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What people are saying about HR certification

Learn more about why HR certification is essential for the HR profession in Australia. The articles, blogs, columns, videos and webinars below outline the perspectives of HR practitioners in all industries, their employers and HR thought-leaders.

Read about the HR successes of recently certified HR practitioners – employee relations at Stockland, onboarding at Nexia Australia and learning and development at Power and Water Corporation.

Case studies and projects



Employer perspectives and profiles



Private sector testimonials


“Increasingly if you’re not certified, you’re going find it harder to get roles, and if you are certified you have a key advantage... HR certification is increasing the skills and competence of our HR professionals and they are delivering more.”

Jon Scriven FAHRI, former Group Executive, HR and the Office of the CEO, Qantas

“HR certification helps recognise the important role that HR professionals play in any business, particularly when you are going through a change journey or trying to build a different culture.”

Scott Wyatt, CEO, Viva Energy Australia

“Qualifications prove that the HR leader knows their business, their craft and the legislation, and if you have someone who buys into the need for the culture… that’s a winning combination.”

Geoff Donaghy, CEO, International Convention Centre Sydney

“The APC Program gets participants to think strategically, and not just operationally. When they spoke about HR, they were grounded with a sense of pragmatism, and weren’t just quoting textbook theory.”

Elizabeth Nunez FAHRI, National Director of HR, RSM Australia

“As an HR person, the biggest issue is having business acumen and knowledge of the market you operate in. [It’s about] predicting the future and making sure employees are ready to deliver on the goals. Certification professionalises HR by providing a solid foundation and developmental path to follow. Organisations start to look for it.”

Georgia Siabanis FCPHR, HR Director, The Turning Lane


“HR certification is a true indication that a level of professional capability to deliver performance improvement has been achieved.”

Craig Mason, Founding Director, The Next Step

“We live in a highly credentialed world which expects certainty and accepts advice from those with proven skill sets. Law, engineering and medicine have formal standards and HR can have them too.”

David Owens MAHRI, Managing Director, HR Partners − A Randstad Company

“HR certification is definitely a progressive step forward for HR in Australia, to have a strong development path to follow and a foundation of best practice, as in other professions.”

Clare Johnson, Associate Director, Michael Page

“I am a huge advocate for HR certification. It doesn’t matter what level you are, or how much experience you have, you should continue to develop skills and knowledge, so you can continue to improve the business you are working with.”

Clare Williams CPHR, Managing Consultant Human Resources, Hudson

“HR certification is not just focused on the technical capabilities required to be an expert. It’s also on the behaviour, the style and the way you deliver your functional expertise. The only way to differentiate yourself and stand tall among a sea of sameness is to have HR certification.”

Jo Skipper, Director, The Next Step


“HR certification demonstrates to business stakeholders my HR experience, knowledge and skills.”

Connie Kuhlman CPHR, Field HR Lead – ANZ, Accenture Australia

“During the interviews, I was able to talk about what I have learnt about HR tools and the practical approach the APC Program adopts – and combine that with the theoretical HR knowledge I learnt during my undergraduate degree.”

Current APC Program participant Julie Dawson, RSM Australia

“Being a certified practitioner helps me stand out in the marketplace. As a consultant, I find people are looking to select an expert, and they want someone who is a professional and trusted advisor.”

Donna Benjamin FCPHR, Founder and manager, Holistic Human Resources Consultancy

“I would highly recommend doing certification to anyone from overseas, be they senior with a lot of experience, or a recent graduate. It gives you a perfect insight into the HR principles here and it’s a good opportunity to reflect on your own approach to HR.”

Thomas Hackl CPHR, Organisational Effectiveness Consultant, Western Power

“If we don’t invest in ourselves first and foremost, we can’t be the profession we need to be. We have to invest in our own development and the development of leaders. We have to coach them, show them the blind spots and hold their hands through it. That’s our job.”

Jen White CPHR, HR Director ANZ, Avnet Technology Solutions

“AHRI’s certification program brought back to me a clear understanding of exactly what my profession is about and how business can be affected by good HR practices.”

Lloyd Filer FCPHR, Principal Consultant and Director, Filer Consulting

“HR practitioners need to make a decision: if they want to advance their career, they need to expand their capabilities and skills.”

Dr John Molineux FCPHR, senior lecturer, Deakin University

Download PDF of testimonials

Public sector testimonials


“I support the Australian HR Institute certification program because it makes a difference to our business. Because people are what matters, and if you get that right and you have great HR professionals who are certified, then you’re going to get a better business outcome. Simple as that.”

David Thodey AO, Chairman, CSIRO

“Job candidates who have, or are embarking on the AHRI Practising Certification (APC) Program, show that they are committed to ongoing development and the wider HR profession. These job candidates had a partnership mindset; they talked about providing advice to the wider business and developing outcomes that aligned with business needs.”

Rowena Bain CAHRI, Assistant Secretary in the Culture and People Development Branch, Department of Defence

“Employers need to have the confidence that the people they are getting aren’t just good with people, or have a bit of experience. Certification means professionals have attained and practised a high standard of HR skills and competencies that will improve the business they are working in.”

