Trainer Profile: Cheree West CPHR
Cheree is a certified HR professional with experience across a range of HR functions. She runs a small consulting business, specialising in all things L&D, and has been a member of AHRI’s education team since 2013, acting as academic coordinator for APC and Certificate IV, as well as developing and facilitating short courses and accredited programs here in Australia and overseas.
- Achieved AHRI HR Professional Certification in 2018: with High Distinction honours
- Co-facilitated AHRI’s Foundation’s in HR accredited program in Nauru in 2015
- Started consulting business in 2013: and have achieved year-on-year growth in terms of both profitability and client base
- Worked across HR functions in the APS from 2007-2013: rapidly gaining promotions and accolades within short succession
- Learning and Development
- Organisational Development
- VET sector
What are some of the current challenges facing the HR industry?
A real challenge for HR is meeting today’s needs, while planning for tomorrow’s change, i.e. finding the balance between meeting daily demands while ensuring that strategic approach stays in focus. Workplaces have and will continue to experience constant change: internal change (i.e. increase in contingent workers, generational spread of employees and various individual expectations), as well as external change (e.g. social norms, technology, economy). These are all factors that HR needs to be both aware of and meet currently (in terms of legislation, business need and employee expectations) but also plan for. HR needs to be ready for – and adapt to – whatever may be around the corner.
Why did you decide to get certified?
I genuinely believe in the certification process: the APC offers a balance between academic research and writing, with practical application. I wanted to not only challenge myself, but join the ranks of my esteemed colleagues. Certification is important for our industry: to the credibility and value of HR.
How has your certification impacted one or more of your students?
I have had many students stay in contact well past their APC graduation – I love hearing from past students, and in particular, getting an update on how their capstone project is playing out in reality. This is again the thing I appreciate most about the APC: that it’s not just all academic, but that it has a real, practical element to it. Students have relayed not only the success of their various projects, but of the credibility and value they have earned as a result. One student wrote to me saying ‘I finally got that seat at the executive table Cheree!’ – and that their executives include them in all major people decisions as a result of the success of their capstone project. Just fantastic!
What advice would you offer to an up-and-coming HR professional?
Talk to as many different people as you can: both HR professionals and those within your business industry. HR and the wider business landscape are constantly evolving so staying stuck in your thinking will limit your chances to grow and succeed in HR. I am constantly seeking individuals and groups out to chat and collaborate, and I always encourage my students to do the same. Share and learn.