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La Trobe Business School

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All LBS School’s Human Resources Degrees now AHRI accredited!

La Trobe Business School AHRI accreditation

Recently, La Trobe Business School received notification that the Master of Management Online (Human Resource Management), has officially been accredited from 2018 until 2020 by the Australian Human Resources Institute.

What does it mean to be a good HR manager?

According to AHRI, working in HR requires more than just good people skills. When evaluating a university’s course, AHRI’s National Accreditation Committee (NAC) focusses on seven key AHRI competencies for tertiary HR management courses. These are set out in their ‘HR Model of Excellence’. The competencies are based on current trends in the industry and university landscape and summarize the key aspects that drive a good HR manager. Being a good HR manager means having the following capabilities:

  1. Being business driven and having the ability to align people management with business objectives and the external environment,
  2. Setting the HR vision for the organisation and driving to success,
  3. Identifying and responding to stakeholder demands, as well as managing relationships,
  4. Building organisational capability through high performing people,
  5. Exercising influence and providing HR advice to achieve objectives,
  6. Applying expert HR knowledge to deliver value to the business,
  7. Facilitating change in response to internal and external operating environments.

AHRI accreditation is granted to eligible tertiary institutions by the organisation’s NAC, after an intensive reviewing process based on this HR Model of Excellence. Through these application procedures, the AHRI and the NAC strive to maintain a high standard for HR courses nationally and internationally.

LBS Professor of Practice Profiles – Dr Geraldine Kennett: Empowering leaders

GK with Terry and Andrew

Being one of the first Professors of Practice appointed at La Trobe Business School early in 2015, Geraldine Kennett has extensive high level industry experience. Having worked at Myer for more than twelve years, rising from an on floor supervisor to Human Resource Manager, Geraldine then moved on to the Central Metropolitan College of TAFE, before working at the Australian Human Resources Institute and the Australian Industry Group. Reflecting on this time, Geraldine comments: “I was always very conscious of how people interacted on the shop floor at Myer, and I was always involved in training staff members. So when I started teaching at TAFE, teaching came very natural to me.”

Working as a HR Manager at Myer, Geraldine implemented a new strategy that allowed teams to set up a self-sustaining process with rotating leadership: “We strived for tight-knit teams without a static supervisor,” Geraldine says, “so the limiting sense of hierarchy in teams was removed.” Geraldine then took her experience to the Australian Human Resources Institute, where she set up the AHRI accreditation framework, using the research for her Master’s thesis as a guide for the emerging capabilities of the profession.

But her real passion wasn’t awakened until she joined The Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA), where she initially worked as the Director of Programmes, organising large-scale events and running formal courses on working in the public sector, before being appointed as the institute’s CEO. “Through my role as director of programmes, I learned a lot about how event management worked at IPAA. When I started as a CEO, I really spotted the opportunity for growth and structural improvement; I expanded the staff from 8 to 26 members, and opened a number of regional offices,” Geraldine comments. “But what I was most passionate about as the IPAA CEO, was Indigenous participation in public administration.”

Together with La Trobe Business School, Geraldine initiated the Graduate Certificate in Management (Public Sector) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants. Reflecting on this process, Geraldine notes: “This project was the first instance where I was exposed to La Trobe University and its values. We started this project to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Victorian Public Sector the chance to advance their careers. It’s often said that women experience the effects of a glass ceiling, but when you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander these disadvantages hit you twice as hard.” According to Geraldine, the issue for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the public sector is that they can’t progress professionally due to their limited access to education, and thus they have no way of competing with the broader community at the same level. “A lot of Indigenous communities were indirectly denied the leap in entrepreneurship, leadership, and education that other cultures experienced in a stronger way. By starting this programme, we hope that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Victoria have a chance to sharpen these skills, so they can access a broader range of career opportunities or have the entrepreneurial skills to start a business of their own.”

When the Professor of Practice positions were announced at La Trobe University, Geraldine saw this as a stepping stone to make a difference in society. “My values when it comes to equity and diversity, sustainability, responsible leadership and the community, align strongly with those of La Trobe Business School. I had recognised this when I started working with LBS staff members through IPAA. So for me, the choice was clear. I didn’t even consider other universities.”

