Company profile

Founded in 1999, Workplace Skills Solutions t/a The Institute of People Development (IPD) strives to equip, prepare and certify practitioners in order to serve South Africa's skills development strategy as well as facilitating the transformation of education and training. Over the years, IPD has become the preferred people development partner to most state owned and private enterprises in Southern Africa.

The company was originally 100% owned by a non-profit trust with 50% black management and 50% black ownership. However, this structure no longer benefits the company and a new structure is currently being developed. In terms of the new structure, 20% of the company shares will be owned by an employee controlled trust. IPD firmly believes in maintaining compliance with South Africa's affirmative action and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment requirements, and thus the company's Employment Equity objective remains at 60% black.

Initially, IPD provided SDF Training but the company soon expanded its service offering to include all accredited Learning and Development training courses, as well as full NQF level four and five qualifications. In 2005 IPD added a Higher Certificate, NQF level six qualification to its stable and instituted a policy of Recognition of Prior Learning of all qualifications. As the company continued to grow, it began offering consulting services in the Learning and Development in 2008. In line with this new offering, IPD began hosting breakfast seminars offering continuous development learning interventions. Directors Mark Orpen and Gizelle McIntyre currently drive the business, and have defined the core business of IPD in 2013 as; accredited training, specialist consulting and alumni support services.

IPD's directors attribute its success to constant innovation in the Learning and Development sector, a long standing and reliable brand image, strong business architecture and professional service delivery. The company's unique selling proposition is that it manages the outsourcing of specialist consulting and facilitation in excellence, while the IPD curriculum remains well conceptualised and ahead of evolving market needs and trends. IPD's clients regard its long range views, diverse philosophies, collaborative partnership approach, academic credibility and industry relevance as both useful and valuable.

Focus areas for growth within the business from 2013 to 2018 include its specialist consulting business and its alumni support services business. Through this growth strategy, IPD aims to be well prepared for the opportunities that will arise when the expected shifts in the quality assurance regime are implemented in South Africa, which is estimated to occur in the year 2020. In addition to the above, IPD's further goals for the next five years are to increase turnover to R15 million per annum with 35% of this being net profit before tax and by doing so, to position the company for investors' interest. IPDs directors also strive to gain five strategic customer contracts of more than three years each, to develop a client base that is made up of 50% Government sector and 50% private sector clients, to build the company's staff compliment to 10 permanent staff and generally to improve on all service offerings, management and processes where possible. The company's immediate goals include maintaining its current position as market leader.