HRPA mend broken bridges with global “memorandum of understanding”

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When HRPA revised designations in October, readers condemned the move as “money-grabbing” and worried the changes would damage the integrity of industry titles but the association’s most recent move – to sign a “memorandum of understanding” – might prove more popular as it seeks to strengthen HR accreditations on an international scale.

“HR needs exchangeable, valued and credible designations based on a global body of knowledge,” said HRPA’s CEO Bill Greenhalgh. To address this need, HRPA in Ontario has initiated a closer working relationship with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) and Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ), to develop a mutual recognition of professional HR designations.

The international collaboration comes just weeks after HR professionals overtly expressed their disappointment at HRPA’s decision to modify industry certifications.

One reader, James McKeever, labelled the CHRP a joke and said; “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.”

Alberta Union representative Larry Dawson agreed and said; “The whole profession is devaluing itself every time they come up with these new "certifications".

“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,” he continued.

While HRPA’s intention to develop an international network could help mend broken bridges with the HR community, many practitioners who aren’t interested in Australasian employment may see it as too little too late from the increasingly unpopular organization.

What do you think? Is HRPA finally listening to what HR professionals want or is the move simply an attempt to placate discontented members? 
  • Elaine on 2014-12-02 12:06:02 PM

    I laughed out loud when I read HRPA's latest news. I have to wonder how many members will benefit from our designation being recognized in Australia or New Zealand. What a joke. Maybe they should spend their time and our membership money on doing things that will be of greater benefit for the membership. And do things we suggest, rather than all these random make-work projects.

  • M on 2014-12-02 12:09:04 PM

    I agree with your last comment. I personally don't care about what they are doing in Australia or in New Zealand. I am soley interested in what is going on in Canada. Still think this whole new certification process is a joke and a money grab. Nice try HRPAO but no.

  • Len Bates on 2014-12-02 12:36:34 PM

    Sadly, HRPA's move to a tiered designation reinforces the lack of credibility many people have in respect to the HR profession. The association often appears out of touch with what industry and its members are looking for.

    In any profession, there will always be strong players and those who aren't as strong. Creating tiers will basically satisfy only those who created them.

    The CHRP suits me just fine. My experience and results speak more than another designation would.

  • Unknown on 2014-12-02 1:19:13 PM

    I could understand if HRPA was associating their standards with that of the U.S. but what ever happens on that side of the Pacific and their laws should not matter to North American standards. Also, how will this improve relations amongst your you think we care about New Zealand and Australian HR standards. Aside from that Australia HR Professionals are not designated.

  • Jeannie McQuaid on 2014-12-02 3:00:05 PM

    It's all well and good to have memorandum of understanding with Australia and New Zealand, but I think it's probably better that we have cooperation, equitable and transferrable standards within our Canadian provinces. The move to a tiered system in Ontario is divisive, particularly when it relegates the CHRP to the "entry level" designation. I've been a member of HRPA(O) for over 20 years and they seem to have a knack for offending, self-aggrandizing initiatives.

  • Hannah K on 2014-12-02 3:28:36 PM

    Instead of working to get HRPAO regulations recognized overseas/internationally, you would think they would have at least started in our own country and have a standard recognized across all provinces and territories.

  • CHRP member on 2014-12-02 9:47:32 PM

    When I got my designation in the early 1990s the CHRP was not an "entry" level designation. Now they have moved all CHRPs to what they are labeling as a "professional" level with the new designation but that level is labeled as having a requirement of 3 years "supervised" experience. Really!!! How insulting to those of us CHRP members who are managers or above!! You should have grandfathered all the current CHRPs to the highest designation. Instead you insulted all of us. I don't know if I will even renew in May.

  • Scott P. on 2014-12-03 7:13:01 AM

    Australia, really??? They couldn't find anywhere further and more irrelevant to HR in Canada? This would be a progressive step if the partnership was made with the US associations. This is the equivalent to winning a participation ribbon in a contest. What I find interesting, other designations CA, CGA, etc. are moving to become more standardized (all are now CPA) for consistency. Leave it up to the HRPA to move the opposite direction from the credible and self-regulated organizations.

  • What Next? on 2014-12-03 10:22:08 AM

    They leave the CCHRA, they push forward overpowering legislation (the new act), then create a tiered designation?

    I guess somewhere in the midst of this a few execs from the HRPA got a free trip to Australia and New Zealand - must have been nice.

    Any wonder why this organization is one of the most expensive memberships in the country?

    I will be looking at another association to join.

  • Anonymous on 2014-12-03 11:19:28 AM

    HRPA need to focus efforts on bringing business leaders to the conversation to tell us what they expect from HR, why are they appointing more lawyers into CHRO roles instead of HR SMEs, and helping the HR profession grow its credibility that way. Introducing tiered certifications is nothing more than further devaluing an already valueless accreditation.

  • Unknown on 2014-12-03 2:01:30 PM

    Why should HRPA grandfather current CHRPs to an executive level? Somebody who as assisted in HR for 3 years who happens to pass a test that is based on theory and has absolutely no practicality is not a Senior HR Professional. HRPA is doing a great job and I wish people would stop complaining.

  • SH on 2014-12-03 2:30:52 PM

    "Is HRPA finally listening to what HR professionals want or is the move simply an attempt to placate discontented members?"

    HRPA is not only NOT listening to its members but also adding insult to injury.
    When did HRPA ever ask us about an agreement with their counterparts in Australia & New Zealand? How does that benefit us anyway? How many HR people move annually from Canada to those 2 countries?
    As many people have mentioned above, HRPA should be working with the other provincial associations to make unified standards across Canada and ensure that the profession's status is positioned credibly. Unfortunately HRPA is going in a totally opposite direction...

