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The Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) designation, formally known as the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), is a widely recognized credential within the field of Human Resources (HR) in Canada.
Accepted by nine provinces and three territories, including CPHR Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador, the CPHR designation is a standard of quality for HR professionals. Having this designation communicates to others that you possess the experiences and expertise necessary to lead organizations through the different challenges of the present-day workforce. CPHRs focus on continuous professional development, constantly advance their skills, abilities and knowledge in the key human resources areas, and are able to utilize the most up-to-date HR tools and practices in any given workplace.
To obtain the CPHR designation, individuals must meet the minimum requirements for education, knowledge of HR competencies, professional conduct and work experience, as well as obtain a membership with their provincial HR association. There are seven different pathways to CPHR designation. Most pathways require candidates to have several years of professional work experience and include an educational component that can be demonstrated through a Degree (Bachelor or Master’s) and/or through passing the National Knowledge Exam (NKE). Individuals can also be exempt from writing an NKE if they have a diploma or degree in Human Resources that is accredited by any of the provincial chapters of CPHR.
The CPHR pathways are designed to ensure that HR professionals can show competency in nine key human resources areas:
In Canada, the CPHR designation is guided by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Canada (CPHR Canada), formerly known as the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA). CCHRA changed their name in October 2016, unifying HR professionals under one professional body and one professional designation recognized across Canada (apart from the province of Ontario).
The CPHR offers seven different pathways for candidates to obtain the CPHR designation. Previously, there was only one way to obtain a CPHR designation: by passing an exam and having three years of relevant experience in a Canadian company.
CPHR Canada currently represents 27,000 members. They are, according to their website, “the national voice on the enhancement and promotion of the HR Profession”. CPHR’s goal is to help employers and employees in Canada realize their potential for success by encouraging leadership and advancements within the field of Human Resources.
In June 2014, Ontario’s HR association, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), chose to leave CCHRA after achieving self-regulated status. Stating that they were moving in a different direction than CCHRA at the time, HRPA began operating independently. On October 29, 2014, the HRPA introduced a tiered certification framework and the three new designations:
These levels are designed to operate as a ladder from one designation to the next, as well as by entry directly at any level. The HRPA Competency Framework defines 213 functional competencies and 15 enabling competencies at each of the three levels of HR practice: Entry, Professional and Executive.
Ontario’s separate Hr designation has caused some confusing regarding the HR designation across Canada. Generally, the CPHR is more widely recognized in Canada, but Ontario’s HR designations are the standard for their province. If you are going to work in HR in Ontario, you may want to consider pursuing their HR designations. If you are not working in Ontario, then you are better off pursuing your CPHR designation.
Become a CPHR
The value of a CPHR designation for HR professionals is evident: it is a nationally recognized level of achievement that represents professionalism and dedication.
CPHRs earn more and are promoted faster than non-designated HR professionals. CPHRs are more prevalent at large companies and at higher levels of management. There is also a growing demand for CPHR designations. If you are striving for growth within the Human Resources industry, you should definitely find out which of the CPHR pathways would work best for you.
The information contained in this post is considered to be true and accurate as of the date of publication. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog.