CIPP bidding farewell to Associate director Karen Thomson

15 May 2015

Karen Thomson, Associate director of policy at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) is to bid farewell to the organisation after 13 years of continuous service.

Karen has decided to pursue a new role and subsequently will leave her existing position at the CIPP on 31 July 2015.

This decision comes as a result of Karen wanting to get back to the “coal face” of payroll, and continue her quest to educate employers about the importance of payroll, through the delivery of excellent payroll service.

However, her association with the CIPP is set to continue. From 3 August 2015, Karen takes up two new positions; the first of which being Director – Group payroll services with Armstrong Watson, accountants, business and financial advisors; whilst continuing to support the CIPP and our members through her newly co-opted position on the board of trustees.

Talking about leaving the CIPP and her role as the Associate director, Karen said: “Whilst I am sad to be leaving my role as Associate director for policy and research, I am very excited by my future position. I take credit and comfort in knowing the policy team, under its new leadership, will continue to thrive and support the members and our profession. I am also honoured to be asked to take a co-opted position to the CIPP board and, in the future, will seek to stand for election to board trustee. This will allow me to indulge my passion for the CIPP and all that it stands for. In fact, many say if you were to cut me down the middle it would say CIPP. I have been lucky over the last 13 years and have always valued the trust placed in me not only by the members, but government officials and, of course, all my colleagues.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those in the policy team, past and present including my friend and colleague Vickie Moss and Elaine Gibson, for their continued support and friendship over the years.”

Karen also commented on the wider support from her colleagues including Chief executive officer Lindsay Melvin, adding: “I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those in the policy team, past and present. In addition, the CIPP board has always been supportive of my role and of me personally, and I have appreciated that. I’d also like to personally thank Lindsay Melvin, Chief executive officer at the CIPP for his support over the years. Lindsay and I have had so much debate, fun, laughter and tears, but he has truly been a fantastic “boss” and I will miss him. Finally, my thanks to the members and everyone else involved in the profession for which I have had the good fortune to work with.”

As a result of this announcement, the CIPP has taken the opportunity to restructure the policy and research team to ensure that members receive the best possible service and representation within the forums attended.

With effect from Monday 1 June 2015, Helen Hargreaves will be promoted to the role of Policy and research manager. This role has been created as part of the formal restructure in recognition of Helen’s skills and pending MSc in Business and Reward Management. Through this role Helen will continue to support the payroll profession through public engagement, something that she has been successful in under Karen’s leadership since 2011.

Commenting on her new role, Helen Hargreaves said: “I’ve obviously got mixed emotions as it’s been great working alongside Karen and I’ll be incredibly sad to see her leave. However, she leaves the organisation in the knowledge that the CIPP is at the forefront of the industry and I’m incredibly excited to be building on the fantastic work Karen has done for the CIPP. “

In addition, Elaine Gibson, former Senior policy and research officer, and current Associate director of qualifications, will absorb the strategic role of the associate director of policy and research, identifying the direction of the policy team; and will represent the CIPP on relevant high level government forums, from 1 July on an interim basis.

The rest of the policy team will continue to represent the CIPP membership at all appropriate forums impacting the profession.