  • Hannah K on 2014-12-03 2:40:31 PM

    "Why should HRPA grandfather current CHRPs to an executive level? Somebody who as assisted in HR for 3 years who happens to pass a test that is based on theory and has absolutely no practicality is not a Senior HR Professional."

    This is too true... I'm a CHRP now and haven't been in a role yet that counts towards my experience requirement. Thank goodness I took the NKE earlier! :-p

  • CHRP or CHRL member on 2014-12-07 2:31:52 PM

    I am getting more and more confused & disillusioned with the HRPA.
    I was on board when they were getting the designation recognized on the same level with other professional designations.
    I agree with others; when they began with the tiered levels it now really muddies perception of what the designation really embodies.
    NOW with going to Australia instead of working within Canada and /or the US...really?!
    This makes no sense to me what so ever.

  • Claude on 2014-12-07 2:37:36 PM

    Having another professional designation (CPA), I fail to understand why HRPAO is going tthe way of 3 designations. The 3 accounting bodies are merging under one designation(CPA) to ensure same requirements. Why did HRPAO simply update traing requirements instead of confusing the public with 3 new designations. I am seriously considering moving my membership to another province.

  • Tom from Burnaby BC on 2014-12-07 5:02:36 PM

    HRPA is in the business of self serving politics like our governments who go off in different paths when the disconnect from immediate people they serve become evident/evidence.

  • Tom from Burnaby BC on 2014-12-07 5:02:36 PM

    HRPA is in the business of self serving politics like our governments who go off in different paths when the disconnect from immediate people they serve become evident/evidence.

  • Tom from Burnaby BC on 2014-12-07 5:02:39 PM

    HRPA is in the business of self serving politics like our governments who go off in different paths when the disconnect from immediate people they serve become evident/evidence.

  • Ted on 2014-12-07 5:57:15 PM

    Although Greenhalgh is the "point man" in these announcements, it's the HRPAO Board that must be directing this insanity. Take a look at these people, most of whom appear to be senior HR execs in their corporation. So they don't represent the average member and seem to have lost sight of how this will apply (such as the folly of only accepting a degree (any degree) as a prerequisite for the CHRP). If the membership was even in favour, the only change that would be acceptable would be an agreement to adopt the PHR and SPHR (although I understand the US organization is messing with that).

    What is the bottom line though? Are the majority opposed to this change? Likely! So what do you do to wrest control back to the practitioners and away from those who are addlepated visionaries? You can vote with your dues and leave the organization, or join another province (who I'm delighted to hear have no intention to join in with HRPA), or simply give up on HR associations and stop supporting the CHRP requirement on job ads (just as it was starting to make inroads).

    Or you can start a letter-writing campaign to the Board and make sure they are aware the membership is not happy. You are HR people and used to a challenge - take your organization back!

  • RCM on 2014-12-08 8:31:01 AM

    I've never been so disenfranchised with an association that I am a member of. And I'm only a member because it is a requirement to maintain the devalued new certification I currently possess. The HRPA Board can try to spin it any way they like, but the rest of us can see right through this, as simply a way to increase membership fees and gain more income from more exams. As far as I'm concerned, my membership fee is really just an extremely expensive magazine subscription. I think it's great that there is going to be international recognition of the designation, even if I never move to Australia. That certainly adds to credibility. But really? After all these years, it's only now that the HRPA is looking to make inroads on international credibility? They should have started with the U.S. and expanded from there.

  • Sarah Gayer on 2014-12-07 4:32:54 PM

    I just laughed when I read what the HRPA was doing with the certifications and now this move to be recognized in a country that most of will never move to or do work there. This is all about money and money and money. Why is the membership never consulted on any changes especially the changes regarding the three tier certification. If you ask them they will say the Board decided and they represent the members, really. I don't remember any board member asking me for my opinion ever and I have been a member for many decades. There is dislike for HR and this will just ctir the pot even more. Very confusing why not just leave it the way it was. I will never reach the top designation as I do not work in the C suite but have the experience, etc. I asked and that was what I was told. So those who work in large corporations, etc will be able to obtain the top designation and the rest of us will be relegated to tier two.... Why does the HRPA and its board not focus on giving its members value, how about providing us with some free stuff even the resource center is now limited as to what I can get form them....

  • kb on 2014-12-08 12:09:39 PM

    I agree with most of the above comments and would just add that it makes little sense to me to make it easier for someone from Australia or New Zealand to compete for HR employment here where I have to presume there are significant legislative differences, while we have no similar unity within Canada. Surely that would be the obvious place to start? And doesn't it seem arrogant for the HRPA to be initiating liaisons with other countries as a province. To illustrate, consider that HRPA is approaching national organizations in Australia and New Zealand, not the equivalent of a province there.

  • Fed Up on 2014-12-12 11:13:27 AM

    As a former HRPA chapter board member I am saddened to see how the HRPA has managed to demolish the reputation of our association, and basically make irrelevant the extraordinary commitment and hard work made by so many talented and inspired HR professionals, who were tasked with engaging and growing membership over the years. All this effort now appears to be wasted by one foul swoop by the HRPA, as members are fed up and are now looking for alternatives, rightfully so! I also will be looking at options outside of Ontario, I plan to not renew my membership, and will no longer list a HRPA designation requirement as part of our organizations selection criteria.

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