HRPA introduces three new designations to accommodate industry changes

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If you’ve spent your career in HR you’ll no doubt have seen the industry undergo mammoth changes and, if you’re successful, you’ll have grown and adapted too but HR designations haven’t necessarily been keeping up… until now.

“The world of work has advanced dramatically in the last 20 years and is driving businesses to demand higher expectations of HR professionals. We needed to update our certification framework to incorporate both knowledge and competence around things like strategy, demographics, workplace accommodation, business acumen, diversity, employment law and analytics,” said Human Resources Professionals Association CRO, Bill Greenhalgh.

The HRPA’s first, core designation, the CHRP, was created in 1996 but both the world and the workplace have seen significant changes since then. Now, the HRPA is addressing those dramatic changes, and the increased demands placed on HR professionals, in a new and updated certification framework.

The three-tier framework will test an updated body of knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge at all three levels of HR practice:
  • Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP)
Under the new framework, HRPA's original HR designation will once again become the entry-level designation, intended for HR professionals in roles that are generally administrative, such as a contributing role in a larger HR function, or a sole HR practitioner in a small HR function.
  • Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL)
HR professionals at the CHRL level will be responsible for managing projects and programs, implementing plans passed down by senior management and delegating tasks to entry-level staff.
  • Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE)
Executive level professionals have a high level of experience and responsibility such as leading the HR function in large organizations, developing and executing significant HR projects, working with boards or HR committees, dealing with executive compensation and having responsibility for HR strategies in support of long term organizational goals.

"We believe that this is a giant progressive step forward for HRPA members, we are sure it will have major positive career impacts in the future and it will create a designation framework that is highly valued not just by members but by organizations as well,"  said Greenhalgh.

Existing CHRPs, SHRPs and CHRP will be grandfathered into the CHRL, CHRE, and CHRP designations respectively.
  • James McKeever on 2014-10-30 2:16:20 PM

    Oh my, after all that work to get the CHRP recognized on equal footing with other designations, they've now wasted all that effort with further confusion and watering down of all that was built up. You don't have degrees of accountants, or different quality of engineers, or lawyers...each can have specialties but not entry level, middle and executive as part of a designation. How disjointed do you have to be and how do you earn the next level? Peer review? What a joke CHRP has become.

  • Dean Brock on 2014-10-30 2:41:21 PM

    This is just another money grab by the already over-priced HRPA - I will say NO THANKS!!!

  • Anonymous on 2014-10-30 2:45:54 PM

    I completely agree HRPA has become such a money grabbing organization. They claim we HR folks have asked for this and I don't know any who have. Also many organizations out there don't have CHRP as a requirement or even an asset as many organizations besides HRPA dont find value of it. I'm hoping many will discontinue their membership as i most definetly will.

  • J. H. on 2014-10-30 2:59:44 PM

    What a money grab - I'm sure there will be "administrative costs" to be reviewed for the other levels. We have barely got to the point of organizations requiring CHRP for their HR job postings. Now HRPA want to throw more random letters on it. My CHRP recognizes my education and professional accountabilities, my resume speaks for my experience, not some letters that are not recognized by anyone.

  • H.K on 2014-10-30 5:49:18 PM

    I was not planning on submitting my experience until 5 years down the line (since I am now in a well paying job that is 'hr' but doesn't fit the experience requirement, and I have to keep the well paying job until my husband finishes school; I just can't take the paycut right now). However! Now, I must do my experience by 2018 (not going to happen), and must take another course and do a test ($$$), and also get the 66.7 hours of CPD in three years (did I mention I work two jobs at about 65-70 hours a week? When am I supposed to do this?). I was hoping to establish myself financially (no loan, house, etc.) before I could take the paycut required to get an 'hr' job that will entry level that will then help me get into an hr job that will count towards experience. I have found myself completely burdened by this change! I have sent an email to the HRPA with no response yet. (I am assuming that they are receiving many emails!).

  • H.K on 2014-10-30 5:50:23 PM

    Also, the email I received today essentially said: "Congrats! You are now a CHRP! Now, do all this stuff in a short amount of time and pay us the extra money to do it or we'll take it away. You're welcome!"

  • Anonymous on 2014-10-30 8:53:59 PM

    So let me get this straight...anyone who passes the NKE will now be granted their CHRP?! What a joke! So much for making it a respectable designation.

  • Anonomous on 2014-10-31 8:17:00 AM

    Yesterday I received an email whereby HRPA slotted me into one of their new designations. This was upsetting because I don't get a say in which designation I fall into. What criteria are they using to assess my experience. I am not impressed with how this was done.

