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 NKE Exam Central



Registration now open! - June 7, 2014 (NKE) Deadline to register: April 7, 2014.

 Late Registration:  April 8 - April 11, 2014 - $75.00 late fee will apply

New for the June 7, 2014 sitting of the National Knowledge (NKE), registration for the NKE can only be done online. Individuals who are paying by cheque only must contact the Office of the Registrar, to obtain a registration form and register for the exam. The online registration link can be found in the I want to section of this page.

Applicants who wish to be certified by HRPA and earn the right to use the Certified Human Resources Professionals designation must pass the National Knowledge Exam (NKE). The examination requirement was established to ensure that those individuals certified by HRPA have the requisite discipline-specific knowledge to perform in human resources roles at a professional level.  

The NKE is used by all member provinces of the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA).  Nonetheless, HRPA, as the regulatory body with statutory authority in Ontario, remains fully responsible and accountable for the examinations and the examination process carried out on its behalf.

All NKE registrants should review the HRPA Certification Handbook (PDF) in its entirety.

There are no exceptions or alternatives to the exam requirement.  

Exam Content and Delivery

The NKE assesses candidates' understanding of the required professional competencies (RPCs) (PDF) as they relate to academic knowledge. Academic knowledge refers to basic facts, policies, practices, methods, legislation, etc. It is information that can be written into procedures and transferred fairly accurately during the learning process.  Examples of academic knowledge include: the rights and responsibilities of management and labour during union organizing and negotiation processes; the various methods of training and developing staff; and human rights, employment equity and pay equity legislation. 

The NKE's questions are based on the content in the following seven HR-related areas, or functional dimensions, under which the RPCs are organized. The following provides a guideline regarding the extent to which each area of knowledge is emphasized within the NKE:

Functional Dimensions


Professional Practice


Organizational Effectiveness



19.8 %

Employee & Labour Relations


Total Compensation


Organizational Learning, Training & Development


Occupational Health, Safety & Wellness




The NKE consists of 160 multiple choice questions and is available in both French and English. The time limit for the NKE is three hours and fifteen minutes. The exam is administered in paper-and-pencil format in approximately thirty locations across Ontario.  By special arrangement, the NKE may be administered in other locations as well.  There are a number of exam preparation products available in the marketplace.

Information regarding test specifications, item development, item review, item selection and test assembly, scoring the NKE, etc. is available in the HRPA Certification Handbook (PDF) .

Pre-requisites and Eligibility to Write

Applicants be members of HRPA and must meet the CHRP coursework requirement before they are eligible to write the National Knowledge Exam (NKE).  

Proof of a completed degree is not required to write the NKE but it will be required in order to earn the CHRP designation. More information about the degree requirement.

Registration for the NKE does not constitute eligibility to write.  After an applicant has registered and paid the required fee, HRPA staff members confirm whether or not the coursework requirement has been met and is valid.  Individuals who are deemed eligible to write the NKE will receive an "Authorization to Write Letter" by email approximately one month prior to the NKE administration date. Individuals who register for the NKE under the conditions of the late transcript policy and who are deemed eligible will receive an "Authorization to Write Letter" by email approximately one week prior to the NKE administration date. Applicants who do not meet the coursework requirement will be refunded the NKE registration fee, less an administrative fee of $50.

Transcript Assessment and Transcript Submission Form and Fee

Individuals using the course by course method to meet the coursework requirement must submit complete academic transcripts including final grades for all nine required courses. Individuals submitting their first transcript in support of the CHRP coursework requirement must complete and submit the Transcript Submission Form (PDF) and pay the one-time transcript processing fee of $75.00 plus HST. This is a one-time fee paid only with the submission of the member's first transcript and will cover the processing of any and all subsequent transcripts. HRPA will not accept applications and transcripts that arrive after the deadline, including those that have been mailed before the deadline.

New - the Transcript Submisson Form (online) can now be completed and submitted online. Individuals are still required to submit a transcript including their final grades for all nine required courses by mail to HRPA.

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. NKE registrants must submit transcripts before or at the time of registration.

Transcripts must be original documents. Photocopies, web printouts, scanned, emailed copies and faxes will not be accepted as official documentation. Transcripts may be forwarded 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 their member profile.

It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for transcripts to be assessed. Upon receipt of transcripts for an active member, an email confirming receipt of the transcripts is sent, and an email is sent once the assessment is complete and the member can view the results of the assessment in their online educational record.

Individuals applying via the Alternate Route to meet the coursework requirement must apply for the Alternate Route assessment before registering to write the NKE.  *Please note that in order to be eligible to write the NKE on June 7, 2014, your Alternate Route application must be submitted on or before March 31, 2014.*

Original transcripts for active members can be mailed or couriered to:

HRPA - Attention: Office of the Registrar - Transcripts
150 Bloor Street West
Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2X9

Testing Dates, Application Deadlines and Fees

HRPA has a Late Transcript Policy that allows individuals to register for the NKE before submitting final grades for the required courses. A transcript with the courses completed to date must be submitted at the time of registration, however final grades for courses still in progress can be submitted by the late transcript deadline. For more information view HRPA's Late Transcript Policy and Form (PDF).

Registration deadlines fall approximately eight weeks prior to the exam date. Applicants are responsible for knowing the registration deadlines. Applicants may register for the NKE online only.

Examination Date

​Registration Deadline



​Nov 2, 2013

​Sept. 3, 2013

​Sept. 4 - 6, 2013

Oct 18, 2013

​June 7, 2014

​April 7, 2014

April 8 - 11, 2014

​May 23, 2014

​Nov 1, 2014 ​Sept 2, 2014 ​Sept 3 - 5, 2014 ​October 17, 2014

HRPA will not accept any exam registrations beyond the above posted dates, regardless of the circumstances. This includes registrations mailed before the deadline. Registrations must be received at HRPA offices before the end of day (5:30 pm) on the registration deadline date. Registrants who miss the deadline will be required to register for the next NKE administration.

The cost to register for the NKE is $275 + HST.  There is a 3-day late registration period after the registration deadline during which members may register for the exam for an additional fee of $75.00 + HST.

Special Accommodation Requests

HRPA has developed an Accommodations Policy to provide reasonable testing accommodations for candidates with documented disabilities.  Reasonable accommodation refers to any adjustment to the examination materials or testing environment that permits a qualified applicant with a disability to perform without undue hardship to the institution providing accommodation. Documented disabilities are those for which there is a diagnosis by a qualified professional.

The purpose of accommodations is to provide equity, not advantage. Any requested modification that would substantially alter essential elements of the examination will not be granted. 

Accommodation of Religious Observance

Requests for religious accommodation must be made at the time of registration.  For those who cannot write the exam on a Saturday, the alternate test day is the Monday following the Saturday test date. 

Deferrals, Withdrawals and No-Shows / Medical and Personal Emergencies

Please see the Office of the Registrar Policies for information on Deferrals, Withdrawals and No-shows and Medical and Personal Emergencies.