News & Press: The HR Profession

The HR Profession - December Update

December 5, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Haines
On October 31, 2014, HRMAM reached out to all members regarding HRPA's new tiered certification framework that recognizes three levels of HR practice: Entry, Professional and Executive. To see a copy of that message, please click here.

We asked for member's input on the following discussion question:
What do you see as the benefits and the drawbacks of HRMAM adopting the HRPA certification framework?

We received a number of responses from members so thank you for being engaged in the future of the HR profession. Responses varied across the spectrum from welcoming HRPA's tiered model to desiring that the CHRP remain the leading standard for HR professionals in Canada.

Many of you asked why a new model now. We feel that it is important for our members to understand the background and context and would like to take this opportunity to discuss the most recent developments and recommendations for the CHRP. The simple, short answer is that since the CHRP was introduced over 20 years ago, the certification process has not been updated and upgraded significantly to meet the new demands and current state of human resource practice in Canada.

The CHRP designation was established in Ontario in 1990 and adopted by Manitoba and other provinces (BC, AB, SK, QE, NB, NS) between 1992-94 but with varying standards. Provinces then came together to form the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) with an exciting vision to establish common standards and assessment processes for the CHRP. In 1995 they embarked on a seven year, four-phased, four million dollar national standards project, in partnership with Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), utilizing hundreds of member volunteer hours to bring about the national assessment processes as well as support structures for CHRP candidates across Canada.

CCHRA's vision then was for the certification to resemble a level four profession like the accounting designation: Education in discipline-specific courses - Exam - Professional Program - Experience - Final Exam. This is the classic credentialing model (triple E) of becoming a professional through attainment of specific Education, passing Exams and then acquiring Experience in applying theoretical knowledge.

However by 2001 provinces could only reach agreement on an outcomes-based approach to the CHRP certification architecture i.e. passing Exams only - (the National Knowledge Exam NKE and the previous National Professional Practice Assessment NPPA). This meant that you could attain the CHRP without having worked in or had Human Resources experience. The designation evolved slightly with the introduction of a degree requirement in 2011 and then a three-year experience requirement in 2013 replacing the NPPA and thus abandoning the outcomes-based model.

In September 2012, on behalf of its member associations, CCHRA commissioned a Professional Practice Analysis involving more than 1,000 HR experts and professionals from across the country to review the Canadian HR Body of Knowledge. It is incumbent on all professional designations and professions to regularly undertake a review of their professional underpinnings. This is important to ensure that professions and their respective designations remain relevant and aligned with the interests and the needs of their membership, the business community and the public at large. It took a year to complete and its results were issued in July 2013.

The Professional Practice Analysis (PPA) Report revealed a semi profession on the cusp of becoming a true profession. Therefore it is important that the CHRP certification process be at the level of thoroughness or rigour expected of certification at the professional level we would claim to be at. The subsequent recommendations presented to the CCHRA Board sets the groundwork for the next phase, the implementation of the results. It recommends that all provincial member associations in CCHRA:
Agree on common vision for the new 'next gen CHRP' certification process going forward and adopt a plan to make this happen
Agree on the 'dual' competency model which will define a set of 'enabling' competencies which would be expected of CHRPs
Agree on a common HR curriculum (coursework) as a requirement for the CHRP designation
Agree to add a jurisdiction-specific jurisprudence exam as a requirement for the CHRP designation
Agree to add a Professional Development Program as a requirement for the CHRP and approve a project to develop this Professional Program
Establish a task force to make specific recommendations as to a diploma-level HR designation (upgrading the CHRP may be necessary to 'make room' for a diploma-level designation)
CCHRA then created task forces across Canada to begin studying the recommendations. When at the end of that year Ontario became self-regulated, HRPA felt an increased need to move more quickly to implement the recommendations for new standards than CCHRA would be able to develop them.

HRPA began working independently on the recommendations and left CCHRA in June 2014. They have created their own competency framework called the HRPA Competency Framework that validates both knowledge and the ability to apply it, which is the present, or intended, standard for Tier 1 regulators.

CCHRA's member associations continued its work and in August 2014 announced a revised CHRP Competency Framework reflecting the dual competency model that includes 'enabling' competencies which would be expected of CHRPs. You can learn more about the revised CHRP Competency Framework here.

Regarding the remaining recommendations, HRPA's Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) certification with specific plans to be rolled out in the next three years incorporates recommendations 3, 4 and 5. CCHRA task force groups recently completed their work for board approval on recommendations 3 and 5. Addressing the final recommendation (6), HRPA's CHRP now becomes the non-degree designation. The remaining provinces however, continue to be committed to promoting the CHRP designation, as certified in their provinces, as the leading standard for HR professionals in Canada.

National Recognition
As for the first recommendation, we are at the juncture of achieving a common vision for the enhanced CHRP. Many of you said that you want a designation that reflects credibility to the public and business and is recognized nationally. CCHRA feels that a strong national body is necessary to elevate the HR profession in Canada and is choosing to continue to work in close collaboration with member provinces.

It is important to note that while CCHRA provides direction for provinces to follow common practices in administering the CHRP designation, it is up to each province to adopt or adjust those practices for their own province. The CHRP is not a national designation but rather a designation with national recognition. While requirements are similar from province to province, they are not exactly the same. That being said, current member provinces of the CCHRA do have a mutual recognition agreement which provides national mobility for designated members.

HRMAM is committed to working with all provinces including Quebec who left in 2010 and Ontario to encourage collaboration and unity. We see our role to be objective, consider interests of HR professionals in Manitoba and encourage collaboration among all provinces to agree on common standards and vision.

We also had many inquiries from members wanting to know more about the grandfathering process of members in Ontario. All of the details are laid out at At this time we continue to monitor developments and consult with all HR associations.

HRMAM welcomes your input
We thank you again for your responses and engagement in the future of the HR profession. We welcome your response to this communication and any other questions you may have. Please email or contact me directly.


Roma Thorlakson
Chair, HRMAM

Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Manitoba (CPHR Manitoba)
1810-275 Portage Avenue / Winnipeg, Manitoba / R3B 2B3
tel. 204.943.2836 / fax. 204.943.1109 / email.

For additional information please visit: CPHR.CA

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