CPHR Pathways: How to Become a Chartered Professional in Human Resources

To become a recognized professional in any industry, you need three things: education, field experience, and proper tools and resources. Human Resources field is no exception.

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For any respected Human Resources professional, the culmination of those three things is becoming a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR).

Being CPHR-certified communicates to others that you have met the educational and experience criteria and are currently in good standing with the relevant provincial HR association that provides you with various programs, events and educational resources relevant to your profession. It is also the only Human Resources certification that is widely recognized across Canada.

Benefits of CPHR Certification

As mentioned above, CPHR is an important step in the career of any Human Resources professional. Having a CPHR certification offers the following benefits:

  • Career opportunities: CPHR designation shows potential employers that you are a highly qualified professional in your field and you have the necessary qualifications to become an asset to the organization. Having CPHR generally means having more job and career opportunities and a higher salary.
  • Respect: CPHR certification is widely respected in the Human Resources field. It shows potential employers that you are committed to high industry standard and continuing professional development.
  • Ethics: CPHR professionals are adhering to a Code of Ethics and are viewed as trusted advisers in the organization.
  • Community: Being part of the CPHR community offers multiple opportunities to stay connected with other HR professionals through different events arranged by the provincial HR association. It can be a good opportunity for networking, knowledge-building and sharing.

Requirements for the CPHR Certification

According to cphr.ca, there is a total of 5 requirements that need to be met for the CPHR certification. Those requirements are consistent across Canada, although the specifics (such as timing) can be different across the provinces or territories, depending on each individual HR association.

  1. Membership: You need to be a member in a good standing with the respective HR association.
  2. Knowledge: You need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the CPHR competencies. This is usually done through completing the National Knowledge Exam (NKE), an examination designed to test your knowledge and skills in the Human Resources field.
  3. Education: A certain level of education needs to be met. Usually, it means at least a Bachelor degree, but certain adjustments may apply to individuals with a certain experience level.
  4. Professional Experience: A certain level of professional work experience is expected for the CPHR certification, usually at least 3 years.
  5. Professional Conduct: You need to follow a Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct.

CPHR Pathways in BC

The Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR BC & YK) has identified 7 specific pathways to the CPHR designation, based on the CPHR requirements:

  1. Degree: Individuals that have a Bachelor Degree in any major are required to pass the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) and have at least 3 years of professional-level HR experience (within the past 10 years).
  2. Non-Degree: Individuals who do not have a degree need to pass the NKE and have at least 8 years of relevant professional-level HR experience.
  3. Accredited: Individuals with a Bachelor Degree (any major) don’t have to write the NKE exam if they have an accredited Diploma or Degree in HR and have at least 3 years of professional-level HR experience.
  4. Masters: Individuals with a Master’s Degree in Human Resources (approved by CPHR BC & YK) only need 3 years of professional-level HR experience.
  5. Senior Level: Individuals with a Bachelor Degree in any major need 10 years of senior professional-level experience, such a senior HR professional or an accredited professional working in an HR-related discipline.
  6. Transfer: Individuals in good standing can transfer their CPHR (or alternate) designation obtained in another province (needs to be substantially equivalent or greater than CPHR BC & YK certification requirements).
  7. International/ Non-Resident: Individuals in good standing can transfer their CPHR-equivalent designation (needs to be substantially equivalent or greater than CPHR BC & YK certification; example: AHRI, CIPD, HKIHRM, SHRM, CHRL or CHRE). Alternatively, individuals need to satisfy a certification path approved by CPHR BC & YK and deemed to substantially meet or exceed the conditions of CPHR BC & YK certification requirements.

Need Help in Pursuing the CPHR Designation?

Ashton College Human Resources Management Diploma can help you qualify under the Accredited route, as it has been accredited with the CPHR BC & YK. Here at Ashton, we can also prepare you for the NKE exam that is required for the first two certification routes.

Please see the infographic below for more information, or visit our Human Resource Management Diploma page.

Created using Visme. An easy-to-use Infographic Maker.


    View All Comments

  1. Shahma Zahid says:

    The college gives good information .Advisory service to guide certified professionals like Member Australia human resources Institute , or CIPD members intending to become C H R E Certified professional may need your services.Would you consider to introduce such services for the professionals.Regards

  2. Neha Dhingra says:


    I have an English(Hons) bachelor’s degree and I am also a Post Graduate with the Human Resource Management from India(Online).

    Could you please verify what do I need to get this course started. Also do I need to meet any requirement as well or go thru any NKE Examination

    • Maria Bychkova says:

      Hi Neha,

      Please contact our Admissions Officer for the details regarding the application process to Diploma in Human Resources Management program and your eligibility to get a CPHR designation. Here is the contact info: admissions@ashtoncollege.ca or +1(604) 628-5784

      Thank you!

  3. Chika says:

    Good day. I would like obtain a certification in HR. I do not have any experience in HR but have a masters degree and intend doing my PhD. I am an international student. How do I go about this

  4. Bernadine Warrick says:

    I would like find out the pathway to becoming a CPHR.
    Please send information, dates and cost.

    • Ekaterina Grishko says:

      Hello Bernadine,

      Ashton College offers an HR Management Diploma program. This program is accredited by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR BC & YK) and allows the students with a Bachelor degree to pursue CPHR designation without taking the NKE exam. This program can also prepare students across Canada for the National Knowledge Examination (NKE) which assesses HR knowledge and skills. This exam is essential for individuals who do not have a Bachelor degree and would still like to become a candidate for CPHR certification. For more information about the CPHR pathways, please click here.

      Future start dates of the program are as follows:
      Abbotsford – April 16, 2018 – July 10, 2018
      Vancouver – September 10, 2018 – November 30, 2018
      LIVE Online – Part-time: June 5, 2018 – March 14, 2019

      Application and tuition fees for this program are as follows:
      Application fee: $200 (Domestic Students) or $300 (International Students)
      Tuition fee (Domestic): $4,200
      Tuition fee (International): $5,460
      Note: Tuition fees do not include the cost of required textbooks.

      If you want to get more information about the program OR would like to register for one of the upcoming start dates, please contact our Admissions Officer at admissions@ashtoncollege.ca, (604) 628-5784.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Ghazal,Naserpour says:

    Hello, I have a post degree diploma in business studies- Human Resource concentration from vancouver island university,in june 2017, I know in some universities they match and transfer credit towards their program. So if i already had (management and development )course, if course materials are the same, and I had the minimum of b-, they let me finish the degree sooner this way , I only have to take courses that I got less than B-
    I wanted to know if I can do this HR Degree here or no?
    I have the 3 years human resources experience and took the degree from VIU , I want to get my CPHR from path 3, accelerated degree, I have a master degree in industrial engineering- systems management and productivity, but its not HR related so I can’t use path 4, I would be more than happy if I can take courses that I need in one semester and finish .
    Best regards

    • Ekaterina Grishko says:

      Hello Ghazal,

      Thank you for your detailed inquiry. I will pass your information on to our Admissions Officer, who will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your case in detail.

  6. […] 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 […]

  7. […] take an HR Management program to prepare for the NKE exam, you should first look at the different pathways towards the CPHR (Chartered Professional in Human Resources) designation (or CHRP (Certified Human Resources […]

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