  • Anonymous on 2014-10-31 5:10:50 PM

    Interesting perspectives:) "Money grabbing, time wasting etc.etc." first, I took a post graduate HRM program and by that time I wrote Tier 1 and 11, I needed a degree to get my CHRP:(, so I put my family on hold and went back to get not one but two degrees to meet the 2010 requirements for CHRP:) but wait, I wasted all these years, being broke, no activities for my kids and now for a CHRP, I don't need a degree??? Wow, slick marketing and rebranding is at work here. It's like to consumer package goods industry. When a product's life cycle is over, it's rebranded, upgraded for a new curb appeal(new consumer market) so that they can make more money from the same population. But, as consumers, we have no choice but to spend and consume. This is no different and yes, companies will catch the wave sooner rather than later and start asking for specific designations.
    It's a positive approach if you want to wait out the storm. The bottom CHRP will support the top end..CHRE.
    so what about those HR Executive that never even grew up in HR, will they even care about these designations? Another positive side is the career advancement and the compensation that this will definitely drive on good traction. It's not that bad if you want to stick around until the dust is settled after the shock wears off. We're HR professionals and we need to manage our changes too if of course you're in charge of change management.
    Happy Friday.

  • Marie J. on 2014-11-02 11:59:33 AM

    So the HRPA spent about 18 months organizing discussions with various "experts" and came up with these 3 levels... when did they ask the members? Just after everything was cooked and fully decided! About a month ago they sent a long online survey to all members, asking about the prestige (perception) of the CHRP designation and opinions around dividing it to 3 levels. However, this was just a formality because everything had been decided by that panel of "experts" who will remain anonymous. What a disappointment!

  • RM on 2014-11-02 3:15:11 PM

    Absolutely, 100% money grab. They just needed to come up with a creative way to charge more for membership. They continue to compare HR to Tier 1 professions like accounting, but their designations are based on areas of expertise, not years of experience. The HRPA has simply devalued the CHRP designation.

  • Shashi Krishan, CHRP,HRMP on 2014-11-02 7:17:34 PM

    I do NOT support this action. HRPA membership fees and the exams are all over priced. I too (as mentioned by a member)am yet to find an HR professional who has asked for this (as claimed). Designations are no guarantee to better performers. There is no need for this. A big de-motivator to job hunting HR professionals.

  • kb on 2014-11-03 9:37:23 AM

    I couldn't agree more with all of these comments. From my perspective over 25+ years in a senior HR role the CHRP has always been a moving target. I missed being grandfathered for it by mere months at the start of my HR career, took the Tier 1 & 2 courses and obtained my CPM (never mentioned anymore but a lot of work to get there), and with each step I took the requirements to be considered for the CHRP had moved another step beyond me. Eventually I was invited to apply for the SHRP designation - how nice, but of course I would have to pay a fee to be considered, and then take more courses etc. to maintain, and so on. It has always seemed a money grab to me. I believe that if you are an actively practicing HR professional you are getting all the experience day to day you need to be able to keep up with changes in legislation, etc. This is never recognized. And I don't believe the HRPA does a proper job of consulting members before taking these steps. We saw this with respect to Bill 32. Maybe all of these comments will give them some motivation to listen finally.

  • Chris Larsen, VP HRPA on 2014-11-03 10:54:50 AM

    Hi all. I'd like to refer you to http://hrdesignations.ca. The decision to introduce a new certification framework and 3 levels of designations was not taken lightly and the last thing on anyone's mind was "money grabbing." The knowledge base hadn't been updated since 1996; unlike other tier one professions it did not test the ability to apply knowledge and didn't even include workplace and employment law; the CHRP is awarded according to very different criteria from province to province. I could go on, but it's all on the website, and I encourage you to explore the rationale for the new certification framework.

  • Regan Bickell on 2014-11-03 11:19:50 AM

    Our Association in Alberta lags behind you guys but there in national frustration. Can we not hold these Associations accountable? Is there a body that would make them have to pull up their socks and stop wasting our money and time for nothing?

  • Regan Bickell on 2014-11-03 12:54:04 PM

    Thankfully we were just sent out an email indicating that Alberta is staying "as is"

  • Ian Birney on 2014-11-03 1:31:01 PM

    If we continue to have differences for achievement and maintenance of the designation from province to province the CHRP will only become diluted in value.

    It has been a few years since I have joined a different provincial organization, but things like this continue to prove my point.

  • Anonymous on 2014-11-04 9:23:18 AM

    This change further dilutes the designation and to be frank, there is no point in keeping the designation anymore. There goes my entire 10 years of working diligently to obtain the CHRP only to have it diluted to entry level! And who made the decision to arbitrarily award me the CHRL designation? (Guess its better than remaining CHRP...) HRPA, you have made an unecessary change which will cost us all more $$, no doubt! I will have to think twice about renewing my membership once next year's fees come out.

  • Sandra on 2014-11-04 9:38:31 AM

    I'm actually benefiting from this change because I wrote the CKE last Saturday (Nov.1) and if I pass I'll be awarded the CHRP without having to submit experience or a degree. Even though I do have HR experience as well as a business degree, I won't pursue the CHRL because IT MEANS NOTHING in other provinces or outside of Canada. The CHRP is at least recognized nationally and by the SHRM south of the border. If I were a CHRP right now I'd be very disappointed to have my designation changed to something for which I haven't been involved.

  • Joanne on 2014-11-04 1:17:44 PM

    I have been in the HR field for over 20 years working in a senior role and as for HRPA they have done nothing for me except take my money. Last year I decided I had had enough and cancelled my membership which also cancelled my CHRP designation - oh well never did me any good anyway.

  • Rene on 2014-11-04 2:42:30 PM

    I have worked in HR for 15+ years and more than half of that in a senior role. I do not have a degree as I went to college rather than university and because of this HRPA will not allow me to write the NKE. I have applied for the SHRP on two occasions. Twice I was turned down for very vague reasons. They wouldn't even give me the benefit of a panel discussion. I have done a lot of research on who holds this SHRP and some SHRP holders have worked in recruiting and recruiting only or have far less years experience than me. They could not possibly have the wealth of knowledge that I have. I have worked on every aspect of the HR field and there is no way that someone who has a 4 year degree with no experience is a better HR candidate or more professional than me. It's very disheartening that HRPA is ruining many HR professionals careers with the restrictions on their designations. I am very angry with them all and HRPA is making a spectacle of the HR profession.

  • kb on 2014-11-04 3:15:24 PM

    As I previously commented, I've had over 25 years of senior HR experience and never obtained the CHRP designation, or the SHRP which I was invited to apply for, because it always seemed a moving target and I got tired of trying to make the effort when I realized it would never be over and there would always be continuing effort and expense if I finally got there. I find it incredibly ironic that after recently resigning from the organization they have now conferred the CHRP designation on "grandfathered" people who have passed the NKE - I obtained the certificate in HR Management before they had the national exam, and I have a degree. I suppose that if I had remained for a few months longer I would have finally achieved the designation which they have now devalued by announcing it as "entry level" But maybe, since I didn't write the national exam I wouldn't be considered good enough still. What a farce this has all turned into. How can anyone take this organization seriously anymore, and this so recently following all the posturing about how Bill 32 was going to do so much to advance the designation.

  • David on 2014-11-04 4:40:00 PM

    There is an interesting article explaining the designations here - http://www.hrreporter.com/articleview/22669-hrpa-launching-3-level-hr-designation

  • Annonymous on 2014-11-05 7:15:22 AM

    Nice work HRPA! It sounds like this change is really benefiting your members and the profession! (sarcasm intended)

    Lets add a few more: New To HR Professional (NTHRP), 3 To 5 Years Experience HR Professional 3T5YEHRP, Thinking of Practicing HR Professional (TPHRP)

    Keep up the good work!

  • SH on 2014-11-05 5:35:52 PM

    In HR we talk so much about Respect, Trust/Trustworthiness and Fairness... unfortunately our own association is not displaying those traits...

  • Rene P Mckeown on 2014-11-11 3:39:05 PM

    HR professionals practising at the professional level without three years’ experience and a university degree should have the opportunity to practise within a professional framework, especially in Ontario with its new public Act. This makes me eligible to at least hold one designation in my profession provided I pass the exam. I just sent my documents off to HRPA. Personally, I am more at the CHRE level but I will take baby steps.

  • Larry Dawson on 2014-11-12 6:03:04 PM

    I think the whole profession is devaluing itsaelf every time they come up with these new "certifications". Lawyers are lawyers, doctors are doctors. They don't get higher "designations" because they have a master's or doctorate in their profession. They are still just doctors or lawyers, albeit specialists of a kind. They can be Queens Counsel, but they are still just lawyers. I think this whole tiered certification is a vexatious effort to try to convince the legislature the profession is worthy of being self-regulated, but the reality is they are just devaluing the CHRP designation to the point that the legislature won't see the profession as anything more than mediocrely-skilled managers.

  • Helena Dyck on 2014-12-29 6:50:05 PM

    "Existing CHRPs, SHRPs and CHRP will be grandfathered into the CHRL, CHRE, and CHRP designations" What exactly does this me for a CHRP holder?

