Karen Blal - Asia-Pacific Regional Director at the CIPD - believes that the biggest challenge confronting the 43,000-strong HR sector in Singapore, is a lack of courage and confidence to speak up on key business decisions. Karen is a member of the National HR Professional Certification Framework (NHRPCF) taskforce which aims to give HR professionals the confidence boost they need to sharpen their competencies in key areas beyond administration. In an interview with TODAY about why ‘HR must speak up and take on a bigger role’, Karen said ‘traditionally, HR has been an implementer rather than an activator,’ and while many HR leaders are already making their voices heard in boardrooms, ‘we need more people doing it’.

Ms Aileen Tan, the taskforce’s chairperson, wants HR leaders to earn the right to chart a firm's direction and she hopes to see 'the next generation of HR people really stepping up to take on a very strong business-partnering role.' Ms Tan also believes there hasn’t been a better time to launch the NHRPCF as there's a real appetite for ‘a new breed’ of HR practitioners who’re able to grasp changes in the manpower landscape and who're equipped to take on key leadership roles in organisations.

The new framework offers three levels of certification, depending on the size and complexity of a practitioner's role. These are: certified HR professional, certified senior HR professional and certified master HR professional. Following a recent pilot with more than 100 HR professionals, the taskforce is now seeking public feedback, via the Workforce Singapore website, on the framework and competencies underpinning the certification.

Middle East

In the Middle East, the CIPD’s Workforce Insights report has received widespread media coverage. This report, which draws on original research from over 1,000 HR decision-makers across the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is the first of its kind and will become an annual barometer for the region.

The Gulf Today picked up on two key findings from the research that more work needs to be done to improve gender diversity and to attract young people into the profession. And, The National focused on insights from the report into flexible working opportunities and employee health and well-being in the GCC. Just 14% of survey respondents report their companies have standalone strategies for health and well-being, and whereas 27% of companies in the GCC have increased their flexible-working practices within the region over the past year, 25% of organisations are actually expecting to decrease their part-time workforce in the next 12 months.

The CIPD in Dubai organised a special event for HR leaders where they revealed top level results from the Workforce Insights report. Speaking about the research in an interview with Business, Peter Cheese, CIPD Chief Executive, said that the CIPD is ‘working with individual members, organisations and increasingly with government including entities such as FAHR… to help provide more insight into market trends. At our core we believe better HR and workforce management practices will benefit wider society and economies – and this all aligns to our purpose to Champion Better Work and Working Lives.’

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About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.