Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from CIPP is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Chief executive Ken Pullar
CIPP graduation ceremony
2019 held at the Symphony
Hall, Birmingham
First established in 1980 in the West Midlands, CIPP’s primary
challenge was to change the image of payroll. Given its
importance to the success of a modern business, the team
wanted to ensure it was seen as a crucial function that affects
all those in a working environment rather than just a back-
office function that gets people paid. Chief Executive Ken Pullar
discusses the organisation’s progress in fulfilling this mission and
looks into how CIPP has helped the industry change for the better.
We are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, and over the course of our
history, we have undergone significant change. We began as the Association of
Payroll and Superannuation Administrators (APSA) in 1980, for those working in
payroll in the public sector, offering training for payroll staff. By 1985, we had
entered the private sector through the British Payroll Managers Association (BPMA).
APSA and BPMA merged in 1998 to form the CIPP as it is known today.
By changing and challenging legislation that affects the function and decision-
making of payroll departments, the CIPP, through our policy and research presence
at government forums, has been a vital part of changing the image of payroll. We
have used our authoritative knowledge in our area of expertise and passed it on to
our over 9,500 individuals, so they too are able to make informed decisions.
A range of qualifications
Our goal is to ensure payroll staff are well trained, able to do their jobs to the best
of their ability and are paid accurately and on time. To achieve this, we offer an
extensive education portfolio, from basic courses to university-approved degrees.
»Chief Executive: Ken Pullar
»Established in 1980 as
the Association of Payroll
and Superannuation
»Based in Solihull
»Services: Training, guidance
and support to payroll staff
»No. of employees: 57
»Gained chartered status in
2011 and ability to grant
chartered memberships in 2016
»Supports over 9,500 individuals
through membership and
education services
Highlighting best practice
Our first qualification was launched
in 1991 and we have continued to
develop and adapt our offering, with
our first MSc being launched in 1997
and a new partnership, offering a BA
(Hons), being established in 2020 with
the University of Lincoln.
Our qualifications account for half
of our revenue and help to fund our
other activities. Underpinning our
qualifications, we have 120 full-
time tutors who look after groups
of students on a mentoring and
supporting basis. Alongside the
support we give to individuals, we
have also developed an accreditation
called the payroll assurance scheme.
This involves us assessing teams,
conducting training and making sure
payroll teams are compliant and have
robust practices in place.
Beyond our qualifications and training,
one of our key strengths is our policy
unit. With inroads into key areas
of government, including regular
meetings with HMRC, we are able
to provide a bridge between our
members and government. By giving
feedback to government and helping
to shape policy, we can hear from
both worlds, ensuring we are up to
date with the sector and the legislation
governing it.
Improvement through review
In 2019 we started research to review
our qualifications portfolio. This
primarily focused on our flagship
foundation degree programmes, which
over 800 students study each year.
To gain a wide range of opinions,
we invited feedback from people
with an interest in the programmes,
including employers, students, tutors,
recruitment agencies, graduates and
our academic partners.
This five-year project will ensure
our qualifications continue to be fit
for purpose, while keeping up with
industry evolution, technological
advancement and learning theories
for adult professionals. We offer
the profession the highest levels of
qualifications and these are necessary
to ensure practitioners are competent
and efficient at paying the workforce
accurately and on time.
Technological advances, such as
artificial intelligence, and innovative
thinking, such as pay on demand,
continue to impact on many of our
work practices; ensuring we keep
ahead of the game is important to
educate our members so they can
be informed to do their job. Beyond
this, keeping abreast of case law and
how this is interpreted into practice is
challenging but can have a significant
impact on processing payroll.
Adapting to a changing
As the landscape continues to change,
we are committed to keeping our
community of members informed as
effectively as we can. Disseminating
authoritative knowledge most
effectively and efficiently, using
members’ preferred methods of
communication, continues to be
a challenge that we will face into
Shirley Harris, CIPP,
processing the first RTI
submission with David
Gauke MP in July 2012
With inroads
into key areas
meetings with
HMRC, we are
able to
provide a
between our
members and
One of our biggest challenges will
be reaching our growth targets for
membership. Payroll is an area of
business that is often overlooked, and
as such, there are many thousands
of people processing payroll who do
not understand its complexities and
legislative requirements.
It is our goal to inform and support
these individuals, providing them with
access to information, educating them
on their requirements and ensuring
compliance. This is a challenge as
technology continues to improve
and payroll is increasingly seen as
simply “pushing a button”. While
the software will do a lot of the
transactional aspects, it is essential
that those responsible for payroll
understand the calculations and
legislation behind the software.
Navigating legislation
We are the only chartered body in
payroll in the UK and we see ourselves
as the place to go for up-to-date
information, knowledge and help for
the payroll industry. Increasingly, the
effectiveness of new legislation and
government policy is diluted by the
growing bank of guidance that has
been simplified by the current editorial
guidelines of Government Digital
Service (GDS). One size does not fit
all, and the sooner this is recognised
by government, through the GDS, the
more effective the government’s own
delivery of new legislation and policy
will become.
The events since March 2020 when
Covid-19 made its presence has
emphasised the importance of payroll
professionals in keeping the UK
paid. Adapting and collaborating
with government departments to
the introduction of the Coronavirus
Job Retention Scheme and changes
to Statutory Sick Pay was crucial
and timely in keeping our members
updated and in ensuring the UK were
paid accurately and on time. And
looking forward, the detail behind
the UK leaving the EU will impact our
members who are paying employees
working within different countries of
the EU.
Despite these challenges, we are
confident about our future success.
We have developed a three-year plan
to ensure all of our teaching material
is fit for purpose and we will review
our foundation degree qualifications
to ensure they remain up to date and
relevant. More widely, we will continue
to adapt to the changing nature of
membership organisations, by going
above and beyond to support our
members, whether this be through
advice, training or teaching.
We are the only
chartered body in
payroll in the UK
and we see
ourselves as the
place to go for
knowledge and
help for the
payroll industry
From left to right:
Gordon Cresswell CIPP
founder member, Eira
Hammond past chair of
the CIPP, George Powell
the man who started
it all in 1980 and Ken
Pullar, CEO

This article was sponsored by CIPP. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.