ISO 30414 – Human Capital Reporting

If you follow me (Emma) on social media then you will have seen some posts on this topic (ISO 30414) and pictures of my desk as I embarked on a three-day course in September 2020. I am now an ISO 30414:2018 certified auditor. This means that I can now audit organisations against this standard OR (and its a very important or) I can help the organisation between the first audit and the second certification audit where one of my fellow auditors have undertaken the audit.

So what is ISO 30414?

It is an international standard for Human Capital reporting. It was published in November 2018 by the Technical Committee for Human Resources. The Committee (TC 260) is administered by the American National Standards Institute with 28 countries participating in the committee and a further 23 observing the processes.

ISO 30414 provides guidelines for internal and external human capital reporting (HCR). The objective is to consider and to make transparent the human capital contribution to the organization in order to support the sustainability of the workforce. The standard is applicable to all organisations, regardless of the type, size, nature, or complexity of the business, whether in the public, private or voluntary sector, or a not-for-profit organisation.

The Core Areas and Metrics

There are 11 core areas in ISO 30414 which in turn cover 58 metrics. The Core Areas are:

  • Compliance and ethics
  • Costs
  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Organisational Culture
  • Organisational Health, Safety and Wellbeing
  • Productivity
  • Recruitment, Mobility and Turnover
  • Skills and Capabilities
  • Succession Planning
  • Workforce Availability

The easiest way to view the areas is by picture.

Pictorial image of the 11 core areas and the number of metrics in each area.

The Certification process

The process itself is straightforward. Pictorial view of the certification process

Lets have a look in a little more detail at each of the stages

The Engage Stage

The auditor will meet with the senior team for the business unit (this can be the whole organisation, one site, one area of the business) to go through the standard and explain how everything works. The auditor will then work with the business unit and its stakeholders, where appropriate, to explain to the business what the standard means for them and overcoming objections (especially where the business unit is already heavily audited). The senior team and the auditor will agree on a plan for the audit process.

The Cascade Stage

The goal of this stage is to gain the buy-in of key employees and departments, offering advice, support and selling the benefits of the audit process where needed. The auditor will spend time with the HR function and will be arranging certified training for internal auditors.

The First Audit

This is where the auditor will gather data and evidence against the standard. This can be in many forms such as:

  • Policies & processes
  • Data from any systems in place (HR, Payroll etc)
  • Group feedback
  • Interviews

The main part of the audit will then take place away from the site.

A report will be prepared in a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) format showing the outcome against the audit standard. The areas in Red and Amber are where the improvements need to be made before the second audit. The auditor will go through any items flagged as red or amber so that you are clear on the work that needs to be done before the certification audit.

The Develop Stage

Where there are improvements to be made, the business unit can work on those improvements themselves, or call on one of the preferred suppliers to support them in the process. Here at ES HR Consultancy, I can act as the auditor or the HR Support organisation. I can’t act as both sides. However, as I hold the auditing qualification, it gives me a good viewpoint combined with my desire for meaningful HR metrics to be able to support organizations in this phase.

In order to work with organisations, I ask to see a copy of the audit report so that I can see the areas for improvement and work with you to put together a plan to move those from red and amber to green.

The Second Audit

This is no different from the first audit. The same process will be followed in terms of reviewing the information provided to be measured against the standard.


The auditor will submit their findings to the awarding body (HCM Metrics) with a recommendation that the certification is awarded. HCM Metrics will be reviewing the information submitted by the auditor to ensure that all of the certified auditors are operating, in the same way, being conferring on the organisation the ISO 30414: 2018 certification.

Once you have been given the certification, the internal auditors will continue to assess against the framework reporting non-conformities as they are found.

The certification is valid for three years. You will be contacted before the expiry of the certification to start the process again.

The Standard
As a relatively new standard, this is likely to be updated as organisations start to go through the process. There are a number of HR standards in the series that are both published and in development. These can be purchased either from the British Standards Institute or from ISO directly. They all begin with ISO 304**.

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