Aspiring Group HRD

Business and People Strategy and Performance

CRF Learning: Aspiring Group HRD

  • September 16 - 17 2024
  • London, United Kingdom

This programme is taking place in-person. The cost to attend is £9,500 (+VAT) for CRF members and £19,000 (+VAT) for non-members.

CRF, and our sister organisation Strategic Dimensions, have been listening to HRDs and CEOs for over 20 years about what they want from an effective HR leader and their function. This gives us a unique insight into the role of a ‘board-level HRD’ and what differentiates the great from the average.

Building on CRF’s exclusive research and experience, this programme delivers a highly-tailored learning experience. It will help experienced HR professionals take the next step in becoming a Group HRD, or become more effective having recently moved into the role. Participants will be able to shape the content of the course to suit their development requirements.

Benefits of Attending
Incorporating the insights of current board-level HRD’s, we will deliver a programme tailored to develop participants capability in the areas most required. A great HR function builds people and organisational capability to deliver business strategy. CEOs expect their HR leaders to have functional expertise, but also require their HRD to be a commercially focused business leader.

Book your place to benefit from:

  • Support in making the transition into a board or executive team HRD role, within a FTSE listed or similar size organisation
  • The tools and skills required to move beyond your core HR role and become a holistic business leader
  • An alumni network of peers and experts to support you through your career
  • The ability to deliver external business insights to ensure you become an effective HRD
  • Sustained development through a six-month programme of learning, implementation, reflection and analysis

Who Should Attend?
This programme is suited to those looking to progress to Group HRD roles. Candidates will likely already be HRDs of a business unit, region or function or Centre of Excellence (CoE) Leaders. It is also recommended for newly appointed Group HRDs looking to increase their effectiveness.

There are limited enrolment slots, in order to facilitate a supportive learning environment. The 2022 cohort was comprised of two HR Directors, a Global Head, a VP, and four departmental Heads.

If you are interested in taking part and would like to discuss further, contact Melissa Bull at

The cost of the programme is £8,000 (+VAT) for CRF members and £15,000 (+VAT) for non-members.

Programme Dates

  • Module One: 19 – 20 September
  • Module Two: 15 – 16 November
  • Module Three: 16 – 17 January 2024

Module One
DAY 1: Setting the Scene
The programme will involve inputs from an unrivalled panel of senior practitioners and experts, including business and HR leaders, headhunters. governance experts and futurologists. The first day will cover conversations including:

  • Setting the scene: A manifesto for business-focused HR
  • The view from FTSE Group HRDs: “What I wish I’d known”
  • The executive search view: “What have we seen that’s worked and what hasn’t?”
  • The RemCo view: The strategic compensation and RemCo elements of the role
  • The Future of HR: The impact of technology on the workforce and the implications for HR.


  • Reflection and individual presentations based on a personal 360 assessments and the inputs from day one
  • Synthesis of common and individual learning themes
  • Planning the way forward as a team
  • Individual commitments.

Modules Two and Three

  • Four days of tailored sessions, based on the common themes identified in module one, delivered by senior practice area experts from our network of associates.
  • Two networking dinners with guest speakers including an experienced CEO and Chair.
  • We will establish a WhatsApp group to network, and will prompt conversation with daily insights.
  • There will be additional opportunities to benefit from coaching, mentoring and a mock interview for a Group HRD role from one of our search Directors.

The programme is designed around participant needs, therefore the details of these sessions will emerge after the first module.

Programme Faculty

Nick Holley

Director, CRF Learning

Nick Holley as Director of CRF Learning has responsibility to provide development for HR teams and senior professionals. Prior to joining CRF, Nick spent 10 years at Henley Business School where he was a visiting professor and Director of the Centre for HR Excellence. He has developed and delivered HR capability programmes for organisations across the UK and Europe, and internationally.

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Gillian Pillans

Research Director, Corporate Research Forum

Gillian has worked as a senior HR practitioner and OD specialist for several organisations including Swiss Re, Vodafone and BAA. Prior to her HR career, she was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting and is also a qualified solicitor. Gillian has written various CRF reports on subjects including HR strategy, organisation design and development, leadership development, coaching and diversity.

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Phil Wills

Independent Consultant and Associate Director, PARC

Phil Wills advises and assists PARC in the development of its programme of events. His previous corporate roles included Global Head of Reward for Reed Elsevier (RELX), for ICI, and for Diageo. Since 2010 he has established an independent consultancy business to provide strategic reward support, focused on the delivery of business strategy and organisational performance. His other major focus is as coach to newly appointed (or aspiring) Corporate HR Directors on all areas of reward strategy and delivery (including incentive plan design and corporate governance effectiveness).

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