The campaign for the cHeRries Awards 2017, in association with Robert Gordon University’s Aberdeen Business School and supported by Mattioli Woods, is now in full swing.
Entries are now open to find successes and examples of excellence in the fields of human resources (HR), recruitment and training in the north-east.
The cHeRries is now in its 10 year, and during that decade RGU’s Aberdeen Business School has supported the Blossoming Award, which recognises up-and-coming talent in the field of HR who has yet to study for their professional CIPD HR qualification.
Recipients of this award are unique in that not only do they win the award, they receive a prize of funding from RGU’s Aberdeen Business School to study for their human resource management MSC.
Applicants should note the funding eligibility criteria. If the nominee does not have an undergraduate degree or successful completion of an appropriate access course, they are not eligible for the prize and will, therefore, automatically be discounted.
Anne Stevenson, teaching fellow and the business school’s human resource management group lead, said generous support for the winner was an important aspect of the university’s commitment to the HR profession.
She added: “It is our way of giving something back to the HR community by allowing someone to come and do the course for free.
“It is a thank you from us for the excellent work that our graduates do out there.”
RGU’s Aberdeen Business School has long been a key partner in developing skills for the industry in the north-east. Demand for the course has always been high and the university continues to innovate in order to meet the needs of students and employers.
Ms Stevenson said: “People talk about the HR profession as dealing with people.
“We recognise it is so much more than that; there is a business case as well.
“Having had so many people go through the course over the years, we want more people to be able to undertake that qualification.
“The HR department is there to help provide sustained competitive advantage through the most important resource in the organisation – the people.
“You can have all the machinery in the world, but if you don’t have the right operators, it doesn’t make any difference.
“Because it is the people that make the difference. And we need somebody who knows how to manage the people.”
RGU’s Aberdeen Business School was the first to offer an online programme accredited with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional association for human resource management.
The CIPD qualification is considered as a prerequisite for people who want to go into HR as a profession.
Ms Stevenson, who was herself a winner of the Top Cherry Award in 2015, said: “We are continually improving it to make sure we do three things; meet the requirements of the professional body; provide the sound academic underpinning for the profession; and continually recognising the need for employability.”
The course is currently being redesigned for September 2017 to take students into the “next phase”, ensuring the theory and practice taught meets the requirements of the profession in the future. The university is also “looking at ways to allow people to progress quicker through the part time and online degrees”, Ms Stevenson said.
“We are really responding to the way industry and prospective students want to work,” she added.
Professor Elizabeth Gammie, head of RGU’s Aberdeen Business School, said: “Excellence in any field should be acknowledged and rewarded and Aberdeen Business School are delighted to be able to do this for an exceptional early career HR practitioner, through the Blossoming Award.
“By providing the winner with the opportunity to study for the CIPD approved MSc HRM, this award acknowledges the importance of appropriate academic and professional body courses in increasing the career capital of an individual.”
Marie Linderoth is HR business partner at Sodexo, the catering, life support and remote site facilities management firm.
She won the Blossoming Award in 2015 and found it invaluable to the development of her career in the UK, having studied HR previously in France.
Ms Linderoth said: “I found studying at RGU equally as valuable as winning the cHeRries Award and have learned a lot about HR from a British perspective. I have sometimes been able to transfer my learning to my job, which I found very satisfying.
“Because I recently moved to the UK, I did not understand what the CIPD was. I have now learned about the importance of CPD (continuing professional development) and keeping myself up to date with changes in employment law, HR practices and procedures.
“I have learned a lot about employee motivation and engagement, rewards and benefits, learning and development.”
Laura Cummings, HR supervisor at FIS Chemicals and 2013 Blossoming Award winner, when she worked for Stena Drilling, said: “I was very honoured to have been nominated.
“The company (Stena) was going through a tough transition but I just kept my head down and got on with things, working longer hours and harder than I ever had.
“My efforts were obviously not going unnoticed by my HR Manager. To then go on to win was the best feeling; I was very humbled and proud of myself for what I had achieved.”
Last year’s winner was Abi Mawhirt, head of people and organisational development at Dundee and Angus College, who said: “This prize is of significant monetary and personal value.
“It’s one of the most generous awards prizes I’ve ever come across. To be considered worthy of the nomination and then to win, when the prize was so beneficial to me personally and to my organisation, was like a dream come true.
“Financing the qualification would have been immensely difficult either for myself or my organisation, given the current financial climate, so to be invested in like this through the cHeRries is amazing.”
The nine categories for the 2017 cHeRries Awards are:
Excellent HR Manager, sponsored by Activpayroll
Exemplary Employer of Choice, sponsored by CMS Cameron Mckenna
Extraordinary HR Initiative, sponsored by Nexen Petroleum UK
Fantastic HR Advisor
Finders Keepers Recruitment and Retention
Outstanding HR Director, sponsored by Amec Foster Wheeler
The Blossoming Award, sponsored by Robert Gordon University Aberdeen Business School
Tremendous Training and Development, sponsored by Petrofac
The Top Cherry for Outstanding Contribution, sponsored by Mattioli Woods
Submissions for the awards’ categories are welcome until February 6.
The main event, the cHeRries Awards 2017 take place Thursday June 1 at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
To enter the cHeRries Awards 2017 visit: www.cherriesawards.com