CEO Message – March 2017

Passage of Bill 27

Another step toward professionalizing HR

Bill GreenhalghIt still seems as though the year has barely started, but we’re very happy to report that we at HRPA received some more good news to celebrate last week. We learned last Thursday that Bill 27, or the Burden Reduction Act, has passed through the Ontario Legislature.

We do tend to get excited, perhaps more than most, about legislative changes – but this is a change that is also very exciting for each and every one of our members.

This new legislation removes some unnecessary red tape in relation to our members conducting workplace investigations – a practice that most certainly falls under the expertise of the human resources profession, and will now be accordingly self-regulated under our own bill and exempt from the PSISA (Private Security and Investigative Services Act).

Bill 27 was an omnibus bill that included a number of different and disparate items, but the one we’re celebrating today is an amendment to our Registered Human Resources Professionals Act of 2013.

The act was amended to add the following section:

Workplace investigations

14.1  A member of the Association, who is in good standing, is authorized to conduct, for remuneration, workplace investigations in order to provide information, and section 2 of Ontario Regulation 435/07 made under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 applies.

Essentially, what this means is that Ontario will now allow HRPA members who conduct workplace investigations to be exempt from the PSISA.

This is yet another important step in the professionalization of HR, because we are now entrusted to set our own high standards for the practice of workplace investigations, drawing on the decades of knowledge and experience that we have as a profession, instead of being beholden to red tape or external bodies less with the nuances and challenges of such investigations.

As an added point, HRPA is pleased to offer our members a comprehensive Workplace Investigations Certificate Program, which is an in-depth three-day program that effectively equips human resources professionals with the ability to recognize, investigate and report the findings of crucial workplace investigations.

As a sample of the curriculum covered in the program, please visit this link to view the next scheduled certificate program offered in Toronto. However, the certificate program is also offered in other Chapter locations – please visit our PD Certificate Programs calendar at this link for full details.

For further information and for those interested in viewing the bill in its entirety, please click on the following link:

This legislative change is far from the only marker of success in our work to professionalize HR. A November 2016 Leger 360 survey of 250 business executives, at VP level and above, found that business confidence in HRPA as a regulator is up 74 per cent in light of its Act and its designation frameworks.

It’s all encouraging news – and we hope you are as pleased as we are to celebrate yet another step in our journey of professionalizing the profession.

Kind regards,

Bill Greenhalgh


CEO Message – February 2017

Celebrating the CHRP

Bill GreenhalghHRPA has just finished celebrating 75 years of our Annual Conference & Trade Show, during what was arguably our best conference to date. This event is an integral part of our history and one of the longest-standing benefits we have to offer our members.

As we wrap up those celebrations, my mind turns to another of our most integral offerings: our designations.

As most of you know, HRPA’s three-tiered designations – the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), the Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) and the Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) – offer HR professionals the opportunity to demonstrate their rigorous study, their competence and their professionalism to employers and peers in just four letters. Those acronyms are shorthand for the dedication, professionalism, deep knowledge base and unwavering commitment to ethics that is the standard our designation holders are held to and they are the only designations in Canada that truly validate the capability of HR professionals at all levels in organizations. In repeated surveys, top business executives report that their confidence in the contribution of HR to business results has increased by more than 60% because of our laddered certification framework.”

The CHRP in particular is the longest-standing HR designation in the country, and its brand recognition is unparalleled.

In 2014, when HRPA was conducting research around our new three-tiered designations, we engaged in an extensive member consultation. Our members were adamant that we retain the CHRP and its brand equity. They told us what they wanted – and we listened.

Now, HRPA is the only association granting the CHRP designation, and we offer it nationally. HRPA has no residency requirement for designation holders, so you can earn and use your CHRP anywhere. You are authorized by HRPA to use it wherever you happen to reside (with the sole caveat being that in Quebec, you must also be a member of the Quebec HR association).

HRPA’s designations are based on the world’s most up-to-date competency frameworks, and they are protected both by legislation under the Registered Human Resources Professionals act of 2013 and various trademarks and, in the case of the CHRP, by a Federal Government Official Mark

Our designations aren’t just a nice resume point, however – holding one of HRPA’s designations has tangible, measurable career benefits. According to a PayScale study, HR professionals with these designations not only earn more than non-certified practitioners but are promoted faster, enjoy an expanded choice of career options and enjoy the credibility that being professionally designated brings. And In repeated surveys, top business executives report that their confidence in the contribution of HR to business results has increased by more than 60 per cent because of our laddered certification framework.

We’ve come a long way toward advancing our designations while also preserving and honouring the long and respected history of the CHRP, and its significance to the HR profession. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and I’m so proud of all of our designation holders who continue breathe new life into our valued history.


Kind regards,

Bill Greenhalgh


CEO Message – January 2017

Choose your own adventure

Bill GreenhalghIt’s that time of the year again for HRPA – the hustle and bustle of the holidays may be over, but the excitement of another great Annual Conference & Trade Show is just beginning.

As always, I’m looking forward to sharing a world-class conference experience with our members – but I’m particularly pleased with the offerings HRPA has in store for you this year as we celebrate 75 years of the Annual Conference & Trade Show.

The conference is always a highly interactive, flexible experience that our attendees can essentially design for themselves, creating a personalized schedule with nine outstanding keynotes (more than any other conference in the world) and over 100 sessions to choose from. But this year, the conference will be even more interactive, with more opportunity than ever for attendees to get involved.

Claude Balthazard, VP Regulatory Affairs and Registrar at HRPA will be conducting five focus groups with attendees who want to share any thoughts about HRPA’s role as a professional regulator. The sessions will be one hour in length and will be highly interactive, but they are limited to 10 participants per session. You can register to participate in a focus group via the regular registration process.

The HRPA Mobile Conference app is another way to tailor your conference experience – available for IOS, Andriod, Windows and Blackberry platforms, the app offers an interactive floor plan, session and speaker information and allows you to bookmark Trade Show exhibitors.

The mobile app experience will be even better this year with the launch of #ACGames, our app-based contest for conference attendees. The contest is based on a points system where attendees will accumulate points throughout the registration and event period. The attendee who receives the highest total points in the game will win our Grand Prize, while the runners up will be able to pick donated exhibitor prizes via our Prize Draft.

This also marks the first year that our magazine, HR Professional, is publishing a special issue dedicated solely to the Annual Conference & Trade Show. You’ll be able to pick up a print copy of the conference issue – the only print issue for the year – as well as explore the new digital-only HR Professional at a dedicated kiosk at the HRPA booth.

For senior executives, we’ll be offering three intimate dinner presentations with keynote speakers, during which you’ll be able to connect with a small group of senior-level peers while exchanging thought leadership and discourse on some of the most pressing issues of the day. Executives can register for the dinners at this link.

If you’re as excited as we are about the exemplary conference speakers and exhibitors, you can learn about them on the Conference website through our new blog series, In Profile, and our video series, AC Speakers Corner and Trade Show Check-In.

If you haven’t registered for the Annual Conference yet, there are only a couple weeks left to do so – it promises to be a year to remember.

We hope to see you there!

Kind regards,

Bill Greenhalgh

CEO Message – December 2016

Looking back, moving forward

Bill Greenhalgh

Another year has come and gone, and as we close the door on 2016, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones HRPA reached this year.

2016 was a great year for your association. At better than six per cent growth, we exceeded our membership growth target. We equalled our best-ever member retention percentage at 91 per cent. Retention of first-year members, always the most vulnerable group, improved by over one-third to 80 per cent. Satisfaction with the Annual Conference and Trade Show and with our Professional Development offerings remains at well above 90 per cent. Attendance for senior leadership events improved dramatically from under 400 registrations in 2015 to over 900 registrations in 2016, thanks in part to the calibre of our CHRO event calendar.

As of November 30, 86 per cent of Hire Authority job postings year-to-date specify that a professional designation is required or preferred so it is encouraging that 14,680 members (almost two-thirds  of total membership) are now professionally designated, including 260 CHREs.  We successfully introduced our CHRP and CHRL law exams and Job Ready Program and by year-end had introduced computer based testing, eliminating forever manual testing methods. Test-takers will now have a more convenient way of scheduling all exams, with a window of available time slots instead of being limited to Saturdays, and the new process provides more secure testing technology than traditional paper-based Scantron exams.

