The CIPR recently launched its brand new, revised qualifications and our MD, Steve Falla, was present at the launch to talk about training and its importance for PR professionals. Steve is currently leading a task and finish group on CPD and training for the Professional Development and Membership Committee.
Over the 21 years of Orchard’s existence we’ve become something of a PR training academy as staff learn theory through studying towards formal qualifications and combine that with day-to-day on-the-job training.
We’ve normally got someone studying towards a qualification, be that the PRCA’s foundation certificate, the suite of CIPR qualifications or a dedicated training session on a specific skill. This level of commitment is a credit to our staff’s eagerness to learn and improve themselves and a source of great pride to the business.
Even with a great range of qualifications available, Orchard still makes use of ‘learning by doing’ and our staff are frequently jumping in at the deep end to learn new skills and push themselves outside their comfort zones. It’s hugely important to give our staff this experience and the freedom to fail; we don’t want them to fail but we know that there is much to be gained from having a go at challenging tasks.
Employees have the security to do this as the senior members of the team act as lifeguards; supporting them with the day-to-day tasks and lending the benefit of their experience to members of the team studying for qualifications.
Formal training also plays a part in giving people the confidence to have a go at new tasks and roles and our employees normally thrive in these scenarios and emerge feeling empowered, fulfilled and confident.
Senior account executive Ellen Dumont completed the CIPR Advanced Certificate this year and said of her experience: “The knowledge I gained has been invaluable and I have already used some of the tactics in my working life, such as identifying measurable outcomes of a campaign, thinking about stakeholders and how to target each group, and thinking outside of the box to attract interest.”
Harriet Black, one of our account directors, enjoys the fact that qualifications and training often lead to meeting new people: “I’ve always found it really interesting to discuss examples of how other practitioners might approach something in their sector– it’s a great opportunity to share best practice and get a wider perspective.”
So the benefits of training are varied and many and we’re proud and heartened that so many of our team not only want to study and develop themselves professionally but actually enjoy doing so.