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EDITOR'S BLOG
Feb 25, 2013

CHRP needs more love… from HR

One-third of HR professionals don't think designation is credible, finds recent Pulse Survey
    

By Todd Humber

I am not a human resources professional, nor do I play one on TV. Or in a newspaper — or a blog, for that matter.

So when it comes to the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, my perspective falls more as an “outsider” point of view — though certainly more than a decade of covering the profession as a journalist gives me a bit of HR street cred.

Without doubt, one statement I can make about the designation is this: HR professionals are passionate about it.

Mention the CHRP in HR company and, more likely than not, you’ll get an earful ranging from how great and unappreciated it is to how it’s an irrelevant waste of time — with more people in the former rather than the latter camp.

Survey looks at CHRP’s progress

The Pulse Survey we conducted confirmed that passion — more than 1,000 people from across the country responded to offer their thoughts. (See “HR split on CHRP’s progress,” on page 1 of the Feb. 25, 2013, issue of Canadian HR Reporter.)

The survey, put together in partnership with the Toronto-based Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), was designed to give a snapshot of how “credible, valued and recognized” HR professionals think their designation is.

You can see a chart of many of the responses on page 8 of that issue, and you can read Claude Balthazard’s interpretation of the results here — Balthazard is vice-president of regulatory affairs at the HRPA, so anyone looking to read the tea leaves of what associations are thinking would be wise to read his take.

One thing I found fascinating from the survey results is how HR professionals think other people view the CHRP. Nearly seven in 10 think the designation is “very highly” or “quite” credible among their HR colleagues.

About six in 10 think people who hire HR professionals find the CHRP to be credible, compared to only 20 per cent of the public at large.

The takeaway from those results would undoubtedly be that HR thinks 80 per cent of the public doesn’t consider the designation credible and, therefore, that’s where the emphasis needs to go in order to elevate the CHRP to the level of the accounting designations. (Or at least the perceived level it has among HR professionals, who — according to the survey — think the CHRP is only about one-half as credible.)

But I took away something different from the results — I find it more telling that 30 per cent of HR professionals don’t think their colleagues find the CHRP designation credible.

Insurmountable hurdles

It brings to mind that notion of, “If you don’t love yourself, who will?”

If nearly one in three HR professionals aren’t on board with trumpeting the designation’s value, that’s an insurmountable hurdle to overcome in getting the public to respect the CHRP more.

Chartered accountants spend a lot of money advertising their designation, and the benefits of working with CAs and CMAs, to the general public.

But if one-third of accountants bad-mouthed the designation, or didn’t think it was credible, it would sink those expensive campaigns pretty quickly.

The CHRP has come a long way in its relatively short history. But if it’s going to move to the next level in the eyes of all Canadians, HR professionals need to stand unified behind it.

The fact they’re not means more tweaking is probably in order — and more work needs to be done to spread the gospel within the HR community itself.

Todd Humber is the managing editor of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. He can be reached at todd.humber@thomsonreuters.com or visit www.hrreporter.com for more information.

© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.
    
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COMMENTS
Not the same as other professional designations
Friday, March 01, 2013 10:27:00 AM
It's far too easy to obtain a CHRP, which means there are many people who have one that shouldn't and therefore has little value.

I often compare the CHRP to a CFA designation. When someone has their CFA, you can typically assume that individual is sharp and has a certain level of expertise. The exams are gruelling and pass rates are not high.

This is not the case with a CHRP. Obtaining the CHRP should require the same rigour as a CFA designation if it wants to become credible.
Agree CHRP Unfair
Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:14:00 AM
I, too, agree that the designation is unfair for all the same reasons as given in the other comments. When I first heard of the rule change, I must say I was blown away when the degree did not have to be in HR...no formal university HR training required...now that's interesting! And all those other HR professionals (yes, professionals!) with other valid HR training and experience - too bad! What makes them think that someone with no formal HR training would be a better candidate for a professional HR designation than someone with valid HR training from other non-university programs - I don't get it.
Criticism of member card off the mark
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:14:00 PM
Re the comment "CHRP on a VISA Card - Really", that's an unfair dig. It's not a Visa card, the HRPA has got Visa to offer a rewards card where companies can put money on the card (for example an HR tech firm could give you $10 as a promo for demo-ing their software) and the HRPA member then can spend anywhere -- it's a prepaid debit card. Instead of complaining you should recognize HRPA is trying to give out a free perk.
CHRP not a true indicator if excellence
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:50:00 AM
I am in stark agreement with the comments posted here, and in vehement disagreement with the CHRP designation as a process.

It is completely unreliable as an indicator of a paticular standard of HR knowledge. CHRP is trying to force the profession in a certain direction and frankly the results of this excersise of changing the requirements to obtain a designation has left an indellible black mark on the profession.

Comparatively speaking, take a recent university graduate who has obtained their CHRP, the “standard of excellence” in HR. This recent grad, has a degree in an unrelated discipline and may or may not be able to float the muddy waters of HR. How well will this person fare when asked to negotiate a collective agreement?

Now a diploma holding HR professional with 10+ years experience, and specialist certificates in Labour Relations and Occupational Health and Safety was a candidate for the same position as the CHRP designate above, yet wasn’t even granted an interview because she did not meet the minimum requirements of the position by not being able to obtain a CHRP designation as she will never have the option to do so without a university degree.

