5 minutes with... Jason Davenport
What is your role at the CIPP?
I am a member-elected non-executive director (NED) with the CIPP which is an incredibly exciting role. As a member of the board, I do my best to support its direction and decision-making. As a NED my role is to ensure the Institute delivers value for money through its membership, and is at the forefront of training and qualifications and thought-leadership. In addition, it is essential the CIPP places welfare of all payroll, pensions and reward professionals at the top of its agenda — and leads the way for members past, present and future.
Can you give us an insight into your background?
I am a family man — married to my wonderful wife Louise and have three children, Gabrielle, Charlotte and Patrick. I began my career in the construction industry and was involved in payroll right from day one as an office junior. In those days, payroll was prepared manually — no computer systems and the manager did not allow us to use a calculator until we had proved our numeracy skills. Handling cash and building pay packets was all part of the weekly wage cycle.
It was during this time, having studied Association of Accounting Technicians' and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' qualifications, I realised in order to rise to the top of the profession I would have to consider a career outside of construction — where engineers and surveyors would typically end up at C-suite (i.e. (chief) level). I then joined CMG to head up the managed payroll operation based close to Salford, Manchester. This was a fantastic experience and led to my first promotion within an executive role, as associate director responsible for services to payroll clients.
Where would you like to see the CIPP in five years from now?
I would like to ensure that all the programmes being delivered are still relevant, market leading and delivering exactly what the students need to take them to the next level. In addition, I want to ensure employers are kept compliant and can see the value of having professionally accredited employees to keep them aligned and informed in our ever-changing industry. I would also hope to see the pensions and reward arm of the Institute expand further as employee benefits become an integral part of winning the war in recruiting future talent. Finally, I would expect that our events team continue to be coveted by other institutes for their excellence.
What does the future hold for payroll departments?
As technology moves forward at an incredible pace, so to is the volume of data available to payroll, pensions and reward professionals. Harnessing all this data is becoming increasingly important in order to provide analytical insights for executives within businesses to make key strategic decisions.How important is outsourcing within the payroll industry? Outsourcing has an incredibly important role to play in the industry. Technology within outsourcing is constantly changing and providing increasing efficiency to make payroll easier, faster and more globally accessible. And that's why outsourcing is a significant contributor towards making payroll, pensions and reward departments so highly commended.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
I have had many great enjoyable years in the industry. Seeing young stars grow in confidence, develop and step forward and take up senior positions has been incredibly rewarding. Having had the opportunity to work across the globe, mentoring and supporting colleagues in cities from as far west as San Francisco, across much of Europe and as far east as Mumbai and Manila, has enriched my career. In addition, being able to speak to graduates and their families as they receive their diploma and share their magic moment has been incredibly rewarding. A very recent high was being promoted to chief operating officer for Capita HR Solutions, which is a business I am very proud to be leading.
What do you do in your free time to unwind?
Most of my free time is spent with my family. The best of times are always had sharing the simplest of pleasures, such as long lazy walks on a Sunday afternoon and a meal. I also enjoy watching Patrick play rugby, supporting Charlotte in her dancing events and doing my best to help Gabrielle with her A-levels.