Case Study: Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure - CIMSPA Employer Partners

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Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure are CIMSPA employer partners and advocate the benefits of CIMSPA’s membership. CIMSPA’s partnership team have been working with Parkwood Leisure Ltd, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure, to align and develop our work together.

The following case study explores the immediate impact of our collaborative partnership and considers our future ambitions.
Sue McGrath - HR Director, Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure

Sue McGrath

HR Director

Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure

Q1. Why do Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure, along with other sector employers, value CIMSPA?

“I believe sector employers, like Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure value the role of CIMSPA in driving the improvement of workforce standards, enhancing the career prospects of people working in the industry and providing the resources to make this possible.

CIMSPA has helped steer the sector through its professional standards. It has provided a level of consistency for sector qualifications through its endorsement of awarding organisations and training provider partners. This provides confidence for employers in the ability and knowledge of the workforce. The sector was absolutely in need of this. The senior leadership of CIMSPA has helped to achieve this reality by bringing the right knowledge and expertise in house.

The work of CIMSPA with the professional standards, trailblazer apprenticeship standards, professional development boards and working groups has helped to provide organisations, such as ourselves, with consistency, development and a voice to contribute to the sector.”

Q2. Why do Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure employees and the wider sector value CIMSPA membership?

“CIMSPA has helped employees to realise their potential by creating clear career pathways through its professional standards, professional development opportunities and resources that help members to keep up to date with the changes happening in our sector.

For employees, the value of membership comes through the opportunities for our teams to upskill themselves and take some ownership of their personal development. The CPD available provides members with the chance to try something different, whilst also gaining transferable skills that can be taken forward into any role. This can help employees to see a real future in the sector and helps them to plan their career development.”

Q3. What benefits do you hope the CIMSPA partnership will provide to Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure?

“I believe the CIMSPA partnerships help the sector to be more inclusive and open by encouraging all types of organisations to have a voice. Furthermore, the partnership and work of CIMSPA has given our workforce direction, guidance and the opportunity to be a part of the chartered professional body for our sector. Being part of a professional body offers real value through training and development opportunities. As CIMSPA evolves it will create new opportunities for wider sector engagement and different types of discussions that will help move our sector forward. We want our staff to know they can become a member of CIMSPA and benefit through their own development and the opportunity to contribute to the sector.

The CIMSPA Academy, an e-learning platform accessible to CIMSPA members, has over 1300 CPD courses specific to the sector with many of them certified. For anyone wanting to progress a career in the industry, this is a great platform to have as a resource either for gaining new certified qualifications or just as a continual personal development tool.

The value that membership brings on a day to day basis to a business is not always easily measurable but we all know staff upskilling themselves and accessing these resources will contribute to the improvements within our facilities.”

Q4.What did the partnership process reveal or help the organisation consider?

“I think the process helped us to consider what we are currently offering our employees in terms of ongoing development. It made us realise for those in our managerial roles that we lacked a clear professional development plan. This really made us consider how we are supporting those employees in their career and their role within our business. We needed to communicate more clearly the opportunities available to all employees and the career pathways created by the professional standards of CIMSPA."

Q5. How is Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure using CIMSPA membership/partnership status to improve the development of staff?

“It is our aim to support all our employees to develop professionally in their specific roles and also for their career development within the business. CIMSPA’s work has helped to give our workforce direction and created clearly defined qualifications standards that are sector recognised. Our aim is to keep as many skilled people in our business and support them through their careers. Knowing that the qualifications people hold are set by the sector gives some comfort in understanding the skills individuals hold.

We are very much on board with the apprenticeship programme and with the support of our training partner, Lifetime Training, we very much believe the apprentices of today are the future Centre & General Managers of tomorrow. The more we can do to support them and their career progression, the better our staff retention will be and this will naturally improve our facility operational performance with consistent leadership.

I am currently working with the HR team to identify the best method to make our employees aware of CIMSPA and to encourage our staff to join at the earliest point in their employment so that they can access the resources, industry knowledge, and realise the opportunities available to them in the sector.

The CIMSPA partnership has helped us to consider the development of our whole workforce and this can really only benefit us and our employees moving forward.”

Q6. What would you say to employers that are considering a CIMSPA partnership but are currently undecided?

“Try and work out the value of putting your staff into membership. If someone is considering a long-term career in the sector think about how you can give them the opportunity to gain better skills and knowledge. Joining CIMSPA gives them confidence in their own ability and also helps them to have confidence in the wider sector. As a CIMSPA member they will receive regular updates, skills, knowledge, guidance and support, plus business updates from around the sector.”

Q7. Do you have any further comments you would like to add?

“I believe the appointment of Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA, was fundamental to its success. Her previous role in the sector and her connections were instrumental in getting various sector organisations to buy into the CIMSPA vision and to work together for the benefit of the sector. She took a risk in accepting such a high-profile job at the time, but with her skills and network of long-term sector colleagues, she has really helped to bring the sector together.”

Learn more about Parkwood Leisure, Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure at:

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