Life at ADP

Manchester group shot

People & Culture

ADP is a creative community, where we work together to create more joy in our world and everyone’s input is valued. We work as one practice across eight studios, sharing ideas and resources towards a common goal. It’s a model that’s naturally inclusive, encouraging every employee to reach their potential, and to design better buildings as a result.

We’re a sociable bunch and try to get together as a whole practice when we can. We’ve previously held Christmas parties at two of our award-winning projects – Oxford Castle and Spanish City.

An Employee-Owned Practice

People have always been at the heart of our business – so becoming employee-owned in 2017 was a natural next step for ADP. Shares are held on behalf of employees by an Employee Owned Trust. We have an employee council that includes representatives from every studio, headed by an employee director (currently Nicola Murphy) who sits on the board.

This means that all our staff can have a say at the highest level of the business. It also ensures that everyone benefits from our success, with an equal profit-share system that recognises all employees’ contributions.

We work with our employee council to review staff benefits. Examples of the benefits we currently offer include paid volunteering leave, a profit share, life and critical illness insurance, and enhanced maternity and paternity pay.

Creating a supportive environment is important to us too. We have qualified Mental Health First Aiders across the practice, with at least one in every studio. We also offer a nine-day fortnight to support a healthy work-life balance. Each studio has its own wellbeing fund, which employees have used for activities such as boat trips and art classes.

Oxford employees at a table with architectural drawings
Manchester employees looking at architectural model

“Architecture is constantly evolving and a big challenge for the 'traditional' practice is keeping dynamic and staying current in addressing these challenges. Being employee owned is about being aware of these issues and having a voice to direct how the practice could respond – no matter where you are within your career.”

– Jordan Egglestone, ADP architect

Training and Development

We take a personalised and employee-led approach to professional development. We’re not looking to put people in predetermined boxes: we create roles and responsibilities that allow people to make the best use of their interests and talents.

Every role at ADP is vital to realising our vision, so we work hard to give all employees the opportunity to develop a meaningful career in a direction that best suits them. We place huge value on our architects-in-training, supporting Part I and II assistants with real, in-depth project experience and ongoing mentoring. Many assistants choose to continue their careers at ADP after qualifying, reflecting this commitment.

Our practice-wide CPD programme ensures that all our employees continue to develop and learn throughout their careers. We've supported staff through a wide range of courses and accreditation, including Passivhaus design and the WELL Standard.

Employee Case Studies

“My first step in shaping my career was an opening in the sustainability team, representing the Oxford studio. ADP’s task groups allow people to focus on specialist interests alongside their day-to-day projects. I wanted to push further with what I contributed, and ADP supported my Passivhaus training and my ambition to focus on delivering change. I’ve now moved into the position of Sustainability Lead to support the practice in our commitment to addressing climate change.”

 Simon Beaumont-Orr, Sustainability Lead

 

“I first joined ADP as a Part I and it was while working on a healthcare project that I discovered a particular passion for the sector. After qualifying I moved through the traditional growth roles of architect, senior architect and associate director but always with a focus on healthcare. At the start of 2020 I had the opportunity to take on a sector lead role and be the first regional sector director, at an exciting point in the practice where we were transitioning to a sector-led approach.”

Hannah Brewster, Regional Healthcare Director

 

“I first joined ADP as a Part I, and with the practice’s support I completed my masters part-time while also working part-time. I recently became an Employee Council rep, where I voice ideas and feedback on my colleagues’ behalf and can be an advocate for change. I am passionate about fostering a culture with a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing, and am one of a number of employees who has had mental health first aid training. We now have a forum in which we are actively trying to make improvements.”

Jade Sturmey, Associate

 

“I’ve got a unique split role at ADP, combining communications with social value. When I first pitched the idea of taking on a social value–focused role at ADP, I was nervous about how it would be received: it seemed like a radical change from my role within the marketing team. But the practice supported me with training and mentoring, and let me take the initiative to prove the role could work. I’m now able to support ADP in a new way, and I’m constantly learning and developing what I do.”

Tom White, Impact & Communications Executive

Katie and Louis - Interiors team
Group shot of employees

“Having a say in the values and running of the practice imparts a real responsibility to engage, which gives me great motivation to make sure that the work we are doing and the direction we are going reflect both my values, and the shared values that have been set out by the practice.”

– Euan Mackenzie, senior architectural technician

Our Values


Brave – We don’t shy away from any challenge aligned with our purpose because we set our sights on ambitious goals and don’t stop until we have achieved them

Empathetic – We care deeply about what we do and the people it is for, that is why we see the world through the eyes of others, and are invested in the impact our work has on people and planet

Positive – We strive to bring positivity, energy and enthusiasm to our work, tackling real world problems where we know our input will make a difference

Join the Team