Case study

Government agency transformation to professional body

A Government Agency that specialised in training, assessment, examinations and policy was required to change purpose and become a Professional Body as part a decision to reduce quangos.

The Government required the Agency to become a stand-alone Standard Setting body that would eventually evolve into a self-funded membership organisation.

Merielle Ghali, now of MRG Associates, worked alongside the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to bring about the change.

During the six months before the transformation, Merielle examined the legislation necessary for the new body, to implement policy and standards for national Workforce Strategy, for a wide variety of paid and volunteer staff. Merielle proactively reviewed her policy team's skill sets and best fit for new roles, and identified opportunities for team members in the new organisation or negotiated with the parent department to take them, in advance of the transformation to the new organisation. The outcome was that all of Merielle's team were not put at risk of redundancy.

During the transformation, Merielle was responsible for bringing in specialised change expertise, producing FAQs to hold Change team members to account, and opening up dialogue with staff through outreach activities

Merielle’s efforts to drive extensive outreach activities early in the transformation were highly beneficial. She spoke with over 300 people, across the UK, acting as a conduit between the profession, staff in the body, the Change team and the Board. This gave individuals a voice to provide valuable feedback and shape what the new organisation would look like and how it would function.

Facing redundancy herself, Merielle had credibility with colleagues in a similar position, some of whom had been in post for years. Merielle provided support to individuals at a very emotional time, helping them to understand what the change meant for them, and find positive opportunities during a difficult time.

Staff gained confidence in the change process due to Merielle’s outreach activities. Many people said that they appreciated being able to talk with someone ‘real’ and ‘approachable’, which made them feel valued. This made a significant contribution to a new organisation based on feedback, with people bought into the change process.