Empowering African Businesses

Regulator compels HR professionals to have practising certificates

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By Dan Mganda
Vetting of human resources professionals has begun to ensure only qualified practitioners are allowed to practice in an exercise that is expected to render those without papers jobless.

The Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM), the regulator of the HR industry in Kenya, says plans are under way to register and certify all human resource professionals by end of this year.

The new IHRM Council chairman Elijah Sitimah said today that all HR professionals in the country, including consultants, are required to reapply for IHRM membership after which they will be retained before being
issued with practicing certificates.

“These are the people in charge of talent acquisition and retention, which is a key function in any organization and must thus have the required qualifications,” Mr Sitimah said when he took over the reins of the IHRM
Council from outgoing chairman Paul Kasimu.

The move is likely to cause anxiety among HR professionals as those who do not get the IHRM certification will face sanctions that include being barred from practising. He said according to the new law no person can practice as a human resource management professional without a valid practicing certificate.

The new council officials were elected late last year under the Human Resource Management Professionals (HRMP) Act 2012 and will serve for the next three years.

Mr Sitimah said the Institute has tightened the entry for PR professionals since “untrained and incompetent” HR managers have infiltrated the profession.

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“Many companies and organisations are facing legal and performance issues because HR functions are being held by people who are not qualified or experienced enough,” he added.

He said IHRM Council would soon engage employers through FKE and KAM as well as the County Public Service Boards to ensure compliance. “It will be to the advantage of employers to comply with the new law to mitigate legal

Mr Sitimah, who is the vice-president for human resources at iSON BPO, said the IHRM examination board will administer examinations and issue certificates to qualified candidates. This board will also develop and
harmonize curriculum for HR training.

Those who get the certificate but break the code of ethics will face disciplinary action, he said. “The implementation of the HR Act will improve the quality of service rendered by HR professionals and protect clients including the general public from incompetent and unqualified people who masquerade as human resource practitioners,” he said.

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