CEO roundup - news from “out on the road”

Although the Christmas break and the end of 2015 is on the horizon, there’s no let up in the pace of action here at CIMSPA, with our CEO Tara Dillon on the road for several days each week – making the case for what a strong chartered institute can do for our sector and the wider public health agenda. Tara hasn’t quite been to all points of the compass, but she’s had a go! Here’s a quick overview of how the last few weeks has shaped up.

Sporta Scotland CEO Forum


With the sport, leisure and culture trust sector vibrant and growing in Scotland, it was a real pleasure for Tara to be invited to the Sporta Scotland CEO forum at the end of October by their Chairman Andrew Bain. The day was very much a “listening brief” – Scotland of course has a distinct identity for its vocational qualifications and apprenticeships which CIMSPA will take account of in its “offer” North of the border. A key initial goal is to recruit the heads of Sporta trusts into membership and this is what our regional officer team are now working on.

Midlands board meeting


Under the leadership of chair Adam Hill, CIMSPA Midlands is working hard to offer local members better services. So, it was a real success when the diaries aligned perfectly and Tara was able to attend their regional management board meeting on 3 November, here at CIMSPA’s home base at Loughborough University.



The ukactive “Summit” each November is now firmly fixed in the sector’s calendar, and Tara was again invited to present on the day. This continuity had a satisfying payoff for CIMSPA as the issues we were talking about in 2014 have become concrete actions she was able to share with the audience. These included a complete buy-in from employers on our workforce development ambitions, the first sections of the skills matrix, and government approval of the sector’s first two apprenticeships standards.

Speaking with Tara was Rob Johnson, managing director at Future Fit Training, whose “raising the bar” report homes in on the frustrations employers have with the current training landscape. This research confirms what most suspected, and is a vindication of the path CIMSPA chose in late 2013 to put standards setting in training at the top of its agenda.

Ulster University sports industry fair


A week later, Tara was in Northern Ireland, for the Ulster University sports industry fair.

CIMSPA had a strong showing on the day, with regional officer Jordana Buckley and the national management board all involved, as well as Tara onstage for a keynote presentation.

Better Games


November 17 saw Tara visit CIMSPA partner GLL on one of the biggest dates in their calendar – the 10th Better Games, with 750 over-55s competing in nine sports at the London’s Copper Box Arena. The games are a tangible product of GLL’s commitment to lifelong physical activity for the communities they serve, and we would like to thank GLL for this invitation.

The day also gave Tara the opportunity meet with GLL chief executive and CIMSPA fellow Mark Sesnan, to share the latest developments in our work, and to discuss our ongoing partnership working with one the UK’s biggest sport and leisure employers.

BUCS education and workforce development group


The following day saw Tara back in London meeting with British Universities and Colleges Sport. Tara sits on their workforce development group whose current focus is shaping the future workforce education strand of their sports strategy. This relationship is a real positive for CIMSPA as BUCS are forward thinking, ambitious and take investing in their staff and succession planning very seriously. BUCS are a sizeable employer in the sector, so we’re very happy to assist them in aligning their plans with the pathways CIMSPA is creating.

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