CHRP Changes to CPHR: Recognized Globally—Except Ontario


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

A positive mindset at the best of times, it offers an accurate metaphor for provincial HR associations across Canada grappling with a quandary none wanted over the past year—the future of their national body and professional designation.

CHRP Designation Downgraded
That challenge stemmed from Ontario’s Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA) decision to split from our national HR body over differences in strategic vision. That split further fragmented with HRPA’s 2014 unrolling of a three-tier HR designation system which positioned the CHRP as the lowest level.

According to HRPA’s website, the CHRP is now defined as “the entry level designation… Human Resources professionals at entry level may be entering the workforce, acting in roles that are mostly administrative in nature.” HRPA has continued to devalue the previously shared national designation since.

Moving Past Divisive Marketing
Unfortunately, the division between HRPA and Canada’s national HR body has only serve to create confusion in the business community—and taken focus away from enhancing the profession.

More frustratingly, HRPA also began to aggressively market outside of Ontario in an unprecedented effort to increase their membership and promote their multi-tier designations. With ads prompting those outside of Ontario to “Keep your CHRP,” HRPA has little to offer those who do as their CHRP is not equivalent. More importantly, HRPA has no legal authority to regulate or manage the HR profession outside of Ontario.

In consideration of the established CHRP’s essential framework and ongoing attempts to reunite HRPA with the national body and vision, the Canadian Council of Human Resource Associations (CCHRA) decided upon a course positive change to protect and reflect the future of the HR profession.

CHRP Changes to CPHR
As a result, the CHRP designation has undergone a name change in all provinces and territories across Canada, except Ontario, to become the CPHR or Chartered Professional in Human Resources designation. In keeping, the CCHRA has changed its name to CPHR Canada.

It is with the continued belief in a single designation, and in HR as a true profession, that CPHR Canada has charted a course which holds true the shared vision, framework and ongoing efforts. Fortunately, CPHR Canada remains strongly united and working together to actively align the HR profession across all of Canada and internationally.

As an incarnation born of necessity, CHPR Canada’s inspiration and communications carry a strong and familiar message to the HR profession and business community—“We are stronger together with one voice.”

CPHR Canada Moving HR Forward
As such, CPHR Canada has enacted national standards, and is supporting provincial efforts, including those of HRMA, to become self-regulated; it has also actively engaged in creating international partnerships and memorandums of agreement with other countries including the United States (SHRM) and Australia (AHRI).

In short, at the global, national and provincial levels, the name of HR in Canada has changed—the calibre remains.

As prior, CPHR Canada is comprised of every province, except Ontario, and has over 27,000 members with a growing membership. CPHR Canada is also the representative for the Canadian HR profession internationally with membership on the North American HR Management Association (NAHRMA) and the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA).

Communicating the Changes
With revised branding in the works for early 2017, CPRH Canada is already at work with the media and major shareholders to clarify the change and update all Canadian HR professionals as to the current landscape and strong future of the HR profession.

Between press releases, media participation and other communications, CPHR Canada and the provincial associations are working to clarify information and update all Canadian HR professionals on the current landscape as well as promote the HR profession to the business community and the public.

It should be made clear that CPHR Canada has and will continue to reach out to HRPA to have them either return to the national body or at the very least collaborate with the rest of Canada.  To date HRPA has declined to do either.

How This Affects You
As a CHRP: As of October 2016, CHRPs in all provinces, except for Ontario, moved to the CPHR designation.  If you have not already, take the time to change the letters behind your name on your e-mail signatures and your online profiles to reflect the true national designation. HRMA designation holders will also officially receive a new certificate to reflect the change to CPHR early in 2017.

Once BC is self-regulated, an initiative that is actively being pursued with the provincial government here, as in virtually every other province in Canada, the CHRP will not be legally recognized.  As a result, anyone who converts to HRPA’s designations will have to go through the full process of earning the CPHR designation which will be enshrined in provincial legislation.

As an HRMA Member:  Be aware that HRPA is in the process of opening a BC chapter of their association. Again, this is an unprecedented action across provincial boundaries within the same profession. HRMA has been established in BC for nearly 75 years, and for the past four years in the Yukon because they did not have an existing HR association.

This local representation tied to a unified national body with international reach is one of the benefits that makes HRMA unique. While it is frustrating that HRMA must divert some of its resources to address HRPA’s actions, but you have our firm commitment that we will continue to work toward strengthening our association, our partnerships, our profession and our designation.

As an HR Professional: We are stronger together, and need your help. More now than ever, we need to join forces under one vision, one framework and one voice with the rest of Canada.  Here’s what you can do:

  • Continue to be an ambassador for the Canadian HR profession. Share this info with your peers and add your voice to the conversation.
  • If you are a designated member, please be sure to make the change to CPHR.
  • Ask questions and express your concerns to your association.
  • Be encouraged by the progress made in a very short period of time with the unification of the rest of Canada, numerous international agreements and a growing membership.

Stay informed.  Please review press releases, articles and background pieces at

PeopleTalk Winter 2016

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  1. I found this summary of what’s been happening with our designation really helpful! Thank you.

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