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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
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    The IPA works with clients of all sizes and in all sectors
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    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
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    IPA events are topical, practical and provide a unique networking opportunity. Some are free to attend!



The IPA conducts research in order to challenge and develop thinking on the future of the workplace, and in particular the engagement, involvement and participation of employees. Our research supports our training and consultancy and contributes to the public debate about good work.

The IPA runs in-house research projects and also collaborates with others. Our major research publications are available here. As well as undertaking large public research projects, we also provide bespoke research services for clients and members of the IPA.

The IPA's recent research projects

Below are a selection of the IPA's recent research. For more information on our research programme, and how the IPA's research can support your organisation, contact the head of policy and research Patrick Brione.

Meeting the Challenge - Successful Employee Engagement in the NHS

The IPA was comissioned by the Healthcare People Managers Association and NHS Employers to look at employee engagement in the NHS. We conducted eight in-depth case studies with high-performing NHS Trusts, looking at their approach to engaging with their employees. The report, published in 2014, sets out the benefits of employee engagement in the NHS, and the approaches associated with high levels of engagement. 

You can download a copy of the report here.

Delivering through Partnership - Community the Union


The IPA was commissioned in 2013 by Community to highlight its approach to working in partnership with employers in order to deliver sustainable benefits to their members. The report features case studies of four employers Community works with. 

You can download a copy of the report  here.

Releasing Voice for Sustainable Business Success 


The IPA and Tomorrows Company undertook a major research project in 2012 looking at employee voice in the modern workplace. The project, funded by a consortium of six employers, looked at the benefits of employee voice, and the approaches employers needed to take in order to promote voice in their organisation. 

You can download a copy of the initial report 'Rethinking Employee Voice' here. The final report, 'Releasing Voice for Sustainable Business Success' is available here.


Ensuring High Quality Public Service; recognising the role of the workforce in the future of outsourcing


The IPA was commissioned by UNISON, Compass Group, Serco and the Centre for Public Service Partnerships to undertake research and publish a report on the role of the workforce in delivering high quality public services, particularly in services which have been outsourced.

The report, publishedi n 2010, includes a number of best practice priciples for involving the workforce in designing, commissioning, procuring and delivering public services.

You can download a copy of the report

 NHS Foundation Trust Governance Report: Staff Governors


In 2009 the IPA was commissioned by the Foundation Trust Network to undertake research into the development and practice of the staff governor role within NHS foundation trusts. The report discusses the findings of the research and includes a number of recommendations to improve the impact of staff governors.

You can download a copy of the report


  Partnership at HBOS


Partnership working was well established at HBOS bank, and in 2007 the organisation signed a unique partnership agreement with its union, Accord.

This case study charts the impact of the partnership across the business, including during the financial crisis of 2008 and the acquisition of HBOS by Lloyds TSB to form the new Lloyds Banking Group

You can download a copy of the
report here.


Cabinet Office: Public Services Forum Learning and Skills Task Group


Learning and Skills in Adult Social Care


In 2008 The IPA was commissioned to undertake research into learning and skills in the adult social care sector. Raising skills of the public services workforce is a key element of the Government's approach to public services reform.

This study examines the extent to which adult social care employers are currently using the available workforce development tools of Train to Gain, the Skills Pledge and Apprenticeships to improve workforce skills and career pathways in the adult social care workforce, and the role of the trade unions in supporting this goal. It also considers the impact of the personalisation of adult social care services which are currently taking place as part of the Government’s move to personalise public services as a key strand of public service reform.

You can download a copy of the report here

  NHS Social Partnership Review


The IPA conducted the first annual indepent review of the NHS' Social Partnership Forum (SPF), completed in autumn 2008. 

The revitalising of social partnership arrangements in the NHS through the publication of the Partnership Agreement in March 2007 and the establishment of the revised Social Partnership Forum, was a major step forward for the Department of Health, NHS employers and NHS trade unions in coming to grips wtih the implications for the workforce of change and reform in the NHS.

You can read a copy of the report here.

 ACEVO: The Way Ahead - Trade Unions and the Third Sector


The IPA was asked to conduct research and make recommendations to strengthen the relationship between unions and the third sector. This report assesses the current relationship between the two parties and outlines the potential for a step-change in dialogue.

Some of the report's recommendations include:

• Acevo should work with stakeholders to develop a national strategy for improving HR and  ER as a matter of priority
• Individual unions should re-examine their “offers” to third sector employees to ensure they reflect the variety of their aspirations and needs
• Unions and the third sector should consider together those issues on which a joint approach to government would pay dividends
• Government should signal its support for engagement between unions and the third sector, and facilitate dialogue towards this end

You can purchase a copy of the report
here by visiting the ACEVO website.