diverse communities and functions, serving a multitude of purposes to serve the breadth of membership.

The working groups went into overdrive, meeting more often, via videoconference, with more people, tackling more projects. A highlight, was the Operations Group developing what is now government approved guidance, ‘All Secure’ standard sitting on the governments website, which was a collaboration between the AEO, AEV and ESSA, our sister associations.

In terms of the response to covid, I have never seen such unity, collaboration, and common purpose; a legacy we look forward to continuing on the other side.

In addition to the Project Confidence campaign, we have also supported other initiatives across the broader events community and promoted to members, such as; Light it Red, Eventwell, and One Industry One Voice.





Debbie Dore, Ken Pullar and Chris Skeith are all judges at the 2021 Association Excellence Awards, the chance to gain recognition for your successes and celebrate with your fellow trade body, professional organisation and association colleagues. Find out how to enter here.