Online skills fix for public sector HR chiefs

Council HR directors will be able to check their own competencies against an ‘ideal skills set’ due to be published online later this month.

The Public Sector People Managers’ Association (PPMA) and the Improvement Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA) are due to launch the ‘national development programme for HR directors’ on 13 February.

The tool is designed to help HR practitioners survive the recession by helping them decide what skills they need to develop as the HR function changes.

Last month, Personnel Today revealed HR jobs were under threat as councils looked for efficiencies. The Local Government Association warned HR to re-train in growing HR areas, like workforce planning or employee development, and become less focused on recruitment.

Alan Warner, director of people and property at Hertfordshire Council, helped establish the new benchmarking data. He told Personnel Today: “We have got a changing environment, with local authorities having to search for efficiencies and change the way in which they work,” he said. “With all those pressures we wanted to ensure that HR directors were equipped for changing times.”

“Where there are gaps or areas that need help and development, then IDeA will help to fill those gaps, on an individual basis,” added Warner, who is also a PPMA board member.

Work shadowing, masterclasses and mentoring for senior HR directors including those from the private sector – would all be available to help HR professionals improve their skills, Warner said.

HR professionals can access the tool at

21st century HR skillset?

  • What they say: ‘HR needs to deliver innovative, low-cost, value-driven, and results-orientated work.’
    Personnel Today translation: ‘Do your job.’

  • What they say: ‘HR directors need to be fluent in the language of globalisation, organisational capability, culture change and intellectual capital.’
    Personnel Today translation: ‘Listen to other cultures.’

  • What they say: ‘Simply delivering a function which is purely administrative, transactional and policy focused is outdated.’
    Personnel Today translation: ‘Be strategic.’

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