Standoff Between 155 HR Students & Govt Over Increased Exam Fees

In particular, the students are protesting the HR board's move to impose additional fees for registration for the June 2024 examination booking as earlier addressed in a memo by HRMPEB dated February 14, 2024.

Standoff Between 155 HR Students & Govt Over Increased Exam Fees
Over 700 Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) finalists at the KICC on October 19, 2023. /CITIZEN DIGITAL

Ongoing students under the Certified Human Resource Management Professional (CHRP) program have written a protest letter to the Human Resource Management Professionals Examinations Board (HRMPEB) expressing dissatisfaction over drastic examination changes.

In particular, the students are protesting the HR board's move to impose additional fees for registration for the June 2024 examination booking as earlier addressed in a memo by HRMPEB dated February 14, 2024.

With uncertainty hanging over the CHRP program, the students are seeking clarification from the HRMPEB, with a 13-member student committee, elected by their peers, formally requesting a meeting with the Board's leadership.

According to the letter obtained by Viral Tea, the committee requested a sit-down on Thursday, February 29th, 2024, at 9:00 AM at the HRMPEB headquarters.

Staff in an office during a meeting. /KENYA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT

"Based on the mandate given to the undersigned team by students, we would like to request a meeting with the HRMPEB Board Member Chair, the Chief Executive Officer, the Head of Examinations and the Head of Curriculum Development on Thursday 29th February 2024 at 9:00 am at the HRMPEB office.

"The purpose of the meeting is for the team to present the petition from the affected students and have an engagement on amicable resolution on the above issues. The specific issues for tabling will be sent to your office through the CEOS email and hardcopy delivered before the meeting date and time," the letter read in part.

Board Directives

The HRMPEB communication outlined several directives which include the introduction of an administration fee for private candidates of Ksh2,500 per unit as well as an introduction of a Curriculum support fee of Ksh1,200 per unit.

HRMPEB also announced a move to make access to students' curriculum support materials compulsory as well as sought to introduce an exam remarking and unit exemption fee as well as the introduction of formative assessment in addition to summative assessment.

These new fees have placed a financial strain on students, prompting them to petition the Board.

"Some of us who are prospective students cannot register due to the exorbitant additional charges. Exams are due in June and it is hectic for those already registered," one of the students told Viral Tea.

The HRMPEB communication also introduced new CBET Certificate and Diploma programs in Human Resource Management, programs which offer an alternative pathway for individuals who may not possess the minimum entry requirements for the CHRP course but still aspire to enter the HR profession.

While the introduction of these programs doesn't directly address the student fee concerns, it does offer a broader range of educational opportunities within the HR field.

Board Response To Letter

HRMPEB on its part, in response to the protest letter, on March 7 acknowledged the HR students' concerns and announced that it decided to retain all the CHRP Examinations charges as they are.

"The adjusted fee is geared towards assisting the Board to acquire the latest cutting-edge technology and development of student support systems," the board responded.

"We understand that these changes may present challenges for some, and we sincerely empathize with your concerns. However, it's essential to recognize that these decisions are made with the long-term sustainability and quality of services in mind to enable HRMPEB to execute its mandate."

The Board further announced that it would conduct a stakeholder engagement session on March 19, 2024, to accord students and other stakeholders the opportunity to understand the rationale behind the decisions made and address any lingering questions or uncertainties they may have.

Students Dismiss Response, Issue Demands

The CHRP committee, in response, accused the secretariat group of not adequately communicating with the board in an attempt to have the committee's concerns addressed and issued a new set of demands.

"We held a meeting with the secretariate group on 29 February 2024 and deliberated on specific directives as highlighted in our letter, as students' representatives we internalized the reasons behind the introduction of these charges and proposed the following:

"Abolishing of Administration fee for institutional candidates and charging private candidates an administration fee of Ksh2,500 per series not per unit. Curriculum support materials are to be made available to all students at a cost of Ksh300 per unit," the committee stated, insisting on a one-on-one engagement with the board members.

The Human Resource Management Professionals Examinations Board is the only entity in Kenya empowered and mandated to certify HR practitioners through official gazette notices. It was established by section 16 of the Human Resource Management Professionals Act, no. 52, 2012 as an examination body.

HRMPEB Board Chair CS Sharon Kisire MBS handing over results to IHRM ED Fredrick Karani MIHRM who represented the Chief Guest CHRP Odero Dalmas on January 22, 2024. /CAPITAL GROUP

In April 2021, HRMPEB was categorised by State Corporations Advisory Services (SCAC) as a state corporation in the Ministry of Public Service & Gender (State Department for Public Service)

Over the past five years, the organization has made substantial progress in developing and administering high-quality, internationally recognized HR examinations.

In addition to the CHRP program, HRMPEB offers CBET Diploma and Craft certificate courses in HRM.