HR Knowledge Essentials course

The seven, three-hour workshops will cover everything from the Law, remote working, appraisals, problem solving and much more.

“What exactly does HR actually do?” This course will help to answer this question and give those with responsibility for HR, a solid understanding of how they can best contribute to the management of the business.

Who is the course for?

This course is for curious team leaders who want to deepen their understanding of people management.  This can include:

  • Newly-appointed staff with responsibility for HR within agencies. 
  • Existing agency staff who have taken on part of an HR role.
  • Those with HR experience, who have just arrived in the industry.

Previous delegates have included HR/Talent Business Partners, Operations Directors and Account Directors; Office Managers and Executive Assistants.

What are the benefits?

  • Improve the HR skills of anyone who runs a team.
  • Understand some of the legal knowledge and influencing skills required as a team leader.
  • To give those with responsibility for HR, a solid understanding of how they can best contribute to the management of the business.


There will be seven, three-hour workshops run via Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday, from 12 October 2021 onwards.  Each three hour session will be split into 1.5 hour sections, with a 30 minute break in between. 

There is also an optional online 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

Tuesday 12 October at 2.30-4pm, break, 4.30-6pm

  • What is HR? The eight roles
  • The role of the IPA
  • What are contracts for, and how do you design one?

2. The right side of the law 

Thursday 14 October at 2.30-4pm, break, 4.30-6pm 

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

3. The New Normal – remote working and how to manage it

Tuesday 19 October at 2.30-4pm, break, 4.30-6pm

  • Managing variable working patterns
  • What is the office for?
  • How to design personnel policies and procedures that fit
  • Motivation, wellbeing and how to avoid burnout

4. Bringing people in

Thursday 21 October at 2.30- 4pm, break, 4.30-6pm

  • Picking the best people
  • Internships, graduates, apprentices and the creative placement system
  • Getting induction right

5. Learning, appraisal and CPD

Tuesday 26 October at 2.30-4pm, break, 4.30-6pm

  • 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

6. Problem solving and troubleshooting

Thursday 28 October at 2.30-4pm, break, 4.30-6pm

  • How to spot problems brewing
  • Counselling
  • Discipline and Dismissal
  • Compromise Agreements and Protected Conversations

7. Influencing mavericks and culture-building

Tuesday 2 November at 3.30-5pm, break, 5.10-6.30pm *NOTE THE TIME CHANGE*

  • How to be an internal consultant
  • How to get your voice heard
  • Thinking creatively about teams
  • How to differentiate your agency from the rest

The HR Knowledge Online Exam will be open online from Monday 8 November to Friday 12 November 2021. 

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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Last updated 21 January 2022