HRPA History​


Over the course of 2016, HRPA gained significant ground toward achieving our strategic goal of professionalization of HR. Our competency framework – the newest in the world – was accepted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as the basis for establishing a working group for developing a standardized global framework for HR. We are now chairing that ISO working group. We enhanced our regulatory process in several ways, including the introduction of computer-based testing (CBT), we successfully introduced the CHRP and CHRL Employment Law and the Job Ready program. In the first triennial review by the Office of Fairness Commissioner on the transparency, objectivity, impartiality, and fairness of our registration practices, we received a perfect score. We helped pass Bill 27, which renders HR professionals registered with HRPA who conduct investigations as consultants or as employees fully exempt from the Private Security and Investigation Services Act, 2005 (PSISA). We launched the new DNA 360 Needs Analysis tool and delivered a 400-level HR program at York University. Through our marketing efforts, surveys by LegerWeb show that awareness and acceptance of our designations among business leaders grew from 58% to 84%, and now 70% of business leaders report they have greater confidence in HR to get the job done because of these designations. Three quarters of business leaders have a favourable view of HRPA, both as a professional association and as a regulator.


Over 2015, HRPA finished up the inspirational objectives set out in its 2012 strategic plan and began transitioning to its new strategy and work of building the HR profession. This included transitioning from the original CHRP designation to the new CHRP, CHRL and CHRE certifications: replacing the old NKE exam with new CKE 1 and CKE 2 exams; developing new designation curricula; and working towards a global body of HR knowledge based on common standards. The new competency framework and designations resulted in seven percent membership growth. Last year HRPA continued its regulatory development by developing a professionalization plan to achieve full compliance with the regulatory requirements in the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013, as well as introducing a risk-based approach to professional regulation. The Association also continued its public policy work, releasing several whitepapers making recommendations around workplace issues such as Employment Standards Act updates and the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.



This was a milestone year for HRPA and its work to "professionalize" the HR profession. Following the passage of the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013, HRPA introduced an updated HR competency framework and three new tiered designations: the entry level Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), the professional-level Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), and the executive-level Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE). The new model is a competency based framework that not only specifies  an updated body of HR knowledge reflecting the needs of today's organizations but the ability to apply that knowledge—similar to other top tier professions including law or engineering. The Association also continued expanding its influence with stakeholders, working with partners like the Great West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace to help organizations build and promote psychologically safe workplaces. Over 2014, HRPA also continued its research activities, releasing papers on unpaid internships; employee engagement as an HR metric; workplace compassionate care leave policies, as well as a whitepaper on the need for apprenticeship reform in Ontario.



After three attempts in as many years, in 2013 HRPA succeeded in passing the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013—legislation that replaced the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario Act, 1990, better protects the public and reflects the changing realities in the workplace over the last 23 years and the evolving importance of the association’s HR professionals. In line with HRPA’s development as a Tier 1 regulator, it also update​d its whole complaints, investigation and appeals processes to ensure transparency throughout. To enrich the member experience, HRPA new professional development options including Workshops (intensive, hands-on and personalized PD) and HR Broadcasts (HRPA’s in-class HR education live-streamed to members or chapters across the province.) Over 2013, HRPA continued to establishing itself as a go-to resource for HR opinion and thought leadership, consulting on 2013 provincial budget, Bill 21-the Employment Standards Amendment Act, and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s “Canadian Experience” policy, among other initiatives. Membership grew to 20,403.



In 2012, HRPA released CanadaWorks 2025—a report, co-authored with Deloitte, examining the future of work and how decisions made today around education, immigration, employment and industry investment will dictate the country’s fortunes in 2025. The report attracted significant media coverage and caught the attention of government. HRPA also consulted on the Ontario government’s Family Caregiver Leave legislation; rolled out six Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) educational videos and created a Cultural Competency Training program to help organizations hire, retain and promote internationally educated professionals. HRPA also did much to bolster its regulatory framework, including introducing an enhanced Public Register (including details on members’ discipline history and conditions) and developed a Professional Regulation Practices Audit, published a regulatory framework document, updated policies around the complaints process, rules of procedure and hearings guidelines for HRPA’s discipline committee. Membership grew to 19,617.



