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What is CPHR? Getting CPHR Designation in Canada

What is a CPHR designation?

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 an accredited Diploma or Degree in Human Resources.

The CPHR pathways are designed to ensure that HR professionals can show competency in nine key human resources areas:

  • Strategy,
  • Professional Practice,
  • Engagement,
  • Total Rewards,
  • Labour & Employment Relations,
  • Health, Wellness and Safe Workplace,
  • Learning and Development,
  • Workforce Planning and Talent Management,
  • Human Resources Metrics, Reporting and Financial Management.

What is the CPHR Canada?

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).

According to Amr Shokry, a global Human Resources leader with over 20 years of experience and instructor for Ashton College’s Human Resource Management Diploma program, this is a positive change in the HR field. “New professional HR body includes seven different ways of getting a CPHR designation,” shares Amr. “In the past, there was only one way: to pass an exam and then to gain three years of experience in a Canadian company. Now, there are many different ways that include a combination of education, a combination of experience, professional history abroad, among other things. I believe that it provides more options for HR professionals, which is reflective of our diverse demographics in Canada, and here in BC.”

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.

Ontario’s HR Designation

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:

  • Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP): Entry Level
  • Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL): Professional Level
  • Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE): Executive Level

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.

The difference between CPHR and Ontario’s HR Designations

According to Amr, there is still a bit of confusion with the HR designation across Canada. “It is unfortunate that we now have two systems working together: we have Ontario’s HR certifications, and now we also have CPHR designation with their provincial member associations. It is likely that they had differences in their needs and direction, so they went separate ways,” states Amr. “I believe it is a disadvantage that the country is split into two systems existing at the same time, and I am hoping that in the nearest future both organizations will get together to find a compromise and fully unify the designation.”

At the same time, Amr believes in the advantages of the CPHR designation, unified across most Canadian provinces and territories.

“All-in-all, the new CPHR designation is more inclusive, more diverse and more flexible. However, it still keeps the standards high: having the designation really shows that you have the right competencies and the right experience to be an HR professional.”

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.

Ashton College can help you on your CPHR path

We offer the Diploma in Human Resources Management (DHRM) program to prepare you for your future career advancement in the Human Resources field. Accredited with the CPHR BC & YK, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador, Ashton’s DHRM program can help you qualify for the CPHR. You can enroll in our online human resources course from anywhere in Canada. When you’re registering for the program via our online form or talking to our admissions officer over the phone, mention that you’re, for instance, interested in pursuing the human resources certifications in Alberta, or from any province of your choice.

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  1. Jasleen Kaur Gill says:

    To Ashton Management Team
    I wanted to pursue Human Resource’s Management program online but Celpip dates have been postponed I am Canadian Resident is it compulsory to wait for it or I can take admission.
    Looking forward to hear from You

    • Maria Bychkova says:

      Hi Jasleen,
      According to our admissions policy, you need to meet one of the following English language requirements:
      – Achieve a grade of 70% or better on the provincial examination portion of BC English 12 or English Literature 12 or equivalent ;
      – Complete three or more consecutive years of full-time education in English within Canada immediately prior to attending the College;
      – Complete four or more consecutive years of full-time education in English immediately prior to attending the College, in an English-speaking country other than Canada;
      – Graduate from a recognized degree Program at an accredited university in an English-speaking country other than Canada;
      – Achieve the competency standard indicated by one of the Test of English Language Proficiency (including CELPIP).
      Please check all of the above and if you still have the questions regarding the admissions please submit your enquiry through “request info” section on the website:
      Thank you!

  2. Sadiya Rahman says:

    I am an Indian national applying for PR in Canada and wish to join the course at Ashton college. Please let me know how can I apply.
    Kindly advise.
    Sadiya Rahman

  3. Khanyi says:

    I’m interested to know if you do offer online tuition

    • Maria Bychkova says:

      Hi Khanyi,
      For an online Diploma in Human Resources program, the tuition fee for domestic students is $4,200 and for international students it’s $5,460. Thank you!

  4. Harjas Singh Popli says:

    Hi, I want to do CPHR certification. Have an experience of almost 2 decades in HR. What is the process, fees and how soon can I get it.

  5. Santosh Kr Ghosh says:

    I am a HR professional with 9 years of experience.
    Kindly share me details for CHRL (duration, class, fees).

    I am from India. Is there any option to earn and learn if I study this program at Canada itself?

    Best Regards,
    Santosh Kr Ghosh

  6. Shilpa Nayak says:

    I want to enquire regarding CHRP certification. Can I take this from India… Before coming to Canada on my pr

  7. Cassandra Morrison says:

    Good day,

    Kindly seeking information in relations to pursuing a 2 year Deploma in Human Resource Management as an international student. Also, Will this be recognized in Ontario?

