Your chance to get up to standard – Alan Hosking

hr future

To the uninformed, standards can sound like pretty boring or even intimidating things. If you’ve been used to doing things your own way – how you think things should be done – you are probably not very keen for someone to come along and tell you that you’ve got to start doing things in a different way. When you’re respected in your own company and people think you’re an expert, you certainly aren’t in the mood for having to adapt to someone else’s ideas as to how things should be done.

But where would we be if there were no standards in the world? Come on, be honest … Would you use an airline that felt standards were a bit old fashioned? Would you have a surgical procedure in a hospital that felt standards were rather unsexy? And would you work in a high rise office building that was built by a construction company that regarded standards as limiting their creativity?

Thought not!

In a world where we expect key services to be delivered according to clear and consistent standards, surely it’s a no-brainer to have standards for the practice of human capital management? Apparently not. Until 2012, no country in the world had thought as far as introducing national standards for the practice of HR. That was when SABPP CEO Marius Meyer embarked on a journey to develop and implement the first national HR Standards in the world.

What has been achieved to date on this journey is now common knowledge, but the journey is far from over. The first major destination is 2017, the end of the five-year period which started in 2013.

As an HR professional, what is your stance on the National HR Standards? Do you consider them to be an irritating intrusion to your work? Do you secretly believe that they’re a bit of a “flavour of the month” type of project that will (hopefully, in your opinion) go away so that you can get back to doing things your own way again?

That’s not going to happen. The National HR Standards are here to stay and soon HR professionals not fully conversant with them will be passed by practitioners who do understand the significance of the Standards, who embrace them and use them for the benefit of their careers and their companies.

If you’ve been on the bus since the start, you have a significant advantage. You already know that the next step for you is the 2nd National HR Standards Roll Out on 28 August this year. If you missed the first bus, are wanting to get on the bus but aren’t sure where the next bus stop is, diarise 28 August right now. That’s the date for the next big step/stop in the National HR Standards journey. The HR profession will be getting together to do a progress report.

In fact, go one step further, book your seat right now. Last year, we initially planned to accommodate 300 people. We exceeded that target with a month to go to the event and I found myself listening to my voice tell people on the phone that we simply could not accommodate them for health and safety reasons. We ended up booking 465 people and had a waiting list of 150.

This year, we are able to accommodate 650 people, but that’s it. Once we hit that figure, the bookings close. So keep an eye on your Inbox for the emailed brochure which contains the registration form and get it back to us as a matter of urgency so that you’re not left standing in the cold and dark at the bus stop long after the bus has left on the journey.

 Alan Hosking is Publishing Editor of HR Future. Together with SABPP, HR Future will host the second Annual HR Standards Roll-out on 28 August in Sandton Convention Centre. Book your seat for the top HR event of 2014. You can download the full programme for the day on


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