In 2011, HRPA started work fulfilling the goals for a new strategic plan focused on supporting members’ careers and future-proofing their capabilities. HRPA introduced three new programs to enrich the member experience: Career GPS (a new tool that lets members track their progress and shows them how to advance professionally), HRPA Edge (an HR internship program for recent grads), and Mentor Scout (an online mentor matching tool that opens up the entire HRPA membership as potential mentors and protégés). HRPA expanded its professional development with certificate programs and Executive in the City leadership development programming. Lastly, in 2011 HRPA moved its offices from its longtime location at Toronto’s Yonge and Bloor to a new 16,000 sq. ft. space at 150 Bloor Street West to accommodate the Association’s growing classroom requirements. Membership grew to 19,441.​



Key 2010 HRPA accomplishments included tabling a new, updated public act for the Association at Queen’s Park; overhauling HRPA’s board and Chapter governance processes; creating a Career Ladder guide (and the professional development to support it) to help members progress in their career paths; and reconstituting the Human Resources Research Institute (HRRI)—a body that funds awards, scholarships and empirical research which have clear application to HR practice. The Association rolled out the Water Cooler—an online social media tool connecting members from across the province; and it introduced a new online Resource Centre, a searchable portal linking members to HRPA’s entire HR knowledgebase, plus access to relevant external links including the Ministry of Labour website, Canadian HR Reporter and legal opinion databases from several large employment law firms. Membership grew to 19,094.



To help engage HRPA’s senior membership, in 2009 the Association introduced the Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designation—an experiential designation recognizing high-impact HR leadership. It continued bolstering its regulatory role by creating an online Office of the Registrar, with a searchable register of members. It upgraded the CHRP designation by reintroducing an experience requirement. And HRPA made big gains as a trusted advisor to government, working with the Ontario government on implementing workplace requirements for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act; consulting on Bill 168—workplace violence legislation; and working closely with government on HRPA’s own study “Accelerating the Integration of Internationally Educated Human Resources Professionals​.” Membership grew to 18,260.



In an effort to create a brand that’s relevant to audiences everywhere, HRPAO changes its name to the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). The Office of the Registrar is expanded as part of HRPA's regulatory framework. The Rules of Professional Conduct are introduced, setting guidelines for the professional practice of HR. The inaugural HR Summit Awards—the first awards program celebrating HR excellence—is held in Toronto. HRPA extends its executive programming with its Executive Roundtables series. HRPA partners with York University's Schulich School of Business on a Masters Certificate in Business Leadership for Human Resources Professionals. Membership surpasses 17,400.



As part of its commitment to sustainability, HRPAO produces its first zero-waste annual conference. is launched as an HR resource portal. HRPAO introduces PD in a Box, a professional development program to assist chapters to deliver consistent, high-quality learning events. CHRP Evening Academic Program enrollment surpasses 800 and more than 2,000 members register for NKE/NPPA exams. In terms of government relations and advocacy, HRPAO obtains member exemptions from amendments to Bill 14, Access to Justice Act; it intervened at the Supreme Court of Canada on the issue of doctor’s notes in attendance management programs in Keays vs Honda Canada Inc.; and consulted with the Ontario government on the issue of mandatory retirement. Membership tops 16,400.



HRPAO launches The Executive Forum, an invitation-only program for C-level managers to discuss emerging HR issues. HRPAO and SHRM (the U.S. HR association) partner on their first-ever joint conference. The association authors a landmark white paper on Emergency Preparedness. HRPAO holds its inaugural Volunteer Leadership Conference to honour the contributions of its hundreds of  volunteers. Membership reaches 14,437, including 6,242 CHRPs.



HRPAO delivers 125 professional development events and attendance at its annual conference reaches 3,000 for the first time. Several joint initiatives are launched, including the HR and Compensation Committee (HRCC) module from the Directors College, a partnership between The Conference Board of Canada and McMaster’s DeGroote Business School; The Ultimate HR Manual, in co-operation with CCH; and Human Rights @ Work, in partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Membership reaches 13,752.



HRPAO provides new tools to assist members with HR career development. The association adopts a new logo, brand and tag line: “shaping organizational excellence.” The Board of Directors develops new strategic directions to make HRPAO the premier human resources association in Canada, sought out for knowledge, innovation and leadership.



