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


Think you can recite every benefit of HRPA membership? Bet you can’t.

I can’t get over how often I meet a member of the association who has never heard of many of the benefits of membership. Just the other day I was taking a member on a tour of the HRPA offices and as we passed our Resource Centre specialists’ workstations I mentioned some of the research services we provide free of charge and she was flabbergasted. She had no idea. So, rather than talk about all the benefits of membership, let me show you:

First of all, there’s the obvious ones:

  • Prestige of belonging to a tier 1 regulated profession as a Registered HR Professional;
  • Strong, in-demand designations;
  • Access to high-quality continuing professional development;
  • Access to the largest professional network in Canada;
  • Access to abundant opportunities to make a contribution through volunteering opportunities;
  • Access to Chapter-based mentoring programs.

Then there’s the thought leadership we make available free of charge through the Resource Centre:

  • HR Hotline operated by experienced CHRL volunteers is a free service for members. While Hotline cannot substitute for professional legal and consulting services, it can be a source of quick answers to HR questions.
  • Resource Centre Knowledgebase gives members instant access to the HR information and resources you need to do your job and succeed in your career. Browse our hand-picked collections on HR topics that matter, such as:
    • Mental Health;
    • AODA;
    • Provincial and Federal Employment Law;
    • HR Planning;
    • Health and Safety;
    • Human Rights;
    • Training and Development;
  • Integrated search function finds resources from HRPA, leading employment law firms, HR trade publications and the Ministry of Labour – all without leaving the Resource Centre web site;
  • Access RSS feeds from HR Daily, Statistics Canada, WSIB and CIPD on the Resource Centre homepage;
  • HR Reference Library, including best practices, salary surveys and more;
  • Contact HRPA’s customized research request service. Use our online form or e-mail our team of Information Specialists directly to guide you to the most relevant, recent research on business and HR topics, as well as salary survey and benchmarking data;
  • Each day, HRPA’s information specialists scrub the Internet for breaking stories related to human resources and publish the most relevant ones as HR Daily, part of that day’s email broadcast;
  • OnFile is a quarterly publication that takes a look at topical issues based on member enquiries and reports on some of the cool stuff we’ve found researching those enquiries;
  • Print and online editions of HR Professional Magazine, Canada’s #1 HR magazine.
  • Plus, select from more than 700 premium, customizable HR policies from HRdownloads—available for $10/each.

Students enjoy a few special benefits:

  • Reduced membership fees for up to two years after graduation;
  • And the ability to complete their HR academic training, pass the Comprehensive Knowledge exam Level 1 and leave school with their CHRP designation.

Everyone enjoys these savings from HRPA partners:

  • HRPA members save $100 on Toronto Regional BOT membership;
  • McGraw-Hill Education is pleased to offer members of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) a 40% discount off select titles;
  • MemberPerks® gives you instant access to hundreds of perks from brand name and local vendors on everything from shoes and dining to tickets and travel;
  • GoodLife Fitness provides HRPA members with more than 50% savings on GoodLife Fitness Plus annual Memberships to its non-Platinum and non-Platinum Plus locations;
  • The Toronto Park Hyatt has a special HRPA member rate;
  • HRPA group discount and Business Preferred service for all Starwood hotels, including Four Points®, Sheraton, aloft, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, Westin and St. Regis;
  • Independent Consultants get a free Bronze listing for HRPA independent consultants and HRPA members in consulting organizations in the HRPA Suppliers Guide;
  • Members will experience first class customer service as well exceptional coverage at the most competitive rates through the official the HRPA Professional Liability Insurance Program with LMS ProLink;
  • Save hundreds on home, auto and travel insurance at HRPA’s group rates with TD Insurance Meloche Monnex;
  • Hire Authority is the largest HR-specific job board in Canada. Resume posting is an exclusive member benefit and members save $100 on job posts;
  • Market Research, Scholarship Management and Recruitment Services with yconic. Tap into their pool of over 3,000,000 young adults;
  • MentorCity makes it easy and affordable for HRPA members to create and sustain a mentoring culture in their organization;
  • As a preferred mover for HRPA, Atlas has put together a special service and savings program for HRPA members for local and long distance moving and for corporate relocation services;
  • Qualtrics is the industry leader in enterprise data collection and online survey analytics. Qualtrics software products make collecting sophisticated research simple;
  • Verge Conferencing exclusive offer – 50% savings on web and teleconferencing;
  • 20% discount on regularly priced books and music through the Chapters Indigo Corporate Sales Centre.