Currently, aside from being an LBS Professor of Practice, Geraldine Kennett is also working with the Vice Chancellor of La Trobe University, Professor John Dewar, and Paul Briggs, the Executive Chair of the Kaiela Institute, on an economic development plan for Aboriginal people in the Goulburn Murray region. A key outcome from this project is an agreement by local businesses and government agencies in the region to employ Aboriginal people. Says Geraldine, “This coming May, there will actually be an agreement signed in Shepparton, where local businesses, government and universities (including La Trobe University) agree to include 2% Aboriginal people among their employees. So we are currently creating the demand for Aboriginal employees, and are hoping to widen the supply by providing these communities with extensive training programmes.”

Through her projects and her teaching, Geraldine uses a philosophy of the Four E’s: Envisage, Enable, Empower and Engage. She created this philosophy after seeing how leadership has changed: “There are more stakeholders than ever, and responsible leadership is crucial. Through the four E’s, I want to create an environment where people develop confidence, step out of their comfort zone and bring values in as core behaviour, while developing their own leadership model.” Geraldine says. “It’s also important to me that people step away from my courses feeling confident, and valued.”

Through her passion for Indigenous economic development, Geraldine Kennett is hoping to generate 140 Indigenous business owners before she retires. “If I can see 140 proud Aboriginal people empowered through this programme before I die, it would be the biggest honour to know I made a difference in these peoples’ lives.”

AHRI Accreditation for the Bachelor of Business (HRM) degree!

La Trobe Business School AHRI accreditation

La Trobe Business School was recently granted accreditation of its Bachelor of Business (HRM) degree from the Australian Human Resources Institute. AHRI accreditation is granted to eligible tertiary institutions by the organisation’s National Accreditation Committee (NAC), after an intensive reviewing process. Through these application procedures, the AHRI and the NAC strive to maintain a high standard for HR courses nationally and internationally.

What does it mean to be a good HR manager?

Working in HR requires more than just good people skills. When evaluating an applicant’s course, the NAC focusses on seven key AHRI competencies for tertiary HR management courses, set out in their ‘HR Model of Excellence’. The competencies are based on current trends in the industry and university landscape and summarize the key aspects that drive a good HR manager. In their eyes, being a good HR manager means having the following capabilities:

  1. Being business driven and having the ability to align people management with business objectives and the external environment,
  2. Setting the HR vision for the organisation and driving to success,
  3. Identifying and responding to stakeholder demands, as well as managing relationships,
  4. Building organisational capability through high performing people,
  5. Exercising influence and providing HR advice to achieve objectives,
  6. Applying expert HR knowledge to deliver value to the business,
  7. Facilitating change in response to internal and external operating environments.

Process of Renewal for LBS

The Bachelor of Business (HRM) first received AHRI accreditation in 2012. In the case of an accreditation renewal, the NAC re-evaluates the institution’s offerings every three years, ensuring the degree equips students with the seven key AHRI competencies listed above.

The La Trobe Business School HR Discipline Group has implemented several initiatives to ensure LBS is on the forefront of HR education. Several new HR specific subjects have been added to the curriculum, including:

  • Employment Relations, which examines the evolution of the institutional frameworks which govern the relationship between various actors in the labour market, including employers, employees, unions and Government.
  • Remuneration and Performance Management, which explores contemporary remuneration and performance management practices in organisations, and why these practices result in better outcomes for organisations.
  • Our new capstone subject, Strategic Human Resource Management, focuses on the development of high performance work systems in organisations and how employee effort can be harnessed to achieve organisational goals and objectives.

These new additions to our curriculum complement our existing HR subjects including Foundations of Management, HRM, Organisational Behaviour, Human Resource Development, Human Resource Information Systems, Business Sustainability and Entrepreneurship.

For further information about our HRM degree, please contact Dr Nicola McNeil, HRM Program Director (94791471, n.mcneil@latrobe.edu.au)

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