Is the CHRP designation worth it?

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HR professionals with the CHRP earn 13% more each year than their colleagues without certification, but some HR pros say they’re better off without it.

According to a report from the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and PayScale, Inc.  there is a correlation of the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation with better earning potential and career progression. The new report, Fuel for HR Careers, shows HR managers holding a CHRP typically have annual salaries that are 13% higher than colleagues without the certification.

Payscale lead economist Katie Bardaro said the report findings were consistent with other research showing there were only a few ways to positively impact pay for white collar jobs, with certifications being one of them.

"The increased earning potential for the CHRP is particularly impressive, demonstrating employers are willing to pay significantly more to attract HR professionals with these credentials,” Bardaro said.

However, some CHRP holders intend to let their designation lapse because they don’t see it as an advantage in their career.

BC HR adviser Kent DeWolfe originally worked to get the designation when he chose to move into HR, hoping it would help him progress, but said he did not see it as an advantage in his career.

“I have the education, work experience and designation but it wasn’t doing anything to get me interviews,” DeWolfe said. “Once I got my designation they started changing the rules and now it’s cost prohibitive and there’s no grandfathering.”

DeWolfe said he used to be able to get enough points from attending the annual HR conference in BC to maintain the designation, but that was no longer the case. He intended to let his lapse, and said he had a few colleagues who had had the designation in the past but chose not to renew it because of the cost.

BC HRMA senior manager of professional practice Christian Codrington said the study results showed the importance of the designation for HR professionals, but said it was still young compared to other professions.

“I can understand him thinking ‘I don’t want to pay’, but I think attending a conference once a year is not sufficient for professional development,” Codrington said. “Without the designation an HR professional is choosing not to show that they are investing in their career. They might be doing it, but they’re not showing it.”

He said as the designation matured it would become more important, and a high standard had to be set to maintain its credibility.

Toronto HRPA spokesperson Duff McCutcheon said the organization had a whole year’s worth of professional development opportunities, including affordable options.

Other highlights from the Fuel for HR Careers report include:

  • Salaries in some industries, including utilities, finance and insurance, and the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction industries, was more than 50% higher with a CHRP.
  • CHRPs advance to senior roles more quickly:  65% of HR assistants with the CHRP received a promotion within five years, compared to only 33% of those without.
  • From 2012 to 2013, job postings requiring a CHRP increased from 67% to 70%, up from just 36% in 2007.
  • The likelihood of holding HR certification increases with seniority; half of HR Vice Presidents and Directors hold the CHRP designation.

 

Are you a CHRP? Why or why not?

  • Chris on 2013-09-18 8:50:20 AM

    I couldn't agree more with you, Joanne! I too was approved to acquire my professional designation after completing 6 more months of related experience. At the time I wasn't concerned about the 6 months (they had refused to count one year of my related experience deeming it to be "too clerical") however when the CHRP designation was implemented, they refused to grandfather me in (I had just 2 months left to go) although other colleagues were grandfathered in because they were connected to the right people. At the time, I worked for a not-for-profit social services agency and neither of us could afford the $800 it would cost to get my CHRP (2 exams plus the cost of the prep course). Furthermore, I refused to stoop to getting in through a back door somewhere. I have boycotted the CHRP designation ever since. Today, I'm a Senior HR Advisor in a very large organization and I will never consider a CHRP designation as the determining factor when making a selection decision. I have seen too many unqualified and substandard HR "practitioners" with a CHRP designation regardless of their lack of competency.

  • Nancy on 2013-09-18 9:07:16 AM

    I remember when the CHRP first came out. It was a waste of time then and it still is. I find the organization in general to be ill informed about the realities of working in this profession. Teaching people about how things should work when in reality the majority of companies are not interested is a very real problem. The HRPA and designation needs to wake up to what it is really like working as an HR professional rather than focusing on how much money they can garner for themselves.

  • Diane on 2013-09-18 9:15:47 AM

    I also just renewed my CHRP but have the advantage of a couple of university/college level courses worth 45 points each. I don't plan to do this in the next three years so am definitely concerned about how to the required points for my next renewal.

  • Helen on 2013-09-18 9:19:32 AM

    I wonder if other professionals whine as much about the cost and the commitment to professional development required to maintain their professional designations? May be a sign that our profession is not yet mature. Does my CHRP make me a better/stronger HR professional than someone with the same experience and no designation? No. But it is a differentiator for the rest of the world, particularly senior professionals and executives hiring into senior HR roles. Non-designated HR professionals may prefer to hire other non-designated HR professionals, but at more senior levels, it's a tough row to hoe without a professional certification.

  • Amy on 2013-09-18 9:24:54 AM

    Helen: I think you have a terribly incorrect idea about what a designation is supposed to represent.

    A designation shows that the professional is credited to ensuring they are up to date on their education and skill level.

    A designation is NOT some ticket into a higher level of an old boy's club VIP chair.

    If HR professionals are questioning the credibility of this designation, it's because we're thinking that maybe it should be questioned, and that some changes need to be made.

    We're not whining. We're stating valuable opinions.

  • Mary on 2013-09-18 9:37:21 AM

    Helen, I (somewhat) agree with you. I believe the designation and its upkeep is a useful differentiator. When I recruit a senior engineer, accountant or technician, their designation tells me they put effort into their profession to stay current.
    I don't think our colleagues are 'whining' about the cost. I think it is valid to question the value for oneself. Truthfully it isn't necessary for all HR positions.
    Personally I am very happy to see the CHRP mature to the level it has. And I enjoy most of the efforts I engage in to stay current.

  • Enid on 2013-09-18 9:40:25 AM

    I value a lot of my CHRP designation not only because it is recognized in the industry, like CGA, CMA but also I earned it through a lot of hard work and determination.

    After went through the recertification process, I do not think it is difficult to accumulate those 100 hours over 3 years' time as long as you continuously 'eat the frog' and contribute what you know and learn what you don't know.

    Having said that, my mentors are non-CHRP and they are extremely knowledgeable and I respect them.

    Having a CHRP designation will not automatically puts one in a higher salary bracket, but it was the determination, curiosity and hard working attitude that most people pursuing CHRP designation possess which make them stand out amongst other regular HR practioners.

