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Certificate in HR Operations

For those in the first few years of your HR career, this is 12 month programme focuses on building your practical, tactical HR skills and experience.

Programme Overview

Our Certificate in HR Operations is an 12 - 18 month programme focused on building your practical, tactical HR skills and experience. Over the course you can attend facilitated workshops, complete online learning modules with on the job assignments and discuss your learnings with your our HR team. The programme also involves assessing your achievement level from the start to the finish.

Who should attend?

You’ll benefit most from the Certificate in HR Operations if you are mainly Level 1 on the HR experience assessment sheet (click here to download).  You may be:

Working as an HR Administrator, Coordinator or HR Advisor.

Coming from a more specialised area (e.g. L&D) but now moving into generalist HR.

In an Office Manager/PA role but with HR responsibilities.

What will you finish with?

The Certificate in HR Operations is different from tertiary study as you need to be working in a role where you can apply what you’re learning, rather than covering theory. You’ll work through case studies and run simulations so that you get as much experience as you can during the course, before you have to do it in real life. Once you’ve completed your final assessment you will be awarded your certificate.

Apply for a place

The programme investment is AUD$1,750 or NZ$1,950, UK £995 or US$1,295.

This includes:

In New Zealand you also attend Essential Employment Law workshop (Wellington or Auckland) or online. You can also choose to attend the HR Advisors Master Class  by swopping 2 modules.

You will need to fill in our on-line application and provide some details of your level of experience and work history so we can ensure this is the right programme for you. The programme fees must be paid on registration. If you are not accepted, we will liaise with you about other training options.

The Certificate must be completed with 12 months, however you can defer completion by a further 6 months due to work or other circumstances.

Start dates

You can start your Certificate on the following dates:

1 February (apply by mid January) | 1 May (apply by mid April) | 1 August (apply by mid July) or 1 November (apply by mid September). Once you apply and if you are accepted, we will liaise with you on your timetable. For NZ registrations, where possible we start the Certificate with attendance on either Employment Law or the HR Advisors Conference.

Apply Online - NZ

I came into this Certificate with limited knowledge in disciplinary processes and restructuring but I now feel my knowledge and skills have significantly increased for both. The information provided was just so informative and then being able to actually apply that knowledge through the case studies is just fantastic and really helped to bed in the information. In addition, I have gone back to the information many times already to make sure I am on the right track. The webinars, the printable slides form the webinars, the case studies, the feedback, the workshop – these have been so thoroughly helpful for each and every topic!

HR Advisor, University sector

My biggest learning has been that HR is not black and white. There is a law to support and guide but HR practitioners work a lot in the grey area. HR is usually at the discretion of who is allowed to call the shots. This course has taught me to take my time, find out the facts and then action them.

HR Advisor, Restaurant Group

From the Certificate I learned how to use social media and the internet when researching certain topics. I was able to draw upon my experiences in the workplace to help resolve and work through the assignments. Put into practice what I had learned through doing this certificate and getting results.

I increased my learning about Employment Law and gained a better understanding around what information is relevant for Contract for Service vs an Employment Agreement. I also learned how to use language better when using electronic communication and how to alter the tone and engage with your audience by understanding the different personality types within the organisation.

HR Advisor, Learning Institution

Here’s what those who have completed the Certificate have said:

My biggest learning working through the Certificate has been acknowledging the technical vs the practical.  The curveballs that have been presented to me because people are so different.  Advice we may give for one person may not work for the next scenario for many different reasons.  My range of practical knowledge will always grow and be challenged and new opportunities for learning will never stop which I find exciting.  Who wants to know everything anyway! I’m most proud of completing the assignments. I was very nervous “going back to school”, I felt quite exposed submitting assignments to be marked as I haven’t done this in a long time.  I understand now that I was given an opportunity to fail in a safe environment without judgement.

