The CIPD has awarded People Development Partner (PDP) status to the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The government department has 1,200 people working in its people function and has over 85,000 people working across the department. 

DWP is responsible for welfare, pensions, child maintenance policy and a range of working age, disability, and ill health benefits for around 20 million people.  

To achieve PDP status, the department worked closely with the CIPD to show its commitment to continuously investing in its people and to build the capability and credibility of the people function. 

Emerging from the pandemic, DWP recognised the need to transform its people function to enable it to deliver front line services to citizens more effectively and continue to provide high quality support to government ministers and wider customers. The department recognised that to embrace the changes in the world of work, there was a need for their HR function to have a more strategic focus. 

This meant taking advantage of the opportunities such as hybrid working and artificial intelligence (AI) presented, to improve employee experience and deliver enhanced organisational outcomes.


"I’m thrilled DWP has achieved CIPD PDP status. We’re creating a flexible, inclusive, continuously learning organisation. We’ve partnered with the CIPD, helping more colleagues gain HR professional qualifications, creating new apprenticeship opportunities, and opening more pathways into senior roles."

Debbie Alder, Director General of People and Capability, DWP

To achieve PDP status, the department:

  • aligned its HR practices to the CIPD profession map including using role model success profiles in its recruitment processes. This meant that its employees now know what ‘good’ looks like for their role.
  • built capability with learning programmes in key areas including Strategic Workforce Planning, Organisational Development and Establishing Positive Cultures and Behaviours.
  • provided entry and development pathways through HR apprenticeships.

As well as building capability for the future, the department recognises the benefits that CIPD membership brings to its people and the wider organisation. As a result, it now provides routes to professional accreditation through qualifications, learning, apprenticeships and experience assessments

Several hundred DWP employees are now CIPD members and have access to the latest research, expertise, and resources to support them in their role. Many more employees are expected to take up membership in the coming year.

"It’s evident that people are at the core of DWP. By strengthening the skills and capability of their people function colleagues will be better able to achieve strategic goals and increase confidence and impact."

Adam Stanbury, Global Head of Employer Solutions, CIPD

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