  • Helen on 2013-09-18 9:53:15 AM

    Thanks, Amy, for the feedback. I am well aware of what a professional designation denotes, which is why I'm so puzzled by the number of comments that could be interpreted as an unwillingness to engage in professional development. This is not my experience of HR professionals - with or without designations. Typically we're eager for learning and growth, and proud of our accomplishments. Normally we apply the same rules to ourselves as apply for others - hence, I'm not sure why so many contributors here feel wronged that they haven't been "grandfathered". And as for your remark referencing an "old boys' club", I find it interesting that this is what's come up for you in this conversation. I did not mean to make anyone defensive; simply sharing my own observations, which are just as valid as everyone else's, of the tone of this dialogue. Sorry to anyone I've offended by stating my opinion so directly.

  • Chris on 2013-09-18 10:00:41 AM

    I think it's worth noting that the CHRP designation wasn't created from thin air nor from the world of academia. It evolved out of years of dedication and hard work by those who were unrecognized for their HR-related contributions in the workplace. A couple of years ago I took a university-level Recruitment and Selection course only to discover I could have written the text book because I LIVED the historical information that was being referenced (circa 1990's). I'm enjoying this excellent discussion.

  • Jennifer on 2013-09-18 10:29:33 AM

    I have to agree with Joanne and Linda. I worked hard and studied alot to obtain the CHRP (obtained in 1999) and was very proud to have obtained it. That was when you wrote the two exams and had to have 3 years of experience to obtain it. However, throughout my career, I have not seen any difference in pay compared to my colleagues that do not have it. Now, it is so expensive to maintain, that I often question whether or not to keep it. It's unfortunate that the HRPA doesn't offer more cost effective courses to obtain points - even being a member is very expensive to take their courses, especially when you have to pay for them yourself. Or it would be helpful if they could relook at their criteria in obtaining points to make it more feasible. I'm not sure what justifies the high costs with HRPA. In my organization, we deal with staff that have to be legally licensed to do their jobs under regulatory bodies, and their costs are much less to maintain their requirements.

  • Ann on 2013-09-18 10:30:12 AM

    I have held the CHRP in the past, but have resigned and no longer hold the designation. I never found it useful and didn't use it to try to obtain "credibility". It was not on my resume or my business card. Credibility came from HR knowledge, insights, experience, judgement, and creativity in the context of the business environment. I have hired HR staff and would never require a CHRP as a pre-condition. I look for a combination of experience and organization fit as you can always train someone up on knowledge and mentor for new areas in HR as it is a very broad field. Also for very specialized functions within HR, the CHRP does not provide adequate preparation. I feel sorry for those who have invested so much believing that it would have positive results and are now disappointed. In spite of the hype, I just don't see the CHRP as the ONLY way to be successful in HR.

  • Gale Bryant on 2013-09-18 10:32:04 AM

    I like this shift of HR to a professional designation. As more certified employees fill the workplace there will be more understanding of the knowledge skills and abilities which would give CHRP a greater acceptance by employers.
    It would be more accepted by members if the designation fees were income tax deductable. As someone starting out in the HR field (I haven't actually won a competition yet) it would help me financially if I could have the income tax deduction.

  • Joanne on 2013-09-18 11:20:35 AM

    Working in HR means continually learning whether you have CHRP or not. With all the updates and new legislations if you do not continually upgrade you cannot do your job effectively. I like the points some of you have made but the question remains: is the CHRP worth it? Not having the CHRP has never impacted my salary (I am well paid for the position I hold) nor anyone I have hired, so my response is still the same "no it is not worth it". I guess if you want letters behind your name go for it but as far as the colleagues I have that have the CHRP it did not open/close any doors for them. Just a last thought - Steve Jobs former CEO of Apple, only had a high school diploma, look at the job he had..........

  • Catherine on 2013-09-18 11:29:54 AM

    I don't think the issue with CHRP is the professional development there are lots of online free resources and opportunities to attend inexpensive training across the 3 years to maintain the points. As well as the fact you can earn points through mentoring, volunteering, implementing new HR programs etc. It is the fact that you have to pay additional costs once you have a CHRP, that smaller organizations especially non-profits don't pay for it for their HR professionals so $400 once a year out of your own personal pocket to maintain a designation when there are limited discounts, they charge for webinars (HR.COM anyone?) and for any type of networking or conference events makes it seem like poor value for its members. It is a money grab, and while organizations ask for the CHRP having 15 years of experience doing HR is much more valuable than colouring in circles for multiple choice questions to obtain a designation that causes me financial pain. I maintain my designation but in comparison to other countries - U.K. - CIPD (2 years of two nights a week evening studying, research papers etc.) to earn a similar designation the value placed on it is minimal within the HR community if not the organizations that recruit for HR.

  • Joanne P on 2013-09-18 12:17:21 PM

    I agree with many comments made regarding the usefullness of the CHRP. I do have the CHRP and have consistantly requalified. To-date it has "not" helped me secure an interview or a job. Some of my colleagues, hold senior HR jobs and do not have their CHRP not intend to apply for it. I also have been questioning - Why have it and should I renew.
    Thanks for the meaning discussion - maybe someone at HRPAO (Ontario) will read these comments and re-think the value-add.

  • MARK - BC on 2013-09-19 8:05:04 AM

    I have a CHRP and have had so for 2 years. My satisfaction with the designation is below average to average.

    I find very little value in the designation.

    I find it unbelievable that the fees for membership are not tax deductible like other "union or professional dues".

    I find it difficult to justify when the rules are changed to re-ceritify part term. Sure there was notice given but frankly, HRMA expectations are at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to career responsibilities.

    My salary will not have increased in the amount that it costs to maintain the designation by the time the annual fees, professional development and recertification fees are paid. Unless your development is sponsored by your organization, this is a very expensive road to travel down.

  • Anne Charette Tyler on 2013-09-19 8:09:24 AM

    As one of those people who dedicated years to the establishment of the CHRP and as Presdient of the National Association worked with hundreds of dedicated professionals across the country to establish the benchmarks for a Nationally recognized designation it is disheartening to hear my own peers and colleagues in the field express such negativity about the designation - it is not about how much salary increases and perhaps that is the fault of the profession in using that as a measurement. As part of the board that passed the degree requirement I take great pride in the fact that what we did wasn not for this generation of HR professionals but for the next. The CHRP model was built very closely in the beginning to the CA model and I doubt that anyone would disagree that the CA designation is well respected and held in high esteem and impacts greatly the careers of those that have achieved it. With support from the profession the CHRP can reach the same status. Over the years I have found it interesting that it is our profession itself that seems to value the contribution HR makes to business the least. Just my opinion!

