A jolly honorary fellow: Derek awarded prestigious IRP accolade

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Serocor Group’s Learning and Development Manager, Derek Goff has received an IRP Honorary Fellowship from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) on the same night that Serocor won Advocate Company of the Year.

The fellowship, which entitles Derek to use HonFIRP after his name, is the highest accolade awarded by the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP), the REC body which represents the staffing and recruitment industry. So prestigious is this award, that only 24 individuals have had it bestowed on them since the initiative was launched – and no more than two receive the title in any one year. Derek, along with Alison Humphries of Recruitment Leadership, number 25 and 26 respectively.

The IRP Honorary Fellowship, in the REC’s own words, recognises ‘people who have made a particular contribution to the recruitment profession’ and is awarded entirely at the discretion of the REC’s elected council.   

Announced in a VIP ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London prior to the gala awards event, the honour tops off a great year for Derek, which saw him celebrate a milestone birthday. “To be awarded the Honorary Fellowship after 20 years in the industry and at the end of my 50th year is a complete joy for me personally and summarises the amazing opportunities I have been afforded, and my determination to do the best job I can,” he says.

A winning attitude

Derek has enjoyed a solid career in L&D, recently celebrating his 11th anniversary with Serocor and prior to which he spent nine years as a recruiter. His commitment is clear; after what he admits was ‘two years’ hard graft’, Derek gained his Diploma for Teaching Lifelong Learning, a qualification which gave him the skills necessary to progress to ‘a different level of training and development other than the basic delivery of content,’ and which differentiates him from other trainers.

Among his other proud achievements, Derek cites when Serocor won the IRP People Development in Business award in 2009.

“This was the first award we had won specifically for training and development,” Derek explains. “We went on to win that award twice more, as well as Best Company to Work For and Advocate Company of the Year – twice.”  

It hasn’t always been easy, of course. He recalls sighing with relief when he got the industry’s apprenticeship qualifications over the line after chairing the Trailblazer Employer Panel for 48 months. “This was one of the hardest things I had to master,” he says, “as I had no previous experience working with such senior, talented and well-qualified colleagues on the panel and with government goal posts constantly on the move.” 

Serocor IRP award

And that wasn’t the only IRP success of the night…

It was in no small part due to Derek that the Serocor Group itself was a winner too at the 2018 IRP Awards. Considered as going ‘above and beyond’ by running impressive mentoring, volunteering and apprenticeship initiatives, Serocor won Advocate Company of the Year (again), demonstrating commitment for ‘supporting staff development and professional growth’.

The judges commented on how the Group’s ‘professional development opportunities to staff enable them to conduct a professional and ethical approach’ to recruitment – initiatives which are often headed up by Derek.

Reflecting on the double-win, Derek said: “I love the environment we work in and I feel privileged to have a small impact on how people develop their careers.

“I have had enormous support from Serocor and the IRP and am very aware of the personal and professional development opportunities that have been passed my way.”

Naturally, the entire Group is thrilled about both results, but especially so for Derek, who remains one of the most popular characters in the office. Speaking about the award, Mike Gawthorne, Serocor Group CEO said: “This is an amazing accolade for Derek and a fitting recognition of all his hard work and discretionary effort he has put in towards supporting the REC and the wider industry.

“I’m very proud to have been able to work with Derek for over 10 years now, and in that time his passion and drive for best practice and development of recruitment professionals has only increased. He is an asset to the industry, our group and I’m proud to be a colleague of his.”

To discover more about the awards or Serocor Group’s association with the REC/ IRP, please get in touch.