Standardization News

Standards Planned for HR Management

ASTM International’s committee on human resource management (E63) is encouraging HR professionals to help create standards that will support best practices and alignment with business goals.

“Human resources has typically been considered a soft discipline,” says committee chair Sonia Johnson, who is also the executive director at the Society for Employee Relations. “That misperception has created a situation in which the profession is not evolving at the rate of business growth. We need widely accepted and uniform standards for all aspects of human resources management to help the profession keep pace and to maximize its positive impact.”

The committee is developing a series of standards that cover issues within six broad categories:

  • People: talent, training and development, compensation, benefits, succession planning, and mentoring;
  • Workplace: environment, ergonomics, accessibility, and communications;
  • Transformational: brand culture, social responsibility, organizational effectiveness and development, industrial and organizational psychology, and analytics;
  • Compliance and employee relations;
  • Technology: business-based and organizational/people analytics; and,
  • Diversity and inclusion.

“This is very different from other efforts to standardize HR practices, as this committee is not merely creating standards based on the HR function as it is, but working on it with a proactive, forward-leaning perspective,” says Johnson. “In addition, we are focused on creating a more business-centric HR function in which its functions can be measured against corporate goals such as revenue and profit as well as employee success.”

Johnson notes that the committee is actively seeking volunteers, particularly HR, business, and technology professionals who want to be involved in all aspects of developing standards for human resources management. For more information, please contact Sonia Johnson at

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

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