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  • Consultancy and Training Services

    The IPA offers a full range of support services for organisations facing the challenges of change and seeking competitive advantage though workforce engagement
  • Clients

    The IPA works with clients of all sizes and in all sectors
  • Publications

    Case studies, research reports and best practice guides, plus the monthly IPA Bulletin
  • Research

    Underpining the IPA's consultancy and training services with robust research programmes
  • Events

    IPA events are topical, practical and provide a unique networking opportunity. Some are free to attend!

IPA people

IPA people

 Nita Clarke, Director

Director of the IPA since January 2008, Nita has a long career in the trade union and labour movement. She joined COHSE from university in 1976, working for the health union until 1983; after seven years at the GLC/ILEA including four year’s as Ken Livingstone’s press officer she rejoined COHSE in 1992 and was merged into UNISON the following year.  She was press officer and then political officer for UNISON until January 2001 when she joined Downing Street as Tony Blair’s assistant political secretary with responsibility for trade union liaison.

At No 10 Nita was directly involving in establishing important social partnership developments including the transposition of the Information and Consultation Directive, the Woman at Work Commission, the commissions looking at the right to request part-time working, the Turner Pensions Commission and many others.

She was instrumental in securing government support for the groundbreaking two-tier workforce deal and the Cabinet Office guidance on the treatment of staff in contracting; she was also one of the prime movers behind the establishment of the Public Services Forum, bringing together public sector unions and employers and was one of the government nominated members of the PSF. She was particularly involved in the development of the Drive for Change toolkit, which embodies the principles of partnership working. She also ensured that proposal for a Compact, further equalising the treatment of directly and indirectly employed staff, was included in the Warwick Agreement of 2004, and worked on its implementation right up to leaving No 10 in June 2007. 

She was a strong supporter of a social partnership approach to delivering change and reform in public services and supported successive secretaries of state in education and health in developing partnership agreements.

She has an in-depth understanding of the positive role that modern unions and representatives can have in the workplace and a very wide knowledge of the trade union movement as well as business needs.  She has close working links with the TUC and many individual unions as well as the CBI, EEF, Chemical Industries Association and many individual companies

Nita’s report on relations between trade unions and the voluntary sector for the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations was launched in June 2008.

She was vice-chair of the government commissioned MacLeod Review of employee engagement and co-author of the widely praised report Engaging for Success published in July 2009.  She is much in demand as a motivational speaker on employee engagement and positive employee relations.

She has a BA in history and politics and an MA in labour history from Warwick University.  She was a founder board member of the New Opportunities Fund and is the author of London for Beginners (Writers and Readers Press).


Contact Nita: » nita.clarke@ipa-involve.com 


 Derek Luckhurst, Training and Development Director

Derek joined IPA in 2000 responsible and is responsible for the design and delivery of IPA’s training and consultancy services. Previously he was the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union’s National Secretary for Legal & General where he was instrumental in the establishment of a breakthrough partnership agreement, which was signed at L&G in 1997.

He was a key player in developing a framework for flexible working in Legal & General and was responsible for the training of both managers and union representatives in how the concept should work in practice.  A new anti-harassment and bullying procedure was established during his term of office together with improved grievance and disciplinary processes.

At IPA he has developed partnership working clients including for the Inland Revenue, the Audit Commission, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Aintree NHS Trust, Bolton NHS Trust, Devon and Cornwall Housing and Santander.  In conjunction with the workshop, he has written a partnership induction programme specifically tailored for people working on partnership initiatives.  

He is the author of “A Practitioner’s Guide To Sustaining Industrial Partnership” published by the IPA with DTI support in 2004, updated and re-published in 2011. He has also written a number of Handbooks for Employee Representatives, commissioned by Sanctuary Housing, Halfords, BP, Coral Racing and Avon Cosmetics.

Derek has worked with many organisations helping them improve employee relations and engagement, often through developing effective mechanisms for employee voice and training and mentoring high performing employee representatives and managers.  Recent clients include United Welsh, Steria, Standard Life, Bank of Ireland UK Financial Services, Siemens, Pfizer, CBI, BP, City & Guilds, B&Q, Amey, Leonard Cheshire, Pepsico and Coral.

Derek introduced the option-based consultation model for the effective involvement of the representatives of employees - union or non-union - in identifying opinions and influencing the decision making process at a strategic level within organisations. Described by Keith Sisson, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at Warwick Business School as a ‘landmark in UK industrial relations’.

Derek leads the IPA’s influential Best Practice Network and, with them, developed the “15 Strategic Questions” that have proved an essential tool for representatives and senior managers alike. He is also the author of The 5 Key Steps To Employee Engagement, published in 2007, which explores the unique role representatives can play in ensuring staff lose the cynicism that blocks engagement.


Contact Derek: » Derek.luckhurst@ipa-involve.com


 Patrick Briône, Head of Policy & Research

 Patrick joined the IPA in 2016 and he leads on IPA's policy and research work.

