CPHR professional designation: the AU Advantage

The Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CHPR) designation — Canada’s only professional standard certification —represents 27,000 industry professionals nationwide, across a variety of organizations and is a symbol of a member’s commitment to maintaining a promise of accountability, ethical adherence, and public protection within the HR profession.

One of the professional benefits of your Athabasca University (AU) Bachelor of Management in Human Resources Management (BMgmt HRM) degree, is membership into CPHR Canada via one of its provincial member associations.

NEW for AU: CPHR accreditation-granting rights

How does it apply to you?

As an AU BMgmt HRM graduate, your future CPHR designation represents the continuing recognition of your professionalism and the ongoing human resources management practice of safeguarding the interests of employers, employees, and the business community.

Faculty of Business Dean, Dr. Deborah Hurst, says “The CPHR accreditation program aligns with the university’s mission to transform communities through the development of strong, skilled, and employable leaders, who represent a wide range of industry and who will contribute significantly to Canada’s growing, robust economy. Our learners will now have the opportunity to be included in CPHR’s designation, a top professional standard in Canada.”

CPHR Member benefits 

As a degree recipient of AU’s HRM program, you’ll be entitled to an array of professional privileges tied to gaining your CPHR designation. From increased earning ability (‘CPHRs’ earn more than non-designated HR professionals), to discounted membership fees, to exam-waiving options — as a graduate of AU’s Bachelor of Management Human Resources Management program, the professional benefits to attaining your CPHR are exceptionally attractive.

Exemption from the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) 

As a BMgmt HRM graduate of AU, one of your main advantages with respect to charting your path to CPHR accreditation, is the possibility of exemption from writing the NKE (National Knowledge Exam® — the industry benchmark for ensuring consistency and legitimacy of your academic standards. All AU BMgmt HRM students who graduate, and who achieve an overall cumulative average of a B-letter grade in the program, will be eligible to waive the NKE.

The following criteria are also required:

  1. be an Associate member of your CHPR provincial association, or, b) apply to become one;
  2. have graduated (no earlier than) December 2016 onward; and
  3. possess an overall cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher.

The path to CPHR Designation

As a graduate of AU’s BMgmt HRM degree program, you’ll need to fulfill three basic certification steps:

1. Apply for CPHR Alberta Membership

Your first step to becoming a CPHR is by virtue of your Association membership of CPHR Alberta. If you are a member (either a General or a Student member), you can transfer to an Associate-level membership. If you’re not a member, you need to apply to become one.

2. National Knowledge Exam (NKE)

To prove you have the knowledge required to become a CPHR, you must register for, and pass the National Knowledge Exam ® (NKE). However, as mentioned earlier, exam waivers are available to eligible AU grads who; a) are either members of their CHPR provincial association, or apply and become one; b) have graduated (no earlier than) December 2016 onward (part of CPHR’s grandfather-clause provisioning in relation to AU’s new CPHR accreditation-granting capacity); and, c) who possess an overall cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher.

3) Experience Validation Assessment (EVA)

The last step to achieving your CPHR Designation is by meeting the requirements of the Experience Validation Assessment (EVA)— an assessment that ensures CPHRs have sufficient real-world, professional, experience in their chosen human-resources field.

You have up to 10 years to complete this last EVA step. There are two approaches to completing it:

  • CPHR Candidates with a degree require three years of professional human resources experience to qualify; and,
  • CPHR Candidates without a degree require eight years of professional human resources experience to qualify. Learn more about this here.

Dr. Eric Wang, AU Associate Professor, Finance, notes that most of AU’s BMgmt HRM students are full-time employees alongside their degree studies. As such, he explains, “they are gaining vast HR knowledge and experience that will, in turn, support the expediting of this third, and final, step, in the CPHR-certification process: the EVA.”

To learn more about the path to becoming a CPHR in your province, please visit CPHR Canada.