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Join our pioneering programme to boost HR in the boardroom

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HR magazine has tied up with Steve Tappin, personal confidant to FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 CEOs, and Wayne Clarke, one of the founders of Best Companies to Work For, to launch a pioneering boardroom development programme for HR directors.

The year-long HR in the Boardroom programme is designed to help HR directors have more impact at the board. It combines one-to-one coaching with practical sessions, peer learning, networking and additional course materials.

The launch follows research from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that finds chief executives and chief financial officers want HR to be involved at the highest level of planning yet do not consider HR to be a key player in strategic planning. One third believe HR directors do not understand the business well enough.

According to the EIU: "HR leaders can strengthen their bond with the C-suite by fostering a personal relationship with them, cultivating the chemistry of the senior management team and finding opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of the business."

Meanwhile, recent research from executive search organisation Mullwood Partnership finds 63% of HR leaders want to move beyond their role while one-fifth believe creative people leadership is the biggest change in reshaping the role of CEO.

HR magazine publisher Siân Harrington said the time was right for such a programme: "Employers spend billions of pounds a year on training yet little of this is invested in the development of HR directors. We want to bridge the gap between what HR directors and CEOs want.

"We believe we need the best CEO and engagement experts to help us with this, so have gone outside our industry to secure global mentors to CEOs and boards."

As well as personal confidant to the CEOs of some of the largest, fastest-growing and most successful companies in the world, Tappin, CEO of Xinfu, is the author of the best seller The New Secrets of CEOs- 200 global CEOs on business, life and leadership and writes for the magazine Fortune China, Harvard Business Review and presented BBC World Service documentary series CEO Guru. He is also an expert in China.

Clarke, founding partner of The Global Growth Institute, is an engagement expert, having advised 300 CEOs, HRDs and boards around the world He is also a United Nations JCI ambassador and chair of the UK Government's taskforce on international engagement.

HR in the Boardroom will cover topics including connecting with the CEO, becoming a confidant to the Board and non executive directors, hard to shift the quality of leadership across the organisation and becoming an influential HR leader. The inaugural programme will feature 30 specially invited HR leaders.

Tanith Dodge, HR director of Marks and Spencer; Vanessa Evans, group HR director of RSA Insurance; Jabbar Sardar, director of HR and OD at Cafcass; and Darren Hockaday, HR director of LOROL, are among the first to sign up.

"As we continue to operate in an ever more complex and changing economic and regulatory environment, this programme is vital to ensure the HR function is fully conversant and aligned to the needs of the CEO and organisation as a whole.

"This type of programme, aimed at commercial senior HR leaders, is well overdue," says Evans.

Sardar added: "This programme is unique and highly relevant in today's environment. Organisations are seeking greater engagement, involvement and ultimately outstanding performance from the most expensive resource any of us have - our staff. In this context, the role HR plays is crucial and the programme brings together the best HR directors, as well mentoring and support from world-class coaches. This has the benefit of supporting wider HR professional transformation. HR directors are keen to ensure everyone else receives development and support - now it's an opportunity for us to practice what we preach."

For more information on the inaugural programme please contact HR publisher Siân Harrington directly on sian.harrington@markallengroup.com or call her on 020 7501 6710.