New curriculum raises the bar for HR qualification

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki points out something to IHRM Executive Director Samson Osero and chairman Elijah Sitimah during the launch of the IHRM Strategic Plan 2016-2020 on Thursday.

Human resources professionals will have to undergo fresh training to be certified to practice in Kenya, raising the bar for joining the lucrative industry. The Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM) today launched a new curriculum, which it says seeks to improve competence among human resource professionals.

Speaking during the launch of the Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) Examination Curriculum, IHRM Executive Director Samson Osero said all HR professionals in Kenya will be required to take the CHRP Examination to earn the title of CHRP (K), the equivalent of CPA (K) for accountants.

Kenya becomes the first country in Africa to have such certification for the HR profession. All HR professionals, including consultants, are required to have IHRM practising certificates by December 31st or risk being barred from practicing.

CHRP has been developed by the Human Resource Management Professional Examination Board (HRMPEB), which will also manage administration of the exams and certification.

CHRP certification is the climax of a series of reforms geared at streamlining the HR profession in the country, which began in 2012. “The curriculum has three key components,” said Mr Osero. “There is course work, workplace attachment and project. This makes it 80 per cent practical.”

IHRM said it is already in talks to integrate the curriculum with universities, colleges and polytechnics as their HR courses are out of tune with current trends.

He said practising HR professionals would be exempted from certain courses after a thorough review of their qualifications and experience in an exercise that will not allow examination of private candidates to safeguard the integrity of the qualification.

The new curriculum has received strong backing from the government, which says it will accelerate the attainment of Vision 2030 goal of having a globally competitive workforce.

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, who launched the curriculum, said HR is a key determinant of a country’s development as it has a direct bearing on the economy.

“When organisations have the right calibre of workforce, then you are likely to get high performance as HR managers become more creative and innovative,” she said in a speech read by the ministry’s director of human resource management and development Simon Angote. “But HRMPED has an uphill task of administration and management of the programme to ensure integrity.”