MSB Consultancy and Achieve Breakthrough win award

06 October 2015 3 min. read

HR and people development association CIPD distributed eighteen awards last week to top performing HR organisations, with two of them going to consultancies. MSB Consultancy scooped the ‘Best HR / L&D supplier’ award, while Achieve Breakthrough was for the second time in three years named the country’s best ‘Best HR / L&D consultancy’.

Every year the CIPD*, a UK based professional body for HR and people development, organises two award competitions. The ‘Recruitment Marketing Awards’ provide recognition for excellence and professionalism in recruitment marketing and talent management, while the ‘People Management Awards’ reward organisations that excel in human capital management.


Last week, during a glittering awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, the winners of the 2015 CIPD People Management Awards were unveiled. More than 1,000 guests from the UK's top HR teams and their clients attended the event. The awards, which was organised in partnership with People Management Magazine, were open to all types of organisation, regardless of size or sector and this year saw a record number of entries. Out of the in total eighteen categories, two were awarded to consulting firms.

The ‘Best HR / L&D supplier’ award went to MSB Consultancy, an Ascot based consultancy specialised in management advisory and training & development. The firm was founded in 1988 by Don Porter and Brian Hamill, who both still serve as Managing Directors. Since the firm has grown to a team of 17 consultants and associates, and besides growth MSB Consultancy in recent years also featured in a number of consulting sector and industry awards. In the case of the CIPD award, MSB Consultancy scooped first prize for a project with London Eye, one of MSB's longstanding clients**. The project entailed a training employee engagement programme for managers and staff, with the key result higher visitor satisfaction, fewer customer complaints and enhanced levels of employee engagement.


Commenting on the award, MSB co-Managing Directors say they are “delighted” with the award, adding “MSB would like to thank and congratulate our friends at the London Eye for being part of the awards nomination process, and also the CIPD for hosting a hugely successful and enjoyable Awards Night.”

The second award that went towards the consulting industry – Best HR / L&D consultancy – was scooped by Achieve Breakthrough, a Bath based consultancy. Achieve Breakthrough was established by Mike Straw in 2003, and today it’s expanded to over 30 consultants. The advisory helps organisations raise their professionalism through transformation programmes and culture change initiatives, serving clients across sectors, including FMCG (PepsiCo, Diageo), pharmaceuticals (Novartis, AstraZeneca), financial services (Amex, Lloyds TSB), healthcare (NHS Trusts) public sector (Councils, TfL) and technology (Microsoft, Oracle).


Mike Straw, founder and CEO of Achieve Breakthrough, describes the recognition as the “highest honour” the firm could possibly receive from the professional body for HR and people development, in his view illustrating the effectiveness of the transformational work performed for both domestic and global organisations. “We have been providing global organisations with new ways of thinking and acting to deliver better business and people performance since our inception, so it’s a real honour to be awarded the CIPD Consultancy of the Year.” For Straw it was the second time in three years he was called up on stage to receive the prize – in 2013 Achieve Breakthrough was also heralded as the best performer by CIPD’s jury.

* The CIPD acronym stands for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The

** Within the last year, MSB’s training and development team held training sessions for all 350 of the London Eye’s staff, including: Leadership training to give managers the skills to get the best from their team, customer service training for customer-facing staff, reinforcing the London Eye’s brand identity and values across the business.