Nantes, 1st University Hospital in France to obtain the European HRS4R accreditation

13th October 2021, Nantes University Hospital was the first university hospital in France to obtain the European HRS4R “HR Excellence in Research” label.

This process, specific to the research sector, called HRS4R (Human Resources Strategy For Researchers), aims to improve the practices of research establishments in terms of recruitment and working conditions for researchers. It is the subject of a “HR Excellence in Research” Award issued by the European Commission to establishments involved in this process.

By making a commitment, Nantes University Hospital wants its human resources policy to be recognised and enhanced, particularly in all its specific features intended for research professionals and to be improved, taking into consideration the requirements of this Award and those of its professionals. This process relates to “PhD” doctors working at the research and innovation direction (Nantes University Hospital). This is the target population, however, some actions may concern all research agents.

The accreditation process is shared with Nantes University which has also been involved in this process since the beginning of 2020, thus improving the attractiveness for and loyalty of talents in the research field in the city of Nantes.

16 months of development and consultation

In practical terms, in order to obtain the Award, Nantes University Hospital assessed its current HR practices in relation to the 40 recommendations set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. From this, it identified the strengths and areas to be improved under the following themes: ethical principles, recruitment, working conditions and training.

Based on an inventory carried out with the personnel concerned by this ambitious process, an action plan was defined in 2020 by four working groups in accordance with the recommendations set out in the Code and the Charter.

The investment of the various stakeholders was particularly interesting within the framework of this new approach in the field of human resources management in order to progress as closely as possible with expectations. The action plan was presented and validated by the different governance bodies of the university hospital, marking our commitment.

After nearly 16 months of development and consultation, the application was submitted to the European Commission in late March 2021 in order to obtain the “HR Excellence in Research” accreditation in 2021.

The implementation of the action plan is the subject of half-yearly monitoring of the deadlines, indicators and objectives conducted by the Steering Committee (COPIL) which brings together the university hospital's Human Resources Department and the Research and Innovation Department. 

At the same time, the progress of the actions is presented to the target community once a year. The target community will be able to help set up additional actions if necessary.

A review in 2023 and an audit in 2026

The HRS4R label is a continuous improvement approach, the action plan is regularly reviewed and implemented new actions.
In accordance with the accreditation procedure, a self assessment will be carried out in October 2023 in order to review the progress of the action plan. In October 2026, the European Commission will audit the site to assess the implementation of the HRS4R process.

Discover the action plan: