Meet the Team - Katherine Bunting, Director of Education & Professional Development

Katherine was appointed in April and joins IPEM with over 15 year’s experience working in the Professional Institutions. She is leading on promoting CPD for members and developing the educational offering for the profession. To find out more about her role and what led her to IPEM, we have asked her a few questions.


Tell us about what has led you here, what experience did you have prior to joining IPEM?

Prior to joining IPEM I spent 11 years working for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) where I most recently was the Head of Professional Development.  There I worked at a strategic level leading their CPD, Learning and Development, Initial Professional Development and Mentoring.  Previously I had led their Academic Accreditation provision and been Head of Volunteer Support.  Throughout my time at the IET I have been involved with several Engineering Council, Royal Academy and other external committees

Which elements of your job do you like the most?

I enjoy speaking to our members and volunteers and discovering more about the work that they do.  This helps me to shape the plans we have for our training and make sure that the professional development we offer is fit for purpose and changes with the workforce.  I also enjoy a challenge and look forward to continuing the work to demonstrate the public value of CPD, helping our sector not just to continue to grow the knowledge and apply new skills but give reassurance to the public that this workforce is experienced, skilled and continually developing.   

What are the biggest challenges you see for your role?

Ensuring that we are able to provide interesting and worthwhile training for all our members available in a variety of formats, to help support their immediate career and career development. 

What accomplishment have you been most proud of in your career?

In my previous role I was able to grow engagement for CPD activities and submission of annual declarations by 60% in two years.  This to me was a great demonstration of the shift in members seeing the benefit and importance of professional development. 

If you could change one thing about how professional development is perceived within the profession, what would it be and why?

A slight cheat here but helping people to understand that professional registration is achievable and desirable, and something which should be encouraged.  It can help individual’s from all sorts of backgrounds to focus their career development but also give the them a structure for life, development doesn’t stop once you are registered. 

IPEM’s Science Leadership Strategy is all about identifying and anticipating what might impact the working environment of our members now and in the near future. What are your predictions about the future of the profession and how you will need to help?

I think as with so many professions we are not able to fully predict how aspects of A.I, technology and sustainability are going to impact the way our members work, and what skills they will need in the future.  So for me and my team we need to be ready to offer appropriate training to help facilitate any shifts in skill needs, work with HEIs and other academic providers to help ensure that those entering the sector have the right grounding as well as work with colleagues and our licensing bodies to help maintain appropriate standards from registration. 

What do you do in your free time?

I am a classically trained soprano and when I can enjoy performing in operas, concerts and other musical ventures.  I have performed across the UK in various theatres, cathedrals and venues but since having children mostly stick with my local church and theatre.  I have recently been a Chair of Trustees for a local Cancer Charity and am passionate about fundraising for similar causes, in 2022 I did a week’s long fundraising trek with Coppafeel in Pembrokeshire.  When I am not doing music, fundraising or reading a good book I can be found building lego or drawing with my two sons.    

Why should people join IPEM?

Obviously I am going to say there are great professional development opportunities by being a member!  However, I would also say that being a member brings you a great sense of community and belonging.  You will get the most out of it if you engage and help shape IPEM of the future. 

Which IPEM member benefits do you think is the most valuable?

I think different people get different benefits from membership, try everything and see what works for you, there is a lot on offer.  Events and training can really help with your personal development, the work our policy and impact team does can have a big impact on your sector or you may just find the access to our large resources of journals and books helpful and interesting. 

What does (or should) IPEM do to help career development?

So much, for an individual we can help guide you towards a personal goal be that professional registration or just getting some CPD in the short term.  For a company it can help provide key learning for a workforce and support them with some of our guided training schemes to gain key qualifications and recognition.  If there is something we are not doing you think we should I would love to hear from you about your ideas, so please do get in touch.