  • Asha on 2013-09-19 8:16:48 AM

    I believe that experience in HR and the training from seminars and courses should be sufficient to get you ahead salary wise. I have done all the courses for CHRP certification but have not done the exam as I feel it's a money grab and does not get you ahead professionally at your current job.Maybe if you are in the market it may open some doors and this depends on the industry you are applying to. It is still a big money grab.

  • Mary on 2013-09-19 8:28:46 AM

    Hi Ann, thank you for being involved in the CHRP designation. At the start it was a little rocky, but no surprise. It isn't easy to affect such a large change. I like that it is modeled after other professional designations. I remember when finance people were called 'bean counters' and no one would dream of putting them in a Chief or strategic role. Now HR also sits at the strategic table and I believe, HRMA has been instrumental in that. Thank you.

  • Chris on 2013-09-19 8:42:33 AM

    Thank you for your comments Anne however if, as you say, "...the degree requirement...was not for this generation of HR professionals but for the next", why is accumulated and ongoing direct experience not given enough value so seasoned HR Practitioners can earn the designation? It bothers me when a new grad with zero practical experience can put CHRP behind her name while I cannot even though I have a post-degree certificate in HR Management (with Distinction), 20 years of directly related experience plus a senior position on the HR team of a very large organization?

  • Joanne P on 2013-09-19 9:18:41 AM

    Hi Anne - you may remember me as Joanne Wyman - our paths many years ago when I was in Toronto and I remember all the work you had done on the CHRP. I also was involved with both the Durham and Ottawa Boards. I had great aspirations when we changed from being Personnel to Human Resources; I wanted to believe that organizations would view this designation as a CMA or CGA or any other professional designation, but it has not matured to the level that many people aspired it to be. How many companies hire key finance people without the designation or at a minimum enrolled in the 3 or 4 year - not many that I know of. Should the Association close their doors to only those that have their designations? Should organizations only hire people with their designations for a senior HR position? When the average HR practioner starts to see that have the designation makes a difference other than having the CHRP title behind their name, then there may be changes in opinions. The sad part is there are still organizations that view HR as staffing or a control function when many practioners have grown well beyond those functions. If you would like to reconnect you can see me on LinkedIn Joanne Picavet. Have a great Thursday and thanks for the thought provoking comments.

    Joanne P

  • David on 2013-09-19 9:33:54 AM

    Ann you seem to have conveniently forgotten that at the HRPA(O) meeting that voted on the degree requirement most all those who taught at Rotman and Schulich were against the requirement of a degree.

    Does the HRPA accept for re-creditation participating in conferences by HCI, IQPC, Linkage, TMA, and others? If the HRPA only accept rectification from HRPA sponsored events it would go to the case the the CHRP re-certification is nothing more then a money making machine for the HRPA.

    Also since universities accept what is known as 'life credits' towards degrees why would the HRPA not accept the same life-credits?

    I think that those controlling the designation have to look beyond themselves and see that there are other avenues to success in the filed and give them recognition, not only the program that a run by them. They should be giving life-credits. They should require at least five years of experience in the field AFTER the completion of the degrees, prior to allowing people to take the test.

  • Chris on 2013-09-19 9:49:12 AM

    Well-stated, David! Thank you for weighing in on this obviously contentious issue.

  • AM on 2013-09-19 10:28:48 AM

    I have 10 years experience working in HR /Payroll/Finance. I have a diploma in HR management , Business -Accounting Major and also 4th level CGA. I completed all the CHRP courses but not having a degree , it's too expensive to do this at this point : I am not qualified for a CHRP designation without a degree.The seminars are expensive and the constant recertification is expensive if you have to pay for this on your own. I believe in time, maybe the CHRP designation will gain the recognition but what about now, after we have invested so much to do 10 night school courses and maintain the membership and do not have a degree ? What's the point of any degree ? To me if it's not related to HR , it is just a money grab. Why should a person with a degree in Urban planning (just for eg) be able to write the exam and someone who have some experience in the field cannot ??

  • Greg on 2013-09-19 10:59:12 AM

    The real fallacy of the CHRP is that HRPA itself will grant the SHRP to people without a CHRP. This , in my view , puts the value and credibility of the CHRP in question. Could you imagine the accountants or the lawyers granting a senior level designation to someone who doesn't have an accounting or legal designation ?

  • Martin P on 2013-09-19 12:16:07 PM

    At this point, I am no longer pursuing the CHRP. Midway through my Diploma (Business Administration - Human Resource Management), the requirement changed to a Degree. I work in Not-for-profit because I choose to. Not-for-profits typically do not put a lot of money aside for professional development, and at my Not-for-profit wage, I simply cannot afford to continue with my schooling part time.

    I do believe in ongoing professional development, but when your organization doesn't have the budget and it has to come out of pocket, the pro-dev costs can be astronomical. For many, it's simply not worth it.

    What I can't seem to understand is why my Human Resources focused diploma is looked at differently (I won't qualify for a CHRP) when someone with a BA in English with a Philosophy minor will qualify for a CHRP designation. Right out the gate I have taken more courses directly related to Human Resource Management than the English major.

    Instead of the CHRP I have been looking into more attainable certifications such as the IPMA-CP and the HRBP certifications.

  • Patti on 2013-09-20 7:26:03 AM

    I have been in the HR field for over 13 years, the last 8 in an Executive role. I do not hold a CHRP designation. I do have a degree, and have completed the required HR courses with a 4.0 GPA. I belong to HRPA, and cotninue to take courses that are necessary for my position as needed. I believe there comes a time in your career when you say to yourself, do I really need this designation to tell me I'm good at what I do. I've worked beside those with and without a designation, and believe me there are some that can pass a test, but when it comes to application know nothing. It's an individual decision. When I do hire my successor, it will be experience that I will be looking for, not necessarily a designation.

