[Word version - full paper] - Significance and Prospect of Japan's Qualifications for White-Collar Workers in comparison to Personnel Qualifications in the UK and USA | Human Resource Management | Employment

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

Prospect of Japan’s Qualifications for White-Collars: Comparisons of Personnel Qualifications in USA and UK
Kiyoshi Miyashita
Tokyo Metropolitan University miyasita@tmu.ac.jp

As for the public qualifications of the white-collar worker jobs in Japan, I would like to analyze their utilization and consider features and problems of public qualifications by the precedence research and interviews to personnel managers in corporations in Japan. Externalization of in-house jobs and shift to competency and performance based HR system will progress and the demand for the public qualifications about white-collar workers increases also in Japanese society in the near future. While examining comparison of the public qualifications of Japan (BCT by JAVADA), USA (PHR by SHRM) and UK (CPP by CIPD) clarifying the difference, their meaning to management and ideal state which white-collar worker public qualifications bring about would be considered.

White-collar Workers, Qualifications, Job-Specialties, BCT (Business Career Test), PHR (Professional of Human Resources), CPP (Certificate in Personnel Practice)

1. Introduction
In Japanese companies, including large companies, human resource development through OJT and in-house education/training have been performed on condition of the long-term employment and the job achievement with promotion and rise in pay as a result. Therefore, employees, including white-collar workers, have believed that long term service to the company and promotion to positions with higher authority or income as important. Job-specialties and such knowledge of jobs, such as personnel affairs, accounting, and purchase have been meaningful in evaluation in the companies, and there has been little necessity to be accepted in society.

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

However, after the collapse of the bubble economy after the 1990s, the Japanese management system based on the condition of long-term employment in specific companies has gradually been changing. As more mobilized employment and professional requests of job career pursuit have started, employment portfolio and performance-based HR systems have attracted attention. As a result, occupation and mid-career recruitment have increased and ambiguous white collar jobs have actualized. Thus, the raison d’être of the public occupational qualifications for evaluating knowledge and capability required for work socially has also occurred. Prior these changes of such employment practice occurring, there have been long standing qualifications and tests which were accepted by society and the public have existed such as "English official approval" and "bookkeeping official approval" in Japan. “Qualifications” and “approval” prove that specific knowledge sets and skills have reached a certain level, thereby, objective rating and also social trust are obtained. Although there are some which are authorized by a behavioral skill test such like a driver's license or proficiency measurements, historically most of tests are authorized through the examination with paper and pen in several hours. First, this report surveys the present condition of the qualifications, especially whitecollar worker qualifications in Japan. Second, using the precedence research for full-time employees and hearing result to company managers, evaluation and practical use of qualifications are considered and the features and the problems of public qualifications are clarified. Next, a comparison examination is done by taking qualifications for personnel jobs of Japan, USA and UK into an example. Finally, considering the meaning to management and the ideal state to which white-collar workers public qualifications will bring about in the future.

2. Qualifications about White-collar Worker Jobs
(1) Social meaning of qualifications In the current Japanese society, typical vocational qualifications would be those of judicial officers and medical doctors. Due to recent changes, many law schools (Graduate school of law) have been established and the door to a judicial officer might be more available, however, to get the qualifications has been still so difficult. On the other hand, in order to be a medical doctor, a passing a national examination has been required and medical department graduation is a premise. It is well known that entrance into medical school is difficult in Japan. These qualifications have been socially recognized as profession and they are example to prove the meaning of qualifications. However, most qualifications are not connected to occupations only by it, but can check the requirements for job

