The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shunned the chance to provide official human resources (HR) qualifications for China – a move described as “shameful” by leading HR professionals – Personnel Today can reveal.
An approach by the Chinese Ministry of Personnel was turned down because it was judged by the institute to be too expensive.
Senior HR professionals hit out at the decision, saying the CIPD had missed a golden opportunity.
One HR director said: “Clearly, China is going to be an increasingly dominant entity in the global market, and there is a huge opportunity to become involved.
“A progressive institute should be exploring, innovating and reaching out to such opportunities. It is shameful that this hasn’t been the mindset. This reminds me of when people said that the internet wouldn’t really have much of an impact on recruitment.”
Another senior HR source added: “China is the powerhouse economy of the future. I’m afraid this is a missed opportunity to make a real difference in the reach and impact of the CIPD and the profession in general.”
China has tens of thousands of personnel workers in the public sector alone, many of whom are said to be ripe for training, qualifications and guidance. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecasted that China’s economy would grow by 11.4% this year.
The set-up cost to the CIPD of the deal with the Chinese government is understood to have been about £500,000. This figure was unconfirmed by the institute.
Its annual report revealed that the CIPD’s income for 2006-07 was £35.2m, with £29.3m held in reserve to ‘cover operating costs’. Outgoing director-general Geoff Armstrong was paid £343,000 last year.
A CIPD spokesman said: “We did look at the possibility of establishing professional standards and qualifications in China, but the proposal was too resource intensive.
“We looked into the resources required against other priorities in the UK and Ireland, and it was not going to work.”
CIPD annual report