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Should CIPD recertification be mandatory?


River Island HRD Karen Beaven on why she thinks recertification should be mandatory for HR qualifications

“In order to improve and maintain the credibility of the HR profession, I believe re-certification should be mandatory. I think this will help raise standards overall and also make it easier for employers to identify candidates for roles who are more commercial, more progressive and committed to keeping their skills and knowledge up to date.

I think there is a potential risk of complacency with the current accreditation framework, which means it is relatively easy for someone to achieve a certain level of accreditation (FCIPD, for example) and then do nothing beyond that point to ensure they are updating their skills and keeping up to speed with new developments. That’s damaging for the profession and does nothing to help the individual. We all have a responsibility to be the best that we can be both for ourselves and for the future of HR. After all, we chose this as our profession and therefore need to take ownership for taking actions that will lead to progress and positive change.

My ideal would be that we introduce mandatory re-certification for all grades of accreditation. This could be done via a process that enables CIPD members to earn re-certification credits for development activities, for example training courses, attendance at seminars and events, speaking engagements, online learning, mentoring programmes etc. The re-certification period would be between two and three years, tracked online.

I think for a lot of people this will be a welcome move because they are already ambassadors for the HR profession. They are serial learners like me who do this already because they are passionate about what they do and are committed to driving the future of HR.

In addition and linked to the above, I would like to see core commercial skills training being introduced to the qualifications framework and also recognised as CPD activities for re-certification. This could include financial planning skills, project management, awareness of ecommerce and digital technology, and also recognition for secondments or commercial experience obtained in business areas outside of HR.

At the moment, we are in a position where the same conversations keep cropping up time after time about HR and business credibility. It’s time for this to stop and time for us to move forward – to do that we need action and change. We need to do something different to break the cycle and get a different result. Part of this links with our qualification and accreditation framework and part of this is in the hands of every person working in HR today. It’s time to be brave, take positive action and spend more time actively being the change we want to see instead of talking about it.”

HR magazine asked the CIPD to respond to Beaven’s call for mandatory recertification. People and strategy director Laura Harrison says: “CIPD membership shows professional competence, that is, the practitioner has mastered an appropriate body of knowledge and can apply this knowledge with integrity and within a business or organisational context.

By renewing membership each year, members commit to our code of professional conduct, which stipulates they must keep up to date through CPD – in other words they remain competent to practise.

As part of our ‘Profession for the Future’ strategy, we’re taking this further. We’re collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders from the business world, academics and thought leaders to review the body of knowledge required to be an HR professional, and to develop a new set of principles that will help HR professionals make good decisions and provide strong guidance within their businesses, no matter what the context or future may hold.”