December 2, 2020

Global HR Certification Success Story at UCCI

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DSC_0147webWith more than 110 nationalities represented in the Cayman Island’s workforce, human resource (HR) professionals face many challenges in managing this diverse pool of talent. To help HR professionals meet the challenges of workforce diversity, the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) now offers training programmes and professional certification in global human resource management.  These programmes and certificates attest to a HR professional’s commitment to self-development, helps them fast-track their careers and ensures that global standards are met in local work environments.

One such certification is the Global Professional Certificate in Human Resources (GPHR) offered by the Human Resource Certification Institute, the certification arm of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). The GPHR certificate attests to a HR professional’s mastery of five subject areas: strategic human resource management, global talent acquisition and mobility, global compensation and benefits, organisational effectiveness and global talent development, and risk management and workforce relations. Because the GPHR certificate focuses on successfully managing and leveraging cultural differences in a diverse workforce, this certificate is particularly useful in Cayman’s multicultural work environment.

The GPHR preparation course and certification exam was offered for the first time in the Cayman Islands at UCCI in fall, 2012, with impressive results.  “Gaining HRCI certification of any type is no easy feat,” explained Dr. Bonnie Nelsen, Director of Graduate Studies and Professional Development at UCCI. “But earning the GPHR certification is especially challenging. According to HRCI, only 1.15 % of all certified SHRM members held a GPHR certificate as of August, 2012.  So I’m very proud of the six participants in UCCI’s GPHR preparation course who successfully passed their exam and earned GPHR certification.”

Hard work, self-discipline and a supportive learning environment created the recipe for success, according to Michelle Gibbon of Stepping Stones Recruitment, Training and Development. “Despite the fact that I’ve only been out of University for a few years and have excellent study skills, I was quite nervous about writing the GPHR exam given its prestigious status. The preparation course (at UCCI) not only helped to engrain knowledge but also give me the skills and techniques I needed to do my best on the exam.”

Dr. Nelsen said, “We offer the warmest congratulations to Michelle and her colleagues, who demonstrated a passion for HR management, a commitment to master the skills and knowledge needed to success in today’s global workplace and the sheer determination to succeed—all of which are required to earn the GPHR certification. Indeed, the participant’s pass rate on the GPHR exam is 55.5 %- -above average for recent sittings of the exam, according to HRCI.”

Receiving the news of her success, Michelle felt a sense of joy and relief after putting her heart and soul into the exam. To her, it was an affirmation of her efforts and commitment.

“When Bonnie passed me the package that contained my GPHR certificate and saw ‘congratulations’ written on the cover, I was positively elated. After all our hard work and countless hours spent studying, I was ecstatic beyond belief as I held that certificate. I know that my fellow students experienced the same emotions when they received (their certificates). The fact that our group had a 55.5 % success rate also attests to the hard work and dedication given to us by our instructor.”

Ms. Gibbon also stressed that the GPHR certification was particularly valuable in the Cayman Islands: “Considering how much of our work here is done on a global basis, this qualification is extremely beneficial to how we recruit, train and develop all employees, from Cayman and all over the world, to build successful and sustainable organisations for our Islands.”

Dr. Nelsen agrees. “Because the Cayman Islands are so diverse and do business with stakeholders in all parts of the world, the knowledge covered in the GPHR examination is directly applicable to every organization on the islands. In fact, many participants in the preparation course were applying their global skills and knowledge on the job even before the certification exam took place. This certification adds real value to HR professionals and the firms that employ them almost immediately.”

SHRM training and certification is offered at UCCI every year; HR certification preparatory course are held from September-November, in time for HRCI’s December examination window. Preparatory courses for HRCI certification can also be held in the spring if interest and demand warrants doing so. The university also offers regionally accredited graduate degrees in human resource management and business administration (MBA).  The University College of the Cayman Islands offers small classes with personalised attention, a friendly atmosphere and teaching from PhD-qualified instructors. This is important for students who wish to ply their skills in Cayman or, eventually, abroad.


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