Trevor Heldt CPHR, HR Director CSIRO

“The value that [APC graduate] Sam Robertson has brought to the business is boundless. She is able to interpret HR theory models and bring those into the workplace; and she consults with end users as an HR business partner and practitioner.”

Cathy Stokes CAHRI, Adviser, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

“Hiring people with appropriate certification in HR is really quite critical.”

Tiffany Blight CAHRI, Department of Social Services


“My Department has had a great ROI for their investment in me on the APC Program. I have grown both professionally and personally, so much so that I now self-identify as an HR professional. It really was one of the most motivating and useful courses I have ever done and really has made a difference.”

Catherine McLachlan CPHR, Director, Workforce Analysis and Recruitment Programs, Department of Social Services, and winner of the 2017 Ram Charan AHRI Practising Certification Award

“I’ve picked up a solid grasp of the theoretical underpinnings of HR and been able to tailor and apply what I’m learning in the workplace... It’s fast-paced and demanding – we’re challenged in every class and every assessment to apply the tools and information we’re learning in a practical way. My employer has benefited from gaining an enthusiastic learner who contributes to new projects and provides practical support to others across the HR teams.”

Jill Collins CPHR, Deputy Head of Mission, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

“The APC Program has not only improved my knowledge, but has given me confidence in my HR capabilities which I am now applying to the workplace in a very tangible way.”

Current APC participant, Julianne Jex, Director, Workplace Relations, Australian Bureau of Statistics

“With my peers and outside the ATO, the capstone project was an ideal vehicle for demonstrating my experience in the HR profession and personally the program provided me with a sense of accomplishment and validation.”

Kerrie Wilby CPHR, Director, Learning and development, ATO People


“Over the last two years of the APC Program, I’ve really grown in terms of having a more strategic focus to my work. I also got a promotion over that time.”

Sam Robertson CPHR, Assistant Director HR Policy and Analytics, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

“Certification played a huge role in my career progression. Had I not completed the program I wouldn’t be where I am today, or have achieved what I have.”

Jessica Kaaden CPHR, HR Business Partner, Office of Public Prosecutions, Victoria, and double AHRI Award winner 2016

“Undertaking the APC Program was great for my self-confidence and definitely gave me a foot up in the recruitment process – and will also help as I transition to my new role.”

Jess Lang CPHR, HR Business Partner, Department of Defence

“The thought of ‘going back to school’ and having to write essays was daunting initially. However, I was immediately hooked on learning with the very first workshop, and could see linkages in my day to day HR business everywhere in Defence!”

Current APC Program participant Melissa Hennessy, Assistant Director, Diversity, Defence People Group

I’ve achieved far more out of the AHRI Certification Program than I ever anticipated and I would highly recommend it. After completing my Masters degree in HRM, I was sceptical about whether more study would be beneficial so soon, when what I was lacking was experience at the strategic level and an opportunity to consolidate what learning I had undertaken. Since undertaking the APC, I have been able to leverage opportunities to work on strategic level programs and reform projects.”

Peta Rafty CPHR, HR Business Partner, Planning and Environment, NSW Government

“The APC Program has encouraged me to reflect on ways that HR can innovate and adapt to ensure Australian Government departments and agencies are best placed to achieve their goals and objectives. The course assessment tasks, comprised of essays and work reports, have been very relevant to the field of HR and have required me to critically analyse HR strategies within my own Department and examine their efficiency and effectiveness.

“From reviewing both academic research and Departmental policies and guidelines, I have become much more aware of HR challenges organisation-wide, rather than just in my specific role. This has allowed me to become a more well-rounded HR professional and to challenge current processes and procedures.”

Current APC participant Margaret Cowan, Assistant Director, Human Resources, Department of Human Services

Download PDF of testimonials


The Value of Certification

Business partners
The Value of Certification
Qantas case study
 Public Sector Qantas
The Australian Taxation Office on the the APC program
The Australian Government on HR Certification
Department of Defence on HR certification
Jacqui Curtis Certification Jacqui Curtis CertificationChristine Clarke certification
The Australian Taxation Office on HR Certification
The Queensland Department of Health on HR Certification
HR certification: setting the bar for the profession
Jacqui Curtis Certification Michael Nelson certification setting the bar for the profession
HR certification: an executive perspective
HR certification and the APC program
HR certification: setting the bar for the profession
an executive prospective HR certification and the APC

2016 Articles


Santos supports certification because it will help in forging career pathways and developing confidence, capability and credibility for the Santos HR gene pool.

Chris Wood FCPHR, Manager HR, Santos

Why I chose to get certified

HR certification and the APC program


AHRI can lead the way in informing Australian employers that HR practitioners who are AHRI certified are experts in their field and maintain their professional currency.

Geoff de Lacy FAHRILife, Principal Director, Polaris Consulting

Deloitte’s HR team reveal how they make work meaningful

The HR team at Deloitte Australia believes work should be purposeful. As individuals, that means setting the standard for their profession.

The post Deloitte’s HR team reveal how they make work meaningful appeared first on HRM online.

Read more on HRM online

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