To be certified by HRPA, and earn the right to use the Certified Human Resources Professionals designation, applicants must have a sufficient foundation of discipline-specific knowledge. Coursework is not the only way of acquiring this foundation of discipline-specific knowledge; however, because coursework is the main way in which this requirement is met, it is known as the ‘coursework’ requirement.
The coursework requirement is established under the statutory authority conferred to the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) pursuant to the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario Act, 1990. Section 4(1)(a) of the Act gives HRPA the statutory authority to “prescribe the curriculum and the courses of study to be pursued by the students and candidates in order to satisfy the academic requirements of any particular registration.”
There are two alternative ways of meeting the coursework requirement: the course-by-course approach and the alternate route.
The Course by Course Approach
The coursework requirement consists of successful completion of nine courses. Successful completion means obtaining a grade of 70% or better over all nine courses with no single course below 65%. Courses must be completed within ten years of registering to write the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) to be considered for eligibility. The nine required courses are:
- Human Resources Management (HRM)
- Organizational Behaviour
- Finance and Accounting
- Human Resources Planning
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Training and Development
- Labour Relations
- Recruitment and Selection
There are various ways of getting credit for these nine courses:
- approved courses offered by colleges and universities across Ontario,
- courses offered by the Association,
- challenge exams offered by the Association,
- other forms of course equivalency, or
- any combination of the above.
For more information regarding required grades and multiple courses to achieve a single total credit for a subject area, advanced standing and approval of non approved courses, please consult the HRPA Certification Handbook.
Members are encouraged to submit transcripts to the association as soon as they complete each required course. HRPA tracks a member's progress in meeting the coursework requirement in our membership database. National Knowledge Exam registrants must submit transcripts before or at the time of registration. Transcripts must be original documents. Photocopies, web printouts and faxes will not be accepted as offical documentation. Transcripts may be fowarded to HRPA directly by an educational institution at the request of a member, however members are responsible for ensuring that the correct surname appears on the transcript so it can be matched to the member's profile.
Individuals who are unable to submit original transcripts at the time of registration for the National Knowledge Exam or who have courses in progress, may be able to utilize HRPA's Late Transcript Policy. View the Office of the Registrar Policies section of the website for specific details.
The Alternate Route
The Alternate Route is an alternative way of meeting the coursework requirement in order to qualify to write the NKE. The Alternate Route is points-based and gives credit for experience and other relevant achievements. The Alternate Route is deemed an equivalent foundation for HR professionals although there may be more gaps in this background.
Candidates need to accumulate 50 points or more through the Alternate Route in order to qualify to write the NKE. *Please note that in order to be eligible to write the NKE on June 1, 2013, your Alternate Route application must be submitted on or before March 29, 2013*
There are two kinds of Alternate Route applications. One kind is referred to as ‘adjudicative’; it is when a judgment or determination has to be made, and includes applications which involve the evaluation of experience. The second kind includes applications that are straightforward and involve only the verification of documentation.
Alternate route applications that do not require evaluation or determination are processed by the Registrar. Alternate route applications that require evaluation or determination are processed by the Certification Committee. The Certification Committee sits in panels of two. (Decisions of the panels are deemed decisions of the Committee)
Internationally Educated Professionals will often find that the alternate route is their quickest path to the designation. Experience need not be Canadian experience as long as it meets the criteria of (1) being HR experience and (2) at a professional level. The experience must have occurred within the last ten years to count towards the experience requirement and the individual must have worked in HR within the last two years. View the right hand side menu for options relevant to the achievement of the coursework requirement.
Alternate Route and the HRPA Professional Experience Requirement
Both the Alternate Route and the Validation of Experience give credit for experience. The experience requirements have been harmonized in the sense that the definition and criteria for experience are the same in the Alternate Route and in the Validation of Experience
It is the case that the same experience be used to qualify for the NKE and count towards the experience requirement. If in the context of an Alternate Route application an individual is deemed to have three or more years of experience in HR at a professional level, this person will also have been deemed to have met the experience requirement. For someone with three or more years of experience in HR at a “professional level”, it is possible to qualify for the NKE and meet the experience requirement at the same time.
The experience must have occurred within the last ten years to count towards the experience requirement and the individual must have worked in HR within the last two years. Individuals need to review the alternate route application for the definition of "professional level" experience and the definition of HR work.
Individuals with questions regarding the coursework requirement are encouraged to contact the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org