  8. Marjia says:

    May I know please the requirements for the CHIP?

  9. Edward Davies says:

    I would like to enroll in your prestigious University to study Human Resources to further my career further. Hoping to hear from you on the next steps involved in completing the application. Thanks.

  10. Judith says:


    Kindly assist.

    Is the CPHR designation/certification only meant for those residing in Canada and it’s environs?

    • Maria Bychkova says:

      Hi Judith,

      CPHR was designed to unify HR professionals under one professional body and one designation recognized across Canada. Other countries might have their own associations for HR specialists. It’s always best to check what regulatory body operates in the country you live or plan to move to.

      Thank you!

  11. Shobhini says:

    I wish to start a career in Canada as a human resources executive. Unfortunately, I do not have any degree relating to this. Can I still get an online admission and get myself certified for an entry level HR course ?

  12. Jyoti Rao says:

    Hope you are doing great.

    I am HR professional with 3 years of experience in Recruitment and generalist role.
    I have recently moved to Calgary and looking forward to go for CPHR course.

    Can pls. Suggest how to go ahead with the study plan and certification.

    Thanks and Regards,

    • Maria Bychkova says:

      Hi Jyoti,

      You can take a Diploma in Human Resources Management program at Ashton that will prepare you for the exam.

      However, you will need to take an exam at CPHR Alberta to get your designation.

      Please contact our admissions officer for further details at [email protected]

  13. Abhinav says:

    hi team,
    right now i am doing m.b.a in finance and marketing , i want to study in Canada.

    can you please help me with the best course that i can study in Canada.


  14. Ishita Sarkar Chaudhury says:


    Hope you are doing well.

    I am a Human Resource professional from India and I am working for almost 4 years in a HR generalist profile.
    I have an MBA in Organisational Behavior and Human Resource development from an Indian university. This was a FT course.
    I am planning to move to Canada and would like to do the CPHR certification.

    Could you please suggest me how to go ahead with the study plan and the certification.


    Best Regards
    Ishita Sarkar Chaudhury

  15. Spurthi says:

    I have nearly 1year experience in recruitment, and recently shifted to Calgary,I am interested in perceiving online diploma courses ,could you help me with some good opitons on courses here.


  16. Suhas says:

    Hi Team

    I am bit confused being in Ontario as what certification can i go for by rule. I am HR Analytics Professional with 3 years of work ex


  17. Geetha says:


    I have 6 years experience in HR Operations and Payroll and I am from India. I will be relocating to Ottawa on August 10th.

    Can you please help me with the best courses that I can study in Canada.


    • Vanitha says:

      Hi, I have 9+ years experience as Assistant Manager – Payroll & HR operation in Italian MNC from Chennai, India . Willing to relocate to Alberta, Canada and in process to immigrate shortly. Mean while shall I do CPHR designation from India to increase the opportunity to get my work permit quickly? Is this possible to get CPHR designation from here? How much cost and duration it will take?

      • Maria Bychkova says:

        Hi Vanitha,

        You can take our Human Resources Management Diploma program online while still being in India. This program will prepare you for the CPHR designation. The duration of the program is 240 hours (including final exam hours).

        Application and tuition fees for this program are as follows:

        Application fee: $300 (International Students)
        Tuition fee (International): $5,460

        However, you will need to apply for your CPHR designation at CPHR Alberta directly after completing your studies at Ashton. Please find out more details on their website:

        Please contact our admissions officer if you have any further questions about our HR program: [email protected]

        Thank you!

    • Mandeep Bedi says:

      Hi Geetha,
      Thanks for your comment and glad to hear you are coming to Canada. We do have a couple option to choose from and our admissions officer can help you with the selection process. Please connect with him at [email protected]. Wishing you luck with your move.

  18. Sameer Basha Khadari says:

    Hi Team,

    I have applied for the Canadian Immigration programme. I have 10+ years of experience in HR background, I would like to study and do CPHR certification to get a good job in Canada. Please help me with this regards.

    Have a nice day a head!

    Sameer Basha Khadari

    • Mandeep Bedi says:

      Hi Sameer,
      Thanks for your comment. Please get in touch with our admissions officer at [email protected] and he will be happy to discuss available option with you. We also advise you to not leave your contact number in public forums and blogs, and hence have removed it from your comment. Wishing you luck with your studies.

      • Sameer Basha Khadari says:

        Hi Mandeep,

        Thanks for your reply. My apologize to replying you late. I will get connected with the admission team for further process.


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