The recent article titled Osero’s Hidden Card In Push For Foreign Certification has ignited a heated discussion on the merits of international HR certification for Kenyan professionals. The discourse surrounding international certification is critical for the growth and development of Kenya’s HR profession. It is essential that HR professionals engage in a thoughtful and open dialogue to arrive at informed conclusions. In this article, I shed light objectively on the underlying issues.
Advocacy for International Certification
The debate is not to discredit local HR certification but rather to explore the benefits of international recognition of HR professional certifications. The global business environment is evolving rapidly, and HR professionals must be equipped with skills that align with international standards to effectively contribute to their organisations. International certification offers exposure to diverse practices and global perspectives. This exposure will enhance the capabilities of Kenyan HR professionals.
Balancing Local and International Relevance
The emphasis on international certification does not negate the value of local certification. Instead, it underscores the need to strike a balance between local relevance and global competitiveness. Local certification, such as the CHRP course, has been instrumental in equipping HR professionals with the necessary skills for effective job performance. However, the inclusion of international certification can further empower professionals to address the complexities of a globalised workforce.
Commercial colleges that support international certification do not undermine local certification as insinuated in the article. Instead, they are offering both certifications to meet HR educational needs of their target students. The colleges provide students with a holistic view of certification options. Thus, they allow individual HR professionals to make informed choices based on their career goals and aspirations.
The Importance of Choice
In any professional field, the freedom to choose one’s career path and educational trajectory is crucial. Rather than constraining professionals to a single certification route, the availability of both local and international options empowers individual HR professionals to tailor their development to their unique circumstances. This diversity of options fosters a dynamic and adaptable workforce that can navigate a range of challenges.
Needless to repeat, international certification offers the advantage of global recognition. In an interconnected world, professionals need credentials that are universally acknowledged. Those that enable them to contribute meaningfully to multinational organisations and adapt to cross-cultural work environments.
Rather than dissipating energies against international HR certification, a more effective use of resources would involve focusing on the implementation of section 17(i) of the Human Resource Management Professionals Act No. 52 of 2012, which provides for promoting examinations both locally and internationally.
As the HR profession evolves, so do the requirements for HR professionals. The article raises concerns about the relevancy of international certification within the Kenyan context. It is imperative that international certification bodies work collaboratively with local ones to adapt their programmes to suit the needs of the Kenyan market. This partnership will ensure that international certifications remain relevant and complementary to local certification efforts.
Bridging the Gap
The debate on local and international HR certification should not be polarised but rather viewed as an opportunity to bridge gaps and build synergies. In the accountancy profession, holders of CPA(K) also go for ACCA certification. When HR professionals embrace both options, they can enjoy a comprehensive learning experience that encompasses global best practices while acknowledging the unique challenges faced in our local context.
The continuing discourse surrounding HR certification is a crucial one that necessitates thoughtful deliberation and open-mindedness. Let HR professionals engage in a constructive dialogue that furthers the growth and development of our HR profession.
The writer is HRD Consultant and Author of Transition into Retirement. Email: [email protected]