The first Australian HR Institute national president, Jim Bailey, announced back in May 1992 that a new national organisation was to succeed its immediate state-based predecessor, the Institute of Personnel Management Australia, the IPMA. The new organisation was to have a national focus and was to be called the Australian Human Resources Institute. In that year, Jim launched the brand of HR in Australia, together with a new logo – the blue AHRI logo with which we have become familiar over the past 24 years.
This month, it is my great pleasure to announce that the Australian HR Institute is about to launch a fresh brand and also embark on a new ground-breaking chapter.
It’s a chapter in which HR certification becomes a fact of professional life for HR practitioners, a fact that AHRI is trumpeting to the world, and especially to the business world in which employers of HR practitioners operate.
As part of the new chapter, we are informing the market about what good HR looks like, and letting the market know where they can find HR practitioners who are able to be true HR partners to the business. Most notably, we will be informing them about those HR practitioners whose candidacy for certification has successfully come before the National Certification Council, and who are therefore entitled to carry one of two post-nominal letters after their name: CPHR and FCPHR.
The methodology that sits behind our strategy enables AHRI to attest to business that HR practitioners who carry the Australian HR Institute certification post-nominals are professionals who have completed the postgraduate AHRI Practising Certification Program (APC), or one of the other two pathways to certification for our senior leaders and our CIPD reciprocity members.
A colleague who has worked as an HR executive at a major listed company in recent times confided to me that, up to now, it has been much easier to set up an HR business or claim to be an HR practitioner than it is to claim to be a barista or a naturopath. A naturopath, otherwise known as a natural therapy practitioner, is required to have met entry requirements through the Institute of Holistic Medicine that include 450 hours of clinical training. A barista does not have to meet those exacting hours of training, but is required at a minimum to have completed a one-day training course.
By striking contrast, there has been no entry bar that prevents anyone from claiming that he or she belongs to the HR profession. There has been no set standard. There has been, in reality, no legitimate profession. That is now changing.
In announcing a new HR brand linked to professional certification, I am announcing that HR is now demanding that it be taken seriously. We are now stating with a sense of pride that HR has matured and can finally and legitimately call itself a profession. A tangible way of signifying that will be apparent from the beginning of 2017 when everything that comes to you from AHRI will look different and the voice in which we speak will sound different.
AHRI’s new logo looks markedly dissimilar to the past one. While some blue colouring in the new logo acknowledges AHRI’s history, the emergence of a strong green heralds a bold new spirit – the blue letter ‘H’ merging with the bright green ‘R’, with the distinctive green cornerstone pointing to the profession’s future direction.
My grandmother used to say that blue and green should never be seen without a colour in between. My grandmother, a very smart lady, was also free with the word ‘bold’, applying it to those, like her granddaughter, who tried to push boundaries. If she were still alive, I like to think she might be startled at the boldness of AHRI’s new logo.