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Published 24th April 2019, 8:47am

Four Civil Servants received their Professional Certificate in Human Resources (HR) Practice from The University of Portsmouth last week (11 April).

Ligia Whitaker of the Mosquito Research and Control Centre (MRCU), Shantae Moore of the Portfolio of the Civil Service (POCS) and Sheena Whittaker of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture & Lands (MEYSA&L), earned their certificates with Distinction, along with Aaliyah Johnson of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. 

The students undertook a seven-month HR course which concentrated on understanding organisations and the role of HR; Performance management and rewards;  resourcing talent through recruitment & selection; HR professional development; analysing and using HR information; managing employment relations and the labour law. 

The course was delivered by visiting academic staff who taught students to how to  apply various HR theories in order to understand why their organisations perform as they do and what how organizational performance might be improved.

"I want to thank [my Deputy Chief Officer] Nancy Barnard for nominating me to receive sponsorship from the PoCS to take this course in HR Practice provided by Portsmouth University," said MRCU Ligia Whittaker who received top marks.

Ms Whitaker explained when she started MRCU her qualifications were in Accounting but the training has equipped her to be more confident in fulfilling her wider role as a Finance and Administrative Manager.

"The courses have guided me in developing my department to become World Class, because the managers are more focused on the employee’s well-being, happiness and satisfaction. We are no longer waiting until the annual assessment to appreciate our employees," she said. 

POCS’ Shantae Moore said she found the instructors engaging and supportive. “This course prepared us for future growth in the HR Profession. I gleaned so much knowledge and I have a better understanding of performance and rewards. Performance management is not just about sitting down once a year with an employee telling them what they can do better. To get the best from employees, it is about building relationships and recognising that each employee sees rewards differently.”

Ministry of EYSA&L, Sheena Whittaker said her eyes were open to better succession planning.

"I am extremely thankful to the Ministry for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this course.  The completion of this course has allowed me to have a greater understanding of the role of HR within organizations. In my past experience within the HR field, there was a greater emphasis on the administrative aspect, however, this course brought about a deeper insight into the strategic aspect.  

Going forward, Ms Whittaker said she has "taken a more strategic approach towards my daily duties. I believe that with this attainment I am better equipped to provide our customers and stakeholders with world class service."

University of Portsmouth’s Marjorie Corbridge presented the qualifications and said, “We want to develop HR practitioners of the future with the confidence to create an HR function that works best for their organisation. We get our reward from seeing so many Caymanian students doing so well in their chosen profession."

POCS Chief Officer Gloria McField-Nixon said, “I want to congratulate CIG’s newest HR graduates.  Your personal commitment to excellence is to be applauded and your timing couldn’t be better. Efforts are underway to modernize the HR function, so that collectively we are even better tooled and positioned to support the Government’s priorities and realise our vision to be, ‘A World-Class Civil Service’. I invite you to seek out additional opportunities for applying your newly acquired skills and knowledge.”

Course Attendees included civil and public servants as well as an employee from the private sector 

Ligia Whitaker, Mosquito Research and Control Centre (Distinction and top student)

Shantae Moore, Portfolio of the Civil Service (Distinction)

Sheena Whittaker, Ministry of Education (Distinction)

Aaliyah Johnson, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service

Sasha Tatum-Gallegos, Port Authority of the CI 

Miriam Linton, RUBIS Cayman Islands Ltd