In my column last month, I alluded to the fact that I had recently signed a cooperation agreement with the CPA that recognises the professional alignment between the accounting association and human resources.
This month I would like to tell you about another agreement that I signed in March. It’s closer to home than the CPA agreement in the sense that it involves building on the association relationship with our counterpart institute in the United Kingdom, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
AHRI’s arrangement with CIPD is called a Reciprocal Membership Agreement, and is the only one of its kind that both AHRI and CIPD have entered into, acknowledging the mutual respect between our organisations.
Against what is widely recognised as a background of heightened global competition in business, one thing I can say with confidence is that AHRI and CIPD share well-aligned philosophical underpinnings with respect to where the bar is set on standards of HR practice. Those standards take into account the expectations of employers who tell us they want to engage HR practitioners as reliable partners to the business.
We also agree on how HR certification should be assessed.
CIPD and AHRI both require that practitioners seeking HR certification be assessed on what they know so that their theoretical expertise is validated. But we both regard as more critical that they are assessed on their skills, capabilities and behaviours so there is evidence about their actual workplace performance.
Until now, the standard pathway to HR certification in Australia has been via the capstone unit in the AHRI Practising Certification Program (APC). More recently, a senior pathway via a case study and interview has been added. Both require a candidate to support validation of HR capability in practice, not simply demonstration of knowledge. When we signed the reciprocity agreement with the CIPD, a third pathway was created that enables chartered members of the British body to acquire AHRI certification, and vice versa.
The CIPD pathways include an experience assessment, which requires the submission of actual examples of a candidate’s work followed by a searching oral exam. According to one AHRI member who gained the chartered fellowship certification credential through CIPD, the oral exam tests “whether you actually know what you think you know”.
These are critical alignments for our two bodies because they enable us to declare to the employers of HR practitioners, with our hands on our hearts, that the practitioners who pass through our certification programs can actually do what they say they can do, and can perform as respected business partners.
With the instances of international relocation of HR practitioners becoming increasingly common, the practical benefits of reciprocal membership benefits operating between the two institutes make a great deal of sense. I’m pleased to be able to say that a considerable number of CIPD and AHRI members have taken the opportunity up, and we expect that will continue.
The agreement with CIPD also takes on board undertakings to communicate brand recognition of each body in a number of ways. For example, AHRI has agreed to contact members located in our Asia region – specifically Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam – and extend to them the benefit of a subscription to CIPD’s high quality quarterly journal as an additional feature of their AHRI membership.
Needless to say, I’m delighted to be strengthening our links with the CIPD and I trust you will hear more about it in due course.
This article is an edited version. The full article was first published in the April 2016 issue of HRMonthly magazine as “Relationship Building”. AHRI members receive HRMonthly 11 times per year as part of their membership. Find out more about AHRI membership here.