Institute seeking to increase professionalism and influence

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am

When it was founded, the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM) functioned solely as a body providing professional HR training and securing international memberships. The 30-year-old institute today plays an active role in elevating the professionalism of the industry.

By launching an HR accreditation system, the institute is hoping to set professional standards, recognise HR qualifications and encourage people in the field to continue to learn. The institute said developing the system would be a major project in the coming two to three years.

The system is in line with the institute's new membership system to be introduced by 2009-2010. 'The good thing about the accreditation programme is that we are giving out more than just training,' said Lai Kam-tong, president of the HKIHRM.

To qualify for membership, applicants will need to have relevant working experience and demonstrate they are competent HR practitioners.

While the institute will continue to provide its centre for professional development (CPD) platform to sustain professionalism, HR experts think the institute could explore collaborating with local academics in nurturing talent for the industry, as many senior HR staff have moved to the mainland.

HKIHRM founding president Peter Barrett said the institute should work with local universities and look into developing an HR management degree, as well as MBA programmes specialising in HR management. 'What the HKIHRM should ask itself is this: is the CPD system (run entirely by HR professionals) the best way to get a qualified group of human resource professionals?

'If we were to give [the universities] guidance and use our talented and experienced trainers to better leverage those programmes, [we would] get a better pool of HR people quickly,' said Mr Barrett.

To make the profession more attractive, Mr Lai said the institute should have better communication with the public and the government and try to influence the government more in terms of HR-related issues such as the minimum wage and health programmes.

'We believe that we have to find a platform where we can participate in some of the government and NGO committees,' said Mr Lai.

'We want to be able to proactively express our views, so that we can work hand-in-hand together to address an issue.

'We should have a channel to talk to the government directly to express our members' collective views and work out solutions immediately instead of going back to the government after they have passed certain legislation.'