Uncharted waters

One of the things about writing a regular blog is that you sometimes get referred to by others as a thought leader. Quite how you define a thought leader is open to debate. Is it someone saying what no one else has thought of or stirring things up to get a reaction, or is it just someone thinking out loud? I suspect it’s the former, I’m probably the latter. Which makes me a “commentator” according to my friend Troy Hammond, who wrote a very funny self deprecating post on this subject recently. I’m happier with that label if I have to have one.

I only mention this because something interesting is happening in HR in New Zealand which seems to have slipped by almost without any commentary.

shutterstock_140965069The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand announced last week they are “pleased to introduce…the concept of a Chartered membership category.” This, said HRINZ, will facilitate the goal of striving to lift the professional standard for HR practitioners in New Zealand. They are seeking the views of members before implementing in 2016 something they have been focusing on “conceptually for some time.”

Of course the Association of People Professionals has already expressed an intention to work towards a chartered option. So this means NZ professionals could potentially go from nothing to a choice of routes to chartered status almost overnight (and be just like our accounting colleagues).

So this is fantastic and game changing news, right? Something that should be shouted from the rooftops, right? Well, apparently not. Not if the HRINZ LinkedIn Group is anything to go by. In our biggest HR-related online group there is not a flicker of interest. Not one post that I can see to get the party started and get people talking. Not one little expression of delight.

Come on people, this is a fantastic opportunity! We should be excited and celebrating and embracing this opportunity and insisting it happens.

And therein lies the problem. If we are honest, most HR people really don’t care that much about raising standards and professional competence, either for ourselves or within our organisations or in helping others to. Because if we did we would be all over this like a rash, demanding and pushing hard for it.

I have long advocated for chartered status and did so a couple of years back when I was still a HRINZ member and now as an APP member. I have always believed chartered status will both raise awareness and credibility of the profession, and ultimately raise standards because it will involve properly measured continuing professional development.

Sadly, in reality I don’t think most people professionals in this country have either thought much about it or understand what chartered status means. That needs to change and quickly.

We badly need to raise standards across the people professions in this part of the world. That’s all there is to it and it’s long overdue. And that my friends is not thought leadership, it’s just a fact.

2 thoughts on “Uncharted waters

  1. This is something the IT industry has also moved into, with the Institute of IT Professionals recently rebranding/launching their CITPNZ (Chartered IT Professional) accreditation, after launching as the ITCP(Information Technology Certified Professional) accreditation in 2010.
    There are currently 240 CITPNZ recipients in NZ (according to the register), of which I’m one.
    The main points of the accreditation are a demonstration of knowledge across the IT domain as a whole, as well as operating at SFIA Level 5 in a couple of niche specialisations. Adhering to a code of ethics, committing to self development and taking some time working for the good of the industry as a whole (offering a number of hrs of pro bono services a year), as well as the requirement for periodical re-certification. Of course for the investment in the development of the chartered framework, the IITP are lobbying gov around procurement processes and requirements to recognise and drive a demand for accredited professionals as part of IT procurement strategies.
    I think there’s been a concerted effort to move the perception of IT and the old NZCS (New Zealand Computer Society) as the IITP used to be known away from a grouping of nerdy hobbyists to that of a professional body lifting the game of the industry in the country, and that IT should be recognised as a professional specialisation of it’s own, as quite a few folk looking for professional accreditation working in IT may have previously looked at IPENZ and the like.
    So what does that mean for HR looking to offer a Chartered accreditation., I suppose the question needs to be asked is what are HRINZ looking to achieve at the macro level? What does this mean and offer the HR industry and the people working in it? What will it mean to employers, what’s in it for them by hiring a CHRP(!?!) over someone that isn’t? How does it better enable the HRINZ advocate for the industry that in ways it currently can’t do?

    • Thanks Simon. Interesting to hear about the IT model as I wasn’t aware of that. You raise some good question which I don’t think have really been explored or addressed as yet which is why I am keen to see some discussion around all of this.

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