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

execution partially. About the role of qualifications, Ando (1994) has pointed out the education effect. Since qualifications serve as a target when employees master knowledge and skill, acquisition of qualifications would be encouraged in companies. Moreover, Imano and Shimoda (1995) argued that the first role of qualifications is proof of workers’ abilities and the second one is the proof of laborers' capability and with which the next is provided now. The qualifications for white collar jobs are used differently by job functions and occupations. Although there are many occupational qualifications in information processing, or medical treatment and a nursing system, there is almost no public qualifications existed corresponding to the job of white-collar workers, such as personnel affairs, accounting, and sales. Related qualification is also restricted for the Certified Social Insurance and Labour Consultant, the Small & Medium Enterprise Consultant, the Official Business Skill Test in Book-Keeping and Salesperson, etc. The reason with little tests and qualifications about white-collar worker jobs was little demand at a company and an individual because of lifetime employment and seniority HR systems. Once employed, the necessity of proving job knowledge and capability had been low in these situations. (2) White-collars’ attitude toward qualifications In order to understand individual acceptance of white-collar workers, a net survey of 400 full-time workers was conducted in October 2007. As a result, there are only a few of them who took qualifications related to jobs. 30% of respondents had “Eiken”, the English official approval. More than 10% of respondents held the three qualifications such as National trade skill test, Bookkeeping official approval and Fundamental IT engineer (see Table 1). For administrative posts’ qualifications held was the only Bookkeeping official approval. However, the qualification of the bookkeeping test does not provide on the knowledge and skills required for the white-collar workers. The percentages of white-collar related qualifications held such as the business career tests and the business ability tests were only 1% and 3% respectively. However, the business ability tests which are supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan evaluate fundamental abilities regardless of specific jobs. Therefore, the contents of the tests are limited to common factors such as business common acumen, communications, and leadership. They are not the qualifications required for particular jobs such as personnel and accounting. In addition to this survey, another survey was conducted in August 2008 involving 100 white-collar workers in foreign invested companies in Japan in preparation for Japan-USAUK comparative studies. MNC’s subsidiaries in Japan have been more influenced by US3

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

Euro companies in which more qualifications would be accepted. Home countries of Japanese subsidiaries those surveyed are USA (70%), followed by Germany (10%), UK (4%), and France (3%). As most of their home countries are US-Euro, we could see their influence here.
Table 1: Major Qualifications for White-collars in Japan
400 employees in Japan, Oct.2007 Number Ratio 120 30.0% 62 15.5% 53 13.3% 45 36 36 27 21 20 17 12 12 ---4 ---11.3% 9.0% 9.0% 6.8% 5.3% 5.0% 4.3% 3.0% 3.0% ---1.0% ---100 employees of foreign co. Aug.2008 Number Ratio 39 39.0% 3 3.0% 14 14.0% 4 5 4 4 11 6 5 1 4 ---3 ---4.0% 5.0% 4.0% 4.0% 11.0% 6.0% 5.0% 1.0% 4.0% ---3.0% ----

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 5 7 8 9 10 11 11 --20 ---

Qualifications taken “Eiken”,English official approval National trade skill test “Boki”,Book keeping official approval Fundamental IT engineer Personal computer official approval System administrator “Takuken”,Real estate trader Secretary official approval Financial planner Technical engineer Sales representative Business ability test ------------Business Career test/system -------------

Source: Based on own surveys in Oct.2007 and Aug.2008 by questionnaires via web in Japan.

The results show that high ratios in English official approval (39%) and bookkeeping official approval (14%) the same as the former survey, around 5% hold PC and IT related qualifications. The ratio of business career tests takers was 3%, a little higher than the former survey, but it is still very limited. With these results, we have to observe that the values of white-collar qualifications are not yet appreciated in Japan. (3) Evaluation and use of qualification in companies In order to understand how the qualifications for white-collar workers are viewed by companies, interviews with personnel managers of four major IT companies was conducted from June to September 2007. The reason why these IT companies were selected as research target is that they are all specialized in high technologies such as software development and positive to HRD and pioneers also about use of qualifications. The hearing was enforced based on the question "Specialty and qualification of a job" and obtained the evaluation in five steps and the comment about evaluation and practical use

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

of public qualifications and business career systems. In this report, the research results are partly included. a) Is public qualification important or not As the beginning, "whether acquisition of (public) qualification is thought as important", three took the statement as "not so important" and one company evaluated "it can be said to be neither." As were said, "Qualification is not connected with direct work" and "although qualification might be the objective judgment material of potential capability, it is different to have good results in job at company", it cannot say that there is a relation with work. The manager who answered as "it can be said to be neither" told that engineering qualifications are important because they appeal to customers, but it does not think as important in clerical work without such things". Indeed, some qualifications might be thought of as important and many of them are for engineering work. b) Is public qualification utilized or not For utilization of public qualification, one company uses it, while two companies did not give clear answer and one denied its utilization. In the company currently utilized, in order to aim at qualification acquisition, it is said that it utilized for capability training. However, in the other company, utilization is mostly in engineering works, some qualifications for construction or public-works are indispensable as absolutely necessary, along with some vendor’s qualifications such as Microsoft. Based on comments, qualifications for accounting and judicial affairs are utilized to a certain extent, but not required for personnel affairs. The only foreign-affiliated firm among four companies is using the in-house professional system and there is almost no practical use of qualification for clerical work. However, all managers estimate that public qualifications will be used more in the future. c) Is business career system utilized or not When utilization of business career systems are asked, three companies answered that they do not utilize this and one for being neither. A manager of one company did not know the system. And in the company answered none of these let other departments to decide then did not know the actual situation in company. Although research is so limited, we could confirm that four major companies do not use the business career systems. However, for the question of future utilization, personnel managers of three companies answered as "it comes to be utilized from before" and they expect more utilization in the future. The reason is that the system was reformed completely with business career official approval

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

and has become more established. As other personnel managers indicated that the government endorsement such as national tests or government licenses has become influential in the use of business career system.

(4) Significance of business career systems
“National Trade Skill Test” which evaluates laborers' skills has a long history with nearly half century and has been established socially. As a public qualification of whitecollar worker jobs, the business career system founded by the Ministry of Labor (then) served as the first one in 1993. It is difficult to build common knowledge and capability system over individual company and industry. The business career system aimed at systematic acquisition of professional expertise and capability required for white collar jobs would be the first step toward white-collar worker-oriented public qualification realization. Ando (1994), a Japanese sociologist indicated the following four reasons for the introduction of business career; (1)white-collar workers increased in number sharply, and the importance of the occupational skills development increased, (2) occupational skills development of a white-collar worker are proceeded mainly by OJT and job rotation, and systematic development systems are not ready, (3) although white-collar workers who want to take self-education increases, there are not enough facilities for the self-education intentionally and systematically, (4) private sector educational facilities are being prepared, however, it is difficult to form continuous and systematic study plans because of lack of unity of a level and duplication of the contents of a subject.

3. Qualifications for Personnel Jobs in Japan, USA and UK
I would like to examine the purpose, contents and evaluating method of public qualifications of Japan, USA and UK for the white-collar worker engaged in a personnel job. Japan's Business Career Test by Japan Vocational Ability Development Association (JAVADA), America’s PHR (Professional in Human Resources) by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and British qualifications by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are taken as example.

(1) Business career test
The major objective of business career development system has been a check of education-and-training results. It was reformed as business career test which aimed to examine ability rating since 2007. The former business career development system was divided into small examination units so that learners can study steadily. With the new

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

business career test, its units are bundled corresponding to practical jobs, then it becomes a more objective public qualification related to company business. At the new business career test, typical company clerical jobs are ranked as the 1st – 3rd class at every eight job fields, such as personnel management/human resources development/industrial relations, company judicial affairs and general affairs, accounting and financial management, management strategy, management information system, sales and marketing, logistics, production control. There are 45 examination units which cover each professional expertise required for job execution. In this report, I would like to survey each contents and method for t the 1 st – 3rd class of "personnel management and human-resources development" and "labor management” which are applicable to personnel jobs. The 1st class is to test for person in charge of department and advanced professionals level and those who take it aim to be department heads and directors. The 2nd class is made into core members’ level of a group or a team, and aim to become section chief or manager. The 3rd class is the level in its duty, and aim at group leader (see Table 2). In any class, the evaluation is based on a written examination. There are three questions on general and practical cases to complete in 150 minutes. In the 2-3rd class, applicants have to finish 50 multiple choice questions in 120 minutes. This is common to the examination of all fields. Contents of personnel management and human-resources development, personnel plan, employment management, wages, social insurance, humanresources development, are also common in classes. In labor management, four items such as industrial relations, employment management, safe health and a welfare program, and social trends surrounding labor management are common in class. In the 1st class, company-wide management and plans such as management strategy and personnel strategy are contained. Moreover, in personnel management, plan and planning of necessary personnel, personnel expenses, personal system and humanresources development are more important in the class. Although the items of the 2nd class and the 3rd class have many common features, in the 2nd class, the contents are subdivided like a job, and it is investigating about a design and employment, and the difference from the 3rd class which checks the level of understanding of the fundamental view, structure, or an outline is clear.
Table 2: Contents of the Business Career Test for Personnel management/ Human resources development/Labor management (Japan)
3rd class (beginners' class: chief class) 2nd class (middle class: section chief class) 1st class (upper class: department head class)

class (target)


Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

- Outline of humanresources plan and employment management

- Personnel planning

Personnel Management & HRD

Employment management

Outline of wages and Wage administration social insurance Outline of humanHuman-resources resources development (HRD) development Social trend surrounding HRM/HRD Outline of employment Employment management management

Management strategy and personnel strategy Planning and implementation of personnel systems Planning and implementation of a manpower development plan Promotion of personnel expenses management Planning and implementation of HRD - Construction and employment of employment management Improvement and maintenance of management labor relation Construction and implementation for safety and sanitation Planning and implementation of a welfare program measure -

Labor managemen t

Outline of management labor relation

Industrial relations

Outline of safe health and a welfare program

Safe health and welfare program

Social trend surrounding labor management

Source: Japan Vocational Ability Development Association HP "business Carrier (http://www.bc.javada.or.jp/career/)

(2) America’s SHRM and Personnel qualification
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in USA, founded in 1948 with more than 220,000 members in 125 nations of the world, offers newer and suitable resources, and makes it mission to respond to the request of members. The society also plays the role of backing up development of personnel jobs by promoting important and strategic role of personnel management. In order that SHRM may authorize personnel qualification, it established a personnel accreditation organization as HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) in 1973 and started carrying out accreditation in 1976. There are three kinds of certificates by SHRM, namely PHR (Professional in Human Resources), SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources), and GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources). In 2007, PHR/SPHR-CA (PHR/SPHR with state certification in California) was added as new certifications.

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

In SHRM, the meaning of official approval (Certification) is public authorization about achievement of professionals’ business knowledge. This official approval shows supposes that it is proving that a person has the knowledge of personnel management. Official approval acquisition tested knowledge, it is the method of measuring that knowledge, and has become a target on an occupation and supports career promotion. SHRM doesn’t have certificates other than personnel management such as PHR, which are different in that Japan's business career tests cover broad range of job functions. In this paper, we will just focus on personnel jobs and related qualifications.

(3) PHR/SPHR/GPHR certification test
Tests to be certified as the PHR are created from all the fields of personnel management based on U.S. Federal Law, regulations, practices, general custom, etc. and all answers are multiple choices which marks are calculated by computer. Specifically, 225 questions of PHR and SPHR are answered in 4 hours. 200 questions are actually evaluated and 25 are for test evaluation. For the GPHR, it takes 3 hours to finish 165 questions. Accordingly, more questions and time are required to overlook American qualifications by the SHRM than comparable to Japan's business career test. PHR and SPHR are examinations which check the knowledge of the personnel field in the United States, while GPHR is the one for HR staff who is in charge of global business or personnel matters related overseas. Personnel management experience at the exempt level for two years or more is required to take an examination of the certification. The difference of recommended experience of PHR with two to four years and SPHR with six to eight years is shown in the contents of examinations, as many of the questions are about strategy and policy in SPHR and the PHR is about the operation and function of personnel in PHR. The contents of both PHR and SPHR tests are divided into six parts such as strategic management, human resources planning and employment, human resources development, remuneration and employee and labor relation and risk management. In SPHR, strategic management may be set about 30 percent of the whole test with emphasis set on the side of planning and strategic management as the upper class (see Table 3). Aside from that advanced and company-wide problem, routine personnel issues can be certainly performed independently for the level of PHR. On the other hand, SPHR is for the management and the specialist who have important responsibility in personnel, and it requires problem solution to deal with complicated issues in connection with the whole personnel section, having a company-wide viewpoint.
Table 3: Contents of PHR/SPHR Tests and their Ratios (USA)

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

Test Specifications* Strategic Management Workforce Planning and Employment Human Resource Development Total Rewards Employee and Labor Relations Risk Management

12% 26% 17% 16% 22% 7%

29% 17% 17% 12% 18% 7%

Note*: In each specification, responsibilities and knowledge are shown. Source: PHR/SPHR/GPHR, Handbook 2007 (http://www.hrci.org/Certification/2007HB/)

The contents of the test questions of GPHR are six items such as strategic HR management, organizational effectiveness and employee development, global staffing, international assignment management, global compensation and benefits, international employee relations and regulations which are considerably differ from those of PHR and GPHR. The important difference is to managing support staff engaged in international business and strategic personnel management.

