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Human resources (HR) management

Human resources (HR) management

Human resource (HR) management  includes the overall responsibility for recruitment, selection, appraisal, staff development and training, understanding and implementing employment legislation and welfare.

HR managers may have responsibility for workforce planning or work for one or more directorates (for example surgery, day care or accident and emergency) where they will provide HR support and advice to the general manager responsible for that directorate. This might involve advising on the redeployment of staff from a ward that is closing or advertising strategies for the recruitment of new staff. HR managers may have a responsibility for a particular group of staff such as all medical staff working within an NHS trust.

Some senior HR managers will have broad areas of responsibility, such as operations or training, development and recruitment, and implementing national initiatives.

There are a variety of job roles and job titles in this area of management. Here are some examples of job roles.

Human resources manager

You are working in a specialist trust providing mental health services for adults, older people, children and adolescents and also substance misuse and specialist learning disabilities. 

You would take a lead role in the trusts human resources agenda and lead on specific corporate HR objectives. You're responsible for:

  • recruitment & retention of staff
  • maintenance of the attendance management process
  • handling formal grievance and disciplinary process and appeals
  • the design and delivery of training and development programmes
  • providing advice on principles and detail of employment legislation and good practice
  • the maintenance of effective employee relations including participation in local formal consultation machinery and processes of job evaluation, salary administration and reward management.

You would need to be able to build relationships at all levels, and have current knowledge of the NHS HR agenda. This type of post would require experience in a Human Resources role within the NHS.

Medical staffing manager

Working in a hospital NHS trust, you have responsibility for all medical staff working within the Trust, with the exception of medical students.

This includes responsibility for terms and conditions of medical staff, recruitment and selection of professional grade staff. The postholder will advise and support medical staff on HR-related issues and be involved with the international recruitment of medical staff, workforce planning and the European Working Time Directive.

Good organisational, time-management and communication skills are required for this type of role along with an ability to work under pressure, be assertive and work using initiative.

Assistant director of human resources (workforce development)

Your lead the trust's development and implementation of a comprehensive training and development plan working in partnership with areas of the trust also delivering education. Delivery of the plan would involve liaison with partner organisations across the region.

Effective leadership including those providing vocational training, staff development and workforce planning would be a key element of this post.

You would need experience of staff development and/or workforce planning, and effective leadership skills. A sound knowledge of current NHS strategic workforce issues would also be required. A postgraduate qualification in a development related subject or membership of the Institute of Personnel and Development would be essential.

Divisional human resources manager

You are one of four HR managers working within a university hospitals' NHS trust providing strategic development and leadership support. Managing a team of 16 and budget of over £700,000, you would be expected to ensure that communication between colleagues flowed freely, knowledge was shared and skills fine-tuned.

Your employer would require you to have operational experience in a progressive HR function, at least part of which has been gained at an operational level in the NHS, and to hold an appropriate human resources qualification.

Entry requirements

There are a number of different routes into HR management and each will have different entry requirements.

  • staff wishing to enter HR management roles may be able to enter at an administrative or clerical level and gain promotion into supervisory and managerial roles, having gained suitable experience and appropriate qualifications.
  • the HR specialism of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme which incorporates the study of CIPD qualifications.
    • Minimum eligibility requirements for the management training scheme are as follows 2:2 degree in any subject, a postgraduate qualification (MBA, Masters, PhD) or a degree level equivalent qualifications related to health or management, such as NVQ level 5 in management or a diploma in Management Studies (DMS)
    • Qualifications not accepted include the certificate in Management Studies, HNC/HND (Higher National Certificate/ Diploma), NVQ Level 3 or below or a CGLI/C&G (City and Guilds)
    • Applicants who are already qualified as graduate members of the CIPD are not eligible for the Human Resources Specialism. Applications usually need to be made by November prior to the year of entry.
  • opportunities will exist for other applicants, although more senior posts may require experience of working in the NHS.
  • more Senior HR roles as Assistant HR Director or Director of HR, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) may be required.

Staff working in medical staffing roles may be required to have attended courses provided by the National Association of Medical Personnel Specialists (NAMPS). These courses are available at Foundation and Advanced Management level.

The Foundation course is aimed at newly appointed staff with limited experience. The course covers day-to-day essential knowledge and information required to do the job. The Advanced course is aimed at those staff with experience or in a senior post, covering the more complex areas of the job. NAMPS also has a newsletter and runs conferences for members.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Managers working in the general area of human resources will often need to have or be prepared to work towards gaining qualifications recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

CIPD qualifications are available at Level 3 Foundation, Level 5 Intermediate and Level 7 Advanced. You can study awards, certificates and diplomas at each of these levels.

  • Level 3 Foundation qualifications are for those aspiring to, or embarking on, a career in HR or Learning and Development (L&D); those working in the field of HR/L&D in a support role and wish to develop their knowledge and skills and those with responsibility for HR/L&D activities and decisions within an organisation without a specialist function.
  • Level 5 Intermediate qualifications are aimed at staff who are looking to develop a career in HR management and development; those working in the field of HR management and development and need to extend their knowledge and skills; those with responsibility for implementing HR policies and strategies and/or need to understand the role of HR in the wider organisational and environmental context.
  • Level 7 Advanced qualifications are for staff who have responsibility for HR decision making within an organisation at either operational, tactical or more strategic level; HR professionals in a team or HR functional management role who are seeking to enhance and develop their career; those with responsibilities for the HR function and activities within an organisation without a specialist function and for those who are independent or employed HR consultants who support organisations in meeting their goals.

CIPD qualifications are offered at a number of education institutions (including Universities) and on a range of modes of study including full-time, part-time, distance, flexible and open learning.

NHS employees will usually be expected to undertake CIPD qualifications on a part-time basis and NHS employers will usually provide support in the form of some time off for study and/or assistance with course fees.

Further information

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Website: http://www.cipd.co.uk/

Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA)
Email: admin@hpma.org.uk
Website: http://www.hpma.org.uk/

National Association of Medical Personnel Specialists (NAMPS)
Email: enquiries@namps.org.uk 
Website: http://www.namps.org.uk/

NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme
Email: graduates@lead.institute.nhs.uk
Website: http://www.isthenhsforme.co.uk