By-Law 7

National Certification Council

In 2015 AHRI introduced a program that facilitates formal certification for HR professionals in Australia. The program involves a robust validation of the knowledge, skills and behaviours of HR practitioners in addition to the confirmation of their commitment to continuous professional development (CPD).

A key outcome of the role and deliverables of the National Certification Council (NCC), is AHRI’s ability to more actively promote the benefits of HR to the wider business community.

The standards for certification are underpinned by Australian HR Capability Framework (AHRCF) which draws from current research and industry benchmarks. The AHRI Practising Certification program (APC) has been developed to support the formal certification process and is aligned to this model.

Pathway 1: AHRI Practicing Certification Program

The APC includes a combination of knowledge and skills development and assessment strategies across a 4-unit postgraduate level program. Upon completion, participants will have formal validation and recognition via the post-nominal CPHR or FCPHR. The post-nominal will communicate the fact that they have been independently assessed as having attained the essential HR knowledge (what they know) and skills (what they do) required to deliver excellence in their professional practice.

The program includes the capacity for ‘skills recognition’ across the 3 knowledge units and may be gained through study, recognition of prior learning (RPL) or Cross-Credit from AHRI accredited university programs, but the mandatory 4th capstone unit must be completed and formally assessed and cannot be gained through RPL.

Pathway 2: Senior Leaders Pathway

For our senior HR leaders, pathway to Certification is provided via a case-study and interview process, that is overseen by a sub-committee of the NCC or nominated certified practitioner in advance of being presented to the NCC. Note, the sub-committee may include up to 2 members of the NCC in addition to the AHRI General Manager, HR Standards & Practice. Once the candidate is approved, they will be awarded with CPHR or FCPHR

Pathway 3: Mutual Partnership Agreements

Certified members from other HR industry certification bodies will be awarded CPHR or FCPHR in accordance with the terms and conditions agreed in the relevant mutual partnership agreement, under the authority of the NCC.

Pathway 4: Academic Pathway

For our academics, their pathway to certification is provided a portfolio and interview process, that is overseen by a sub-committee of the NCC or nominated certified academic in advance of being present to the NCC. Note, the subcommittee may include up to 2 members of the NCC in addition to the AHRI General Manager, HR Standard & Practice. Once the candidate is approved, they will be awarded with CAHR or FCAHR

The NCC oversees the HR standards, administration and decision making that result in the credentialing of eligible candidates seeking HR certification.

The NCC, delegated by the Board is the awarding body of the professional certification post-nominal: CPHR, CAHR and/or FCPHR and FCAHR. The NCC is responsible for overseeing the mechanisms available to members with respect to member application processes for certification and continuous professional development (CPD) audits, including management of appeals.

The NCC is responsible for the oversight of the National Accreditation Committee which has responsibility for the accreditation standards for university programs underpinned by Australian HR Capability Framework (AHRCF). The AHRI model of excellence is also the HR certification standard.

The members of the NCC come from a broad range of representative stakeholder groups that are capable of overseeing the key areas of academic knowledge and the application of practical skills that in their judgement amount to evidence of professional competence.

The NCC certification will operate in accordance with the following principles:

1. Delegated authority to the national certification council

a. AHRI Ltd Board shall delegate to a National Certification Council (NCC) established for this purpose the task of overseeing the mechanisms available to members wishing to apply for and maintain their professional certification status as outlined in the relevant sections of By-Law 3.

b. The NCC will operate as an independent body with authority to report on the certification outcomes to the AHRI Board and General Manager, HR Standards & Practice, including those members who have:

  1. been awarded the CPHR, CAHR, FCPHR or FCAHR post-nominal
  2. not been successful in their application
  3. not been successful in maintaining their professional standing as a result of the CPD audit.
  4. applied to have their certification status reinstated after lapsed membership.

c. The NCC will oversee the outcomes of the CPD audits including management of appeals.

d. The NCC will oversee the National Accreditation Committee which has responsibility for the accreditation standards for university programs underpinned by Australian HR Capability Framework (AHRCF).

