PRIME-HRM in the Dep-Ed: A Transformational Initiative

Enhancing quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education services necessitates the transformational process of the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM) in the Department of Education (DepED). As professed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala (2016), PRIME-HRM transforms the quality of the Philippine bureaucracy, governance and public service delivery. Consistent to this notion, the DepEd considers the integration of the PRIME-HRM into the basic education system not only as a mandatory requirement but also as a transformative initiative towards building a culture of excellence.

PRIME-HRM aims to elevate public sector HRM to a level of excellence through the assessment, assistance, and awarding processes of HRM Systems, Practices, and Competencies using HRM maturity level indicators that are at par with global HRM standards (CSC PRIME-HRM Guidebook, 2016). Specifically, the program aims to: (1) inspire agencies to transform their HRM systems to support the agency mandate; (2) empower agencies in the performance of HRM functions; (3) promote and reward excellent HRM practices; (4) serve as a venue for the exchange and development of expertise in the area of HRM between and among government agencies; and, (5) serve as a search mechanism for the best practices in HRM. The DepEd has the biggest number of employees in the government. As of July 11, 2018 (BHROD Data), the employees continue to increase in number in all governance levels with a total of 772,710 plus. PRIME-HRM enable the DepED employees to understand and practice HR and institutionalize a management climate conducive to public accountability.

PRIME-HRM covers all government offices like DepED in all governance levels. It does not only involve all Human Resource Management Officers (HRMOs) but also heads of agencies, supervisors, and rank-and-file employees. PRIME-HRM serves as a developmental intervention that steer the transformation of the DepED towards the fulfillment of its mandate, vision, mission, and core values through the 4C’s of Change (Committing to Change, Capacitating for Change, Contributing and Collaborating for Change, and Celebrating and Continuing Change).

PRIME-HRM utilizes the maturity levels/indicators model showing progressive levels with indicators per level for each core HRM system. These maturity levels include: Transactional HRM (Maturity Level 1), Process-Defined HRM (Maturity Level 2), Integrated HRM (Maturity Level 3), and Strategic HRM (Maturity Level 4). The Competency Proficiency Levels include Level 1- Basic, Level 2-Intermediate, Level 3-Advanced, and Level 4-Superior. The four (4) core HRM Systems consists of: (1) recruitment, selection, and placement; (2) learning and development; (3) performance management; and, (4) rewards and recognition. The DepED will be assessed using three (3) lenses, like: Systems, Practices, and Competencies. The PRIME-HRM Pillars include: (1) Recruitment, Selection and Placement – Governance, Talent Planning, Talent Sourcing, and Talent Selection and Placement; (2) Learning and Development – Governance, Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation, and Execution; (3) Performance Management – Governance, Performance Planning and Commitment, Performance Monitoring and Coaching, Performance Review and Evaluation, and Development Planning; and, (4) Rewards and Recognition – Governance, Planning, and Execution.

According to the CSC (2016), the PRIME-HRM Stages include: assess, assist, and award. Assessment includes both self-assessment and on-site assessment which determine the current reality of the agency’s core HRM systems and its strengths and opportunities for improvement. Assist enables agency to be assisted on the basis of the identified development opportunities from the Self-Assessment Result. Award enables the celebration and recognition of HRM systems, practices, and competencies of the agency in the four (4) core HRM areas.

The agency will be conferred with awards depending on the maturity level achieved in at least one or all core HRM systems, and may be given a certain degree of autonomy through accreditation and/or deregulation.

  • Maturity Level 1 (Transactional HRM).

The status of the agency is “regulated” which means that the agency has not fully demonstrated readiness in exercising delegated HR functions and needs to be subjected to regular monitoring/assistance by the CSC. Hence, no recognition and award is yet given.

  • Maturity Level 2 (Process-Defined HRM).

The state of the agency is “accredited” which implies that the agency demonstrated readiness in exercising delegated HR functions and can be given Level II accreditation status and enjoy certain privileges (e.g. the authority to take final action on appointments). Certificate of Recognition for at least one core HRM system is granted. Bronze award is given for all core HRM Systems.

  • Maturity Level 3 (Integrated HRM).

The agency’s status is “deregulated”. The agency has distinguished itself as “excellent” in all or some areas of HRM and its core HRM Systems, Practices, and Competencies have been assessed as Maturity Level 3 (Integrated). On top of the authority to take final action on appointments, another incentive for deregulated agencies is the authority to establish and implement their own HR mechanisms without the CSC’s prior approval. Certificate of Recognition for at least one core HRM system is given and Silver Award is conferred for all core HRM systems.

  • Maturity Level 4 (Strategic HRM).

The status of the agency is “deregulated” which indicates that the agency has distinguished itself as “excellent” in all or at least one area of HRM and its core HRM Systems, Practices, and Competencies have been assessed as Maturity Level 4 (Strategic). “Center of HR Excellence” is awarded to an agency which has been certified and assessed under Maturity level 3 in all core HRM systems and has achieved Maturity Level 4 in at least one (1) core HRM system. “Seal of HR Excellence”, the highest recognition, is conferred when an agency has been certified and assessed under Maturity Level 4 (Strategic HRM) in all four (4) core HRM Systems.

The CSC Change Agents play an important role in the PRIME-HRM journey of the government agencies. Specifically, (1) the Commission promote change as being the champion, (2) the Regional Directors reinforce quality assurance and institutionalize key support systems and policies, (3) the assessors serves as the mirror that helps recognize gaps, strengths and opportunities of an agency for improvement, and (4) the assistors, as enablers, provide agencies with the tools and advice on how to improve their HRM systems. Other than the CSC Change Agents, PRIME-HRM requires the collaborative effort of the the public sector agencies, namely the: agency head (promoters), HRMO (reinforcers), HR Committees (implementors), managers (movers), and rank and file employees (enablers).

Successful implementation of the PRIME-HRM requires an in-depth understanding of the context of the PRIME-HRM, capability building, adequate resources, stakeholder’s support, positive values, among others. While the DepED considers PRIME-HRM as a challenging task, it complements to the three (3) major strategies for DepED from 2018-2022, such as: organizational alignment, Quality Management System, and school organizational structure review towards organizational excellence. The DepED adheres to the CSC’s change management initiative for public service excellence.

       Administrative Officer V