First British standard for human resources practice released
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First British standard for human resources practice released

The British Standards Institution has recently released a draft of the first ever British standard for human resources practice – and called for HR professionals to provide feedback on it. This draft standard, public feedback on which can be given until January 2015, has been put together by a wide range of people, including experts from the professional organisations Acas, the TUC and the CIPD, plus a variety of academics and employers. Intriguingly, early reactions to the standard indicate that it has already provoked some controversy.


A standard intended “to use the best”

The standard, which has the wonderfully snappy name of ‘BS 76000 – Management system for valuing people in organisations – Requirements and guidance for use’, includes the basic principles that employees should be valued by senior leaders, the organisation should work fairly and socially responsibly and staff should have rights beyond those already accounted for in existing regulation. Wilson Wong, chair of the British Standard Institution’s human capital standards committee, has revealed that his organisation opted to begin with a high level principles standard – as, in his words, “we felt that without a values-driven culture, it would not be possible to use the best and develop the potential of all the people contributing to an organisation’s value chain”.


A controversial new standard for HR?

Anne Hayes, the Institution’s head of market development for governance and risk, has said that “experts recognised that an overarching management system standard would help organisations to assess what they already have in place and address any gaps”. However, Paul Kearns, the Maturity Institute’s chair, has pointed out that the standard doesn’t specify what companies should measure and how they should measure it. He has complained that, should a company be “allowed to choose what it measures, there’s no acid test” and so the standard is “not objective or meaningful”. Still, Wong has said that a company “should be the best judge of what adds value across their people systems”.

As a company that is often involved with matching of appropriate candidates to HR jobs Portsmouth, Southampton and other places’ companies are seeking to fill, Elite HR agrees with the majority expert opinion that BS 76000 could attract controversy as human resources has not yet become subjected to the standardisation that most professions have become subjected to. Nonetheless, we will have high hopes for the standard as we continue matching for HR jobs in Surrey and elsewhere.