The AHRI model of excellence is also the HR certification standard.

e. The AHRI Board will seek to appoint members to the NCC, in accordance with the followin categories which are designed to represent the key stakeholder groups:

  1. NCC Chair, nominated and/or held by the AHRI National President
  2. NCC Deputy Chair, as required
  3. AHRI Non-Executive Director 
  4. Private Sector
  5. Public Sector
  6. Not for Profit Sector
  7. Academia (HR Specialisation)
  8. Global HR Rep/HR thought leader/Life Fellow
  9. CSP Representative/Councillor/Past Board Member/Past CSP
  10. Chair of the National Accreditation Committee
  11. Reciprocity Agreement Representative (CIPD)

f. The term of service for NCC members is for a period of 3 years. NCC members can be invited to undertake continuous terms of service.

g. In a non-voting capacity, the NCC will be supported by AHRI Management Representatives

2. Certification approval processes

a. A member is eligible to apply for professional certification where the member has a current AHRI Membership and has been deemed to have met one of the following pre-requisites:

  1. Successful completion of the AHRI Practising Certification Program (APC) via:
    1. Formal Study; or
    2. RPL and/or Cross Credit via the AHRI approved RPL process which involves requisite study and/or recognition of prior learning and/or cross credit for the first 3 units of the AHRI Practising Certification Program (APC), and successful completion of the mandatory 4th Capstone unit of the AHRI Practising Certification Program (APC).

ii. Senior leaders, who have completed the certification application via a case-study submission and an interview with the NCC sub-committee or nominated certified practitioner (Senior Leaders Pathway).

iii. Chartered MCIPD or Chartered FCIPD, Academic MCIPD, Academic Fellow (Academic FCIPD) members who have achieved their CIPD membership via an equivalent certification process through the CIPD under the auspice of the AHRI/CIPD reciprocity agreement. As the reciprocity agreement, has been approved by the NCC and the AHRI Ltd Board, Certification will be automatically granted on application with updates provided to the NCC as part of the meeting agenda.

iv. IHRP certified members who have successfully completed the appropriate bridging arrangements under the AHRI/IHRP mutual partnership agreement.

v. Academics, who have completed the certification application via a portfolio submission and an interview with the NCC sub-committee or nominated certified academic (Academic Pathway).

  1. APC study applications and senior leaders’ case-studies will undergo a desk audit prior to review by the NCC to ensure all documentation is in place. Grades for the APC Unit 4 Capstone project will not be confirmed to students until final review of the project by the NCC.
  2. Senior leaders’ case-studies will undergo a desk audit prior to review by the NCC subcommittee to ensure all documentation is in place.
  3. All members will be required to complete a declaration of potential impediments with reference to AHRI’s code of ethics and Professional conduct (By-Law 1) and acknowledge the requirement for Continuing Professional Development prior to being certified or presented to the NCC for review.
  4. Four levels of decisions are available to the NCC

vi. Approved – member is advised of successful completion of the application

vii. Pending – member is advised of the deficiencies within the application and has 28 days to submit additional information as requested. Members undertaking the APC Pathway will be advised to resubmit their case study as per the APC assessment guidelines.

viii. Deferred – member is advised to resubmit their application when data is available to substantiate their case study. Members undertaking the APC Pathway will be advised to resubmit their case study as per the APC assessment guidelines.

ix. Application not approved – member is advised that the application has not been successful and advised of areas within the application which must be strengthened, e.g., additional CPD. Members undertaking the APC pathway will be formally advised that they have failed Unit 4. The member will also be advised of the right of appeal and the process for pursing that right.

3. Notification of decisions

a. Those members who successfully complete one of the certification pathways (APC, Senior Leaders Pathway, CIPD Reciprocity agreement or Academic Pathway), will be formally notified in writing on behalf the Chair of the NCC that they are entitled to use the post-nominal CPHR, CAHR, FCPHR or FCAHR.

b. AHRI will profile in its publications the names of those members who are awarded with the certification post-nominals.

c. Those members who have not been successful in either receiving and/or maintaining their certification designation will be notified in writing and advised of their right to appeal and alternate strategies for their pathway towards certification.

4. Appeals processes

a. A system is available for a member to lodge an appeal to the NCC. Such appeal must be made in writing to the Chair of the NCC at the registered office of the Institute within 28 days of the date of the notification of an NCC decision.

b. The Chair of the NCC will convene an appeals panel, which will consist of the Chair of the NCC and two other NCC members.

c. The Chair will circulate the relevant documents to all parties before the appeals hearing. The decision of the appeals panel will be final and by a simple majority; where no such majority is obtained, the appeal fails and the original decision stands.

d. The member concerned will be informed in writing within 14 days of a decision of the appeals panel.

5. Meeting schedule

The NCC will convene at least four times each calendar year to review applications to coincide with APC study trimesters. Any conflicts of interest must be re declared with the Chair to decide the procedures for proceeding.