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 or visit for more information.

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Todd Humber

Todd Humber is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. Follow him on Twitter @ToddHumber
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