I think the focus needs to be widespread on educating employers that the CHRP designation is not even close to being essential to fulfill the requirements of a competent Human Resources position. It seems that employers have taken the designation as a Fad, and thrown it into every conceivable position from a Generalist Right up to an HR Director. Maybe the influence exists from CHRP holders who tout the value of the designation, which for them may be valid but employers need to consider how their candidate ranks against the realistic job preview and will be able to handle the incredibly complex world of HR, taking into account experience, specialized education in an HR field, and personal ability rather than the flimsy support which a CHRP designation provides.
CHRP Unfair
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:37:00 PM by Anne
I think anyone who has an HR Certificate or Diploma and passed the NKE, should automatically get the CHRP designation. I have a college diploma in Business and a Human Resources Post Graduate Certificate. I passed the program on the Dean's honour list and a year later, wrote the NKE and Passed!! I have HR experience as the Office Manager of a medical clinic and yet I can never hold a CHRP designation. I can only say that I am a CHRP Candidate.

Most of the people interviewing me as HR managers have not even written the NKE. A couple of HR managers I know just moved up in the company and have no schooling. Shortly after, I signed up for the program, they changed the requirements. I have friends who are CHRP and do not have a university degree but now that no longer applies to me. That is why the designation means nothing. As am employer you do not know what you are really getting. Someone who lucked up and graduated before the change or someone who really has a degree. This change is what hurt the profession and I imagine enrollment will be declining in the future.

The whole thing is unfair and makes people like me, without a degree feel that the CHRP Title is a scam that all depends on when you took the course.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:16:00 PM
HRPAO has been THE prime mover in dragging down the designation to it's current state. It has fought the other provinces & CCHRA to constantly move the yardsticks.

It forced dropping the NPPA. It forced the addition of a degree requirement (in ANYTHING at all!). It has minimized the value by telling those renewing: "Don't worry about recertification. All you have to do is attend the conference every year and go to a few chapter meetings."

It has refused to let the national body, CCHRA, represent the face of the profession in Canada. In comparison, do we hear about the Ontario Engineers or the Alberta CGAs, or Nova Scotia doctors? No, in each case those professions present a national image.

Credibility has to be earned. HRPAO has not earned it, and the rest of the provincial associations carry their share of the blame for allowing that to happen.
Attaining CHRP a mess
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:04:00 PM
I agree that attaining the CHRP designation is a mess. Now you are required to have a degree (to write the NKE in Ontario). Those of us who only have a diploma are out of luck. I was lucky and made the deadline in October 2010 to write the NKE.

There are different rules for those working towards their experience requirement as well. Those without a degree who made the 2009 NKE deadline, need to get 3 solid years of HR experience (at the appropriate level) within 5 years of writing the NKE. But those with a degree have 10 years to get their 3 years of solid HR experience.

That doesn't seem fair to me. It seems like we are being discriminated against because we do not hold a degree.
HR is not a profession
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:48:00 PM by Steve McKenna
HR practitioners should search for an article published in the Harvard Business Review in 2010 - Harv Bus Rev. 2010 Jul-Aug;88(7-8):52-60, 169 — "No, management is not a profession."

Substitute "HR management" for "management" and get close to a correct answer. While some HR practitioners and particularly the profession-driven zealots crave for self-esteem and recognition, "real" HR practitioners are getting on with the job of being creative, imaginative and legally compliant in their HR practice.

More surveillance by a "professional" body seeking to force HR practitioners to submit to the preferences and definitions of a group of so-called "experts" limits rather than liberates the potential of HR to add-value.
CHRP does not add value for me...
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:43:00 PM
I am not surprised at all on reviewing the results of the survey!

I am a HR professional with 25+ years experience. After a number of years working in corporate environments, I started a HR consulting business. Over the last 10+ years, not one of my clients has ever asked about, or requested, a CHRP designation.

After jumping through ridiculous hoops and attaining the CHRP designation for a few years, I dropped it.
CHRP on a VISA Card - Really
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:41:00 PM
What other organization issues it's members their member ID's on a VISA card? Come on HRPA you want to be taken seriously? What type of royalties to you receive from this organization? So now I am a CHRP with a VISA.... Like I needed another one....
Requirements a joke
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:31:00 PM
Changing requirements every few years to enhance the credibility is pitiful. A few years ago, a friend travelled to B.C. to obtain her CHRP and moved back to Ontario with the credentials.

Even now the requirements are a joke. If I complete a degree in enginnering and decide to study for a month or two to learn terminolgy — I can become a CHRP candidate.

Meanwhile, the HR professional with the HR Diploma or Certificate plus multiple years of experience can not obtain designation without going back to school for a degree.

Logically - it doesn't make sense.
CHRP is a bit of a mess
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:04:00 PM
I'm not surprised to see how many people don't think the CHRP is a credible designation.

The whole thing is a mess. The requirements aren't standard nationally... a CHRP in Ontario isn't the same as a CHRP in Manitoba. Even within Ontario, the HRPA has changed the requirements on a dime. A CHRP from just a few years ago may not even necessarily have any experience... someone granted a CHRP now would need several years of experience. That kind of change made overnight is going to be ruinous for its credibility.

The management of the designation has been a complete and utter mess. It's going to take a lot of time and a real, concerted effort by the HRPA to fix its perception.