CHRP needs experience, business education: Survey

4 in 10 HR professionals want to increase designation rigour

The Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation should measure and reflect more than the minimum of HR competence, according to a new survey by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) of Ontario and Canadian HR Reporter.

The survey, second in a series, asked more than 1,100 HR professionals at which level of competence the designation should be aimed. The majority of respondents (51 per cent) say the CHRP should be aimed “somewhat above” the minimum level of competence required of an HR professional, while 33.4 per cent say it should be aimed “well above” the minimum.

However, because there are so many disciplines in HR, the CHRP can’t speak to any level of competency in a particular area, said Mark Wagner, HR manager of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Western Region.

“It speaks to the code of ethics, it speaks to some degree of study, but I don’t consider it a guarantee of anything,” said Wagner from London, Ont. “Having one designation covering all levels of HR functions with one set of criteria might not accurately represent what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Wagner would like to see either a two-tiered designation, one for junior practitioners and one for senior practitioners, or a CHRP with a specialty in a particular area of HR for which there would be rigorous testing.

The survey also asked respondents if they think the requirements for attaining the designation need to be more stringent, with 41.3 per cent saying they are content with the status quo and 43.1 per cent saying it should be harder to get the CHRP.

“It shouldn’t be a simple thing to get. You really want people who can come into your business who can really be seen as experts, not just in HR practices but in business period,” said Laurie Neave, who used to work as a general manager for Bell Canada in Mississauga, Ont., and is now working toward her CHRP.

The majority of respondents want the CHRP requirements to include longer and more senior experience (56.7 per cent and 35.5 per cent respectively). Respondents also want requirements for stronger academic preparation in business (32.9 per cent) and in HR (27.6 per cent).

“If you really truly want people to be HR professionals in the new world, you need to have that balance of business skills and business experience along with your HR practices,” said Neave.

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