The value proposition for regulating HR (Guest commentary)

Benefits include increased status, better-qualified professionals
By Claude Balthazard
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/08/2011

Professional regulation represents an interesting paradox — the stated purpose is to protect the public interest by ensuring professionals are competent and act in an ethical manner, and yet the costs of regulation are borne by professionals who are regulated. Why? Since HR is not a licensed profession, members choose to be regulated and, in so doing, choose to bear the cost. Why, then, would members of a profession pay for something that ostensibly exists to protect the public? Because regulation also creates value for professionals.

An effective regulatory body signals to the public a profession is committed to professional standards of competence and conduct. Without a regulatory body, there is no reason for the public to trust practitioners to be consistently competent and ethical. In return for making a commitment to professional standards of competence and conduct and the willingness to give force to this commitment, the public responds with increased confidence, which leads to a preference for regulated professionals.

The benefits of regulation for regulated professionals are: