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Earning a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) certification

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: July 19, 2018

In almost every career, including Human Resources, some standards and designations serve as “proof” of education, skills and abilities for the job. For Human Resources (HR) professionals, having a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) certification is that proof. Not only does it demonstrate a commitment to the field, but it also shows a willingness to learn on an ongoing basis. With a CPHR designation in any Canadian province, including Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, you prove to employers that you are a true HR expert with knowledge in all aspects of HR.

Membership with CPHR allows for benefits

As a member in good standing, a certified CPHR professional is entitled to the following benefits:

Career opportunities
The designation proves to prospective employers that you have the background, interest and education in the field they are looking for. You also have the right HR qualifications to make a difference in an organization. This provides you with greater job opportunities and the potential for a higher salary than someone with the same experience but without a CPHR designation.

As one of the most widely-known HR designations in the country, CPHR proves high standards, ongoing development and a desire to advance in the field. Since almost everyone in the HR field knows what CPHR Canada means, your certification speaks for itself.

Part of the CPHR certification is based on members’ adhering to a code of ethics. It makes you a trusted advisor in an organization where employees, management and board members can trust you to keep their information private and act on issues that require action.

This is the networking aspect of being a CPHR member. There are numerous ways to stay connected with other certified professionals within the large community. Provincial arms of the national body often host get-togethers, professional development and other activities to ensure the community grows and supports each other.

For those in BC and the Yukon region, membership is with the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR BC & YK). For HR professionals in other Canadian provinces who wish to be a CPHR in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador, you can approach the relevant regional and provincial bodies. However, the fundamental requirements for a CPHR certification are standard across Canada. These include:

a. Membership 

To maintain the CPHR certification, you must maintain your membership (and do the things your membership requires) to stay in good standing.

b. Knowledge
To achieve the designation, one has to take the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) to prove the understanding of CPHR competencies applicable in the field. By having your HR knowledge tested and verified, you not only confirm eligibility for CPHR designation but also prove you have the knowledge employers are looking for in an HR professional.

c. Education
While the education requirements are somewhat flexible based on your work experience in the HR field, the basic requirement for education is a Bachelor's degree.

d. Professional experience
To become a CPHR, you need at least a minimum of three (3) years of professional-level HR experience within the past ten (10) years. 

e. Professional conduct
The Code of Ethics and the Rules of Professional Conduct sets out the ethical standards human resource professionals are expected to meet. These standards require ethical conduct, competent service and good character.

Ways to achieve a CPHR designation through CPHR BC & YK

Based on the national CPHR requirements, CPHR BC & YK have established several ways to achieve the CPHR designation.

  1. Degree – Applicants who have a Bachelor's degree (in any major) will need to pass the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) and prove that they have a minimum of three years of professional-level HR experience within the past 10 years.
  2. Non-degree and senior-level – Those without a Bachelor's degree will also need to pass the NKE and must have proof of a minimum of eight years of professional-level HR experience. Alternatively, applicants with 10 years of senior professional-level experience (senior HR Professional, accredited professional working in an HR-related discipline) do not need to take the exam.
  3. Accredited or Masters – If an applicant has a Bachelor's degree in any discipline, along with an accredited degree or diploma in HR, plus 3 years of HR-related experience; or they have a Master’s degree in HR plus three years of HR-related experience, the NKE is not required.
  4. Transfer – Those in other Canadian provinces or regions with a CPHR certification can transfer that designation to CPHR BC & YK provided the standards are the same or greater than those of BC & YK). Similarly, those from other countries can also transfer an equivalent designation if the requirements are the same or greater than those of BC & YK.



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.


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  1. Maria Bychkova says:

    Hi Lulu,
    Thanks for your interest in taking HR training. If you’d like to learn more about the program we’re offering that is accredited with CPHR, please check out the program description:
    If you have any further questions or if you are ready to enroll, please contact our admissions officer at [email protected]

  2. Lulu Jacqueline Francis says:


    I am an HR professional with over ten (10) years accelerated experience in Human Resources.

    Been working for International Organisations in my country Tanzania; Like Barclays Bank, Standard Bank and Diageo at the capacity month others, Human Resources Business Partner.

    I am focused on getting International accreditation; my mentor proposed CPHR; however, I would like to do a course (preferably, a graduate course) in HRM that is accredited.

    That way I will be earning both, Canadian certificate as well as the accreditation.

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