THE Public Service Division (PSD) of Singapore and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) - the UK-based professional body for human resource (HR) and people development - on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the capabilities of HR professionals in the Singapore Public Service.

Under this partnership, CIPD will conduct HR diagnostic assessments and offer foundation, intermediate and advanced-level qualifications across career levels.

For a start, a pilot group of 20 HR directors from the Public Service will have their experience assessed against CIPD's benchmarks for professional accreditation that are based on international standards of practice, both partners said in a statement.

"The CIPD has long promoted the notion that good people management and development is critical to the success of businesses, economies and societies. This is particularly true in knowledge-intensive economies such as Singapore," said Karen Blal, regional director for CIPD Asia.

She added: "We hope the scale and profile of this partnership with Singapore's largest employer will send a strong signal to other employers in the region about the role of HR, and help to promote HR as a career of choice for professionals in Singapore and beyond."