New designation responds to growing complexities of global mobility

CERC education program revamped
By Stephen Cryne
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/09/2013

International assignments and relocations have become increasingly complex in recent years, spurred on by the growth in global trade and international regulations. Canadian firms are looking further afield to secure new markets and business opportunities.

This has led to new models of international mobility including commuters, business travellers, short- and long-term assignments, along with the traditional, permanent relocations.

Responding to growing demand for expanded education to meet the challenges and complexities of international mobility, the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) unveiled the Canadian Global Mobility Professional (CGMP) designation earlier this year.

Ensuring the right talent is at the right location at the right time to fulfill mission-critical operations is top of mind for global firms. The CGMP designation is designed to provide relocation professionals with the knowledge, tools and ability to meet a variety of growing global challenges.

“Global mobility is one of the fastest growing areas in HR,” says Charlene Kiszczak, global mobility process improvement specialist at Calgary-based Talisman Energy and a CGMP designation holder.

“Global mobility professionals are more effective when they understand all the pieces that go into relocation.”

Introduced in 2002, CERC’s professional development program is intended to strengthen competencies and establish standard practices and terminologies in the Canadian relocation industry.

The program is offered in partnership with Centennial College in Toronto. It is available in three modules of 14 weeks’ duration through the college’s ebased learning platform.

CERC is responsible for the development and updating of the course curriculum. Course instructors are industry practitioners who hold the CGMP designation.

When it was introduced, the program consisted of three levels of study and to attain the Canadian Employee Relocation Professional (CERP) designation, successful completion of all three levels was required.

Under the new program, each level has its own distinct designation. Successful completion of each level serves as a prerequisite for advancement.

(All current active graduates in level two and level three of the program will automatically be granted the new designations associated with their level.)

CERC Relocation Specialist

In level one, Introduction to Relocation, students gain an understanding of the relocation process, the principles of policy development and program administration. The module also explores the roles of those involved in providing relocation services, and the many terminologies of the relocation profession.

Students must complete assignments and pass mid-term and final exams in each level of the program. Students become a CERC Relocation Specialist upon completing level one.


Level two of the program, Essentials of Domestic Relocation, describes the fundamental steps in the policy development process for moves within Canada. It covers all aspects of domestic program administration, policy evaluation and financial reporting.

Topics in this module include:

• researching and analyzing the environment in which the policy is being developed

• selecting policy entitlements

• testing the selection of components against employer objectives, employee needs and cost considerations.

Students also learn how to communicate the policy in order to gain acceptance from managers and employees. The course also covers human dynamics, delving into the impact of relocation on employees and their families.

Students learn how to identify and respond to the needs of transferees and how to help employees and their families adjust to the changes imposed by relocation. Upon completion of level two, students receive the CERP designation.


In level three, Essentials of International Relocation, the focus switches to the international arena, expanding on the fundamentals covered in the first two levels of the program. Key subject areas of study include international relocation policy development and program administration.

Topics covered include:

• researching and analyzing the environment in which the policy is being developed

• policy entitlements and evaluation

• tax considerations

• immigration

• financial management

• compensation and repatriation.

In the human dynamics section of the course, students learn about the human complexities of moving from one country to another, the cultural challenges expatriates and their families will encounter, and how to respond to expatriates’ transitional needs.

Upon completion of this third and final level, students receive the CGMP designation.

Certification credits are required every three years. Level one requires 20 credits while levels two and three require 30 credits for each designation.

The program has broad appeal outside of Canada. Professionals from other countries who have responsibilities for mobility program management have also enrolled in the program, one of the benefits of online learning.

While the curriculum focuses on mobility and relocation, it also provides transferable skills in project management, policy design and program delivery.

In a world where talent is in great demand, mobility will be an important part of the solution. Employers need professionals who can navigate the complexities of mobility to ensure the right talent is in the right place at the right time.

Stephen Cryne is president and CEO of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) in Toronto, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to removing barriers that restrict mobility and deployment of human capital. He can be reached at, (416) 593-9812 or, for more information, visit


Professional development

Road to global designation


Program course


Level 1

Introduction to Relocation

CERC Relocation Specialist

Level 2

Essentials of Domestic Relocation

CERP (Canadian Employee Relocation Professional)

Level 3

Essentials of International Relocation

CGMP (Canadian Global Mobility Professional)

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