With strong member input, we researched and presented half a dozen research whitepapers on HR related issues to policy makers and the latest, on Millennials, was covered by over 230 print, radio and TV outlets across Canada and the US. And through ISO, the International Standards Organization, we initiated a program to create a global HR competency framework in partnership with nine other countries.

In June, we launched a new HRPA website, a new Hire Authority job board, a new iVolunteer online volunteer management and recognition community, as well as committee and chapter communities. We completed a massive upgrade to our ecommerce system, greatly improving the user experience for members. We upgraded our phone system so it is easier to reach the staff members you need to speak with, and we continue to be one of the leanest associations with the highest per capita staff productivity among tier-one regulators.

2016 was a very good year, but it is just the start of our 3-year strategic plan. There is still much more to do — but we are off to a terrific start. To each of you, I wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy and safe 2017.

Kind regards,

Bill Greenhalgh

CEO Message – November 2016

Stronger workforce, stronger economy

Bill GreenhalghEmployers in Ontario have been facing a growing problem for some time now: the disconnect between the skills they need, and the skills job applicants have to offer.

The skills gap has been the subject of much commentary, but identifying the problem is only the first step. Finding workable solutions is what we must do next – and that is what HRPA intended to do in our newest research report, Strengthening Ontario’s Workforce for the Jobs of Tomorrow.

Canada has the highest proportion of adults with a post-secondary education among all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations, and the cost of those degrees is roughly double the OECD average, according to 2014 OECD data. Yet more and more of those highly qualified degree holders struggle to find jobs in their field, as I wrote in an op-ed for the Huffington Post.

Although there is no official Statistics Canada data on the subject, an estimated one in three Canadian graduates are currently working in low-skill jobs unrelated to their education, according to a 2015 CBC report. Meanwhile, 59 per cent of HR professionals feel that Ontario students, workers and businesses do not currently have sufficient access to labour market data to help build their future prosperity, according to a 2016 HRPA member survey. Not knowing what jobs are, or will be, available makes it a challenge for young people to decide on the right course of study.

HRPA’s new report, which you can find at this link, offers several key recommendations for strengthening the workforce in Ontario and better aligning education, training and employer and industry needs. The recommendations drew from the expertise of our members, which we collected in member surveys earlier in the year. If there is a theme to those recommendations, it is that of collaboration. There must be a strong environment of collaboration between the government, educational institutions and industry if we are to build a better workforce, and keep Ontario competitive.

A full 59 per cent of our members feel that Ontario students, workers and businesses do not currently have sufficient access to labour market data – yet 65 per cent feel that it is “very important” to have accurate data provided.

We’re calling for better and more centralized labour market data – a recommendation that was endorsed by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel in June – as well as for educational institutions to work more closely with businesses in developing curricula.

We’re also calling for employers – and specifically, HR – to maintain the critical focus on on-the-job training, and asking that government find ways to provide support for the associated costs.

And the skills gaps are significant. HRPA surveyed its members to determine what are the most important attributes are of a highly skilled worker, as well as what skills might be missing. The top three characteristics selected were:

  1. Well-rounded critical thinker, analytical with problem-solving skills. Creative, imaginative and resilient;
  2. Strong communication skills; and,
  3. Able to work in complex and evolving environments.

The education system needs an overhaul, one HRPA member said in the membership survey. And that could not be more accurate. We need more programs which are specifically designed to understand the current skill level of incoming workers, and can then address any gaps so that these people can join in the workforce faster and more efficiently. That’s what are members have told us – so we took their recommendations directly to the decision-makers.

HRPA presented the report at Queen’s Park to a group of Members of Provincial Parliament, Cabinet Ministers and parliamentary staff in late October, the same week Premiere Kathleen Wynne had spoken out on the importance of the topic. Our relationship with the provincial government and role as a trusted advisor continues to grow as we build the body of research and thought leadership we contribute to the ongoing public dialogue.

Our next upcoming research report, entitled HR & Millennials: Insights Into Your New Human Capital, will be released at the end of this month, so stay tuned for some interesting findings.

As a further update, please feel free to read the article that appeared in the Oct. 31 issue of Canadian HR Reporter about HRPA’s work with the ISO on creating a global competency framework for HR.

And if you’d like to participate in any of our initiatives, we’re always happy to hear ideas and feedback from our members – feel free to get in touch!

Kind regards,

Bill Greenhalgh