New executive, new phase for CCHRA

With a new executive and new funding from HRDC, the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) has moved into the home stretch of its drive for national standards for the CHRP.

In this the fourth and final phase of the design, a small project team will be working with the CCHRA to pick up where the third phase finished up late last year.

The third phase proved the concept works, now all they have to do is flesh it out a bit, said Dennis Low, the new president of the CCHRA. “And the intention after phase four is to start rolling things out.”

During the third phase, 50 of the required professional capabilities or RPCs were tested in a pilot project in Nova Scotia. The RPCs form the competency model that will sit at the core of the national standards.

This new work will define the remaining capabilities and test them on about 100 people across the country, said Ian Turnbull, president-elect of the CCHRA and the chair of the National
Standards Steering Committee.

“There is no final timeline on it yet but it will probably take six months to conduct it,” he said. Getting under way early in the New Year, the work should be wrapped up early in 2002.

The one significant change between phases three and four will be the greater emphasis on a knowledge component. Late in stage three, the council ran into problems when it became clear some of the members weren’t happy with the model that was being developed, concerned there was an over-emphasis on experiential testing through the RPCs and not enough weight given to education requirements.

There was good healthy debate, said Low. “The discussion wasn’t always healthy but we had a good turn last year,” he said.

Different personalities came aboard, with different perspectives that led to more productive meetings and eventually a unanimous consensus that adding a knowledge-based component would be a good thing, said Low.

Also important for allowing the council to move forward with phase four was obtaining more funding from HRDC.

“We were a little bit concerned with what was happening in the papers about HRDC and how it might affect us,” said Turnbull, also a representative of the International Association of Human
Resources Information Management (IHRIM).

But the council was given a full audit by HRDC and given very high marks for how it had conducted earlier phases.

Other items on the agenda for 2001? Low wants to make sure the specialist member organizations of the council, like WorldatWork, IHRIM and the International Personnel Management Association – Canada (IPMA) are deriving value from membership in the CCHRA. The lion’s share of the council’s time has been dedicated to developing the standard, important but not as much so for members in these associations.

“We want to ensure that this year they have a sense of involvement and value-added for their membership,” said Low. Plans to achieve this include presenting more shared events and educational opportunities.

And at the February meeting of the council, the board will vote on rejoining the North American Human Resource Management Association (NAHRMA). It provides members with best practices, views and experiences from an international perspective as insights.

CHRP phase four
Stage I — Assessment Standards Project:
•the development of comprehensive examinations to test knowledge in eight HR functional areas;
•the revision of a further 153 required professional capabilities in behavioural terms;
•the validation of the capabilities approach to certification will sample 100 candidates;
•the assessment of participant reactions to the national certification process.

Stage II — Virtual Assessment Centre Development:
•develop an implementation plan for associations agreeing to be early adopters of the national certification process;
•conduct product acceptance and market pricing with member associations and business community; and
•develop a national accreditation marketing plan and financial feasibility model of the project.

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