(4) British CIPD and its membership
The major qualification for personnel positions in UK is the one governed by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). CIPD is a professional organization for those involved in the management and development of people and has a long history stemming from the former body known as the Welfare Workers’ Association (WWA) established in 1913. The current addition of “chartered” was adopted in 2000. It is a huge organization with over 130,000 members including 4,000 overseas members from over 120 nations. CIPD intends to lead in the development and promotion of good practice in the field of the management and development of people, for application both by professional members and by their organizational colleagues. They provide members with professional resources, enhance career, networking opportunities. The qualifications achievement is one of their roles. The qualifications offered by CIPD are connected to memberships and are not independent as the Japanese ones. As to be certified by qualifications is a prerequisite to become a member of CIPD, we need to understand the structure of CIPD membership to consider qualifications. In order to be a member, there are several routes. The best route is decided by personal education and job experience. In general, the educational route is the most popular one. However, those who are operating at a senior level in personnel and development and have got five year’s management-level experience are taking a route of professional assessment of competence (PAC). There are other routes using related postgraduate-level qualifications and a MBA degree awarded within ten years. NVQ and other CIPD qualifications are also admitted for consideration.

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

Membership of CIPD is largely divided into non-chartered and chartered membership. Chartered members are experienced and senior professionals who have finished taking qualifications, and then non-chartered membership is directly related to personnel qualifications. Non-chartered members include four types of members, affiliate, associate, licentiate and graduate membership. Among them, anyone can be an affiliate member to receive professional information and service, so its membership is excluded from this study of qualifications. Other membership, associate, licentiate and graduate mean the members who have taken personnel qualifications by CIPD and they can be considered for this comparative study. Associate members need to pass at least one certificate from supportlevel qualifications. Licentiate members finished at least one field from Professional Development Scheme (PDS) successfully while graduate members finished all four of them. PDS consists of training programs based on the professional standards of practitioner-level qualifications. With these four qualifications, requirement for personnel managers and professionals is certified by CIPD.

(5) British personnel qualifications and standards
As was stated, British personnel qualifications generated by CIPD are based on the membership system, however, contents and methods of personnel qualifications are used for comparison to those of Japan and USA in this paper. There are three types of qualifications offered by CIPD and they are Support-level qualifications, Transitionallevel qualification and Practitioner-level qualifications. Transitional-level qualification is to consider post-graduate and CIPD degrees based on a separate system and then it should be excluded in this paper. Accordingly, support-level and practitioner-level qualifications will be considered in this study. Support-level qualifications are aimed at those who want to build and develop their career in personnel and development. They are regarded as fundamental qualifications for personnel jobs and include four certificates, Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP), Certificate in Training Practice (CTP), Certificate in Recruitment and Selection (CRS) and Certificate in Employment Relations, Law and Practice (CERLAP) as seen in Table 4. Prior to these certificates, “Communication”, “Self-management”, “Understanding the work context” and “Relevant legislation” are included as common elements for all CIPD certificate qualifications. Each certificate covers most important personnel fields and required by personnel officers, line managers and personnel assistants or clerical staff.

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

Table 4: Contents of Support-level Qualifications (UK)
Certificate-level programmes Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP) Performance Indicators H.R. plans and organizational context, Recruitment and selection, Training and development, Performance management and employee relations Training in context, Identifying and prioritizing learning needs, Designing training and assessment, Delivering and evaluating training The context of recruitment and selection and application of information system, The recruitment process, The selection process, The legal, ethical and professional issues of recruitment and selection Practice in context, Setting up employment contracts, Managing the employment relationship, Managing the exit from employment

Certificate in Training Practice (CTP) Certificate in Recruitment and Selection (CRS)

Certificate in Employment Relations, Law and Practice (CERLAP)

Source: CIPD Qualifications,http://www.cipd.co.uk/mandq/routes/educate/support.htm,2008

Table 5: Contents of Practitioner-level Certificates (UK)
Fields of study Leadership and Management Content and Indicators Managing for Results, Managing and Leading People, Managing in a Strategic Business Context, Managing Information for Competitive Advantage
Study (self) Hours

360 (180)

People Management and Development)

