Meet the new CIPP chair

25 November 2018

This article was featured in the December 2018 / January 2019 issue of the magazine.

Jason Davenport MCIPP MIoD, CIPP’s newly installed chair, discusses his career, role, aims and ambitions

I began my career as an office junior working for a construction company in Liverpool, where I learnt how to complete payroll manually. Writing out all the payslips by hand, building up the tax and National Insurance calculations using tables and building a great understanding of civil engineering rules and working regulations. 

I then took on roles that grew my career organically through the traditional routes of supervision, team management, and then leadership of large teams located in multiple centres. Having an appetite to build my experience also took me into Europe to deliver multi-country services and eventually globally to provide service provision that used a follow-the-sun approach. My career could well be likened to the saying, from small acorns...

My payroll career has taken me across the globe, which means I have experience in working with many different cultures and diverse teams. I also have experience that builds from pre-computerisation and has seen the creation of the standalone payroll engine and its evolution within enterprise resource planning systems that may be hosted on a server-based provision or take advantage of cloud computing – i.e. wherever, whenever. As we now embrace artificial intelligence into our everyday lives, it will be interesting to embrace the technological changes that will naturally become available.

I have three children – Patrick is ten and in junior school, Charlotte is thirteen and in senior school and Gabrielle is nineteen and studying at university – so a house full of new millennials who can teach Louise and I a lot about how to work with new technology. Watching their expectations of voice activation and instant information makes me realise how much in future interaction with technology will change. This is hugely important for payroll and pensions both in the back-office and also how the functions will service employees in the future.

I’ve been involved with the CIPP for more than a decade. I worked with the team during my time at NGA, providing support for presentations and workshops and especially graduation day. 

I became a CIPP board member more than six years ago and been vice-chair for the past two years. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity to be chair of the CIPP. 

Eira Hammond has done a fantastic job in the role and really promoted both the industry and the standing of the CIPP during her tenure. This can be recognised in how Eira has promoted the importance of the role of the board, as we received a record number of individuals wanting to stand for the board. 

The role of the board is vital to the direction, strategy and good health of the Institute and I have thoroughly enjoyed my role within that stewardship to date. I expect as chair to continue within those parameters and know that additional expectations sit with me as leader of the board. 

I have a real desire to continue promoting the Institute’s credentials within and outside of the industry as we promote qualifications and drive up the number of Chartered members.

I know it is only a short tenure, but I hope to bring challenge to the board and the chief executive officer, ensuring we are focused on delivering quality for the membership, increasing the profile of the payroll, pensions and reward industry and building growth for the Institute as a whole.

The membership is fundamental to us as an Institute. I want all payroll and pension professionals to be both proud of the industry they serve and for their employers to recognise the importance of a professional body to support them. 

We will continue to review our offerings for members and value feedback to improve service provision. Growth of the membership allows for investment in products and services. 

I appeal to all members to get involved in whatever way they can to promote the importance of the industry. The accurate collection of pay deductions and pension contributions serves a much wider purpose in the health and wellbeing of UK PLC and I ask that no one loses sight of that.

I would like to have all professionals working in the industry involved in the production of pay, pensions and reward to be members of the Institute and therefore it is important that the good work of the CIPP reaches non-members to highlight to them why they should become members.

I have always worked towards the principles of meritocracy and have never had an office of my own. This is deliberate, to promote an open-door approach. I encourage feedback from all levels of members about all our service offerings, so that appropriate improvements can be made for the entire membership base.