Refining HR’s professional recertification

CCHRA responds to complaints from Ontario members
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/14/2005


he Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations has heard the complaints of Ontario members and responded with changes to the Certified Human Resources Professional recertification process.

The national board of the council agreed in September to remove the restrictions on the continuing education activities that make up part of the professional development requirements members must complete every three years to maintain their CHRP designation.

Members will now be able to obtain all 100 points necessary to recertify solely through continuing education programs. Originally, members could only get 70 points from these activities and had to complete other activities. Aside from ongoing education, CHRP holders can get points for instruction, leadership, new work projects and initiatives and research or publication. Maximums remain for the other development categories. (See examples below.)

The recertification requirements are part of the national standards for the CHRP which came into effect in March. Beginning in 2006, CHRP holders must either complete a three-hour exam or a prescribed amount of professional development. The professional development must be documented in a recertification log and about three per cent of all logs will be audited.

In the months after the process was announced, some members of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPAO) complained about the recertification requirements. Ontario and Quebec are the only two member associations that did not previously require recertification. The issue was addressed at a September meeting of Ontario chapter representatives and the HRPAO executive.

“The meeting was an opportunity for the organization to collect all of the feedback that has come from the chapters, put it together and see the weight of it,” said Jeannie McQuaid, membership director for the Quinte chapter, surrounding Belleville.

“The big one for our chapter, and the one that annoyed our members most, was the capping of the educational credits at 70,” she said.

Getting rid of that limit, along with some further clarification about point allocation, will go a long way to helping members accept the recertification requirements, she said.

“It is just some sensible little things that have, in my opinion, taken the edge off,” she said.

“The chapter presidents were never against recertification,” said Bridget Carter, chapter president of the York chapter, north of Toronto. But many members were unhappy with the process, she added.

For the meeting chapter presidents were asked to complete the log. Carter said she would have qualified. “My points probably would have dropped a bit if I wasn’t on the chapter executive,” she said. However, she also said that with the time not spent on the executive, she would have been able to do other things to acquire points in other ways.

The log itself seems easy to understand and HRPAO has done a lot to communicate with members about how to track their points. The concern is that many members will not worry about it until it comes time to recertify, but they need to pay attention to it now, she said.

The York chapter is trying to assist its members by, among other things, issuing receipts for meeting attendance. The receipts will indicate how many points are granted for attending.

At the September meeting the board also agreed retirees will not have to recertify, provided they maintain their memberships and confirm their retirement status annually.

Recertification activities

Examples provided by HRPAO and the Professional Assessment Resources Centre of the Canadian Council of Human Resources Association.

Continuing Education — Includes seminars, workshops and conferences.

Examples: For an HR manager, attendance at a legislative update provided by a legal firm, would qualify for 1.5 points per hour or 10 points per day.

For a senior level HR professional, attendance at an executive or management development program would qualify for 1.5 points per hour or 10 points per day.

Recertification points can also be achieved for attendance at chapter meetings. Two points per meeting, up to a maximum of 10 can be awarded.

Points can be obtained for completion of post-secondary courses in human resource management with a minimum of 32 hours instruction from an accredited institution (must demonstrate competence in order to obtain credit or “pass”). This may include distance education, continuing education programs, executive or management development programs.

Leadership — Includes such items as mentoring and volunteering.

Examples: Recertification points can be acquired for volunteer work. Ten points are awarded for volunteer participation in a not-for-profit organization and 15 for acting as an HR advisor with a not-for-profit organization.

Members can receive 10 points for committee membership in an HR association (local, provincial, regional or national) for one year with a minimum 20 hours per year for meetings and meeting preparation. Membership on a board is for a minimum of the usual term and/or 24 hours commitment per year is worth 20 points per year.

Maximum 50 points per three-year period.

Instruction — Including corporate trainers and independent consultants.

Example: Developing or presenting a new course, workshop or seminar, for the first time, for a non post-secondary institution, workplace or client would be awarded 1.5 points per hour or 10 points per day. A course delivered at the post-secondary level is worth 30 points. Making a presentation as a guest lecturer is worth five points and being a keynote speaker at a national, provincial or regional conference is worth 10 points.

Maximum 70 points per three-year period.

New work projects — Includes such items as new project work and secondments.

Example: New first time project work as part of a regular position would be awarded 25 points per three-year period. Work activities or projects outside normal job responsibilities and of significant duration that increase business acumen in the area of “professional practice” is worth a maximum 25 points.

Maximum 50 points per three-year period.

Research or Publication — Includes such items as conducting research, being mentored and publication of texts or articles.

Example: An internal or external HR consultant involved in a special research project which culminates in a client report would be awarded 10 points per project.

Conducting research related to HR but not part of normal work requirements, culminating in either a significant client report or an informal published work is worth 10 points per project, and even an unpublished HR-related book review, editorial or article is worth five points. Maximum 50 points per three-year period.

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