I was reading a Canadian HR Reporter article on the future of the CHRP designation recently. What makes it interesting is that it was published on September 22, 1997—just about exactly 15 years ago today. Old articles about the future are always interesting because we now know how the events did play out.
In 1997, the key topic was the credibility of the then fledgling designation. Although the CHRP designation was offered by five provinces—Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia—the requirements for the designation were very much in flux. The work on a national standard for certification had just begun. At that time they thought it was just a year away—it would actually take another six years.
Interestingly, the article stated “In all the other provinces [other than Ontario], they’re working on an earning process which is a combination of education and experience and then you have to renew every so many years.” The provincial associations would eventually adopt a certification process that required passing two exams, with the exception of Ontario that always had and maintained its coursework requirement. Also, at the time, Ontario was the only province that hadn’t yet agreed to a recertification requirement; this would come, however, within a few years.
At the time of the writing of this Canadian HR Reporter article in 2007, the degree requirement was not yet on the horizon. Eventually, the provincial associations would agree to introduce a degree requirement but the issue of making specific coursework in HR a requirement is still a topic of discussion. In time, all of the provincial associations would abandon the second exam and introduce or re-introduce an experience requirement.
Also on the radar screen in 1997 was the recognition of the designation by government. At that time, it was a goal to have the CHRP designation recognized in all provinces—Ontario had already achieved this in 1990. Although some provinces felt that they were only months away from having the CHRP recognized in their province, this turned out to be an elusive goal. To this day, Ontario and Quebec are the only two provinces in which the provincial HR associations have been granted statutory regulatory authority.
All in all, as is usually the case, the future didn’t quite turn out the way the way it was thought it would. There were many twists and turns that were simply not foreseen at the time—as I am sure there will be more twist and turns in the years to come.
Claude Balthazard, Ph.D., C.Psych.