Launch of First Annual HR Standards and Audits Awards


Launch of First Annual HR Standards and Audits Awards
by Marius Meyer

Since the HR Standards and Audits were launched during 2013 and 2014 respectively, the journey to raise the standard of HR practice has continued.  It has been a wonderful experience to work so closely so many HR teams throughout South Africa and several other countries.  On the one hand we visited companies to raise awareness and to build the capacity of HR teams in aligning their HR practices to the National HR standards.  On the other hand, when companies achieved the level of confidence to be audited against the HR standards, auditors were sent in and 17 audits have now been conducted in five provinces (Gauteng, KZN, Western Cape, Free State and North-West).  Very soon, Limpopo and Eastern Cape will join the other provinces in having HR functions audited against the HR standards.

What was very interesting about the audits so far, is that examples of good practice have emerged at several organisations.  In other words, some companies provided evidence that they meet, and in certain cases, exceed the National HR standards.  This is the good news. The bad news, on the other hand, is that many organisations are not ready to be audited. We even observed fear for audits at certain organisations.  The SABPP Audit Council believes that it is unnecessary to fear HR audits.  In fact, the audit in itself become an important continuous improvement mechanism.

Having said that, now that we have audited so many companies, we are in the position to indicate who the leaders are in all 13 HR Standards.  For instance, we know which company scored the best in Strategic HR Management, in Talent Management, in Workforce Planning and so on.  In order to give recognition to these HR standards leaders, the SABPP management team decided to issue the first Annual HR Standards Awards at the 4th Annual HR Standards Summit.  What makes the HR audit awards unique is that we did not need a committee to recommend who the winners are, we simply took the scores allocated by the auditors who spent a full day at the company auditing their HR practice.  The scoring system provides clear scores on all the 13 HR standards.  In addition, we then compared the overall audit scores with one another to determine a national winner for all 13 HR standards combined, as well as a runner=up and a third place auditee.  Also, in recognising other companies performing well against the HR standards, we decided to issue two additional awards for companies scoring more than 65% average in all HR standards combined. Furthermore, an award will be issued to the auditee demonstrating exemplary practice in HR standards integration, i.e. achieving HR excellence by integrating best practices across HR standards.


The second part of the HR audit awards will be to recognise excellence in driving and supporting HR standards, given the fact that the HR standards journey is still a relatively new concept requiring buy-in and change management before most HR and management teams will embrace the importance of HR standards.  Fortunately, and thanks to the Auditor-General, the public sector has made good progress to align their HR practices to the HR standards, but a good pipeline of private sector companies is on board to be audited during the rest of 2016 and 2017.

The HR standards excellence awards as adjudicated by the SABPP Awards Committee are as follows:

  • Best university in HR standards alignment;
  • Best HR standards academic of the year;
  • Best HR standards research paper/dissertation of the year;
  • Best HR standards occupational learning provider of the year;
  • Best HR auditor of the year;
  • Best HR standards consulting product or service of the year;
  • Best HR standards alliance partner of the year;
  • Best HR standards champion of the year.

I want to congratulate all the winners and finalists of the first Annual HR Standards and Awards ceremony.  The special awards ceremony will take place on 27 July from 18:00 to 21:00 at Vodacom World in Midrand.   While we want to celebrate with the winners and finalists, I want to invite as many other companies and individuals to join us at this special awards function.  Let us celebrate with our colleagues who were brave enough to put up their hand first.  Let us be inspired by their pioneering work in attaining excellence in HR standards alignment and actual HR audits.  Perhaps some of you could be winners next year.  But more importantly, the individual and collective inputs of hundreds of HR professionals helped us in achieving this significant milestone towards HR excellence. Please join me on 27 July at this special occasion in recognising South Africa’s HR standards and audits leaders. Book your seat on  Alternatively, you will see the announcements and photos on Twitter and Instagram during the awards ceremony.

Marius Meyer

Marius Meyer is CEO of SABPP. In 2014 he launched the world’s first National HR Audit Unit to audit organisations against the National HR Standards developed by SABPP. More information about the SABPP HR Standards is available on their website and their blog

  For daily updates on HR Standards and HR Audits, follow SABPP on Twitter @SABPP1 and Instagram sabpp_1



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