HRP, as the Association of Human Resource Professionals is commonly known, began in the year 2000 with the vision "To bring HR to the forefront". It arose out of a need for HRM professionals to have a forum to meet, help each other, share best practices and, more importantly, to have the profession duly recognised and accepted as other professions were.

The last twelve years have been a rewarding experience for HRP. The impact HRP has made during the last 12 years of its existence is remarkable. Members have derived value from being able to reach out to other members for help, guidance and assistance, not only benefiting themselves, but also the organisations they work in.

In collaboration with IPMA-HR, HRP has conducted a certification programme that gives successful participants a world recognised HR accreditation.

HRP also signed a MoU with the Science Faculty of the University of Colombo and now conducts two extension courses in soft skills for students that give them course credits. They are much sought after courses as undergrads have come to realise and appreciate them as value additions in their quest for jobs.

Last year, HRP entered into a MoU with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), India to advance the HR profession in the country and in the region. As part of our collaboration, SHRM and HRP will engage in facilitating knowledge networks for the HR community and development programmes around HR Capability Development.

In 2003, HRP promoted the idea of a National HRM Awards system and worked towards making it a reality to enhance the level of HRM practices in Sri Lanka. The first-ever National Awards were introduced the same year.

Since then, the Awards have been held thrice – the last being in 2010. Each year, the Awards have seen improvement, not only in the gala event held to celebrate the winners, but also in the process by which participant organisation's HRM processes and systems were evaluated.

In 2007, HRP partnered with Hewitt (as it was then known) who were tasked with collecting and evaluating data from organisations that entered the Awards, so that the technical process would be more acceptable to participants in that members of HRP would not in any way be connected to or know any information pertaining to participant organisations. This was well received by the business community and this is perhaps why the Awards have registered greater participation over the years.

Hewitt is now known as Aon Hewitt Associates and is the global leader in Human Resources consulting and outsourcing solutions. They partner with organisations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges. On the invitation of HRP, Aon Hewitt has once again partnered with HRP as its content partner for the HRM Awards 2012.

Aon Hewitt delivers the strongest team of professionals in the industry who have access to the widest breadth and depth of expertise and services, in more locations and for more industry segments than any other human resources consulting firm. Their singular focus is on clients and they deliver distinctive value, top-rated customer service and measurable business impact.

Aon Hewitt is the No.1 Human Resources consulting and outsourcing firm in the world with 29,000 employees and 330 offices in 90 countries. Their combined annual revenue is USD 4.3 billion and serves 80% of the fortune 500 companies.

In 2007, the Awards recognised the 'Super 10' companies who were considered the leaders in HRM practices in Sri Lanka. In 2010, the Awards were expanded to ten Gold and ten Silver Awards to recognise more companies whose HRM practices were the best in the country.

The year 2012 is a significant year for HRP for many reasons. This year we have had a record 79 entries for the Awards. Aon Hewitt has been hard at work shortlisting applications, and is now in the final stages of completing their work to have the material ready for the judges to decide on the winners.

Since 2007, judges have been drawn from among respected personalities in academia, from Hewitt and leading business organisations in India and from IPMA – HR. It's no exception this year and this year too, the panel of judges has been carefully selected.

This year also becomes significant to us as we have had many prestigious companies in the business community coming forward to sponsor or assist the HRP with the Awards. We have had the highest ever sponsorship in history for the 2012 Awards.

Here are our sponsors and benefactors.
  • Platinum Partner - Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC
  • Gold Sponsor - Hatton National Bank PLC
  • Bronze Sponsors - CIC Holdings PLC, Bharti Airtel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Promoters - Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC, Brandix Lanka Ltd.
  • Official AV Partner - DAV Technologies (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Official Technology Partner - Microimage (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Official Airline - SriLankan Airlines
  • Media Partners GOLD FM, Sooriyan FM & Hiru FM
  • Main Print Media Partner Financial Times, Daily Mirror, Lankadeepa & the Sunday Times
  • Associate Print Media Partner Virakesari
  • Official Television Channel ART TV

We also have Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd., Brown & Company PLC, John Keells Holdings PLC and Ceylon Tobacco Company Ltd., who have helped us in many ways.

Another significant feature of the Awards this year is the inclusion of a category for the Public Sector. Although an award was made for the Public Sector in the very first Awards, the scope of the category has now been expanded. The HRP felt that Public Sector organisations should be encouraged to improve their HRM systems and processes and at the same time recognise the contribution of those whose efforts have enabled them to register a significant improvement.

Since 2007, allied to the Awards, HRP also commenced a 'Learning Conference' bringing eminent HR personalities from the region or from partner organisations to present topics of interest in HRM and stimulate discussion among participants. This too has been well received. This year, the Learning Conference – the 'Axiom Revolution' was held in May.

The HRP will present the 2012 HRM Awards on 31st July 2012 at the Cinnamon Grand at a glittering ceremony that will unveil winners and provide the backdrop to an evening of achievement and celebration.