Human resources team in boardroom

If you work in Human Resources in Canada, likely at some point you’ve considered or wondered about the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation. Here are some points to consider, based on our experience recruiting for HR positions and working closely with HR professionals as our clients:

What are the benefits of being a CPHR?

The CPHR can be challenging to obtain and sets a higher bar for you as an human resources professional. Being a CPHR also comes with many advantages, as described by CPHR Canada, including: 1) proven expertise, 2) continual learning & leading-edge knowledge, 3) demonstrated commitment to your profession, 4) access to a powerful HR network, 5) a commitment to a professional code of ethics, and 6) often higher compensation.

From the perspective of an employer, the CPHR:

  • gives you more credibility and instills confidence in you as a potential hire.
  • shows you are a well-rounded HR professional, with expertise across nine competency areas and their key functions.
  • demonstrates you have a commitment to ongoing learning and staying on the cutting-edge of current practices and technologies.

Where are you in your career now?

Being a CPHR is rarely a requirement for more junior human resources positions (i.e. HR Coordinator, HR Assistant, etc.). The CPHR could potentially give you a “leg up” for these roles over other candidates, however you should be cognizant of your salary expectations—you may have higher expectations as an CPHR than Coordinator or Assistant roles will provide.

Where do you want your career to go in the future?

The CPHR designation can set you apart as a candidate, and if you want to move into more senior roles in your career, it will in many cases be required by employers. Previously, we typically saw only HR Manager roles and higher asking for CPHR as a requirement, however over the past few years we’ve noticed more HR Generalist roles are also asking for this in their job requirements.

Where do you want to work?

If you have future plans to move to other parts of Canada, the CPHR can help set you up for success. In late 2016, CCHRA (the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations) became CPHR (Chartered Professionals in Human Resources) Canada, and nine provinces and all three territories opted to maintain one designation, CPHR, as the standard (read more). CPHR Canada has an agreement between the Member Associations, which means CPHRs are eligible to have their designation transferred and recognized to another province or territory.

Where to learn more?

  • Explore the information provided on the CPHR Canada website and the Member Association for your province or territory. For Ontario residents, visit the HRPA website.
  • Look at job postings for companies and positions you are interested in—now or in the future— and note which types of roles and employers are asking for this designation.
  • Set up informational interviews with HR professionals in their network. Do they have the CPHR designation? Why or why not? For which jobs or employers have they seen this as a requirement, a “nice to have,” or not needed?
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