Licensing in HR: A polarizing issue (Analysis)

Veteran professionals less likely to favour licensing
By Claude Balthazard
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/11/2009

In the various Pulse Surveys that have been conducted so far, there has typically been a broad range of opinion. This time we have a polarized set of opinions — the topic of licensing has relatively few fence-sitters.

Consider the main question: Should licensure be a long-term objective for the profession? Almost one-half (48 per cent) agree, almost as many (43.7 per cent) disagree and only a handful (8.3 per cent) have a neutral opinion.

Those respondents in favour of licensing most often cite the need to ensure standards of competence and accountability. A number of respondents see licensing as the logical next step for the HR profession. Some think licensing would lead to increased compensation for HR professionals. Several respondents feel licensing is necessary to maintain the independence of the profession against regulation by other regulating bodies. Some feel licensing would give HR extra clout in dealing with unethical employment practices in organizations.