CPD Gold has a Halo Effect on the Whole Organisation

Continuous professional development, and the CPD Gold Process, add value

IPA CPD Gold Chair of Judges, and Fitbit at Google Director of EMEA Marketing, Joanne Savage explores the key themes from this year's Accreditation, which saw 36 agencies achieve Gold and 24 achieve Platinum, and why continuous professional development, and the CPD Gold Process, add value to the whole organistation.

It’s been a pleasure to chair the assessment of this year’s IPA CPD Gold Accreditation scheme and see embedded, effective, and innovative CPD Culture thriving within the agencies reviewed. My work at Fitbit and Google exposes me to some of the best training and culture programmes, so it was a privilege to see the highly impressive performance from the agency side.

The first point I wanted to make in this post may seem like an obvious one: continuous professional development, and the CPD Gold Process, add value. There is a clear red thread of high performance and motivation in all the agencies reviewed. I spent a lot of time on the Effectiveness pillar of the accreditation, the cornerstone of the scheme, and was pleasantly surprised at how quantifiable this value was, both in the testimonials from employees and clients, but also across a broad spectrum of business results.

A Culture of Doing More

As a client, to me the CPD Gold philosophy is so attractive as a way of doing business, as it provides an ‘upward spiral’ of positivity around the organisation. This leads to even stronger motivation and results. From the client side, I was particularly envious of a few examples across the accredited agencies: day-to-day use of a Happiness Index at work; pioneering appraisal schemes that place coaching at the centre, and a partnership with the Unstereotype Alliance. This culture of doing more doesn’t start and end with CPD Gold: it infiltrates the whole organisation and its people practices.

Lifting Standards in Becoming a BCorp

I was particularly impressed where some CPD Gold agencies managed to become a BCorp alongside their vast CPD Gold initiatives. BCorp accreditation is to me a clear proof point of raised standards throughout the organisation. Other examples of this halo effect of CPD was the strong tracking of metrics such as promotions of women in the organisation. ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) were well integrated into some of the top agency submissions. Of course, a culture of raised standards can only ultimately be proven out through results: the top submissions I read showed clear pitch ROI and - just as exciting - exceptional client retention (up to 96%) and staff retention.

People First Agenda

The IPA President, Josh Krichefski, summarised the halo effect of CPD within his 'People First' Agenda earlier this year. In his agenda, the IPA heavily emphasises wellbeing and positive mental health - in short, we must look after our people within the industry. Investment in CPD Gold, and the behaviours and infrastructure around it, take us much closer to, in Josh Krichefski’s words, ‘the most inclusive workplaces imaginable’.

You are Changing the Advertising world for the Better

In conclusion, I would like to remind everyone involved in CPD Gold, especially the agencies who put so much work into their submissions, that you are effectively changing the world around you. The positive impact in developing people, making sure everyone belongs, and investing so our industry can thrive has a compounding effect to lift the whole industry and the people within it. Keep going - your work is truly making a difference.


Joanne Savage is Director of EMEA Marketing, Fitbit at Google, and Chair of Judges for CPD Gold 2022. The IPA CPD Gold Accreditation scheme recognises and rewards CPD excellence. IPA member agencies who receive the accolade demonstrate a genuine culture of learning; bettering the professionalism, development and reputation of the industry, enhancing clients’ brands and agencies’ worth as a result. When submitting for CPD Gold Accreditation, agencies must demonstrate that CPD lies at the heart of their business. After achieving CPD Gold Accreditation for four years in any five-year period, you’ll also be eligible for CPD Platinum Accreditation, the IPA accolade for sustained CPD excellence.

Want to take the next steps in proving your agency’s CPD excellence? Book your free place on our CPD Gold webinar


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and were submitted in accordance with the IPA terms and conditions regarding the uploading and contribution of content to the IPA newsletters, IPA website, or other IPA media, and should not be interpreted as representing the opinion of the IPA.

Last updated 01 May 2024