HRPAO presents a strong vision of a growing dynamic professional association. Membership increases by more than nine per cent and new programs are introduced to meet changing needs of HR professionals. In collaboration with the other HR associations across Canada at the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations, the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) becomes a national designation.



HRPAO strengthens the Certified Human Resources Professional designation (CHRP) with the introduction of national portability, periodic recertification and a degree requirement to come into effect in 2011.



Membership grows 10 per cent to over 11,000. HRPAO launches several online member services including a new website, online membership directory, online event registration, online member profile, and online news and information services. A major focus on student member recruitment is launched.



HRPAO reaches its goal of 10,000 members. The Association makes significant inroads in its advocacy work at the provincial and federal government level, and with partners in education and business, in promoting the role of HR in Canadian business. HRPAO becomes the second professional association in Ontario to achieve ISO 9002 certification. The Board of Directors initiates a strategic planning process to move the organization forward in new directions over the next ten years.



Membership grows by 15 per cent to a total of 9,376. More than 1300 attend HRPAO's 1999 annual conference. CHRP members increase.



Hire Authority’s first year boasts more than 1800 job postings and 550 candidate searches. The association provides new member benefits such as the affinity credit card program. The number of members achieving their CHRP continues to grow.



The Human Resources Professionals Association of York Region joins HRPAO. The association launches the Hire Authority—an HR job board—and the new HRPAO Resource Centre offers members personalized information/research services.



The Human Resources Professionals Association of Halton joins HRPAO.



HRPAO partners with the Human Resources Research Institute to promote and disseminate HR research.



PAT changes its name to the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, and under an act of the Ontario Legislature, the Human Resource Professional of Ontario Act, 1990, it is recognized as the body to grant and regulate the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. Five more member associations and the Toronto Region join: Personnel Association of Hamilton; Human Resources Professionals of Kent; Owen Sound Personnel Association; Sudbury Personnel Association; and Timmins & District Personnel Association. The association begins to phase-in its professional designation—the Human Resources Professional (HRP).



Membership is 4,341 members with 23 member associations in addition to the Toronto Region. Approximately half are in the Toronto Region, with the rest distributed among the Member Associations across the province.



There were 21 Chapters: Barrie and District Personnel Association; Central Erie Management Association; Chatham and District Personnel Association; Durham Region Personnel Association; Grand Valley Personnel Association; Guelph Personnel Association; Kingston and District Personnel Association; Lakeshore Personnel Association; London and District Personnel Association; Niagara District Personnel Association; North Bay and Area Personnel Association; Ottawa Personnel Association; Oxford Personnel Association; Peel Personnel Association; Quinte Personnel Association; Sarnia and District Personnel Association; Sault Ste. Marie and District Personnel Association; St. Lawrence Valley Personnel Association; Personnel Association of Toronto; Weston and, Human Resources Professionals Association of Windsor.



The Personnel Association of Toronto (PAT) incorporates with the Personnel Association of Ontario—a founding group of 15 Member Associations. PAT develops its own internal accreditation, the Certificate in Personnel Management.



Led by the London Personnel Association, a steering committeee was formed to draft guidelines and possible modus operandi for a formal association for Ontario.



The PAT Centre is established at 2 Bloor Street West. This centre immediately proves useful as a place to hold seminars.



PAT's first woman president, Mrs. D.M. Hinchey is elected.



PAT celebrates its 25th anniversary with 514 members. The By-laws stated: "The objects of this Association shall be to further sound personnel practices and to encourage constructive employer- employee relations." By-laws, Article II.



Pete Peterson becomes PAT's first full-time manager, and PAT's first permanent headquarters is located at 134 Bloor Street West.



The first member bulletin, The PAT Reporter is established. The association broadens its activities, including conducting its first seminar.



PAT hires its first salaried employee.



The second annual personnel conference, sponsored by PAT, is held at the Royal York Hotel. PAT (Personnel Association of Toronto) membership reaches 167 individuals from 104 different companies.



PAT holds its first personnel conference, co-sponsored with the University of Toronto.



PAT (Personnel Association of Toronto) begins its formal existence with Clare Seeley as president. This small group includes the leading personnel practitioners in Toronto. It is a management organization with a strong orientation towards the private sector. Membership is individual rather than corporate.



The earliest records show weekly informal lunchtime gathering of human resources practitioners in Toronto.​​​


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