The Involvement & Participation Association (IPA) and Institute for Employment Studies (IES) are delighted to announce that the two organisations will merge from 1st May. The move will see the IPA team join IES, while continuing to retain their operational independence.

The merger follows a period of the two charities working in partnership towards their shared objective of making the world of work better and seeking improved outcomes for those in work, those out of work and employers. The merged organisation will respect, protect and build upon the long-established history, values and commercial activities of both charities, and will retain charitable status and purpose.

IES and IPA believe the merger will greatly enhance the impact of the work of both organisations: supporting higher participation in work; improving the workplace experience for employees, enhancing productivity and performance; and influencing public policy on workplace and workforce issues. Both have complementary client bases across the public, private and third sector and are considered leaders in the field of employee engagement and voice in the case of the IPA, and HR and workforce research and consulting in the case of the IES. These synergies will enable a wider offer to clients, marrying robust research with practice-based solutions.

IES is a leading centre for applied research, analysis and strategic insight to inform decision-making in HR practice and public policy. IES’s vision is for a future where everyone has the opportunity of good quality, secure and meaningful work; and IES believes that equipping people and employers to achieve this is key to delivering a strong economy, a fair society and a happy and healthy workforce. IES works with a range of partners to try to support this – including governments, professional bodies, employers, academics and those delivering services.

IES services include workforce and HR research and analysis; modelling and forecasting; testing, trialling and impact assessment of workplace interventions; and strategic advice and consultancy in areas including workforce planning, diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing at work and leadership.

IPA is over 100 years old with a long and recognised role in providing high quality services to private, public and voluntary sector employers and local and national governments and their departments. IPA’s services are rooted in a firm belief in the value of proactive workplace involvement and participation in its many guises including employee engagement, employee voice, the good work agenda, diversity and equality and the link to improved productivity in the workplace and the wider economy.

IPA delivers workplace improvement for businesses and workers through a menu of services including consultancy, diagnostic reviews, research and training. IPA is also a leading public advocate of the importance of employee engagement and employee involvement and participation at work. It is a respected and valued voice which has the support of highly regarded businesses, think tanks and trade unions.

Graham Steel, IPA chair of trustees said: ‘The terms of this merger will ensure the IPA will retain its culture and unique combination of services together with its effective flexibility and service agility. These all fit seamlessly with and will add to the highly respected services of IES, creating a new and unrivalled offering covering current and future issues in the world of work.

‘The combining of our two organisations creates a unique opportunity to expand and develop our respective products and services and to create exciting new ones which can improve the capability and productivity of businesses of all types, whilst also enhancing the quality and experience of work for thousands of employees. This is the challenge our two organisations look forward to meeting as one creative and influential voice.’

Director of the IPA Nita Clarke said: ‘I am delighted that the heritage and the ongoing work of the IPA has been secured in this merger. The combined work of IES and the IPA has never been more essential given the challenges the UK labour market faces and the importance of employers understanding and meeting the aspirations of employees for a voice and a positive experience of work.’

Tony Wilson, IES Director, said: ‘We’re really looking forward to welcoming the IPA team to IES. We share so much in common in how we work and the impact that we want to make, but also have complementary skills, offers and markets. So we’re particularly excited by the opportunity that this merger will bring for us to make a bigger impact together than we’re already making separately.’

Key points of the merger

The IPA team will join IES on 1 May. The IPA will retain its operational independence within IES and Nita Clarke will continue as Director and will join the IES senior management team. The full range of IPA services will continue to be offered to clients. Three members of the IPA Executive – Graham Steel (Chair), Linda Gregory (chair of Finance) and Steve Elliott (Director of the Chemical Industries Association) will join the IES Board, and other former members of the IPA Executive will continue as an advisory panel for the IPA operation.