The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) originated in 1980 when the Association of Payroll and Superannuation Administrators (APSA) was formed. APSA was aimed at providing support to those working within the public sector, to support those in payroll and pensions with the growing complexities relating to public sector pay and pension schemes. In 1985, the British Payroll Manager’s Association (BPMA) was formed and supported those working within payroll roles in the private sector. In 1998 the two bodies merged and became the Institute of Payroll and Pensions Management (IPPM).

In 2001, IPPM purchased a company called PAYTrain to form a wholly-owned subsidiary called IPPM Education Ltd, the training and business arm of the organisation. In 2005 the Board decided to combine the two parts of the organisation under a single head and appointed a new Chief Executive Officer to oversee the combined operation. Following research into our member's key areas and responsibilities, IPPM changed its name again in 2007 and became the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP). At the same time, the employing entity was changed to IPP Education Ltd. In 2011, the Institute changed its name again following a successful application to the Privy Council to achieve Chartered Status and became the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP).

The purpose of the CIPP, and its commercial training and business subsidiary, is to raise the standards of professionalism across the payroll industry and, by doing this, elevate the standing and profile of payroll professionals.

The payroll function is long-established, but as a profession is relatively young. In a similar fashion to the development of personnel administration in the 1980s into a strategic function known as HR, payroll is moving from a substantially administrative function into a higher-order organisational role.

This shift has been caused, in the main, by increasingly complex tax legislation, coupled with a general shift by the government to move the burden of collection onto the employer with over £249bn collected through income tax and National Insurance contributions each year. this, in effect, has moved payroll into complex knowledge management, with consequent needs for improvement of standards and, therefore, education and continuous development.

While precise data on the market is difficult to ascertain due to payroll professionals being banded with accountants and book-keepers, best estimates suggest that there are around 50,000 payroll professionals (i.e. dedicated to payroll within their roles); plus many thousands more who do payroll as part of a broader remit within their role.

These payroll professionals are sited primarily within large organisations in both the public and private sectors, as well as a number of specialist payroll outsourcing operations. The outsourcing sector has the highest per establishment population of payroll professionals with 3-400 employed within payroll roles, whilst the average number of payroll employees within large/very large organisation is up to 50. The CIPP currently has over 9,500 payroll professionals benefitting from membership, education and support services.




* based on income tax and national insurance contributions as shown on Labour market overview, UK - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk) The data suggests this has fallen by £730,000.