CEO Message – January

HRPA CEO Bill Greenhalgh delivers the opening speech on the theme of HR professionalization at the 2016 Annual Conference on Wed, January 20.

2016 0120 HRPA Annual Conference

Watch Bill’s speech video >>

CEO Message – December

2015: Year in Review

Bill GreenhalghIt’s been one year since HRPA introduced its updated HR competency framework and three new designations that test an updated body of knowledge, and the ability to apply that knowledge, at three levels of human resources practice: entry (CHRP), professional (CHRL), and executive (CHRE).

So what’s been the reaction from stakeholders?

The most dramatic impact has been on HRPA’s membership rolls which jumped six per cent (with member retention climbing to 91 %) since we launched the designations last November. As of the close of the 2015 fiscal year, HRPA now has 22,262 members.

Those numbers illustrate the strong support HRPA members have for our efforts to modernize a certification framework (including differentiating designations for different career stages, a more structured professional experience requirement and a jurisprudence exam to certify legal knowledge) that hadn’t been updated in 15 years and the value they see in the new designations.

The reaction from the business community has been equally encouraging. We surveyed senior business leaders asking them how the new framework and designations would affect their view of HR – over 56% answered “Very Favourably.”

And the response from Ontario post-secondary schools offering HR programs has also been positive.

From the college perspective, previously, if you didn’t have a degree it was a challenge to earn a designation and find a job. Now, you can graduate with an HR diploma, pass the CKE 1 exam and you’re ready to practice at the CHRP level. The colleges (and their HR students) welcome the change and this is borne out by the numbers of new CHRPs that have come directly out of colleges recently.

And at the degree level we have worked with about a dozen universities and degree-granting colleges who now have business department representatives meeting regularly to discuss our competency model and what they need to do to ensure students get the education to meet it. In fact, a primary reason why the schools have responded so well to our new competency model is because it’s well defined and spells out what HR professionals need to know and do. We don’t tell them how to teach it but at the end of the day the schools understand that students need this knowledge and this capability to earn the designations and practice HR effectively.

Click here to read a Canadian HR Reporter column that provides a complete view on how stakeholders have reacted to HRPA’s new competency framework and designations.

New HRPA strategic plan

The updated competency framework and HR designations join last year’s passage of the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013 (which gives HRPA government sanction to regulate the profession in the public interest) as cornerstones on which to build HRPA’s new strategic plan.

This new plan represents the next phase of HRPA’s work to “professionalize” the HR profession, including work towards a common global body of knowledge and information campaigns to ensure everyone—HR professionals, government, business and the public—understands that HR is a genuine profession with unique skills and capabilities that bring value to organizations through people strategies.

Please click here to view a presentation outlining HRPA’s new strategic plan

2016 Annual Conference

And finally, if you haven’t yet registered for HRPA’s 2016 Annual Conference, I highly urge you to do so soon. This year’s event is shaping up to be another blockbuster, with eight keynotes, more than 150 professional development sessions, plus Canada’s largest HR trade show.

This year’s keynote line-up includes economist Benjamin Tal examining the global macroeconomic forces impacting our economy and the link between economics and HR; CBC broadcaster Rex Murphy discussing issues of the day; Olympic gold medalist Clara Hughes leading a roundtable on workplace mental health; and former Moist frontman David Usher on how you can learn creativity and bring it to everything you do.

As a special pre-conference bonus, delegates are invited to register for an extra day (Tuesday) of panel discussions, including The Business Case for Hiring Experienced Workers and Human Rights and Creed: What you need to know.

I hope to see you all at the conference in January.

From all of us at HRPA, have a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous 2016.

Best regards,

Bill Greenhalgh

CEO Message – November

New HRPA Human Resources Awards celebrate achievements of designated HR professionals

Bill GreenhalghIn partnership with Great Place to Work®, HRPA is pleased to announce the 2016 HRPA Designation Excellence Awards—a new awards program that celebrates Certified Human Resources Professionals (CHRPs), Certified Human Resources Leaders (CHRLs) and Certified Human Resources Executives (CHREs) who have architected people-driven business strategies that add quantifiable value to their organizations.

The HRPA Designation Excellence Awards recognize individual HR excellence at three HRPA designation levels:

Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) of the Year recognizes outstanding work at the foundational level, including adding value to meet organizational priorities; business knowledge and partnering; and innovative thinking.

Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) of the Year recognizes an individual who has excelled within the HR function and across the organization by partnering with other business functions to achieve bottom-line performance.

Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) of the Year recognizes an HR executive who has demonstrated outstanding leadership including creating and implementing a people-driven strategy that quantifiably contributes to the achievement of the organization’s objectives.

In today’s organizations, people are the primary source of sustainable competitive advantage and HR professionals design and execute people-driven strategies that help create organizational success. The HRPA Designation Excellence Awards will highlight real examples of how HR professionals can develop and execute the innovative and effective strategies that add huge measurable value to organizations.

Nominations for the 2016 HRPA Designation Excellence Awards close on conclusion of the 2016 HRPA Annual Conference, January 22, 2016 and HRPA members will choose winners by voting for their choice of the CHRP, CHRL or CHRE professional of the year.

The winners will be announced at the Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces in Canada Awards Gala in Toronto on Thursday, April 21, 2016. (Tickets for the awards gala can be purchased here.)

For full details on the 2016 HRPA Designation Excellence Awards, including award criteria and nomination information, please visit

Best regards,

Bill Greenhalgh

CEO Message – October

HRPA’s new strategic plan

Bill GreenhalghAfter several years building the foundation to support the HR profession, HRPA’s new strategic direction will focus on the “inspirational”—strategies and plans to ensure  everyone (HR professionals, government, business and the public) understands that HR is a genuine profession with unique skills and capabilities that bring value to organizations through people strategies.

Please click here to view a presentation outlining HRPA’s new strategic plan

Best regards,

Bill Greenhalgh

CEO Message – September

Building confidence in HRPA member complaints investigations

Bill Greenhalgh

In HRPA’s annual membership survey, we include questions about professionalization and professional regulation. One question that has caused us some concern is around the perception of fairness and impartiality in HRPA’s investigations into complaints against members. Over the past two years a sizeable minority (36%) have expressed doubts—by answering don’t know/not sure— about this issue.

HRPA’s VP Regulatory Affairs Claude Balthazard has written a detailed article on why HRPA members should feel confident that any investigation into a complaint made against them would be fair and impartial. I urge you to read the full article, but I will use this column to give you a quick explanation of why members can feel 100% comfortable with how complaints are handled.

There are eight basic reasons

  1. As a quasi-judicial body, HRPA is subject to the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, 1990 which sets standards of fairness for all key proceedings. The same rules apply to tribunals such as the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, and the Ontario Labour Relations Board, to name just a few.
  2. Any decisions by the Complaints Committee—and for that matter, all regulatory decisions made by HRPA—are subject to judicial review, eventually, by a division of the Ontario Superior Court. As a start, any affected party can appeal directly to HRPA’s Appeal Committee and if that is not satisfactory, through the Ontario Court system where matters such as the fairness and impartiality of the process that led to the decision would be considered.
  3. HRPA Panels that review complaints are made up of three highly experienced members. To prevent even an inadvertent or unwitting bias, one of the individuals on the panel will usually be a member of the public with no affiliation to the Association.
  4. When appropriate, the Complaints Committee panels will appoint an external investigator to conduct the investigation. These external investigators are very skilled, thorough and have to be fair and impartial. Should the case be referred to the Discipline Committee, the investigation report would be disclosed to the member and the investigator would be subject to cross-examination.
  5. All adjudicative panels, including panels of the Complaints Committee, have access to Independent legal counsel for advice on procedural matters.
  6. HRPA has implemented an extensive Code of Conduct for Members of Adjudicative Committees dealing with conflict of interest; the conduct of hearings; decision-making; the handling of confidential information; and behaviour vis-à-vis other members of the panel. All members of adjudicative committees must agree to abide by this code before taking on any adjudicative duties.
  7. HRPA provides training and has developed a series of webinars on various facets of regulatory adjudication such as regulatory governance; panel assessment skills; conducting investigations; conducting hearings; writing reasons; and process review skills. Members of adjudicative committees, including the Complaints Committee, must complete the requisite modules before they can be assigned to a panel.
  8. The Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013, imposes a duty of confidentiality upon all who are covered by the Act and this would include anyone involved in the review of any complaint. The Act treats the need for confidentiality very seriously and provides for fines, which would be levied by the regular courts, of up to $25,000 for any person found in breach.

With all these safeguards in place, many of which have been created or upgraded in the last two years, all members can feel reassured that any complaint will be dealt with fairly, impartially and with total confidentiality.

Love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a note at

Best regards,

Bill Greenhalgh