He previously worked as director of research at Survation a market research and polling organisation, where he was responsible for the over-seeing of major projects of quantitative and qualitative research.

At the IPA, Patrick's work includes planning, managing and delivering the IPA's research projects, focused on the future of the workplace, employee engagement and social partnership. These are carried out with a variety of clients from trade unions, and public sector organisations to private companies and other charities.

Patricks's work also includes editing the IPA e-bulletin and maintaining the website and social media presence. His role includes providing research support for the IPA's consultancy work and delivering the IPA's policy responses.

Patrick holds a MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Magdalen College Oxford.

 Contact Patrick:» patrick.brione@ipa-involve.com

 Ramya Yarlagadda, Policy & Research Officer

Ramya joined the IPA in 2014. Since joining the IPA she has published Diverse Voices - engaging employees in an increasingly diverse workforce, a major research project looking at  the links between employee engagement and diversity and inclusion.  She has also worked on case studies looking at unconscious bias in the workplace and what can be done to mitigate against it.  Other projects at the IPA include Involvement & Productivity: the missing piece of the puzzle? and work for NHS Employers, LGA, UKCES, and CIPD.  For Acas, she worked on the report and case studies for Going Digital?: harnessing social media for employee voice.    

Before joining IPA, Ramya's projects included a review of Thomson Reuters’ Onboarding programme to transform it as a key strategic tool to improve employee engagement, retention, and reduce resourcing costs.  


As a Project Advisor for Chaitanya Nursing Home in UK and India, Ramya organised rural health care delivery through special programmes in India with collaboration  from national and  international healthcare professionals.  She also worked as a Clinical Consultant – Training and development for the Sevenhills Hospital in India to support a comprehensive clinical service improvement program.


Ramya also has experience as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist where she Led a team of technicians for specimen processing,  for the Institute of Human Genetics, and coordinated a project to implement new laboratory services.  She also developed and implemented a training programme to ensure the competency of laboratory staff.

Contact Ramya:» ramya.yarlagadda@ipa-involve.com


 Sarah Dawson, Business Development & Election Services Manager

Sarah joined the IPA in 1997 and leads on the provision of election services to IPA clients, recently developing an online voting service.  She works with a number of companies to support the development of effective employee voice mechanisms, including B&Q and Pfizer.

Her areas of expertise and responsibility also include designing and running employee surveys on behalf of clients, and project management of major and complex consultancy and research projects, including for the Department of Health, Cabinet Office, Health & Safety Executive and BIS.

Internally, Sarah is the IPA's Quality Manager and successfully led the IPA to achieve ISO9001:2008 registration.

Contact Sarah: » Sarah.dawson@ipa-involve.com


 Lorraine Modeste, Office Manager

Lorraine Modeste is responsible for managing the day to day running of the office and the membership database.  She also provides administrative support for the events programme and more recently managed the administration of the European UKWON project.  Lorraine also provides executive support to the Director and the IPA Executive Committee.

» Lorraine.modeste@ipa-involve.com 


 Joss Anderson, associate

Joss is an HR professional with experience of training and development, in a range of contexts.  She is a qualified and experienced performance coach.


 Willy Coupar, associate

Previously director of the IPA, and instrumental in the ground-breaking Towards Industrial Partnership project, Willy has worked with many organisations helping them work through workplace issues. He was awarded an MBE in the 2005 New Years Honours List for services to business.


Julian Evans, associate

Julian is a mediator with extensive experience of dealing with legal and people disputes, as well as a facilitator and executive coach.  His 27 years' experience has been mainly within the public sector, but also with a range of SMEs.  He was a union representative and head of a large Unison branch for 15 years, whilst also being a senior line manager.  Julian is a triple-accredited mediator and one of only 33 certified mediators in the UK with the International Mediation Institute.  He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a CBT qualified coach, and a Member of the Association for Coaching.


 Jasmine Gartner, senior associate

Jasmine holds a PhD in cultural anthropology and she is an established writer and researcher, and presenter.  She leads on employee engagement for the IPA and has developed the IPA Workforce Engagement Programme ©

 Gary Hoyte, associate

Gary has held director roles in the voluntary sector and the NHS. His consulting work includes HR strategy, operational employment advice, project support, employee relations and policy development in private, public and voluntary enterprises.


 Sue Milsome, associate

A very experienced researcher, writer and editor with a proven track record in employment relations issues, Sue has led many large scale research projects and written for leading publications.


 Andrea Ryland, senior associate

A senior member of the IPA team and an HR professional with over 20 years experience across all sectors, Andrea designs and facilitated a range of IPA training workshops on all aspects of employment relations, consultation and partnership.


 Judith Wardell, associate

Judith has been a key player in the top teams of blue-chip companies through periods of significant strategic and organisational change.

Sarah Welfare, associate

Sarah is an expert in employment policy with strong writing, research and communication skills and a 16 year track record of delivery in workplace policy and practice.