HR Advisor, Logistics Company

I think it’s been a great general overview into areas that apply to my position. Employment Law was great and I got a lot out of that (being a newbie to HR). I really liked Clever Communications too as we are currently doing a refresh of our internal comms.

People & Culture Advisor, ITO

I think my biggest learning has been around employment law and how this interacts with virtually all areas of our work in HR, especially around the area of recruitment – which is my primary responsibility.  I feel more confident in responding to mangers’ questions and am not afraid to say I don’t know and do more research to find answers.  

Overall the certificate has helped me to gain more confidence and I am keen to continue to learn more and further expand my skills.

HR Advisor, Local Government Agency

Feedback from graduates

The modules you’ll complete

Super Recruitment

In an HR Operational role you are often responsible for recruiting for roles, as well as looking at how to make recruitment more effective.

This module takes you through:


Writing HR Policies

This module takes you through:


Your on the job assignment involves reviewing your company policies and rewriting one of them.


Poor Performance

This module takes you through:


Your on the job assignment involves working through a case study and also reviewing your processes.

Talent Management & Succession

This module takes you through:

Your assignment involves designing a programme for a case study example.


Download the experience levels Download the experience levels



Fundamental to your HR career, is knowing different communication styles, and how to adapt and engage managers and employees.

This module takes you through:


The on the job assignment involves reviewing an existing system and making changes.


Induction and On-boarding

Managing induction and on-boarding processes can often fall into an HR Coordinators role. Getting it right is essential for making sure new employees get up to speed quickly. This module covers:

The on the job assignment involves preparing a recommendation for induction and on-boarding for a case study.


Advising Managers Successfully

Being an HR Advisor or consultant involves advising managers on policies and processes, but also working with them to help them deal with situations or issues, and roll out HR initiatives. This module takes you through:


Essential Employment Law (NZ only)

If you are responsible for HR within New Zealand (either based in NZ, or Australia or Pacific Islands) or are planning on returning to NZ from overseas, you can choose to complete our Essential Employment Law workshop, which covers 13 pieces of legislation and how they really apply in the workplace.  This workshop runs in Wellington and Auckland, and we also have an online version.

Following the workshop you’ll need to complete an Employment Law assessment and get 70% to pass, and complete an assignment that covers restructuring and disciplinary procedures.

Apply Online - AUST Apply Online - USA Apply Online - UK

Remuneration & Reward

This module takes you through:

Building a Brilliant Culture

This module takes you through:



Optional Modules

Using HR Metrics and Analytics

Many managers and CEO’s do not understand what an HR function can deliver, as there is a lack of HR metrics or analytics delivered to the business.

You’ll finish this module with:

The on the job assignment involves analysing key HR data and solving what the real issue is happening in the case study.

Leading Change

This module takes you through using specific change tools through a case study so that you are fully prepared to drive change in your business including:

Your on the job assignment involves planning and reviewing a change initiative.

Apply Online - NZ Apply Online - AUST Apply Online - USA Apply Online - UK

Two of the above modules can be exchanged for two of the optional modules. Or you can choose modules from the Payroll Certificate or L&D Certificate if you have either payroll or Learning & Development responsibilities in your role.

Offering Employment (NZ)

HR is often responsible for managing the operational processes around offering employment.

This module takes you through:

The on the job assignment involves reviewing some real case studies and advising on how to resolve the issues that have occurred.

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Managing a Team



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Our three principles

Founded in New Zealand in 2006 by Angela and Fraser Atkins, we always had big plans for elephant! We developed and refined our programmes over time then in 2016 we went global. We’ve never looked back and develop all our programmes this way.

Our programmes focus on actual outcomes with practical tools and techniques you can use straight away. We discuss real life not just theory and we make it fun!

We design and run programmes globally with customised parts for each country. And we have local experts facilitate our workshops. You get the best of both worlds.

Read the blog

For musings on HR and people management, check out Angela Atkins popular blog. Click here to have a read.

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