Home' HR Monthly : April 2015 Contents April 2015 HRMonthly 13
AHRI’s new HR certification framework is set to propel the profession to new heights.
Paul Begley reflects on how it will affect present and future HR practitioners.
ON 1 JANUARY 2017, AHRI WILL DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND
on the means by which HR practitioners can become certified. From
that date an H R professional who wishes to be recognised in the market
as a “certified” HR practitioner, will be required to complete the AHRI
Practising Certification program in order to meet a new standard for
certified HR practitioners in Australia.
In Australia AHRI is doing what our counterparts in other countries
are also now doing, and for good reason. Businesses increasingly
require “good” HR practitioners, and they want confirmation that
those practitioners have the necessary knowledge and skills.
In conversations with our Australian members, employers and our
British partner association the 230,000 -strong Chartered Institute of
Personnel & Development (CIPD), it has become clear that there is a
demand to be able to reliably credential HR practitioners in a way that
formally validates their knowledge and skills.
This article looks at how the formal certification model fits with the
existing standards framework that has been developed by AHRI. It
also explores what certification will mean for current AHRI members,
particularly those rated as CAHRIs.
The certification pathway
Members who have been awarded CAHRI status before January
2017 will be entitled to maintain that level of membership under a
“grandfathering” arrangement which respects the prevailing good faith
at the time they earned that standing.
After January 2017, members wanting to become certified will
be required to undertake a four-unit postgraduate AHRI Practising
The APC has been developed in consultation with private and
public sector experts, and includes three knowledge units plus a fourth
capstone unit. This final unit is a workplace-based practical assessment
of competency based on the formula: competency = knowledge + skills.
As has been the case previously, eligibility to apply to become a
certified HR practitioner requires a minimum of five years in a role
that involves practical experience operating in human resources, or
a combination of formal study and at least two years’ experience.
Where the study is via an AHRI accredited academic HR program,
recognition of prior learning may be applied in respect to the three
knowledge units, leaving only the fourth mandatory, workplace-based
capstone assessment unit to be completed.
Upon completion of the certification program, in addition to the
post-nominal of CAHRI, the post-nominal APC will be awarded in
acknowledgement of the AHRI Practicing Certificate.
What will certification mean for AHRI members?
For those HR professionals who work in or who aspire to work in
an area of practice in which being certified is seen as desirable or
necessary, gaining the APC would be of significant benefit with respect
to their standing within the HR profession.
As part of AHRI’s role as an advocate on behalf of the profession,
a formal certification program will enable AHRI to more actively
promote the APC standard to the wider business community.
For members who do not work in an HR practising role, or are at
a point in their career in which they judge a practising HR certificate
is neither relevant nor necessary, those members will maintain their
MAHRI level of professional membership or may upgrade to Fellow
(FAHRI) if their background and experience warrants that. Neither
MAHRIs nor Fellows are inherently certified, though CAHRIs who
have come into AHRI via the certification pathway and carry the APC
post-nominal, will be certified.
All professional levels of membership (MAHRI, CAHRI
and FAHRI) will still require different degrees of continuing
professional development (CPD) in accordance with AHRI rules
in order to maintain the entitlement to use the respective post-
nominals. AHRI will continue to play a central role in validating
the standard, and confirming its authenticity to
How will members be assessed?
For the past decade or so, through its
National Accreditation Committee,
AHRI has been accrediting
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