HRPA reintroduces experience requirement for CHRP in Ontario

May 19, 2009 – Effective immediately, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has reintroduced a requirement of three years of experience in human resources at a professional level as a prerequisite for attainment of the Certified Human Resources Professional designation (CHRP) in Ontario.

Human resources experience at a professional level refers to work activities in which an individual exercises direct responsibility and accountability for the strategy, design, implementation, or co-ordination of one or more human resources functional areas for an extended period of time with limited or minimal supervision.

While this requirement takes effect immediately, HRPAO members will be permitted to select either the NPPA or the experience assessment until May 2010, after which time the association will completely phase out the NPPA and all members will be required to have their experience reviewed by a provincial committee in order to obtain the CHRP designation.

This means that CHRP candidates who have successfully completed either the Comprehensive Provincial Exam (CPE) or the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) that replaced the CPE in 2003, have the choice of taking the National Professional Practice Assessment exam (NPPA) or applying to have their experience assessed by HRPA’s Certification Committee. Following the October 2009 and May 2010 sittings, the NPPA will be replaced by a mandatory experience assessment by HRPA’s Certification Committee.

“Re-introduction of the experience requirement has been under review by HRPA for more than a year to better align the HR designation with other regulated professions in Ontario,” says Antoinette Blunt, chair of the board of HRPA. “HRPA’s CHRP members have voiced overwhelming support for the experience requirement as a means to enhance the credibility and value of the CHRP designation, so this is clearly something that business expects and that our members want, making it an easy decision to implement the change now.”

A recent survey of HR professionals across Canada conducted by HRPA and Canadian HR Reporter found that 87.4 per cent of Ontario CHRPs felt that HR associations should introduce an experience requirement for the CHRP and 87.7 per cent of Ontario CHRPs felt the introduction of an experience requirement would enhance the value of the CHRP designation. 

Prior to 2003, Ontario required HR experience at a professional level in order to qualify for the CHRP. The protocol for assessment of experience, which requires review by HRPA’s Certification Committee, has been in use by the association since 1989. According to Claude Balthazard, PhD, HRPA’s acting Registrar, “The assessment of experience was only available to those applicants for the designation who had passed the Comprehensive Provincial Exam (CPE). With this change, all applicants who have passed either the CPE or NKE will be able to follow this route.”

“The association will continue to offer the NPPA as an alternative to the assessment of experience for another two test sessions,” says Balthazard, “but our members have told us that there is nothing like experience itself, so after the transition period, we will  phase out the use of the NPPA.”

The assessment of experience costs $500, the same as the NPPA.

This change does not impact the process to obtain the CHRP designation outside of Ontario. According to the Canadian Council of Human Resources Assocation, at this time, there are no plans to introduce an assessment of experience or to phase out the NPPA in other provinces. Certain provinces may also have an experience requirement to be eligible to write the NKE or the NPPA. And, CCHRA and all provincial HR associations recommend that CHRP Candidates have a minimum of three to five years of HR experience before writing the NPPA.

For more information, visit:  Information is also available on the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations.