HR Standards


HR Management Standards

About the Standards

The HR Council's HR Management Standards (Standards) are designed to support board members, managers and employees in the development and implementation of effective HR policies and practices for nonprofit organizations.

In this section:

Principles

Target audiences

Terminology

How the Standards were developed

Advisory committee members

Disclaimer

 

Principles

The following principles articulate the broad framework and intent of the Standards and guided the development of the specific standards:


Reinforce compliance with legal requirements. Being compliant with relevant legislation is the absolute minimum standard that organizations must achieve. The Standards reinforce compliance but also provide a rationale as to why organizations should do more than the minimum.


Support active and positive approaches to working with employees. Rather than being reactive to continuing problems, the Standards provide managers with information to establish processes and practices that encourage and support employees in their current and future work.

Contribute to a fair and equitable work environment. The Standards set the stage for developing processes that are clear, known and applied consistently so that expectations in performance and relationships essential to an effective workplace are established and promoted.


Integrate with standards that support organizational excellence in governance and accountability. HR management practices do not function in isolation, but are part of the organization’s overall approach to interacting with the public, funders, volunteers and other organizations. These HR Management Standards must be integrated with other standards, such as good governance, ethical fundraising and financial accountability.


Act as a foundation for individual learning and organizational improvement. The Standards support organizations in identifying areas for improvement and to make a clear link between employee performance and organizational results.


Provide tools that will build organizational effectiveness.
By implementing the Standards, organizations make a demonstrable commitment to excellence and allocating resources to ensure capacity is built and sustained and that their mandate is accomplished.

back to top

Target audiences

Primary target audiences who can benefit from the Standards include:

Organizations in assessing and evaluating their current HR management policies and practices, identifying gaps and developing solutions to fill those gaps.


Management staff in identifying where their skills and knowledge to implement effective HR management policies and practices may be limited or missing.


Boards by providing clear direction on their role in this critical area as well as criteria to ensure the organization’s HR management policies and practices are implemented thoroughly and effectively.


Current and future employees in assessing how the organization supports their work and careers.


Donors and funders in determining which organizations have effective HR management policies and practices and supporting organizations in developing and implementing effective HR management policies.


Partner organizations in gauging the sustainability and effectiveness of their partners.


Organizations that provide capacity building activities to nonprofit organizations to support implementation of effective HR management policies and practices.


The public and community
by providing a clear link to understanding how a nonprofit organization works with their employees to achieve results.

 

Terminology

Employee is used generically throughout the Standards to apply to all paid staff of the organization whether full-time, part-time, fixed-term contract, salaried or hourly. This includes all management employees but excludes all individuals volunteering their time with the organization.

Governing Authority refers to the formal body with the highest authority within the organization. In most cases this would be a board of directors or a governing committee of volunteers to whom the most senior staff person reports.

Most Senior Staff Person refers to the highest ranking paid employee in the organization to whom all other employees report to either directly or indirectly, and who reports to the Governing Authority. In most cases this will be an executive director.


Position refers to a role or job that is held by an employee.

back to top

 

How the Standards were developed


In 2008, the HR Council convened an advisory committee composed of individuals from across Canada involved in providing HR management services to organizations in the sector. Working with a consultant, the advisory committee reviewed research that identified the key features and structures to relevant standards programs in Canada and the US. The research provided a basic framework to undertake developing a series of HR management standards.


Once a draft set of standards was developed, three validation sessions were held in Toronto, Regina and Halifax to solicit feedback from 37 individuals representing a variety of organizations. Using the feedback, the Standards were revised and the advisory committee met to review and finalize the Standards.

back to top

 

Advisory committee members

The HR Council would like to acknowledge the following individuals who volunteered to sit on the HR Management Standards Advisory Committee and the organizations that spared them so they could participate:

Sue Armstrong
Director of Human Resources
Pearson Peacekeeping Centre

Bill Palamar
Director, Human Resources Services
Scouts Canada

Eldon Emerson
Manager, Human Resources Initiatives
Muttart Foundation

Bibi Patel
Vice-president
Community Foundation of Ottawa

Isha Khan
Director, Organization Development & Legal Counsel
United Way Winnipeg

Yves Savoie
President and CEO
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Suzanne Lawson
Organizational Consultant

Katherine van Kooy
President and CEO
Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
Don McCreesh
Chair, Imagine Canada
President, The Garnet Group Inc.
 

back to top

 

Disclaimer

The content of this HR Management Standards tool is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of the HR Council or its members, officers, employees or advisors for any errors, omissions, or statements contained in the Standards. The HR Council accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on the Standards.

back to top