The Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning


Forty years or so ago very few had heard of CPD (Continuing Professional Development). It was back in the early 80’s that some professional bodies, for example the Chartered Accountants Institute, Law Society and the RICS, imposed an obligation on their qualified members to carry out formal post-qualification study. Failure to comply could lead to expulsion.

At that time there were very few opportunities for busy professionals to continue their learning. So, there was a clear mis-match between obligations imposed on members by professional bodies and the ability for members to comply.

This was the reason for Jonathan Harris setting up the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning (originally called the Continuing Professional Development Foundation), which he did so in 1981. It provided lectures, seminars and learning opportunities for busy professionals – at a low cost but of high quality.

Known as the Continuing Professional Development Foundation Lecture Programme it proved extremely successful. Today, thousands attend the lectures or watch them online.

Later the Institute of Continuing Professional Development was founded to reward those who could demonstrate that they really did believe in the philosophy of keeping up-to-date. Members could display their commitment to CPD through the use of post-nominal letters – FInstCPD.

Thirty years after its founding, both the Institute and the Lecture Programme were “gifted to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors” who continue to expand what Jonathan Harris created nearly 40 years ago.

Now the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning has evolved to support learning and education amongst members of the wider society.


Jonathan Harris CBE
Sir Denis Pereira Gray Kt OBE
Vivien King
Lord Bichard of Nailsworth KCB
Gillian Guy CBE

Previous Trustees have been Sir Leonard Peach and Sir Brian Hill who are since deceased.

Advisory Group

From the original creation of the Harris Foundation there has been a group of very experienced and high-profile individuals who have been very supportive and have been very happy to “endorse” the work of the Foundation by Jonathan Harris.

They include:

Lorraine Baldry OBE
Brig. (Retired) A W E Brister CBE
Neil Botten
Jonathan Caplan QC
Lord Carrington of Fulham
Graham Chase FRICS
Dr Geoffrey Copland CBE
Norman Davis
Brig. Mark St J Filler CBE
James Garrett
Prof. Barry Gilbertson FRICS*
Prof. Sir Malcolm Grant CBE
The Hon. Mrs Justice Hogg DBE
The Baroness Hooper CMG
Sir Christopher Howes KCVO CB
Lt Gen. Sir Alistair Irwin KCB CBE
Sir John “Jimmy” James KCVO CBE*
Sir Geoffrey Leigh
Martin Leigh-Pollitt
Michael Napier CBE QC (Hon)**
The Rt Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
Peter Pereira Gray
Robert Peto FRICS*
John Plender
Simon Pott FRICS*
Duncan Preston FRICS
Vicky Pryce
Prof. Andy Ross FAcSS
Lt Gen. (Retired) Sir Freddie Viggers KCB CMG MBE
Lesley Webber OBE
Andrew Youens FRICS

*Former President of the RICS
**Former President of the Law Society

Current Projects

“Our Theatre” by Shakespeare’s Globe

The Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning has entered into an arrangement with the Globe Theatre to encourage children, their parents, teachers and friends in the Southwark area to develop communication skills and self-esteem. An important ingredient for future success is an ability to communicate – all part of “lifelong learning”.

The project is under the banner of “Our Theatre”.

The Harris Foundation’s collaboration with the Globe, to encourage confidence and communication skills, began in 2018. It will continue for at least 4 years.

Our Theatre 2019: Henry V

For Our Theatre 2019, Southwark schoolchildren and actors will come together to perform an edited version of Shakespeare’s epic history play, Henry V. Taking part are two mainstream secondary schools, one special educational needs school, The Globe’s Southwark Youth Theatre and an adult theatre company.

Under the expert guidance of Globe Education, the participants will embark on a 16 week rehearsal process. This will culminate in two performances at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on 11 July 2019, followed by productions at other local venues during the week commencing 15 July 2019. Participants will also be invited to see a full professional production at Shakespeare’s Globe. The whole experience will be a celebration of Shakespeare and community theatre, designed to enrich and inspire all those who share in it.

In 2018, Our Theatre actors performed “As You Like It”. You can find out more about Our Theatre 2018 here.

Artis: Transforming Lives Through The Arts

The Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning supports Artis – a creative learning charity. Artis works with schools across the country to enhance learning and promote wellbeing through the arts. Using music, dance and drama, Artis brings the school curriculum alive, helping to boost academic achievement, improve speaking & listening skills and build confidence and self-esteem.

“Artis Bounce”

The Artis Bounce programme supports children and young adults with their mental health and wellbeing. Through music, drama and dance, young people are able to explore challenging issues and learn more about mental health. They are given the opportunity to express themselves and, ultimately, to build resilience – the ability to “bounce back” when times are tough.

“Our Mission is to transform lives through the arts by creating magical, high quality learning opportunities that help people flourish.” Artis

How You Can Help

If you would like to make a donation to the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning, you can download our donations form here. We greatly appreciate your support.