The Pursuit of a CHRP Designation

Today’s blog post was written by Ashton College’s Human Resources Coordinator, Tamara Reid. Tamara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, as well as a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Human Resources Management. Tamara passed the National Knowledge Exam in October 2012 and is currently a candidate for the Certified Human Resources Professional designation.

Tamara’s first blog provided tips for preparing for the National Knowledge Exam, while today’s blog explores the benefits of obtaining a Certified Human Resources Professional designation.

The path to a CHRP designation is somewhat lengthy, but is extremely rewarding. There are several steps involved in the acquisition of this professional designation.

  1. Association Membership. To obtain and maintain the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, you must be a member in good standing with your provincial HR association.
  2. National Knowledge Exam. The National Knowledge Exam® (NKE) assesses your understanding of HR knowledge and skills. After you have passed the exam, you are considered a candidate for the designation.
  3. Degree Requirement. You must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  4. Experience Requirement. Submit a completed experience assessment which is validated by your current employer. This assessment must prove:
    • A minimum of three years working in an HR role within the last ten years.
    • Experience gained at the professional level and a level of autonomy in the application of your HR knowledge. It is not necessary to be a manager or supervisor.

    This is the final and most lengthy requirement the CHRP designation is the Experience Requirement. According to the British Columbia Human Resources Management Association (BC HRMA), “Certification candidates are required to demonstrate three or more years of professional experience in human resources within the last ten years.”

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What is the Value of the Designation?

The reaction tends to be mixed among HR Professionals that I have spoken with when the question is posed as to whether or not they will be pursuing the CHRP designation. The response depends on the direction you wish to proceed with your career. I want to become an HR Generalist and eventually an HR Manager and for people who are pursuing this path, the CHRP designation is highly desirable. The CHRP designation is not by any means required and many HR Professionals can have a very successful career without pursuing the designation.
According to the BC HRMA website:

  • CHRPs are promoted more frequently – 45% of HR generalists with a CHRP became HR Managers within 5 years, whereas only 21% of HR generalists without a CHRP made the same progression.
  • CHRPs are compensated higher – across all job titles those holding a CHRP were paid more than those who did not hold a CHRP. The largest difference, at 16%, was for those at HR Manager level.
  • CHRPs are more highly valued – In British Columbia the median annual pay for all HR job titles is 30% higher for those with a CHRP than for those without.

My choice to pursue the CHRP designation is also a personal choice. It fuels a sense of accomplishment to work towards something that took many years to accomplish.

How Will It Affect My Career?

I am confident that the CHRP will positively impact my career. I realize that I can become an HR Manager with or without the CHRP designation, but having the designation is something that I feel will help my career progress faster than without it. Speaking with other employers, if given the choice between two nearly identically qualified candidates but one of has the designation and the other does not, many employers will prefer the candidate with the CHRP designation.

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