  • Claude on 2013-09-20 8:09:55 AM

    Voluntary designations are tricky to establish. In the end, it is important that those with the designation are demonstrably competent. The rigorousness of the CHRP certification process is not at the same level as the certification process for accountants. Raising standards is always difficult because it always means that fewer individuals will be able to meet the standard.

  • Diane on 2013-09-20 8:49:44 AM

    Patti, I am challenging your assertion that those who can pass the CHRP tests may really know nothing about the field. The requirements for the two tests are very different - the second is focussed on things you only know from experience. I agree you could find someone who is good at tests and may even just be lucky and might pass, but I think you will find certified people in any profession who are incompetent - but that is a rare. A professional designation with requirements to keep current is a worthy goal in any field. I would hope you don't ignore the good things that come out of a designation. For one thing, most of the experienced HR folks that I know are very good in what they do - but lack knowledge and experience in other areas that are covered in the designation. At least with a CHRP designation we know the basics have been covered in all areas.

  • David on 2013-09-20 10:58:32 AM

    Two things

    1. Passing the test only means in theory you know something, when reality sets in it is what you do with the knowledge that actually counts. Line managers (especially senior leaders) do not want the person with the theory but the person who can relate and apply their knowledge within the context of the culture and business strategy of the company; no certification will indicate that to be possible.
    2. Requiring that all professional development be HRPA sponsored development does not recognize that there are a multitude of avenues for development and again mades it look like the HRPA is more interested in the money then in the professional development.
    3. If so many people have responded to this article the way they have, usually these articles have few to no responses, this obviously hits a nerve with people. Since so many of the comments are one-sided perhaps the HRPA should lower it's defensiveness and listen to those who are in the field, members of the HRPA but not going for the CHRP for very sound reasons. Just a thought. I hope the HRPA does listen a adjust it's policies ways of recertification.

  • Claude on 2013-09-20 11:13:09 AM

    David, there is absolutely nothing in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement that stipulates that professional development activities need to be 'HRPA sponsored.'

  • David on 2013-09-20 11:22:53 AM

    Claude :

    While this might be true I have never seen, which doesn't mean it doesn't happen, a none HRPA public workshop, a continuing education program at a university or college, or an on line webinar, etc. have a statement in the literature, that this program earns a certain number of CHRP credits. Meaning those running the programs don't ask or if they ask HRPA says no.

    You (the editorial you) have to ask yourself why?

    Perhaps the HRPA, knowing where these programs exist, should be proactive in getting associated with them from the perspective of stating how many credits each session will earn.

    But that would be competition for their own sessions of the same or similar topics.

  • Jeannie McQuaid on 2013-09-23 6:13:52 AM

    I've had my CHRP for a long time, have recertified four times now! I watched in dismay as the criteria for achieving the designation changed over the years. I was not in favor of the degree requirement when it first came in, essentially replacing the requirement of 3 years work in the HR field. I was "told ya so" amused when the requirement for practical experience crept back in...because knowing from doing means more than knowing from a degree.
    Whether the designation "pays back" in salary is secondary to the value of having a regulatory body overseeing professional standards for the CHRP. Ongoing professional development is a must to stay current in HR whether it's for recertification or not. The CHRP signifies that the individual operates within the ethical requirements of the profession, has obtained essential HR knowledge and is maintaining it. That's a good thing.

  • Matt on 2013-09-23 10:26:41 AM

    Managing human capital isn't about the theory you have learned. It's about how you apply the theory.

    Having a long list of seminars and courses doesn't mean a lot in my eyes. Yes, you need education. It's important. But frankly, who is to say where this education should be attained from? There are many, many sources outside of the re-certification process of HRPAO.

    To me, education is the foundation but the experience and strategic mindset are the trump cards.

    I don't care if you have a CHRP. If you're young and starting out, I do care you have relevant education that demonstrates commitment to your pursuit, and a CHRM completion helps show this. But should you maintain it? Not in my eyes. Should you continue learning and demonstrate that? Yes.

    Most importantly, it is where you worked, what you accomplished while you were there, and how you showcase this through your beliefs and intelligence that will capture my interest.

  • Patti on 2013-09-23 11:05:13 AM

    Daivid, I fully agree with your assessment based on the responses this article has generated. The truth is, having the CHRP designation costs annually a tremendous amount of money. It can be challenging to keep it with such a large number of corporations downsizing and reducing training budgets. I also believe that HR Professionals can and do abide by the HRPA code of ethics whether or not they have the CHRP designation or not.

  • Carol Hall on 2013-09-23 1:35:05 PM

    I had a CHRP designation for many years, and let it go intentionally in my current job 2 or 3 years ago - not because of the cost or time involved in undertaking training, but solely because the training and "HR activities" which were deemed acceptable for maintaining the CHRP were so irrelevant to me and to the business I service. In our company, there was no need for me to "mentor a subordinate" (I'm a one-woman shop). I've already taken a life-time of courses on training, compensation, benefits, recruitment techniques, performance reviews, blah blah blah, and continue to stay informed on such matters through research and periodicals. Here, I've spent hundreds of hours studying and learning about things that matter to my company: I learned about our highly technical products; our sales processes (the likes of which I'd never encountered before); our competitive markets; what our scientists and engineers have to do to make us shine and how I could help them; what a stage-gate process is, and how I could help unclog the delays our business was encountering in new product development; and so on. None of those types of learning are considered worthy of credit for the CHRP, so I concluded that the CHRP is irrelevant - irrelevant to me, and irrelevent to my company. It's always been a problem with HR; they're too far removed from the businesses they serve (hence all the courses and articles on "how to prove HR's worth to the CEO" ; no article was ever written on how to prove the Sales Department's worth!). Either the HRPA remains out of touch with business, or the CHRP is what so many readers have thought it to be - a cash grab. Too bad.

  • Claude on 2013-09-24 9:16:01 AM

    Professional designations can be a real pain to maintain... but that is part of what it means to be a professional.
    I don't see why one should be given credit for activities that are not related to maintaining professional competence.
    If the CHRP is irrelevant to you, your work, and your company, then why maintain it?

  • David on 2013-09-24 9:52:53 AM

    Claude: You missed the point. No one is saying it is not important to have continuing education, only saying the way it is currently set up by HRPA is not, perhaps, the most meaningful.

