Volunteers Sought to Help Develop HR Standards

By SHRM Online staff Dec 21, 2011

Two new task forces are being formed to develop national HR standards, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced Dec. 14, 2011.

One task force will focus on creating standards that address employee and labor relations; a second task force will create standards that address HR compliance and regulatory issues. Topics such as onboarding, retention and downsizing methods, exit interviews and grievance processes might be among the standards that will be developed by these task forces.

SHRM is working under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private, nonprofit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment systems.

In 2009 ANSI designated SHRM the exclusive developer of HR standards for the United States.

Lee Webster, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM’s director of HR standards, said that the standards are business tools—not just HR tools—whose use is voluntary.

At ANSI’s direction, SHRM also is serving as secretariat for all of the HR standards task forces, overseeing administrative needs and making sure that standards are developed in accordance with ANSI directives and procedures.

In addition, SHRM has created domestic standards groups to look at HR performance management; measures and metrics; staffing and workplace planning; and diversity and inclusion. Also, SHRM has collaborated with ASIS International to produce a standard for workplace violence prevention and Intervention, which was approved and published in October 2011.

Task forces follow a protocol that includes formal balloting, a process for resolving negative votes and conflicting views, an appeals process, and a public review and comment period before the standards are released in final form to the public, according to Webster.

Each standard is submitted to ANSI for formal certification. Once adopted, the standards are available to the public for free.

SHRM membership is not required to serve on a task force, and representatives are needed from the following to ensure a diverse membership:

  • Practitioners (HR professionals).
  • Customers (public- and private-sector organizations and employees).
  • Developers (suppliers and vendors, academics, attorneys, researchers and consultants).
  • General interest groups.

Task force members must comply with written SHRM consensus standard procedures and with SHRM’s written conflict-of-interest and antitrust compliance policies.

From 50 to 100 people typically make up a task force, which divides into workgroups. Workgroup meetings are held virtually or in conference calls each month and last about 90 minutes, and the groups have a social media presence, according to Webster.

Task forces typically run about 18 months, he noted.

“Members of the HR and business communities who get involved with these task forces at their start,” said Amanda Benedict, SHRM’s manager of HR standards, “have a golden opportunity to drive what will be considered minimally effective practices and develop the content of American national HR standards in these disciplines.”

Persons interested in serving on a task force or who would like to nominate someone to a task force should submit an online application by Jan. 18, 2012. Questions can be directed to Amanda Benedict at hrstds@shrm.org.

Related Articles:

Standard Guides Organizations in Preventing Workplace Violence, HR News, October 2011

Technical Advisory Group Formed to Create HR Standards and Act as Standards Advocate, About SHRM, March 2011

SHRM to Craft U.S., Global HR Standards,HR News, February 2009

Task Force Members Needed to Develop HR Standards,HR News, September 2010


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