With so many benefits to choose from, it’s no wonder she forgot about our free research service. :)

Chris Larsen
VP, Marketing, Membership & Professional Development
(416) 923-2324 x335

The Socialization of HR Professionals

Simply put, the professionalization agenda is one that aims to see the HR profession recognized as a true profession and HR professionals recognized as true professionals.  There are different facets to professionalization, however.  One facet refers to things that must happen at the institutional level; another facet refers to things that must happen at the individual level.  Institutional changes refer to the establishment and strengthening of professional regulatory bodies, the statutory recognition of the profession, and the establishment of identifiable HR programs is post-secondary educational institutions.  Changes at the individual level refer to an evolution in the behaviour, values, and attitudes of HR professionals.  There is still a lot of work to be done at the institutional level; but these aspects are reasonably obvious.  The evolution in the behaviour, values, and attitudes of HR professionals is more difficult to capture, however, and has been subject of less attention.  Nonetheless, the professionalization of HR has as much to do about how we think and conduct ourselves as anything else.

The process by means of which professionals become professionals is likely complicated but socialization arguably plays a big part. defines socialization as follows: “process by which individuals acquire the knowledge, language, social skills, and value to conform to the norms and roles required for integration into a group or community.  It is a combination of self-imposed (because the individual wants to conform) and externally-imposed rules, and the expectations of the others.”  The socialization of HR professionals is a topic that has not received much attention in the past but it is an issue that we need to come to grips with if we are to push forward with the professionalization agenda.

Although the process of socialization into a profession is an on-going one, it is especially important in the formative stages of professionals’ careers.  To the extent that HR exists as a group or community, socialization does occur; but this process of socialization has never been intentional or focused.  It is also not clear that the knowledge, language, social skills, and values that are being socialized into new entrants to the profession are those that are needed to move forward with the professionalization of HR.  Other professions have been more focused and deliberate in socializing their new professionals into their professions.

Indeed, in many other professions there are internships, articling, supervised practice stages, and professional education programs.  These are not just ‘experience’ requirements, and they are not so much about the acquisition of knowledge and skills: these are systematic and deliberate programs designed to inculcate professional values, ethics and attitudes.  For many professions, the early career phase is considered of crucial importance and the inculcation of the attitudes and values of professionalism is the most important aspect of this phase.

By way of contrast, this phase in the development of HR professionals does not appear to be ‘engineered’ as well.  There appears to be very little discussion of what it means to be a professional in the formative stages of HR professionals’ careers.  (In fact, there is very little discussion of what it means to be a professional in HR, but we will leave this topic for another day.)  We all recognize that there is a gap between academic learning and practice as a professional, but whereas other professions have seized upon this as an opportunity to socialize new entrants into the profession, the HR profession has yet to get deliberate and focused about using this gap between academic learning and practice as a professional as an opportunity to inculcate the attitudes and values of professionalism.

The socialization of new entrants into the profession is something we need to do better.  We need to think about it more, and be more focused and deliberate in carrying this out.  There are a number of different models out there that may be worth considering.  The professional education programs which are the cornerstone of the accounting certification programs are interesting models.  In order to do this, however, we need to begin a dialogue on the professional values, ethics and attitudes of the HR profession.  This could well be seen as the next stage or phase in the professionalization of HR.

Claude Balthazard, Ph.D., C.Psych. is Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, HRPA and Special Regulatory Advisor, CCHRA.

The collective dimension of professionalism

Let’s take it as a given that there is value for HR professionals to be perceived as true professionals.  Professionalism is sometimes considered in terms of the behaviour of individual members of a profession.  However, there is a collective dimension to professionalism which is quite important.

Even with no experience with a particular member of an occupational group, we often have are expectations as to the professionalism of that individual based on the occupational group to which they belong.  Sometimes we notice the professionalism of an individual, or lack thereof, precisely because of the expectations we have of the occupational group they belong to.  When a member of an established profession behaves unprofessionally, we notice.  Similarly, when a member of an occupational group which does not have a reputation for professionalism does behave in a professional manner, we also notice.