    One of the issues is that there are many fully credible and relevant programs you can take through multiple avenues, such as HCI, IQPC, Linkage, university and college executive programs, and many more, that should count for continuing education credits and the question is why when the HCI and SHRM names are associated with many of these programs, the HRPA does not accept these credits and if they do accept them they should make it known they accept them. Most of these programs are more relevant then the multitude of process and legal based programs offered by the HRPA.

  • Alexandra on 2013-09-24 7:01:47 PM

    I am a CHRP, but would be able to do my job just as effectively without it. Not having it does not limit my authority or scope of responsibility in any way. This does not ring true for other professional designations. An Engineer who does not hold a Professional Engineer designation cannot stamp a design or drawing. An Accountant who does not hold a CA cannot sign off on certain financial documents. Is the CHRP "worth it"? Somewhat. Is it on par with other professional designations? Absolutely not.

  • Chris B on 2013-09-25 12:59:56 AM

    I was on the board and president of a local HR association for over ten years. I had the CHRP and let it lapse because it was "nice to have" but expensive and, at the time, the value was not obvious. I'm still working in HR with over 30 years experience. I still don't see the CHRP value. Association membership is a definite "yes." CHRP, not so much.

  • BHW on 2013-09-25 8:45:07 AM

    I have my CHRP and scrambled to get it before HRPA started the degree requirement, because like many here I don't have a univ degree (6 credits short of a geography degree!), but have a post grad diploma in HR, all night school classes (including some that was mandatory, but then dropped by HRPA, only to add 'new' mandatory classes...sigh) and continuous learning since. I don't feel I need the designation, it hasn't made me more money. I work in not-for-profit, so my salary is indicative of this sector. It's hard to keep up with the costs. I'm hesitant to drop my CHRP because I don't have a degree. What if I 'need' it one day and don't have it? The only way I can get it again is with a degree. It's frustrating, I'll have to keep up with the costs just in case. And for anyone who says, "Well, go finish your degree." Well, maybe they don't have other life costs like 2 kids going to post secondary. Seriously, I'm not going to struggle to help my kids with schooling and pay for myself too! I agree with other posts that work experience and continuous learning shuld be the indicators of HR knowledge and contribution, not expensive to maintain letters after my name

  • Heather on 2013-09-25 9:55:08 AM

    What I am most mystified by with the CHRP designation is the recent requirement to have a university degree. I took Human Resources in college and graduation with a 4.0 average in all of the required HR courses and I have since been working as the Human Resources Manager for a mid-size facility. I am a member of the HRPA and participate in thier offered CPD events however, I cannot gain my CHRP designation due to the lack of a degree. If having a university degree is a requirement, then it should have been specified that a degree in the HR field is required but, it doesn't. How does having a degree in say Anthropology or Mid-century English Poetry make me any more qualified to be a CHRP?

  • Claude on 2013-09-26 6:25:06 AM

    “One of the issues is that there are many fully credible and relevant programs you can take through multiple avenues, such as HCI, IQPC, Linkage, university and college executive programs, and many more, that should count for continuing education credits and the question is why when the HCI and SHRM names are associated with many of these programs, the HRPA does not accept these credits.” That is incorrect; the HRPA accepts all of these.

    “and if they do accept them they should make it known they accept them.” The problem with this is that there are simply too many that would be eligible to maintain a list of them—it would take a large department to find and keep track of all eligible programs. We do have a pre-approved for CPD credit program which is initiated by the vendor. Any vendor who offers relevant programs can apply for pre-approval for these programs. But pre-approval is not the same thing as acceptance—HRPA accepts all relevant programs whether they are pre-approved or not.

    “An Accountant who does not hold a CA cannot sign off on certain financial documents. Is the CHRP "worth it"? Somewhat. Is it on par with other professional designations? Absolutely not.” Interestingly, the only part of accounting that is licensed is public accounting. The public accounting license is a separate matter from the accounting designation (CA, CGA, CMA and soon to be CPA). In fact, only a minority of designated accountants have the public accounting license. In all other aspects, bookkeepers can do everything that designated accountants can do in the sense that there is no prohibition from them doing so. This speaks to the perceived value of the accounting designations. In a Pulse Survey conducted earlier this year by HRPA in collaboration with Canadian HR Reporter, respondents rated the credibility, value, and recognition of the CHRP designation on average at about a half of that of the accounting designations. What would need to be done to increase the credibility, value, and recognition of the CHRP designation is a whole other topic, however.

    “What I am most mystified by with the CHRP designation is the recent requirement to have a university degree.” The requirement is not to have a university degree but ‘a degree’—applied degrees now offered by many colleges count as well.

    “If having a university degree is a requirement, then it should have been specified that a degree in the HR field is required but, it doesn't.” That is why HRPA has both a degree requirement and a coursework requirement. The degree requirement is about generic skills as laid out in the Ontario Qualifications Framework published by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). These generic skills are considered to be transferable from one discipline to another. Interestingly, the accounting professions have the same kind of non-specific degree requirement—that is, the degree requirement is separate from the coursework requirement. As for coursework, HRPA accepts both degree-credit and diploma-credit courses. The accounting professions are split on this—some accept both degree-credit and diploma-credit courses and some accept only degree-credit courses.

  • Ann on 2013-09-26 10:54:50 AM

    Regardless of what courses are accepted or not accepted, the issue still remains of the value of the CHRP.
    It is implied that having a CHRP makes one a professional who is ethical and competent. That may not always be the case and disciplinary procedures will not make it so. Nor is it the case that those without the CHRP are unethical or lack competence. CHRP is being made out to be more than it is or should be - only a useful educational vehicle.

    I did not get into HR because I wanted to be like an accountant or an engineer. Some professions have clearly defined content and practices and rules. They are more "science" than "art". They deal with numbers and forces vs. people, organization and culture. I like that HR is a broad field and I like that while it has some "science" it has a lot of "art". Those who practice an art need a community and dialogue grow and learn not a single-minded focus on being accredited as "professional".

  • Claude on 2013-09-27 7:06:32 AM

    Ann,
    I agree entirely—the key issue is still remains of the value of the CHRP.

