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May 22, 2014

HRPA to leave Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations

Ontario association will pull out effective June 30
By Liz Bernier
    
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The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has decided to leave the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) — but it hasn’t ruled out rejoining in the future.

HRPA, the Ontario association which recently achieved self-regulated status, has been a member of CCHRA since 1994, according to Philip Wilson, chair of HRPA’s board of directors.

Currently, CCHRA is a group of representatives from eight of the nine provincial human resources associations. Quebec was previously a member, but left in 2010.

HRPA will leave the CCHRA effective June 30.

“For the last couple of years, HRPA has been discussing with CCHRA ways that we believe the council can evolve into an organization that really offers clear and significant value to provincial member associations,” said Wilson.

The need for change became even more acute for HRPA with the passage of Bill 32, which granted the HR profession self-regulated status in Ontario, he said.

“It empowers HRPA to focus basically on upgrading our (CHRP) designation, because now we’re a tier-one association. And that’s a tremendous benefit for our members in Ontario, and it also means that we have to play the role of protection of the public.”

But as it gained self-regulated status, HRPA’s board of directors felt the association was moving in a different direction than CCHRA.

“Basically, we feel that — in the current framework — the resources and the activities that we need to focus on aren’t necessarily the things that CCHRA has in progress or can deliver within their framework,” said Wilson.

Impact on CHRP?

HRPA members may have some questions about the impact this separation may have, particularly in regards to the CHRP designation and its “transferability” between the provinces. But separating from the CCHRA will not affect the designation in any way, said Wilson.

“Leaving CCHRA does not affect the transferability or the mutual recognition of designations across the country in any way. Legally, the provinces have the sole responsibility in this area, and designations can only be dealt with on a province to province basis. For example, we have mutual recognition across the provinces, including Quebec,” he said.

“We don’t see that there will be any impact with the change on our members.”

As it leaves the CCHRA, HRPA will put an even stronger focus on enhancing the designation, said Wilson.

“A lot more emphasis and focus will be put on enhancing the designation for our members, as well as more emphasis in terms of marketing the profession — what I call ‘professionalization of the profession,’ if you wish — and really create a designation that’s seen in the same light as lawyers, doctors and accountants. So that’s where we need to put our effort and focus, and we are working diligently on that.”

HRPA will also continue to share knowledge with the other member associations of CCHRA — particularly knowledge in regards to self-regulation.

“We’ve always taken the position with member associations that we’re willing to share anything and everything that we do,” said Wilson.

“Staff (have) been sharing our experience and lessons learned in terms of the regulatory voyage that we’ve been on. And we will continue to do that.”

And HRPA is not ruling out the possibility of rejoining the CCHRA at some point in the future.

“If at some point in the future, it makes sense for us to rejoin (the CCHRA) — if circumstances change at some future date, we’d be open to reassessing the situation,” he said.

“I am, believe it or not, a firm believer in national associations, so I’m hoping longer-term that we may be able to re-open the door. But I think as it stands today and how they’re organized and what their mandate is, it just doesn’t work for HRPA.”

Reaction from CCHRA

When contacted by Canadian HR Reporter, Cheryl Newcombe, chair of the CCHRA, said the association is not in a position to comment yet because it just received the news about HRPA’s decision.

Canadian HR Reporter is following this story closely. Look for an in-depth look on the HRPA’s decision to pull out of the CCHRA in the June 16 issue. If you have thoughts about this story, or would like to write a letter to the editor, send an email to todd.humber@thomsonreuters.com.

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