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Meet the Acas North West team and read their blogs

Terry Duffy Terry Duffy

Terry is the Area Director for Acas in the North West of England. He is responsible for the delivery of dispute resolution services, training and advice on good practice in the workplace and helpline services for both employers and employees across the North West Region. He has been a practising mediator and conciliator for many years,  with lots of experience in helping to resolve individual and group disputes. He has facilitated problem - solving working groups involving senior management and trade union representatives, helping them to resolve disputes, manage change effectively and improve employment relations.

Terry has worked with a wide range of customers in the public and private sectors to design and deliver training on a number of employment related issues including; workplace investigations, discipline and grievance, bullying & harassment, mental health awareness, employee representation, job evaluation and equal pay.


Mark Makin Mark Makin

Mark joined Acas in 2000 having worked as a HR Manager, for a number of years, in various large organisations across the UK.

He initially worked as an individual conciliator settling employment tribunal claims across the full range of jurisdictions. He moved on to advisory work in 2008.

Mark is an experienced trainer and Adviser who works with employers and employees to provide advice, guidance training and support across the full range of employment relations and employment law issues for a wide variety of public and private sector organisations.

Mark has been a member of the CIPD for over 25 years.

Helen Robinson Helen Robinson

Helen is a trainer and Senior Adviser. Helen joined Acas in 2008 and has held a range of roles during that time including working on our Helpline giving advice about employment law on a daily basis. Helen has also spent time drafting guidance pages for our website.

Helen has been delivering training since 2015 and since then has worked with a wide range of organisations, both in company and on Acas organised events. Helen specialises in a wide range of topics including effective line management and handling internal procedures correctly.

Helen is a member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning.

James Boffey

James Boffey joined Acas in 2015 having previously worked in prison education: teaching English to male offenders. He started initially in the Dispute Resolution arm of Acas, as a first point of contact for employees with potential Tribunal claims before moving into Training and Advisory work in early 2017.

Since then he has worked with a range of public and private sector organisations across the North West, working with both staff and management to provide advice, training and support to improve employment relations and business performance.

Mel McRae Mel McRae

Mel joined Acas in 1998. Prior to working for Acas, Mel worked for the Government Office for the North-West, where she helped to secure inward investment for North-West England from global businesses.

After joining Acas, Mel worked in Individual Conciliation, focusing on Employment Tribunal cases, before moving to Collective Conciliation in 2002. In Collective Conciliation, Mel has focused on dispute resolution between employers, employees and Trade Unions. Mel was also a National Collective Conciliation trainer for 14 years.

Michele Piertney Michele Piertney

Michele Piertney has a dual role as a Collective Conciliator and Senior Advisor and has worked for Acas across a variety of roles for nearly 10 years.

As a Collective Conciliator, dispute resolution is a pivotal element of her role and therefore, the relationship between employers, trade unions and employees / members is of particular interest to her.

She is an experienced trainer who has designed and delivered courses covering the full range of employment relations and employment law issues for a wide variety of private, public and third sector organisations.

Michele is a member of the CIPD and ITOL and a Council Member of the Manchester Industrial Relations Society.


Susan Raftery BW Susan Raftery

Susan Raftery is a Senior Adviser and Conciliator based in Manchester.

Susan joined Acas in 2009 having previously been a partner in a law firm, as a practising solicitor specialising in Employment law.

Susan is a qualified trainer delivering Acas training on both Open Access Events and in-company working out of the North West region and delivers training on a wide range of topics including Mental Health awareness, equality and diversity and discipline and grievance.

She is also part of the Collective Conciliation team based in the Manchester office.