    “It is implied that having a CHRP makes one a professional who is ethical and competent. That may not always be the case and disciplinary procedures will not make it so. Nor is it the case that those without the CHRP are unethical or lack competence.”
    No registration or certification process can give a 100% guarantee that all its registrants or certificants will be competent and ethical, but it remains that ‘quality assurance’ is what designations are, or should be, all about. The idea is not so much that those without the CHRP are unethical or lack competence but that the ‘quality’ of non-certified individuals would be more variable.

    “CHRP is being made out to be more than it is or should be”
    This is very interesting statement—that the CHRP designation does not currently provide the level of quality insurance that it claims to provide. Let’s take that to be a correct statement. The important question is whether this is a remediable situation or not.
    Your argument is that the CHRP will never be able to provide any reasonable level of quality insurance because it is more ‘art’ than ‘science.’

    That is an interesting argument—not sure it is correct. Being a registered psychologist and a CHRP, it seems to me that the ratio of ‘art’ to ‘science’ in psychology is about the same as that in HR. Yet, in psychology professionalism and being accredited as professionals is considered very important.

  • David on 2013-09-27 7:21:48 AM

    Point of not to be CHRP you do not need 1,500 hours of unpaid internship to even apply for the designation as you do with a psychologist license (in most jurisdictions in North America). The CHRP has growing pains. Perhaps some day it will be more meaningful but right now, at the majority of contributions to this exchange not, it is not something that is at the level and seriousness of other professional designations. It has a long way to go. So in the future it might be a meaningful professional designation.

  • Anne Charette Tyler on 2013-09-27 8:31:27 AM

    Not having a CA does not mean I cannot do accounting - it means that as an individual off the street I can hold CA's to a higher standard and know they hold a level of education and subscribe to a Code of Ethics and a regulatory body tat holds them accountable. That being said this is a debate that can go on forever with both sides convinced they are right. All things worth having take time - the accountants and the nurses and the engineers went through the same process and I'm sure there were as many professionals in their field that did not see any value in the process. The problem is that once that recognition is gained - and it is gathering momentum all the time - those same people will be faced with going through the whole process from the start or accepting lesser roles. I personally want to be held to a higher standard in anything I do and as a Consultant outsourcing HR services it provides an immediate level of credibility.

    I have to comment however on the whole degree discussion - the question asked throughout this discussion is "why should I have to pay for a degree to practice HR?" I am reminded of a discussion I had with a young College graduate when we first introduced the degree requirement - his comment was that we were discriminating against College grads and my response was "if you wanted to be a Doctor or and Accountant you would need to get a degree and would work to achieve that" his response " Oh yea, but this is only HR".............speaks volumes about how we view ourselves doesn't it?

    Our profession in Canada has to come together and the designation is an obvious starting point - that common ground that establishes us as professionals.

  • Diane on 2013-09-27 11:00:17 AM

    Anne, I think the comments around the degree requirement are more focussed on the fact that the degree can be in Art History and that allows you to write the exams where 20 years' experience in the field does not.

  • Claude on 2013-09-27 12:26:28 PM

    Diane, The issue is that experience and foundational education are not equivalent. Experience tends to give an uneven knowledge base and doesn’t provide a theoretical foundation for professional practice which is useful in moving beyond current practice. If 20 years of experience were equivalent to formal education, one could go to any degree-granting institution (college or university) and through PLAR convert this experience to a degree. Actually, if an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada were to grant an individual a degree based on their experience, we would accept that in fulfilment of the degree requirement.

  • Chris on 2013-09-27 2:29:59 PM

    My personal perspective: Education is what gets you through until you gain experience. Experience alone takes a long time to accumulate before it becomes credible. The ideal is a combination of both. All education with no related experience is a waste and quickly becomes outdated (think of the Ph.D. who can't get an entry-level job if he has no related experience). Experience alone means one has to learn everything the hard way and, as mentioned by Claude, leaves gaps in the knowledge base. Therefore, actively working in the field while, at the same time, engaging in continuous learning creates the most desirable professional. That is why I believe my 20 years of progressive experience along with recent and ongoing education and training should be adequate to receive the CHRP designation. Furthermore, ongoing active employment in the field should count for more than just 10% of the recertification criteria. There is no better qualification than active duty.... in my opinion...

  • Katie on 2013-09-29 10:18:37 AM

    Nothing wrong with a designation; however, the validity of its methods is questionable.
    I am glad they got rid of the NPPA written exam in BC because there are too many inexperienced CHRP holders out there and have not been able to prove themselves competent in real work situations.

  • kb on 2013-10-15 7:46:14 AM

    I'm all in favour of professional development but I think experience needs to be recognized as having greater value, and related to that work experience. Someone who has considerable experience and is still active in the field will have a greater depth of practical knowledge than someone who has merely completed the educational requirements and continues to meet the mandatory annual requirements for accreditation points. From my perspective the CHRP has always been a moving target, becoming more and more expensive to get and maintain and I understand why not everyone would consider it worthwhile. As well, I would expect that those with a CHRP tend to have higher salaries as a group because they are likely the more experienced HR professionals. I think it is great to have a recognized and respected HR credential but I also feel the HRPA is going to far in its ambitions--it does not need to have, and should not have, the right to enter a member's company offices and seize files and I for one cannot see how in principle my company is well served to be at risk of this because it happens to employ someone who is a CHRP. If they are successful in getting the new bill approved that grants them these powers I will be withdrawing from membership as a matter of principle - I cannot see how the profession will be advanced if employers become more aware of this and decide they don't want the risk of employing a member.

  • Carol on 2013-10-15 8:36:52 AM

    Having worked hard to gain the education and experience in HR, I'm not a great fan of the CHRP. In BC it went through enormous changes on a consistent and yearly basis; I soon felt the BCHRMA didn't really know which direction they wanted to go.

    Despite this, I remain a CHRP because I remember what it was like prior to the introduction of certification. HR was the last hired and the first fired in many cases. Generally, we were not considered a strategic partner with solid business acumen, we were the afterthought brought on to keep benefits and payroll in order.

    While I'm not happy with the CHRP designation overall so far, it does hold us all to a higher standard and it gets the word out of our capabilities. As we continue to refine the process and qualifications, I know we'll get to where we need to be.