Just how much the behaviour of one individual impacts our impression of the members of an occupational group?  Clearly, the exceptional individual does not change our perceptions of the occupational group precisely because we have identified the behaviour as exceptional.  “The exception confirms the rule.”  On the other hand, repeated experiences with members of a particular occupational group will begin to cement a particular impression that will be attributed to the occupational group as a whole.

Consider Mike Holmes, the contractor on television who comes is to fix the messes and botched jobs left behind by other contractors (Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection).  Although the television show might have done good things for Mike Holmes, it is not clear that it has done much good for the reputation of contractors as a whole.  Imagine a medical reality TV show where the premise would be a surgeon fixing the botched operations of previous surgeons.

It is not clear how much an individual can transcend the reputation of their occupational group.  The reputation of HR as an occupational group follows each member of the occupational group and acts as a default of sorts.  Some individuals may try to distance themselves from their occupational groups, but it is not clear how successful that strategy is.

There is also more to perceptions of professionalism than behaviour.  For instance, no matter how professionally a vintage guitar appraiser behaves, it is unlikely that vintage guitar appraising would be considered a profession.   There are various facets to being considered a true profession.  One has to do with the organization of the profession and its various institutions, governmental recognition of the profession, the existence of professional schools are hallmarks which define true professions.

What seems to be important is consistency.  When experience with members of a particular occupational group is consistent, we are more likely to attribute the characteristic to the occupational group; when experience with members of a particular occupational group is inconsistent, we are more likely to attribute the characteristic to the individual.

So how is this important to HR professionals?  First we need to recognize that increasing the perception of professionalism of HR professionals is a collective challenge.  Whether we like it or not, HR is an identifiable occupational group.  The HR profession needs to present a consistent image of professionalism.  That some HR professionals present in a professional manner and that some do not is not that helpful.

Interestingly, professionalism is one of those characteristics that everyone claims to have.  And yet, when HR professionals are asked about the professionalism of other members of the profession, they will often have negative things to say, at least about some individuals.  (One always wonders if individuals who are said to be unprofessional are aware of their lack of professionalism, or is professionalism one of those characteristics for which self-perceptions are always in danger of being distorted?)

The main point here is that the perception of the HR profession and its members is important to all HR professionals.  Even those HR professionals who do not belong to any professional HR association cannot truly distance themselves from such generalized perceptions.  The collective dimension of perceptions of professionalism does make it more difficult to manage or change these perceptions because it requires the concerted efforts of a broad and diverse group some members of which might not have bought into the professionalization agenda.

Claude Balthazard, Ph.D., C.Psych. is Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, HRPA and Special Regulatory Advisor, CCHRA.


New study shows CHRPs earn more, promoted faster

This month, HRPA released a report showing the clear correlation of the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation with earning potential and career progression. The new report, Fuel for HR Careers, validates similar findings from a study we conducted in 2012. Both studies were completed by PayScale Inc.—leaders in compensation data.

Please click here to view the new report.

Like the 2012 report, Fuel for HR Careers shows CHRPs earn more across all HR career levels (for example, HR managers typically earn 13 per cent higher salaries than non CHRPs); advance more quickly; and work at larger organizations.

Most important is the rise in demand for the CHRP in HR jobs found on the Hire Authority job board. From 2012 to 2013, job postings requiring a CHRP increased from 67% to 70%–up from just 36% in 2007—which shows more employers are recognizing the value of the certification.


For the 2013 study, we also requested that PayScale include U.S. data, so we could compare the impact of the CHRP with the Professional HR (PHR) designation issued by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) in the U.S. Interestingly, CHRPs outperformed PHR designation holders in both promotions and salaries—further evidence that the CHRP is coming of age as a recognized and highly sought after professional designation.

Not surprisingly, the number of HRPA members who either have their CHRP designation or are CHRP Candidates, having passed the National Knowledge Exam, now account for 60 per cent of total membership.

HRPA’s Quarterly Legal Update Package 2013/2014

On another note, HRPA’s Professional Development team recently launched its Quarterly Legal Update Package—a quarterly series of live webinars featuring four top Canadian employment law experts covering four hot current HR topics:

These interactive sessions are only $39 each (or $99 for all four) and will be made available to you as recordings after the webinar is over.

For more information and to register for HRPA’s Quarterly Legal Update Package 2013/2014, please visit:—2014.aspx

Best regards,

Bill Greenhalgh