Globalizing SHRM Certification: New Partnership in Singapore

Collaborative leadership is at the heart of Singaporean business leaders’ reverence for talent

By Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP April 23, 2020
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Alex Alonso

SHRM has launched a new mutual-recognition partnership with Singapore's Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP). One of Asia's most respected HR societies, IHRP has worked at a multinational level for more than 50 years.

In January 2020, I had the pleasure of visiting Singapore, which stretches across a large island at the tip of the Malaysian peninsula. The city-state is nothing like the movie "Crazy Rich Asians"—it's better, with a broad base of businesses fueling the economy. It is a hub for some of the world's largest enterprises in information technology, science, logistics and more. It is home to several Fortune 1000 companies, many of which aspire to join the Fortune 100.

Singapore is part of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional intergovernmental organization. It rates highest among ASEAN countries on the United Nations' 2019 Human Development Index. Human development means a lot to the business leaders I met there—I detected a spirit among them that seeks to enhance people's lives across the board.

The COVID-19 crisis means that enhancing people's lives is needed now more than ever. Singapore was among the first nations to be affected; more than 30 percent of its national transient workforce hails from Chinese ports. During the early weeks of the pandemic, nearly 30,000 workers found themselves stranded and in limbo. Singapore leapt into action, taking precautions to mitigate the impact and mobilizing the great social force among its industries: HR professionals serving their economy.

It was abundantly clear to me during my visit that HR professionals in Singapore, in the U.S. and around the world share two important concepts: People make the enterprise, and managing talent effectively drives results.

Collaborative leadership appears to be at the heart of Singaporeans' reverence for talent. The government and entities like IHRP collaborate by working together to enhance skills. By engaging in a partnership with IHRP, SHRM will leverage the professional development of HR practitioners as two organizations working together to build better workplaces.

What does this mean for globalizing HR certification? For current SHRM credential-holders, it means the ability to earn a credential from IHRP in Singapore-specific law by passing a pathway quiz (not unlike what was available during SHRM certification's inaugural year). For current IHRP credential-holders, it means a new pathway assessment for SHRM certification, tapping into competency-based skills.

For more information about the logistics of these pathways, as well as details of the SHRM-IHRP partnership, contact Achal Khanna, SHRM's CEO for the Asia Pacific-MENA region.

In the coming years, SHRM plans to enter into additional partnerships to access localized expertise around the world for our credential-holders. Let's keep the globalization of SHRM certification going.

Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, is chief knowledge officer of SHRM and author of The Price of Pettiness: Bad Behavior in the Workplace and How to Stomp It Out (SHRM, 2019).

For more information on SHRM Certification, and to register for the exam, please visit our website.

Already SHRM-certified? Be sure to maintain your credential by recertifying. Learn more about recertification activities here.

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