· 1 min read · News

Cheese: 'It's time to invest more in HR'


CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese has called on HR to professionalise and business to invest much more in the function.

In 2015, the professional body will focus on promoting areas that help HR become more professional, including HR standards, metrics, CPD and career development.

“I am determined to push hard on this whole debate about metrics and standards, we want to really build momentum for them in 2015,” Cheese told HR magazine on the final day of the CIPD’s annual conference.

“We’re having a lot more on the evolution of our thinking, the profession of the future. That’s everything from the evolution of the curriculum to thinking differently about accreditation, certification, designation – those sorts of things.”

Cheese said HR lagged behind other functions in terms of professional penetration, citing the example of finance. He said a major cause of this was years of underinvestment.

“As a profession we have to recognise that if you compared us to finance we are not in the same place,” he said. “I think we have underinvested in HR in general in terms of capability building, skills building. We’ve been a bit of a cobblers’ children.

“With the growing strategic importance of HR [to business leaders], we have got to invest more in the profession in these ways. It’s about moving beyond the focus on cost efficiency and process efficiency. We’ve made progress on these things…to make that step up we need to invest in our capabilities more and be more confident in making a case for that, not continually be beaten down on how much the cost of the function is.”

One way in which CIPD hopes to improve professionalism is with the introduction of HR standards. Cheese said these would be principles-based and aims to add greater consistency of the outcomes of how HR is practiced.

“Good companies will absolutely want to demonstrate that they are in compliance with standards, it will become good practice – a kitemark if you like,” he said.

The British Standards Institute recently released the first HR standard for public comment. 

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