Two days left for commenting on South Africa’s first HR standards

Time flies. We have completed half of 2013.  We are entering strike season again and next month it will be a sad day when it will be one year since the Marikana tragedy. Many HR managers have worked very hard with their management teams and employees to prevent a reoccurrence of these violent strikes. Despite the challenge on the labour front, South Africa’s HR professionals have united over the last three months to develop our first set of draft HR standards.   The standards are available on the SABPP blog and on the SABPP LinkedIn discussion group where more than 1 800 HR professionals have viewed it.   However, there are still two days left for comments (9 July and 10 July).

Says Marius Meyer, SABPP CEO: “Thank you very much for the multitude of comments reaching our office from all over the country, and also from the UK, US, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Botswana. We are very encouraged to see the positive reaction from the market. However, we also received some excellent suggestions for improvement, and these recommendations will now be incorporated.  HR managers are very welcome to continue engaging with us as we refine the standards over the next couple of days.”

The process of market consultation was extensive:

  • Conceptual development of standards model (January – December 2011).
  • Consultation with HR professionals in all nine provinces (January – November 2012).
  • Company visits throughout the country (2012-2013).
  • Conference presentations (2011-2013).
  • Social media discussions (2012-2013).
  • Meetings with HR Directors (2012-2013).
  • More than 20 articles and blogs (2013).
  • Standards development session (May 2013).
  • Request for comments (Jun – July 2013).

Building on the above process of consultation, the way forward is as follows:

  1. The inputs will be consolidated from 11-21 July by the Lead Facilitator, Dr Michael Robbins from the UK, Dr Penny Abbott, Head of Research at SABPP, and Marius Meyer, CEO of SABPP, while obtaining approval from the SABPP Labour Market Committee.
  2. All standard elements will be reviewed and aligned for consistency.
  3. The final document will be edited and printed.
  4. The standards will be launched at the HR Standards Roll-out Conference on 20-21 August.
  5. The “how to” practice standards will be developed at the Roll-out Conference.
  6. Further practice specific standards will be developed in 2014, as well as HR metrics.

The highlight will be on 20 August in Krugersdorp when the national standards for Human Resource (HR) Management will be released.

SABPP have generated strategic HR and functional HR standards (for example, for workforce planning, learning and development, performance management). SABPP will drive this process and stay in close contact with the HR and business community in ensuring that they are involved in the generation of HR standards, as well as supporting them with the necessary capacity-building when applying these standards in practice.

Dr Michael Robbins from the UK, an international expert on standard-setting and risk management agreed to be the lead facilitator of this project. Michael, who was also involved in the Investors in People Standard in the UK, shared his excitement about this project: “I am honoured to be part of this process and I want to congratulate SABPP for driving this project. If SABPP is successful with this project, they will be one of the top professional HR standards generating pioneers world-wide.”

Marius Meyer, says: “I am grateful to the hundreds of HR executives who committed to this historic initiative. HR Directors and HR Managers interested in participating in the second phase of the project are most welcome to attend the roll out on 20 and 21 August in Krugersdorp.  We already have 126 bookings for this event, the first time in my 19 years in the conference industry that we exceed 100 bookings within 10 days.  Clearly, the HR community is interested in this exciting initiative. But first priority is to comment on the standards so that we can finalise our first HR standards guide.”

HR Managers interested to comment can contact Marius on  For regular updates about progress on the National HR Standards Initiative, follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1 or follow the blog or visit the website

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