National Knowledge Exam® Overview

National Knowledge Exam® (NKE)

The National Knowledge Exam® (NKE) assesses one’s understanding of the CPHR Competency Framework as they relate to academic knowledge. Academic knowledge refers to basic facts, policies, practices, methods, legislation, etc. It is information that can be written into procedures and transferred fairly accurately during the learning process. Examples of academic knowledge include: the rights and responsibilities of management and labour during union organizing and negotiation processes; the various methods of training and developing staff; and human rights, employment equity and pay equity legislation.

You are not required to complete your full required length of experience (three or eight years) prior to writing the exam. We encourage you to register and write the NKE as soon as possible following graduation. 

More details about NKE content and structure can be found on the CPHR Canada website


Helpful Links    

NKE Study Resources

NKE content and structure

Competency Framework


NKE Educational Requirement starting 2021

As of January 2021, CPHR Manitoba will be adding a new educational requirement that must be completed prior to writing the National Knowledge Exam (NKE). This requirement is applicable unless the individual is covered by another eligible path.

Please note: until January 2021, you can apply to write the NKE in June or Fall of 2019-2020 without taking any courses. 

Starting January 1, 2021, you will need to prove that you meet the educational requirements in order to write the NKE; therefore, if you plan to enroll in the June 2021 NKE, please ensure that you have successfully completed all nine accredited HR courses offered by CPHR Manitoba.

If you have successfully completed any courses that are equivalent to any of the listed courses offered, you may be able to transfer credits. Further information will be available in the coming months.

Click here to read CPHR Manitoba's full announcement about the new educational requirements for the NKE.


Exam Dates and Registration Deadlines

National Knowledge Exam® Dates

Registration Deadlines

Spring 2020: May 28 and 29, 2020


Register today! (must be signed in as a member to register)


March 30, 2020

Fall 2020: October 29 & 30, 2020


Exam Dates and Locations

Exam sessions are held in Winnipeg and Brandon. If you reside in a remote location or are travelling out of province or territory, there may be an option for a proctor to be arranged in your location. Please contact us at or 204-943-2836 for further details.

Registration and Fees

Fee (Pre-payment required):
NKE registration fee: $400.00 + GST
Yardstick Seat fee: $125.00 + GST


Exam Delivery

CPHR Canada has moved to computer-based testing (CBT). This transition gives members security, efficiency and convenience when writing the NKE and aligns the Association with industry best practice. For more information, please see our original announcement from April 9, 2019.

Cancellation and Deferral Policy

Spring 2020 NKE Deferral

Exam fees are refundable for first time registrants (exam fee has not been deferred to a future exam
write) if requested by March 30, 2020. The exam fee is non-refundable if a writer cancels their registration after the registration deadline or wishes to cancel following a previous deferral. 

An exam registrant may defer their exam to a future sitting at any point following registration up until
May 21. 

After May 21, no deferrals will be allowed. In certain extenuating circumstances the deferral may be granted after this deadline. The provincial member association would grant exceptions (i.e. death in immediate family, serious illness with doctor’s note). 

Note: all deferrals after May 14 will forfeit their $125.00 seat fee for that exam. This fee will be charged again for the deferred sitting (no exceptions).

A maximum of two deferrals are allowed per exam fee (i.e. the exam must be written on the third sitting or the exam fee would be sacrificed). If the third exam is not written and the exam fee is sacrificed, this is to be considered a ‘no show’ and the member association will be charged the full exam fee for that writer.

Important note: Exam deferrals are only processed upon receipt of the payment of the $100 + GST deferral fee. Click here to submit your payment for deferral request. Deferrals cannot be submitted using other methods.

Limits on number of NKE attempts

Candidates who are unsuccessful passing the NKE three times will be required to wait one full year prior to attempting the NKE for a fourth and final time. A fifth attempt may be permitted following a review process by the appropriate provincial HR association. During the break period between the third and fourth attempts, candidates are encouraged to take a NKE preparation course and/or review the material which their NKE results indicate require more study.

Administration Fee

After successfully passing the NKE, you will be required to pay a $50 administration fee prior to receiving your CPHR Candidate status.  In order to maintain your Candidate status, you must remain a member in good standing with CPHR Manitoba.

Exam Results

Exam results are emailed approximately eight weeks after each exam session.  

Click here to find out more about exam scoring

Request for Score Verification

Writers who do not successfully pass the NKE have the right to request a manual score verification. Writers must submit their request to CPHR Manitoba within 20 business days after the results have been sent out. The cost for the manual re-score is $65 and payment must be received at the time the request is made.   

Click here to request a manual score verification.

Recognition as a CPHR Candidate

Members who have passed the National Knowledge Exam and have not yet completed the Validation of Professional Experience (VPE) will be granted the ability to use “CPHR Candidate” as a professional title.

The CPHR is valued by the employment community and the ability to be officially recognized as a CPHR Candidate will provide you with additional recognition. You may use this title in resumes, business cards, emails, Linked-In or any other public profiles. 

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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