Shaping the management and development agenda, The contribution of people management and development expertise, Integrating the people management and development contribution, People management and development in practice

240 (120)

Specialist and Generalist Personnel and Development)

People Resourcing Standards) Learning and Development Standards) Employee Reward Standards) 480 (240) 120 (100)

Applied Personnel and Development)

Employee Relations Standards) Management Report) Continuing Professional Development)

Source: CIPD Qualifications, http://www.cipd.co.uk/mandq/routes/educate/prac.htm,2008

Practitioner-level qualifications are based on CIPD’s professional standards

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

which set the required knowledge and competency for professionals for personnel and development. Four fields of the study programs are included in CIPD’s professional Development Scheme (PDS). They are “Leadership and Management”, Generalist “People Management and and Development”, and “Applied “Specialist Personnel and and Personnel Development”

Development”(see Table 5). Each field is divided into several study units and evaluated from the three aspects of practice, knowledge and fact. The core of the CIPD’s qualifications is the professional standards which clarify the necessary knowledge and abilities.

(6) Personnel Qualifications’ Comparison of Japan and the U.S.
When the personnel qualifications of Japan, USA and UK are compared, the first feature is the huge difference in number of applicants. There are about 11,000 annual examinees of business career tests of Japan for the past five year’s average in all the unit sum totals. Annual applicant’s number to corresponding personnel qualifications such as "personnel management and human resource development" and "labor management" calculated to about 3,000 persons in 1-3 class totals. About 14,000 people have passed the tests for 20 years in total. The numbers of examinees of US’s comparable personnel qualifications such as PHRs are 20,000-25,000 people scales per year. According to HRCI, total number of certified is 92,783 persons (PHR: 52,105, SPHR: 40,133, GPHR: 983) as of March 31, 2008. Membership is a basic concept for CIPD’s personnel qualifications, so calculations of numbers of test applicants and successful candidates are not as simple as those in Japan and US. Those who have qualifications for personnel by CIPD are around 100,000 excluding affiliate members who did not have any qualifications. They are 13,000 associate members who have at least one support-level qualification, 21,000 licentiate members with at least one practitioner-level qualification, 20,000 graduate members who have taken all four practitioner-level qualifications. In addition to these members, there are 50,000 chartered members who finished these qualifications. From the number of members, we can conclude that there are 13,000 people with support-level qualifications, 21,000 people with at least one practitioner-level qualification and 70,000 people who have all qualifications of practitioner-level qualifications. This number shows that more people are taking personnel qualifications in UK than those of Japan and USA. And it is clear that the ratio of people with those qualifications is the highest in UK among the three countries. The contents of these qualifications for personnel and development include strategy,

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

planning, employment, wages, human-resources development, safe health and welfare program, labor relation, they are mostly common although some differences are seen in how to bundle these units. There might be difference in regulation system, industrial features, strategy and operating custom of each company. At operation level, we need to check each country’s personnel qualifications closer, however, the role of personnel would be found the same through these tests and qualifications. GPHR is interesting only for the personnel qualification for common global business. Around 800 persons acquired GPHR starting in 2004. In CIPD qualifications, international personnel and development is included in senior level standards. It is noticeable that global personnel qualifications will be available in the future. When it comes to compare the exempt level as prerequisite for taking tests of the U.S. qualification to Japanese, it is appropriate the experienced staff who can handle finite works independently. Accordingly, we may estimate university graduates staff with two years experience as personnel staff. The structure of Japanese and American qualifications seems to be more similar to that of support-level qualification of CIPD than practitioner-level one. Practitioner-level qualifications cover a broader field such as strategy, organization, leadership, learning and so on and it focuses on management and strategy issues. Moreover, British qualifications are adopting broader and more complex method for evaluation including submitting a jobrelated report, project-report, practical studies, not just by taking examinations. If these qualifications of the three nations are compared, the Japanese system which focuses on qualifications without having membership is quite different from the British system which requires membership to obtain qualifications. Although American professional body, SHRM has memberships, an awarding body of qualification is separately established as HRCI, the USA could be positioned between Japan and UK. There are differences in the history of 13 years, 31 years, 42 years of qualifications in Japan, US and UK respectively. The difference can be seen in the number of certified people, the ratio of certified people in personnel and development jobs and the social status of qualifications. It is apparent that existence of personnel qualifications in Japan is the smallest and the result is reflecting a history of professional organizations and social acceptance. The length of the validity of the Japanese qualifications is noticeably different from other countries. In Japan, qualifications have been effective after being certified while there are three years limit in USA and they are only effective with memberships in UK. This facts show clearly difference of qualifications in these three countries.


Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

4. Merit and limit of qualifications for white-collars
In the Japanese company, in order to introduce white-collars’ qualification completely and to use practically, it is likely to take still considerable time. However, it is not necessary to wait for the situation in the United States, or the indication of personnel managers, it seems that public qualification will permeate Japanese society gradually. From the creation process of public qualification like the business career system, the common job standard was set up and it led to extraction of white-collar worker jobs. Unified white-collar worker job would be recognized socially, and new results such as productivity improvement and achievement for a company, job satisfaction and improvement in motivation for an individual may be produced. As Fujimura (1997) says that the capability that public qualification division liberalarts qualification can be proved is restricted to the power of understanding and the operating-related knowledge which can be measured by a written examination. When the capability that qualification can be authorized is considered from the management skills which Katz (1955) discusses, the capability based on knowledge mostly corresponds to technical skill. Therefore, authorization in qualification is difficult for human skills such as communications skill and leadership, and conceptual skill such as problem solving and strategy formation. In the competency model by McClelland (1977), the knowledge and skills which are visible from outside are part of an iceberg, and it is supposed that motive, character, the characteristic, etc. exist under the water surfaces. If based on this competency model, authorization of surface knowledge can be performed, but the evaluation and authorization of the invisible portion which affects job capability may be difficult. In this regards, as job experience has been also taken into consideration in UK’s qualifications, more practical and acceptable evaluation would be possible. However, to create such conditions for achievement, it will be necessary for effective professional organizations to offer memberships. On one hand, about the merit of public qualification, socialization of white-collar worker jobs is in the first place. Unlike conventional qualifications, it does not stop at fragmentary knowledge, but comprehensive knowledge and a dormant faculty are socially recognized by considering a white-collar worker job as a settlement, and it becomes possible to evaluate these. The second merit is actualization of a white-collar worker job. Rather than academic knowledge such as strategy theory and organizational theory, knowledge required for actual job execution is applicable. Furthermore, comprehensive and case problems are promoted to raise actual capability which leads to management capability and synthetic judgment.

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

The third one is the contribution to career or human resource development. At present, exact and broad personnel training might be available only in companies where the personnel and educational system are well established in major companies. With the public qualifications, which include wisdom and experience, of excellent managers is actualized, white collar job knowledge will be properly found and better education and training can be performed based on the credentials. It leads to the realization of a white collar active career or independent capability development.

5. Conclusion
In this paper, it surveyed that there are almost no qualifications for Japanese whitecollar workers until now and the measure has been made in recent years. It also checked that qualifications for white-collar worker's job are not utilized yet at the present condition. From the 2007 fiscal year, the new business career test has been more clearly positioned as public qualification and it may become the fundamental credential of white-collar workers in the future. However, as some survey showed, there are several problems to be solved before practical acceptance in industry. Introduction of business career test as the test for qualification, leads not only to increase in training and better management of human resources but to business and organizational climate change. Qualifications for personnel jobs have permeated and their supporting system and operation are more advanced in the United States and United Kingdom; however, their contents of tests or studies are not so different from those of comparative ones in Japan. More autonomous career orientation is pursued, employability and performance based systems are further progressed, demand for the public qualification, which can authorize and evaluate the capability externally, will be expected to increase further from now on in Japan. From the present condition, it seems to still take time for osmosis of white-collar workers’ qualification, and is asked to be productive the requests must come from not only the industry but from each worker and the social systems. It will be an important key whether such qualifications will be authorized by a social policy or a legal basis to receive further social acceptance. As was argued, white collars’ qualifications have little accumulation, and the full-scale consideration for examination contents and valuation methods will be a future subject. In this sense, it should be improvable by the contents and operations as well as a social policy. From the British evaluation system for qualifications, we can consider adopting new methods of certification based on the On the Job Training (OJT) which has been quite

Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

popular in Japanese companies. The process of such improvements will increase the level of qualification, and it will lead to raising the validity of qualifications.

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Personnel Qualifications of Japan, US and UK

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