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How Human Resources Certifications Can Further Your Career

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: June 18, 2019

Many occupations require certification and/or licensing to work in the field, while for others, like human resources, obtaining certification is optional. However, it’s interesting to note that as the field of human resources management grows, more and more employers are looking for individuals with an HR diploma or other credentials.

There are several options for human resources certification. Job postings specifying this type of education as a requirement generally don’t state a specific HR diploma or certification. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide which program is the best fit for you.

It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in your HR career, there is never a bad time to pursue a human resources management diploma or other certifications. Those who have recently graduated from college or university can prove their interest in the field by adding HR-specific training to their education. Individuals who are already working in the field can improve their knowledge and increase their chances of moving up in a company or switching to another organization more quickly by adding certification or a designation to their experience.

Here are a few reasons why you’d want to earn human resources certification or another designation in the field:

– As mentioned previously, an HRM diploma or other types of certification can be a requirement for some jobs. By taking an HR program that leads to a certification or designation, you will be widening the number of job opportunities available to you.

– Having a human resources certification can put you ahead of other job seekers applying for the same positions as you, especially when they don’t have one.

– Earning an HR diploma will prove to employers that you are serious about your profession. You will show that you care about learning more about your occupation, you are interested in advancement and that you want to be in the know about the latest trends in HR.

– You will have taken training that advances your knowledge of the HR field and your applicable skills. You will be able to make use of concepts and understand them better when it comes to day-to-day application, and you’ll be on top of any of the latest industry trends.

There are a number of HR designations available in Canada. CHRP (Certified Human Resources Professional), CPHR (Chartered Professional in Human Resources), CHRL (Certified Human Resources Leader), RPR (Registered Professional Recruiter), GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources) and many others. Different designations are offered by different associations and organizations as well as through various post-secondary institutions.

Individuals who want to earn an HR diploma or other human resources certification must take the time to explore their options and choose the right fit. Not all programs are created equal. Some require prerequisite courses or work experience. You will want to take time to consider where you want to take your HR career and explore the options before enrolling. Consider talking to a career counsellor who specializes in HR or someone who has gone through a similar process to choose the right program.

Here, we will explore the CPHR designation.

The CPHR designation is recognized across Canada and individuals must meet all the requirements outlined by their provincial HR association. In BC, this is CPHR BC & Yukon. There are seven different paths to obtaining the CPHR as outlined on their official site. Each path requires a blend of education and experience.


There are a few reasons you might want to consider the Chartered Professional in Human Resources designation beyond the fact that it is recognized across the country:

1. CPHRs must continue to update their knowledge and skills to maintain their designation. This means there is a requirement to stay abreast of changes and advancements within the field. Those who see you hold the designation will appreciate your dedication to continuous improvement.

2. Once the CPHR designation is obtained, individuals will be connected to other HR professionals through a nation-wide community. Special events, conferences, publications and websites make up part of the information and education sharing that allows you to network with others.

3. As a CPHR, you are proven to understand the HR field due to the requirement to meet provincial standards.

4. Due to the continual learning and educational requirements to initially obtain the CPHR designation, you are proving a long-term commitment to your profession.

5. Anyone with a CPHR has a commitment to the National Code of Ethics that includes conflict of interest, confidentiality, professional growth and other key issues. This code of ethics ensures the highest standards within the HR community.

Is the CPHR right for you? Only you can determine if this is the right program or whether a different program is a better fit for your unique needs, interests and desired future growth. While professional organizations that offer HR programs are a valuable source of information, it is always best to connect with others in the industry who have the certification and designation to get insights to help you make the right decision.


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