The awards were delivered by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, in partnership with People Management magazine. As well as celebrating the outstanding achievement of those working within the people profession, the awards also highlight the valuable contribution that HR and L&D professionals make to the overall success of an organisation. 

Divided into 19 separate categories, the awards were open to all types of organisation regardless of their size or sector. Specsavers emerged as overall winners for their highly successful Apprenticeship Scheme, Grow Our Own, which clearly demonstrated how an organisation can utilise the apprenticeship levy to their strategic advantage. Following an increase in investment in apprenticeships after the introduction of the levy, Specsavers became the sole provider for the advanced apprenticeship in spectacle making. They also positioned their apprenticeships as a dedicated team at the heart of their global people and organisation functions. The judges were also impressed by their positive recruitment process, which ensured that apprentices were hired from a diverse range of ethnic and social backgrounds. Overall, Specsavers’s commitment to integrating apprentices into every aspect of the business, and the breadth of opportunities available to people from all backgrounds, epitomised the qualities of a successful apprenticeship scheme. 

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive, CIPD, said: “It was fantastic to bring so many dedicated people professionals together to celebrate the successes of a wide range of HR and L&D initiatives. Across all of the categories, the standard of entries has continued to rise, with each of the winners showcasing innovative and effective people management and development practices. Critically, we continue to see the link between these initiatives and the positive impact they have on people at work as well as bringing about positive outcomes for their wider business.

“For our overall winner, this year we were looking for an initiative that has exemplified great practice, and shown the many different ways in which we, as a profession, shape organisations and their outcomes. The Specsavers apprenticeship scheme brought all of this together, providing an impressive range of opportunities for apprentices in different areas of the organisation, and also at a variety of skill levels. Through this scheme, Specsavers has shown how much organisations can benefit through investing in skills, and how talent-pipelines can be secured well into the future. They should be very proud of their work, and we congratulate them and all of our other winners”. 

Mike Beesley from headline sponsor Resource Management, said: “We’re so proud to have been sponsors for the fourth year running for the CIPD People Management Awards. The evening is always a pleasure as we come together to celebrate the best in the L&D and HR industries - and the 2018 awards were no exception! Congratulations to all those who won and who were nominated, the bar was set incredibly high. We hope that you found the evening as inspirational as we did, with the variety of nominees and the high calibre of initiatives, it’s definitely something to look up to. Thank you to the CIPD for another successful hosting of the People Management Awards, we can’t wait for next year.”

In addition to the overall winner, awards were given to the winners of each category, as chosen by an expert panel of judges:

Best apprenticeship scheme - Specsavers

Best change management initiative - Yorkshire Building Society Group 

Best coaching and mentoring initiative - London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Best digital initiative in HR/L&D - Office for National Statistics

Best diversity and inclusion initiative - Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure 

Best employee engagement initiative - Harvester

Best health and well-being initiative - CGI 

Best HR/L&D consultancy - Executive Life Coaching

Best HR/L&D supplier - SSCL

Best international HR initiative - ODEON Cinemas Group 

Best L&D initiative, private sector - Greencore Group

Best L&D initiative, public/third sector - Mersey Care Foundation Trust

Best recruitment and talent management initiative - Fujitsu

Best reward or recognition initiative - Exertis UK 

Best skills-based volunteering initiative - Network Rail

Best SME people management initiative (<250 employees) - Today Team

HR/L&D team of the year - University of London

Michael Kelly outstanding student award, intermediate and foundation level – Tom Sherry, Forrest Holidays

Michael Kelly outstanding student award, advanced level - Keith Houston, Allstate

The headline sponsor was Resource Management and category sponsors were Willis Towers Watson, Cascade, Investors in People, Mindful Education, Reed Talent Solutions and Henley Business School. 

For more information on this year’s winners, visit: article text here

If you wish to reproduce this press release in full on your website, please link back to the original source.

CIPD Media Centre

an interview

To get a fresh, evidence-based perspective from one of our expert commentators – on this or any other workplace issue – please contact our press team on +44(0)20 8612 6400 or

Callout Image

Championing better work and working lives

About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.