South Africa’s National HR Standards, Audits and Metrics – Our heritage as HR Professionals by Marius Meyer

Today is Heritage Day.  We reflect on our heritage as a nation.  September was heritage month, and SABPP celebrates our legacy, the National Human Resource (HR) Standards, Audits and Metrics as our contribution to Heritage Month in South Africa.  On 17 September 2015 we delivered phase 4 of the National HR Standards project with the launch of the first National HR Audit Report featuring the successes of the first companies audited against the National HR Standards.  This year we celebrate our latest achievements as our heritage for this generation of HR professionals:

  1. National HR Standards;
  2. HR Audits;
  3. HR Professionals approved as Commissioners of Oaths by the Minister of Justice;
  4. HR Measurement Framework for human capital reporting;
  5. HR Standards, Audits and Metrics approved as Proudly South African products.

The above achievements have taken the HR profession to a new level of significance and positioned South Africa as a world leader in HR practice.

Once again, we would like to thank the HR professional community for their enthusiastic support for phase 4 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.  In particular, I want to thank the first eight companies for being audited against the National HR Standards.   You will always be remembered as the pioneers in South Africa and indeed world-wide on this remarkable achievement.

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We thank HR Future, Leaderex, and all participants and other interested parties for joining SABPP on the journey towards leveraging HR Standards for business and societal impact in South Africa. Let us continue to learn, explore, share, focus, improve and excel as HR professionals – that is the spirit and power of a professional mindset in our thinking and practice as HR professionals.  Moreover, as we learned from Advocate Leslie Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African, as world leaders in HR standards, we are proudly South African.   It is therefore also a great occasion for us to announce that from this month the South African National HR Standards is officially a Proudly South African product.  We have joined the Proudly South African campaign in leading the country and indeed the world with National HR Standards developed by South Africans for South Africans.  But what are we proud about?

  • Having developed and launched the world’s first National HR Standards;
  • Having designed the world’s first Auditing Framework against the HR Standards;
  • Acknowledging the work of the world’s first National HR Audit Unit;
  • Celebrating the first ten companies audited during the first year of HR Audits in South Africa;
  • Recognising our pool of 126 auditors trained over the last year;
  • Releasing our first Annual HR Audits Report;
  • Launching the world’s first Human Capital Reporting Framework, thereby ensuring that National HR Metrics are born in South Africa.

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Despite these significant successes, Thebe Ikalafeng remind all of us as individuals: “You are the standard.”  All of us have a unique responsibility at our own organisations to make a difference in making the HR Standards successful in the workplace.

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.  As one of the HR Managers at SARS, Takalani Musekwa says: “The HR Standards and Audits will transform HR in organisations and offers great value for organisations to realise the full value from their human capital.”

On Heritage Day we also celebrate South Africa’s greatest heritage: our diversity.  The HR Professional Practice Standard on diversity and inclusion reminds us to accelerate employment equity in the workplace in order to transform South African society.

Please stay in contact on a daily basis on twitter @SABPP1, our linked-in discussion group and our blog hrtoday.me to enable us to update you with the progress on the HR standards 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.  We are inviting you to put up your hand, and follow the first ten leading companies and say: “We are ready to be audited on the National HR Standards!”


 Marius Meyer is CEO of SABPP. You can contact him on executiveoffice@sabpp.co.za

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