Today is Heritage Day and September is heritage month, and SABPP celebrates our legacy, the National HR Standards as our contribution to Heritage Day in South Africa.   Last week we delivered phase 3 of the National HR Standards project with the launch of the HR Professional Practice Standards. Our 2nd Annual HR Standards Conference in Sandton was attended by almost 600 HR professionals from all nine provinces and three other countries.   The SABPP HR Professional Practice Standards establish a common set of criteria for the management of HR practices within all South African organisations, irrespective of size, sector or industry. These are national standards for all organisations in South Africa, including multinationals operating in South Africa.


The Professional Practice Standards should also be read as applying to all organisations, whether or not they have a defined HR Function. In many organisations, HR activities are carried out by business owners, by a Chief Financial Officer, a Corporate Services executive or other functions. Regardless, the objectives and activities listed in the Standards need to be carried out by someone, if the potential of the human capital in the business is to be realised. In support of Heritage Day, we are proud of the new standard on employment equity, diversity and inclusion – an area many organisations still struggle with, despite twenty years as a democratic country.

The Professional Practice Standards need to be read in conjunction with the National HR Management System Standard (2013), and the South African HR Competency Model developed by SABPP in 2012. This Competency Model refers to the knowledge and behaviours required of dedicated HR professionals to deliver on the Standards.

Line managers in organisations bear a large part of the responsibility to realise the potential of the human capital in the organisation. However, this set of HRM Standards does not purport to set out the people management responsibilities of line managers. This will be done in a later set of Standards. We are also proud to have launched the world’s first National HR Auditing Framework. SABPP is now ready to conduct HR audits against the HR standards, and interested parties can contact us on to arrange an external audit. The SABPP pool of HR auditors have been trained and they are now ready to conduct the first audits.

We also want to thank Dr Wilson Wong from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in the UK for visiting SABPP last month. CIPD is one of the top three HR professional bodies in the world and we appreciated this opportunity of learning, sharing and benchmarking. We trust that the relationship-building between CIPD and SABPP will benefit the HR profession in both countries. CIPD is also involved in a new HR standards-setting project conducted under the ambit of the British Standard Institute (BSI).

SABPP continued with the National HR Standards Initiative by developing further HR professional practice standards to ensure that all specific HR practices are standardised for the purpose of reinforcing the HR Management System. This will create a renewed focus on consistency and standardisation of HR practices in support of the National HR Management System. More importantly, improving the standard of HR practices will ensure that better quality HR products and services are delivered to managers and employees, thereby affirming the strategic role and impact of HR on organisational success.

Once again, we would like to thank the HR professional community for their enthusiastic support for phase 3 of the National HR Standards journey. None of these standards would have been developed if it was not for the encouragement, support, inputs and feedback we received from HR professionals from all nine provinces. Furthermore, our alliance partner, HR Future has played a key role in co-driving this project with us, not only as a publisher, but also to create awareness and build capacity all over the country. We also want to thank all our other alliance partners and stakeholders for their active participation and support to make these set of standards a reality. Not only did it help us to keep the momentum going on the National HR Standards Initiative, it ensures that the HR profession continues to improve itself, to deliver a higher level of professional and business impact, and to reposition HR among other professions as elevating the standard of professional practice.

It is our hope that this phase of the National HR Standards journey played a significant role to improve the credibility and impact of HR, not only within organisations, but also in broader society. Please stay in contact on a daily basis on twitter @SABPP1, our linked-in discussion group and our blog to enable us to update you with the progress on this exciting journey. We also welcome any feedback and suggestions for taking the National HR Standards journey to a new level of relevance, impact and excellence. The ball is back in your court to contribute to our South African heritage as HR professionals making a difference to society.

Siphiwe Moyo – Chairperson: SABPP

Marius Meyer – CEO: SABPP

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