ANSI Gives Boost to Human Resources, Designates SHRM As Sole Standards Developer in the U.S.

Feb 27, 2009

Alexandria, Va. – The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today announced it has been designated a Standards Developing Organization (SDO) by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).This designation makes SHRM the exclusive U.S. developer of human resource standards and puts it on track to oversee the formulation of international HR standards.

“ANSI accreditation marks an important milestone in SHRM’s ongoing efforts to advance the human resources profession,” said Lee Webster, director of HR standards at SHRM.“As the demand for HR products and services grows, establishing durable and interoperable performance measures and metrics has become a real market need, both in the United States and abroad.”

Standards are a set of voluntary criteria, guidelines and best practices used to enhance the quality, performance, reliability and consistency of products, services and processes of a profession.SHRM’s designation is unique because only one other professional business group is an SDO for “performance-based” outcomes rather than “technical-based” outcomes, which are seen in more clinical professions such as medicine.

Webster said HR standards will lead to both cost-savings and operational improvements for organizations. One potential area for cost-savings is with investigations, where a lack of guidelines currently has resulted in an overly complex and costly approach to what should be a routine HR operation.

Likewise, HR standards could positively impact an organization’s carbon footprint through more efficient employer relocation practices and reducing overall documentation practices that would filter down the supply chain to an organization’s vendors.

“By making HR products and services subject to a more rigorous set of standards, the return on investment is more vivid and real for the business community,” Webster said.

SHRM and ANSI will begin inviting key stakeholders in the development of writing the standards for all 13 HR discipline areas.The first meetings will occur this spring with the new standards expected out in early 2010.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) does not yet have a technical committee that focuses on human resources standards.SHRM intends to play an important role in founding and leading that technical committee.

For more information about SHRM’s efforts, or to review the 13 HR discipline areas, visits


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM online at


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