High-profile private sector scandals over the past year have brought to light poor decision-making and raised key ethical issues for UK businesses. Yet similarly, the public sector despite a greater reliance on codes of ethics and its focus on public service has similarly been rocked by appalling management failures. As a result, the public sector is now struggling to maintain the public’s trust, as poor management practices are costing tax payers, and tarnishing the sector’s reputation.

We’ve seen this pattern of ongoing errors and lapses in judgment being repeated within a number of public sector organisations recently. The West Coast main line procurement fiasco is a prime example which has demonstrated a failure of policy, process and adequate management, resulting in stakeholders and tax-payers from across the country suffering the adverse effects.

Beyond the £40 million price tag to reimburse companies in the original bid, ministers are reported to have spent £1 million preparing to potentially take charge of the West Coast main line before handing it back over to Virgin and valuable time in Parliament was spent debating the issue as a result of an e-petition with over 100,000 signatures. No government can afford for an issue of their own creation to mobilise such a vast amount of very public condemnation.

These recent revelations are a firm indictment of the consequences of poor management, and individuals are starting to take notice. New research from CMI’s report Professionalising Management: the impact of Chartered Manager suggests managers are seeking to demonstrate their professionalism by attaining Chartered status. In fact, 97 per cent of those are doing so in order to build professional recognition.

At a time when trust in the sector has been rocked by scandals in some of its key organisations, the sector needs managers who are committed to high standards and proper quality assurance. Chartered Manager is a seal of approval for managers, showing that they are committed to the highest standards of integrity and have a proven ability to make decisions to the benefit of the economy and citizens of the UK.

When we are all challenged to deliver more for less, employers and individual public sector managers need to look again at how to deliver better results. We all face a tough operating environment. Developing managers who work to world-class standards means they have the skills needed to implement and oversee quality processes free of poor oversights.

The Author

Petra Wilton, CMI’s Director of Strategy & External Relations