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What is IPMA-HR?



The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) is a non-profit, educational organization established for the purposes of fostering and developing sound policies and practices in public human resource management.  


Primarily a membership organization, the Association provides a program of services to personnel agencies; encourages and coordinates research activities in human resource management; and fosters the career growth of individuals engaged in the human resource field.  IPMA-HR was established in January 1973 through the consolidation of the Public Personnel Association, founded in Chicago in 1906, and the Society for Personnel Administration, founded in Washington, DC in 1937.  


IPMA-HR is comprised of four U.S. regions and more than 40 chapters and represents more than 10,000 individuals and 1,300 agencies in local, state and federal levels of government worldwide. IPMA-HR provides a focus and forum for the discussion and exchange of views and best practices among public sector human resource professionals throughout the United States and abroad.

  • IPMA-HR Mission:  To provide human resource leadership and advocacy, professional development, information and services to enhance organizational and individual performance in the public sector.

  • IPMA-HR Vision:  To be the leading organization for public human resources.

  • Positioning Statement:  IPMA-HR – The recognized leader in the delivery of innovative solutions and practical resources for all levels of public sector HR professionals.

  • Tagline:  Developing Professionals through education, collaboration, and service!


Purpose & Objectives:

  • Promote excellence through the ongoing development of professional and ethical standards and career development

  • Enhance the image of human resource professionals by recognizing their contributions to the public service

  • Foster fairness and equity by promoting application of merit principles and equal opportunity for all

  • Encourage research and development in human resource management

  • Promote communication and sharing of information among human resources professionals



The International Public Management Association for Human Resources’ commitment to improve public human resource management through merit system principles dates back to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

The first meeting of IPMA-HR’s original parent organization, the National Assembly of Civil Service Commissions, took place on May 16-17, 1906, in Washington, DC.  Sixty representatives from approximately 20 state and local civil service commissions responded to an invitation from the members of the U.S. Civil Service Commission to discuss problems arising in the enforcement of the civil service laws, to devise methods to meet those problems, and to compare results and past experience.  The highlight of the meeting came when the group was invited by President Roosevelt, a former member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, to meet with him in his office.  Roosevelt spoke to the group about the importance of a strong yet flexible civil service system to attain effective business administration of the public service.

Since 1906, the Association has grown in size and stature throughout the world and today is recognized as the professional representative of public human resource managers from all levels of government. The members have significantly reshaped and improved the quality of public human resource management in the past, and with the professional commitment of its members, will continue to pioneer the innovative achievements of the profession in the future. 

Read more about IPMA-HR.

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