Graham Atkinson

Atkinson HR Consulting


I am the founder and director of Atkinson HR Consulting. We’re a small, UK-wide consultancy that works with values-based organisations to create change, build capacity and drive quality people management. My background is in the voluntary sector and I’m passionate about the role that charities and social enterprises play in changing the world for the better.

We provide a wide range of services including a Virtual HR Director service, one-off support (reorganisations, culture diagnostics, HR function reviews, HR projects etc), learning and development, interim leadership and 360 reviews and coaching for leaders. We are proud to have won the CIPD People Management Award for Best HR / L&D Consultancy in 2019.

We’re an outcome-focused consultancy and are committed to delivering excellent value for our clients. We have extremely high levels of integrity and think honesty is vital in our working relationships. We strive to build sustainable solutions for people we work with to ensure that we’re building capacity and that the outcomes from our work can deliver long-lasting benefit.


We work with a breadth of clients primarily across the voluntary sector. Current and recent clients include:

  • Community Transport Association
  • Exeter Students’ Guild
  • Oxford University Students’ Union
  • Rugby Football Union Students
  • The Scouts
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Sheffield Students’ Union
  • The University of Gibraltar

We’re proud to receive lots of repeat work and strive to build positive, long-term partnerships with our clients.


I’m committed to lifelong learning and always strive to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of latest trends and thinking in organisational development, leadership and HR.

My qualifications and professional memberships include:

  • Chartered Fellow of the CIPD since 2011
  • MA in Human Resource Management and Development – with distinction (from Northumbria University 2009)
  • BA in English Students – 2:1 (from Ripon and York St John 2000)

I’ve undertaken a wide range of accredited training and development over recent years including:

  • Accredited in Lumina Spark psychometric personality tool
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Inclusive Leadership through ENEI
  • IOSH 3-day Managing Health & Safety
  • CIPD 3-day Employment Law course


Throughout my working career, I have led a number of successful organisational and HR change projects including: developing and implementing new people strategies, managing organisation redesign, harmonising terms and conditions and culture change.

I have over 12-years’ experience as a senior leader in charities and my working / volunteering experience includes:

  • Setting up Atkinson HR Consulting and working as a consultant since May 2017
  • Director of People, Governance and Performance at the National Union of Students (5-years)
  • Director of Membership Services and HR at Northumbria Students’ Union (7-years)
  • Trustee at St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle upon Tyne from 2010 to 2014
  • Member of Strategic Performance Committee at Northumbria University from 2017 to 2020
  • School Governor at Taxal and Fernilee CofE Primary School (2019-)
  • As part of my consultancy work, I have also led major transformation projects as Interim CEO at the University of Westminster Students’ Union in 2018 and Imperial College Union in 2020.