  • Kellie on 2015-01-05 6:23:44 PM

    Another question I would have - is how will they determine who deserves what when the CHRP is a consultant with over 15 years of experience. The duties and responsibilities and constant education that go with that would not even be recognized because the consultant isn't in a large organization. Another joke about the CHRP (in my opinion) is that we never had to take any administrative law courses to obtain the certification. So much of what we do in our profession is subject to legal challenges; and yet it's not even required at a very basic understanding of employment standards in the respective provinces? In all the years I have done HR, I have never been asked if I have a CHRP...where is the value for my money?

  • Rene on 2015-01-09 3:10:20 PM

    It is my understanding that as of June 2016 you will have to complete an examination on employment law in order to obtain the "entry" level CHRP.

  • Carolyn on 2015-01-14 12:43:07 PM

    Add me to the list of disgruntled members of the HRPAO. I obtained my CHRP more out of fear than anything - hey I was young and ambitious, what can I say? I believed the Association when it told me I HAD to have it. 12 years later, I have never been asked for my CHRP, I have received nothing in return for it, no one cares except the Association who seems to care very much that I keep sending them money. Now, having said that, I think it is important to have a designation, it does legitimize our profession, and some of us did work hard for our CHRP, however, these additional levels are watering down the designation. I have more to say but I say it every year to the HRPAO and nothing ever happens, so maybe this year, I will say what I have to say by not renewing my membership.

  • Hank Willis on 2015-02-03 1:06:27 PM

    I agree, this is insane with the new certifications, yearly fees, & other HRPA activities. Why change now?

    http://www.hrreporter.com/articleview/22669-hrpa-launching-3-level-hr-designation

    I read that students that graduate from accredited HRM programs do not have to take the exam.

  • Yash547 on 2015-10-20 2:11:01 PM

    ​​I was doing some research on this designation and came on this article, and find many of the comments left back then to still hold true today. It's a money grab, nothing more nothing less. Sure it's a good mean to keep you updated on new development in HR but did you see how much these workshops and conferences cost?? Plus the membership fees plus chapter fees eat a whole $400-500+ per year, and for what? Just so that I get a monthly magazine from them? Sorry I get better bangs for that $500/years + workshop/conference cost somewhere else. I read millions of stuffs on HR, including legislation changes and my company even send me updates and we have discussions at work on this. Will this ever be recognized? Unlikely, especially that for HRPA, it's all about how much money is involved. My company provides me free access to HR books/magazines, just as the municipal library, and I read books and magazines on HR to keep me up to date and I fine tune my skills to what the company needs to succeed that year, not to a prof organization requirements. HRPA doesn't pay my salary (actually it's the reverse), my company does, so I care more about the skills and competencies my company needs so that they make more money. CHRP/L/E is irrelevant, whether those skills I have and keep developing actually meet CHRP/L/E designation.

    I actually met all the requirement for the CHRP candidate designation (now changed to CHRP) back in 2012, but was missing the experience. I took a position which was a more specialized field in HR and was involved in other things that wouldn't qualify to meet the experience requirement. Did I care at start? Yes. But after a while, I don't regret it at all to have closed my HRPA membership. I better spend this membership fees on things my company actually needs, be it HR or other related things such as finance and strategy than wasting on a membership fee so that I can flaunt it to the world.

  • Chris Larsen, VP HRPA on 2015-01-14 3:09:58 PM

    The majority of jobs posted on Hire Authority ask the the applicant "have, or be working toward, their designation": employers do care. Two consecutive surveys by PayScale indicate that designated HR professionals earn more than non-designated professionals. As for "watering down designations", Carolyn, it is just the opposite--the credentials for CHRL and CHRE once they are fully implemented will create strong distinctions between the three designations. If you say HRPA has watered down the distinction between more experienced and less experienced designated practitioners, then it would be even more true of a profession whose designation framework doesn't include a ladder based on competency.

  • Larry Dawson on 2015-01-14 4:42:14 PM

    I guess Chris Larsen didn't get the thrust of the "watering down" comments. "Watering down" means "diluting" or "devaluing". "Creating strong distinction" between the three designations is exactly what was meant by "watering down " - the "distinctions" are devaluing and diluting the value of the CHRP. Other provinces have only the CHRP, or, a "SHRP" designation, which signifies a "senior" HRP designation. Even that was met with strong opposition, as it was also a devaluing. Some associations tried to compare it to a "Q.C" designation for lawyers, but even that didn't fly as the QC designation has an entirely different process for nomination and awarding, and it doesn't include an "examination" to qualify, and it is not administered by the accrediting body. I have not et heard a single cogent argument as to the justification of this system, and despite protections to the contrary by the association, all I can see it benefitting is the coffers of the HR Association.

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