HR Knowledge

All you need to know about the world of agency HR.

“What exactly does HR actually do?” This course will help to answer this question and improve your skills if you have responsibility for agency HR. You'll also gain some of the legal knowledge and influencing skills that you'll need to contribute to the management of the business.

Interest List

We do not have a confirmed date for this course.  Please add yourself to the interest list to receive updates, including future dates.

Who is the course for?

Staff with responsibility for HR and people management within agencies. They might be existing agency staff who have taken on part or all of the HR role, or people with HR experience who have just arrived in the industry. Previous delegates include CPD Managers, HR/Talent Managers, Operations Directors and Account Directors, Office Managers and Executive Assistants.


There will be 6 x 3 hour workshops which run 5pm – 8pm at the IPA. There is also an optional exam, which on passing, will merit you 1 MIPA star.  The exam is part multiple choice, part essay and marked by your tutor. 

1. Introduction to the world of agency HR 

  • What is HR? The 8 roles
  • Personal experiences
  • The role of the IPA
  • Designing personnel policies and procedures

2. The right side of the law 

  • An outline of the main legal issues facing agencies and how to manage the risks that they pose including:
  • Vicarious liability
  • Family friendly policies
  • Discrimination and diversity
  • TUPE

3. Bringing people in 

  • Picking the best people
  • Internships, graduates, apprentices and the creative placement system
  • Contracts of employment: Part time/full time, Fixed term/permanent, and Freelance.
  • Getting induction right

4. Learning, appraisal and CPD 

  • The performance management cycle
  • How to set up an appraisal system that works
  • Developing a culture where people learn
  • How to build a good development plan
  • CPD and the business plan – how to bring them together for best results

5. Problem solving and troubleshooting - What could possibly go wrong? 

  • Counselling
  • Discipline and Dismissal: redundancy, capability, conduct.
  • Settlement Agreements and Protected Conversations.

6. Influencing Mavericks and Culture-building 

  • How to be an internal consultant
  • How to get your voice heard
  • How the best teams work
  • Managing staff remotely – the advantages and challenges
  • How to differentiate your agency from the rest

Your Tutor

Mary Budd, Chartered Fellow CIPD.

Mary has spent 40 years in HR, 30 of them as a freelance consultant. Previous advertising experience includes 15 years as Employment Affairs Advisor at the IPA. Mary is on the CPD Gold Award judges’ panel and advises extensively within the industry.


  • Members: £550 + VAT
  • Non-Members: £825 + VAT

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