CSR Academy stirs again as Shillito takes leading roleFebruary 2008
Signs of new life at the CSR Academy have emerged with the appointment of a former corporate responsibility consultant to head the organization.
Toby Shillito will lead the academy in its new incarnation at Business in the Community, which he has joined as a director after four years as a freelance consultant.
The academy, established by the UK government in 2004 to promote training, was run by the Department of Trade and Industry until it became inactive in 2006. Ministers decided to hand it over to Bitc last spring (EP9, issue 1, p3). The last time the Academy had any staff was in mid-2006, when project director Andrew Dunnett left to become director of the Vodafone Group Foundation.
Shillito will now be responsible for charting policy for the academy, which at its height ran masterclasses and regional events for more than 300 subscribing companies.
However, he will not be spending all his time on the academy, as he is also responsible for overseeing Bitc’s Corporate Responsibility Index and members’ advisory services. He will be supported by one part time administrator. ‘Over the coming weeks we need to look at what resources we have and what we can do with them,’ Shillito told EP. ‘Working with external partners will be crucial, and we have already had a lot of interest from various quarters.’
Organizations likely to be involved in providing new training options are the Association of Business Schools, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. However, Shillito hinted that some existing Bitc training programmes could be brought under the academy umbrella. ‘We already offer about a dozen training courses which may be a stepping stone into the academy,’ he said.
The academy’s website recently advertised a one-day introductory course on CSR, but the event is a Bitc programme, not one devised by the academy.
The academy was the UK government’s flagship corporate responsibility project, but quickly fell out of favour. It passed to Bitc with a £25,000 ($50,000) dowry.
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