“I’ve come to believe that if I could rescue one department from a burning building, it wouldn’t be marketing. It would be HR. I think HR is on its way to becoming the critical branding skill of the 21st century, and the more experiential’ brands become, the truer that is. The challenge for corporations will be to get leadership to see that, and to make HR a strategic partner with both a mandate and accountability. While establishing the ING brand in North America I think that the HR manager was as close to bank president Arkadi Kuhlmann as Jony Ives was to Steve Jobs.”
—Bruce Philp, ING Direct brand adviser and co-author of The Orange Code: How ING Direct Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a Cause
YHuman Resources Professional Association (HRPA) can help make that happen.
In 1990 HRPA was recognized by the Ontario legislature as the body to grant and administer an initial HR professional designation—the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP). HRPA has since evolved to become a regulatory body, providing to employers an assurance of quality for HR professionals who meet and maintain the standards required for both HRPA membership and its designations.
HRPA provides three levels of professional certification:
- The Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) is the entry level designation. Human Resources professionals may be entering the workforce, acting in roles that are mostly administrative in nature.
- The Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) is the professional level designation. CHRLs operate at a more strategic level, acting more as HR solution providers and less as process administrators.
- The Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) designation is reserved “for proven, high-impact leaders. To earn the CHRE designation, candidates must have acquired executive-level competencies in areas such as governance, business strategy, and executive compensation.”
For each of these designations, HRPA has established professional standards, including academic and professional experience requirements, as well as professional practice and law and ethics exams.
Candidates for the CHRP designation must have successfully completed course work in nine key subject areas including HR management, organizational behaviour, finance and accounting, HR planning, Occupational Health and Safety, Training and Development, Labour Relations, Recruitment and Selection and Compensation.
Candidates for the CHRL designation must have successfully completed a degree from a recognized educational institution on top of completing the HR academic requirements. Candidates must also complete examinations in key competency areas and have three years of professional HR experience.
To qualify for the CHRE designation an applicant must first complete a self-assessment detailing their experience, title, education, compensation, and the scale and scope of their contributions. This is followed by a written application which is assessed by a CHRE review panel. The panel looks for strong evidence of high level individual, team and organizational skills.
Within each of these designations HRPA members can specialize in areas such as Training and Development, Compensation, Organizational Development and Labour Relations, for example. HRPA offers professional development and training in each specialization.
CHRPS, CHRLs and CHREs must also maintain their designations through mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and are required to complete 66 hours of CPD every three years.
Employers who recruit a designated HRPA member will be hiring an employee who must adhere to rules of professional conduct and ethics, and who is held accountable for ethical practice by HRPA, whose core mandate, as a regulator, is to protect the public.
To help employers find HR talent, HRPA also provides Hire Authority Canada, the country’s top HR job board.
David Kincaid, founder of Level 5, a strategic brand consultancy, recently published The Value of a Promise Consistently Kept: What I’ve Learned About Managing Brands as Assets. In his book, Kincaid wrote in detail about the ideas, systems and tools that executives must use to create and sustain the value of their brands, and emphasized the contribution that every function and department, including HR, must make to ensure that the promise of the brand is consistently kept.
Employers can look to HRPA to find designated HR professionals at every level of experience who have the skills and commitment to provide HR value to your business.