Home' HR Monthly : June 2016 Contents RHETORIC TO REALITY
As one of the first members of the CIPD (UK) to achieve certified practitioner status in
Australia, Rose Clements talks about approaches to professionalism in both countries.
BY AMANDA WOODARD
ROSE CLEMENTS HAS MORE REASON THAN MOST TO
be pleased that AHRI is spearheading the drive towards certified
accreditation in the HR profession.
"I have a keen interest in evangelising for the HR profession,"
says Clements of Rose Clements Consulting, who is a member of the
National President's Forum for AHRI and has worked in HR in the
UK, where certification was achieved a lot earlier than in Australia.
"Working in HR, there is a phrase used that says: 'You can't
pretend to care, you have to care.' Pursuing certified practitioner
status is evidence that we don't just pretend to be HR professionals,
we genuinely are. It's about closing the gap between rhetoric and
realism, being responsible for upholding and contributing to a
standard of excellence that distinguishes us from those who would
seek to attach themselves to the profession and ultimately dilute the
worth of the profession to our key stakeholders."
High professional standards in HR were not much in evidence
when Clements first moved to Australia in 1996, however. She
was surprised, to say the least, to find that the rigorous process of
certification of HR, that had been set by the Chartered Institute of
Personnel Development (CIPD) in the UK, didn't exist in Australia.
The CIPD's origins date back more than 100 years. In 2000,
it received the prestigious Royal Charter, which enshrines the
regulations, professional code of conduct and standards of
professional behaviour that organisation members must commit
to. "You can't easily get a job in HR in the UK unless you
have a qualification with the CIPD. It's the currency for
excellence," says Clements.
"As soon as I heard that AHRI was pursuing certified
accreditation, I was delighted. But one of my first
questions as someone with 13 years' experience was,
what would I need to do to achieve that certified
practitioner status in Australia -- and also how could I
show my support for the initiative?"
In Clements' case, and for those like her who have the MCIPD
qualification, achieving that status has been straightforward due
to the reciprocal membership agreement signed by AHRI and the
CIPD in 2013. CIPD members are automatically upgraded to be an
AHRI Certified Practitioner after proving their membership status
in the UK, along with a completed membership application form.
A firm believer in the important role and responsibility that HR
has to business, Clements says she never set out to have a career in
HR, which is all the more remarkable considering that in 2012 she
was named Australian HR Director of the Year and received the
prestigious David Ulrich HR Leader of the Year award.
After doing a social sciences degree in New Zealand, she
moved to the UK with her husband. Unable to find a job in social
sciences, she ended up doing analytical modelling and futuristic
programming at market research firm, AC Nielsen.
But when she was seconded to work on a project in Nielsen's HR
department, she knew instantly that this was where she wanted
to be. "So I put a proposition to the head of HR to invest in my
professional development, to which I would bring an already deep
understanding of the business -- and it worked!"
After her move to Perth in 1997, Clements sought out AHRI,
but says it was an embryonic, networking organisation.
It was only after arriving in Sydney in 2002 that
she began to get involved in AHRI events. "I
found that the association had evolved into a
more professional organisation." Since then,
Clements hasn't looked back, and remains a
keen advocate of professional development.
"Too many HR professionals pride
themselves on developing the shiniest
people processes, but they lose sight
of whether they are having impact
on growth and the bottom line. HR
has to see themselves as business
leaders who happen to specialise in
HR. They have to understand the aims
and objectives of the organisation
they are a part. That's the only
way that HR is going to remain
relevant, keep its value and
practise its expertise."
There are three pathways towards becoming a
certified HR practitioner. Visit the website to
read more about the eligibility criteria for each
of the pathways.
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