Developing a human capital reporting framework for South Africa


Developing a human capital reporting framework for South Africa
by Prof Theo Veldsman & Dr Penny Abbott

Building on the launch of the National HR Management System Standard and its Audit Framework, over the last three years, a small project team of volunteers from academia and practice has been working hard in the SABPP offices to come up with a meaningful human capital reporting framework.  Work in this area from the South Africa and the rest of the world that informed the team included:

  • The CIPD and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Valuing Your Talent work in the UK;
  • Early stage work from the US on HR metrics for investors;
  • Statistics produced by the research unit of the Institute for Race Relations (CRA) in the South Africa Survey
  • The Standard HR Metrics report from CEB.

Prominent Human Capital researchers in South Africa, Professors Theo Veldsman (UJ), Gregory Lee (WBS) and Ina Rothmann (NWU) joined Zia Atlee (Knowledge Resources) and senior practitioners including Maropeng Sebothoma (SARS), the late Deon Pieterse (ARM), Tracy Harper (EOH), Elsabe Bell (Britehouse), Paul Pretorius (Hebron), Reuphillan Kasselman (Forte Advisory Services) and Anthea Saffy (Anglo Platinum) in this innovative and intensive concept development process.

The difference between our SABPP work and other HR metrics projects around the world is that our metrics work is based on the HRM Standards rather than free-floating metrics. Other HR metrics projects in other countries have failed when these frameworks were presented in a vacuum. Because the South African human capital reporting framework is based on the HRM Standards, it forms a cohesive part of the overall Standards project, along with the HR Audits launched in 2014.  SABPP CEO, Marius Meyer, points out that the human capital reporting framework will support better evidence-based decision making by HR practitioners.

The HR Metrics developed for South Africa will consist of three interrelated scorecards:

  1. National Human Capital Confidence Index
  2. Board level Human Capital Report
  3. Operational Human Capital Report (for HR Directors)

All three these scorecards will cover the five areas:

  • Human capital availability
  • Human capital Wellbeing
  • Human capital cost, investment and growth
  • Human capital contribution
  • Human capital wealth creation


In conclusion, good progress has been made regarding the development of human capital metrics for South Africa.  The final output of this project will be a full set of HR metrics for South Africa. It is time for HR Managers to unite and support this project in developing a sound human capital reporting framework.

Prof Theo Veldsman is Chairperson of the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management at the University of Johannesburg.  Dr Penny Abbott is  Research & Policy Advisor of SABPP and Project Leader of the National HR Metrics Working Group. You can download the HR Standards programme and booking form for 27-28 July 2016  from



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