  • Jo-Ann on 2013-10-15 9:50:57 AM

    I had my CHRP but found it of no value in the BC public service so I gave it up. Pay is no higher in the public service for people with their CHRP and, in fact, none of my HR executives have had their CHRP and they have advanced their careers in the public service quite successfully. Most of my colleagues do not have their CHRP and they are as qualified, or more so, than many people I know who do have it. In my experience, the CHRP designation does not guarantee a more qualified or capable HR professional and the yearly fees are definitely not worth it.

  • Jim on 2013-12-27 7:45:22 AM

    I found the yearly costs to be excessive, and my organization will not reimburse for professional memberships, nor mileage/expenses for a yearly conference. It is a nice-to-have, but for those with experience, I don't place too much value in it.

  • Chris on 2013-12-27 8:10:36 AM

    I suspect this article was re-released because of the overwhelming response it received back in September 2013. I'll be interested to see if it elicits another intense response. My position remains the same... the process for obtaining the CHRP designation is significantly flawed. In addition, I have seen some questionable behavior from senior leaders with CHRP designations that make a joke of the ethical inference associated to the CHRP.

  • utsav on 2014-04-17 7:52:27 PM

    i am new in Canada. and i am a HR Graduate with 9 years experience in HR management but i am finding it very hard to get a job without CHRP because all he job ask for this. my consern is should i go for CHRP to get a job in Canada in HR

  • Jean on 2014-08-18 7:41:43 PM

    The CHRP has done nothing for me. I was "downsized" over a year ago, however, despite years of HR experience along with the CHRP, I'm not even getting called for interviews. Studying for the CHRP was an interesting academic exercise but I'm seriously doubting the value of keeping it. Despite my previous employer paying the fees associated to obtain it, it did not help me retain my position. My experience job hunting is that it's doing nothing to help me in the door for an interview.

  • BD on 2014-08-20 10:47:21 AM

    I had a terrible experience with my provincial HR association that lead me to believe that they are not following their own professional practices and guidelines. Due to this, I have lost faith in the value of the CHRP and know many other HR professionals that feel the governing bodies do not "walk the talk".

  • J Grant on 2014-08-23 9:21:24 PM

    I've held my CHRP for over a decade and believe it's brought me intrinsic value at minimum. It keeps me focused on continuos development and forces me to be mindful of my career development path, noting experiences and accomplishments for recertification. I've used the professional competencies as a selfcheck tool, to ensure I'm progressing in the profession. I've also referenced it for others entering the field. Without standards or goals, how do we measure our indivdual progress or the advancement of our profession?

  • Neha Sharma on 2014-11-04 8:46:11 AM

    Hi Guyz. I m Neha from India. I want to study in HR in Canada, So that I can work there. But I am confused that If I should go for CIPD certification or Diploma. If I do this..will I get an Job opportunity there in this field. Will this course comes in Skilled occupation list in Canada.

  • Michael on 2015-01-28 2:19:16 PM

    I'm a CHRP holder, however where I currently question it's weight is in the degree requirements (BC specifically). If, for example, you have a Bachelors Degree in Earth Sciences from 12 years ago, never worked in that field, held office positions and "landed" in an HR role, after 2 years you could be eligible for the designation. However, if you have a Diploma in HR Management, and 20+ years of HR experience, including that as a senior HR professional/leader, sorry, you don't qualify.

    You're losing me, HRMA. I hold much more weight to an individual with a diploma education in the field and lengthy, broad HR experience than I do to an individual with a degree in "any discipline" and 2 years of experience.

    This is the common feeling among my colleagues. Letting it lapse is something I am hearing more and more about. Not sure yet what I will do, but I've lost a lot of respect for the CHRP designation, and I am certainly not alone.

  • Danny G on 2015-01-28 10:26:44 PM

    This is an awesome debate with tons of great points. All I can say is that in the circles I run in the CHRP, CHRL and CHRE designations are critical if you want to be seen as a HR Leader. You can put down the tests, the degree requirement, the professional development HRPA offers, you can probably find some typos in the magazine too - but the fact is there is a "Y" beside the question "HR Designation required?" on most mid to high level HR postings now - they almost all require it and if not a requirement its listed as an asset. So its true you don't have to have a CA or a CPA to be a good accountant - but if you want to compete for the best Accounting leadership positions in the country - you better have the designation or 30 years experience and a rolodex with the right names in it!

  • Annoyed on 2015-01-30 10:12:08 AM

    I wonder what everyone's thoughts are now considering the changes in Ontario. HRPA is really hurting the careers of some great HR people who are not eligible to obtain their designations. Now in Ontario, someone with 10+ years of experience can obtain the CHRP but they would be considered an entry level person. RIDICUOUS. And Mary...HR Designates do not build bridges or buildings and really don't know more than any other HR professional who has the same or more experience.

  • DJH on 2015-10-22 6:54:20 AM

    I have been an HR Director for almost a decade. I went to School and got my education in HR. Now I have over a decade of experience. I am earning well over a 6 digit salary and I am seen as credible and knowledgable.

    The CHRP or CHRL designation is great for those they want to build their careers and grow themselves. But it is not a determining factor if a person is a great HR professional. To each his own. I think a well rounded HR professional is educated and has work experience and they need to decide if it is something that matters to them. It is not a job necessity to have the CHRP. It is a choice.

  • Tara on 2016-02-10 4:10:15 PM

    This new certification is really ridiculous. It makes it very difficult for internationally educated professionals with good degrees and experience integrate with the HR workforce in Canada. No way these HR titles can be compared to CGA or CPA . I find HR professionals associations are insecure and they are trying hard to make it look like as it is CPA/CGA. Please make it reasonable. I agree to the previous comments that you don't need to have these tails to be a good HR practitioner, a good degree and work experience is what matters the most. Every day is a learning experience for HR professionals and I don't understand the continuous learning part mentioned by these people.

  • Colleen on 2016-10-31 3:35:08 PM

    I've been resentful of the the HRPA for years- it's a money maker in my opinion and they offer no tangible value to their members. I was a member from 1995 to 2015 and i can honestly say I rec'd no benefits from membership or the CHRP designation. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I took my HR Diploma but the CHRP designation has not benefited me at all. Everything associated with HRPA, costs money - to get your experience approved it's $500! It is ridiculous and if they deem you to not have the experience you have to pay again. I asked them how they arrived at the $500 fee and they told me they couldn't disclose that?? A yearly membership (that get's you nothing that you can't get from your University Alumni Association), costs almost $400. Then they have decided how much professional development YOU need- and that can cost thousands of dollars a year, if your employer doesn't pay. I just can't justify the cost anymore - and sadly, I see no value in having the letters behind my name. If it means that someone with 20+ years of progressively more Sr. HR experience can't get a job because they don't have CHRP or CHRL behind their name, then there is something seriously wrong with the people who are hiring. I'm not even going to comment on the conference- except to say- it's a networking event only and unless you can be there for a full day or two, you get no networking value from it because you're there for such a short period of time. I figured out that I've paid approximately $7000 to them over the past 20 years...but for what- I'm not sure.

  • Rene McKeown on 2016-10-31 4:19:57 PM

    I have mixed feelings with the idea that I hold a CHRP designation even though I am an HR Director for a professional engineering firm in the GTA. I have more than 16 years of HR experience and I am definitely not an entry level HR professional. However, I've got to believe in this system and hope for the best. I would like to apply for the CHRE designation as I believe that my senior level experience, my volunteer HR experience as a mentor with HRPA and the HR consulting advice I offer to organizations such as Ontario Society of Professional Engineers should speak volumes and prove that I am passionate about my profession.

  • Ted on 2016-11-05 4:45:00 PM

    There has long been a desire for those internal to HR to have a way to legitimize the profession and ensure it is accorded the respect to be heard at the "C" level. That has been achieved, although it's still common to have a lawyer or operations executive placed to lead HR. There is a fundamental issue with trying to have a designation for HR and that is that managing people is each leader's job. There would be little need for HR if leader's were competent, although there are strategic specialties where "human science" can be applied. Other professions can set standards (you will count beans this way, an engineer will certify construction design as following engineering principles; even a doctor studies anatomy and applies precedent before dealing with a patient. Humans do not follow a standard so HR is both an art and a science and those who are good at it benefit from education and experience. Unfortunately the CHRP was established as a designation requiring a university education (following the Federal Govt. standard for their PE Group), and rely on academics, some of whom have little to no experience to teach HR principles and precedent. The exam continues to be a bit of a joke as someone who studies and passes it has to have the knowledge but not the ability to apply it. A far better approach would be to employ a peer panel to assess whether someone can actual function in a work environment, gaining the confidence of management and employees. Many highly competent HR practitioners struggle to maintain their competency because they don't keep their skills sharp through education, whereas their day-to-day experience is not assessed. And now we have a squabble between HR organizations, where Ontario has unilaterally gone its own way with subdividing the certification; just the opposite of accountants who have amalgamated under one designation. Don't worry - the rest of the country is changing to a Chartered Professional in HR (CPHR), which they've just sprung on members. How is that consistent with company human resource needs, other than causing confusion and requiring new business cards? Meanwhile the cost to belong to an HR organization has increased significantly over the past few years while HR salaries have stagnated, which leaves less money for professional development. My preference is that we stop this focus on costly designations that only show an ability to write exams and start to assess how we are serving companies and especially helping their employees better contribute.

  • Joanne on 2013-09-18 8:23:04 AM

    I do not have CHRP, they changed the rules when I did my post graduate program where the year prior it was automatic to all graduates. I graduated with honours but decided not to go for the CHRP, for me it was a money grab and I think it still is. I have been in the HR field for 20+ years. I have held senior positions without the CHRP. I am still in a senior position and when we have a vacancy in HR we do advertise for CHRP but if we receive a resume and the person does have the experience we am looking for and does not have the CHRP I would still hire them. Our last hire was a professional HR with 14 years experience and no CHRP and she is great.

  • Linda on 2013-09-18 8:30:54 AM

    I agree with Joanne. I do have my CHRP but think a good combination of education and experience is more useful when I am recruiting for HR professionals. I also think it is a money grab and I'm not convinced that it really stands for anything. I'm a firm believer in keeping current and maintaining professional standards but I don't think you need a "designation" for that.

  • Amy on 2013-09-18 8:38:42 AM

    I'm a relatively new HR professional who'd graduated with a Diploma of Technology in HR management in 2011-- the year that they initiated the Bachelors Degree requirement.

    Wanting to get out into the world and start working, rather than attend studies for another full year, I was extremely disheartened that I was unable to obtain my full CHRP designation, as everyone insisted that it is extremely important.

    Now, I am working in an amazing job (sans CHRP), and attending school part time on top to further my education so I can get a designation that I wonder is even worth the trouble.

    Why doesn't my experience count as much as my education? Why does someone with ANY degree, and fresh out of school, qualify more for this designation than someone who has been working in a HR job for 2 years?

    It'll take me 3 more years, and over 12,000$ to obtain my degree.. that's a hefty price to pay for the CHRP designation.

  • Mary on 2013-09-18 8:42:48 AM

    I think the CHRP designation has been a factor increasing HR credibility in business. Like any profession, it must be kept current with learning and development. Professional engineers use a similar point system (and aren't we glad working in towers they design). As long as CHRP maintains high standards it will ensure my designation means something.

  • Dspot on 2013-09-18 8:43:10 AM

    I finished a post-grad HR program in 2004 and then went through to proceed with getting my CHRP. It cost a fortune to maintain, and it has done absolutely nothing to increase my pay, or even get me a job in the HR field. I worked as a recruiter for years (a job for which my old employer could have cared less about whether or not I was certified), all the while applying for other, more HR oriented positions, but no interviews, much less job offers came my way. I finally gave up a few years ago and took a job at a factory where I make more than I did as a recruiter, as well as more than most other HR professionals/CHRP's earn. I think there were about 5 other people from my class of 50 who have actually managed to get jobs in the HR field after graduating in 2004, and from what I've heard, most of those jobs have much to be desired. Most of those with whom I went to school have moved on from the this "make-work," pseudo-profession, and we're better off for it. Make no mistake about it, this certification is in fact a money grab, and an utter waste of one's time.

  • Monica on 2013-09-18 8:46:14 AM

    I agree with Mr DeWolf indicating ".... they started changing the rules and now it’s cost prohibitive and there’s no grandfathering.”
    Rules changed not allowing enough time and/or attempts to obtain CHRP (with 70% failure rates) very discouraging especially with currently being in a HR role for many years (& years of CHRP prep). These recent rules making it very difficult in many ways to now obtain CHRP designation.

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