HRPA and HR Regulation

At HRPA, we believe that better HR makes business better.

HRPA regulates the HR profession in the public interest. That means HR regulation helps to protect you. HR professionals have a profound influence in workplaces. But like so many other workers in influential positions, much can go wrong when HR isn’t practiced well. That’s why the profession needs regulation.

Like most professional regulatory bodies, we have four basic roles:

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Ensure that only competent and ethical professionals are allowed into the profession


Ensure that, once in, members and students continue to maintain their competence and practice their profession in a way that minimizes the risk to the public


Deal with members and students who fail to live up to the standards of the profession


Manage relations with stakeholders in such a way as to develop and maintain public confidence in the regulation of the profession

According to HRPA’s Hire Authority job board, HR job ads on the platform have nearly doubled over the last few years, with an increase of 87% from 2020 to 2021. Clearly there is heightened relevance and need for HR in workplaces and companies want  qualified, expert and skilled HR professionals to deliver it.

HRPA regulates the HR profession in Ontario and delivers the best in guidance, resources, and professional development for HR professionals, as they respond to evolving employee needs and lead workplaces into the future. Learn more About HRPA .

It’s important to recognize that HR is a regulated profession — like lawyers, social workers or accountants. While regulation for HR professionals is voluntary, its value and importance cannot be overstated. HR is becoming more complex, more challenging. That’s why qualified, expert and regulated HR professionals, who commit to the highest professional standards, add more strategic value to businesses and help to create better workplaces for employers and employees.

HRPA members and students voluntarily choose to be regulated and commit to specific professional obligations, the highest professional standards, and HRPA’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct. It means they are committed to protecting the public through HR excellence and creating better workplaces for everyone.

What should the public expect from a registered HR professional?

The public should expect registered HR professionals to practice and adhere to the highest professional standards and HRPA’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct. Our ultimate aim is to protect the public by minimizing harms stemming from unethical, poor, or otherwise bad HR practices.

The Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct apply to all HRPA registrants (members and students) in the practice of the HR profession. They define what is acceptable professional conduct and what constitutes professional misconduct that could result in complaints and/or discipline.

Read the Guide to the Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct.

The public should also expect HRPA members and students to follow professional guidance, often in the form of HRPA Practice Guidelines or Practice Standards. HRPA has developed these guidelines and standards to address the evolving needs and challenges within workplaces and to ensure regulated HR professionals have the best in guidance to practice ethically, competently, effectively and with confidence. Professional guidance is issued on specific, high-risk topic areas of HR, including:

  • Addressing racism and racial discrimination in the workplace,
  • Conducting workplace investigations,
  • A terminations checklist,
  • Fostering mental health in the workplace and
  • Social Media Use.

We have also created companion resources to help you better understand how our guidelines and standards are put into practice:

We continue to update and release the new Practice Guidelines and Practice Standards on our website. All professional guidance issued has been developed using the best available research and in consultation with subject matter experts.

Read more about HRPA’s professional guidance.

Any member of the public can access HRPA’s public register online at any time to determine if an HR professional is a registered, active HRPA member or student in good standing. All that is required to search the public register is the first and last name of the HR professional.

What can I do if I have a complaint about an HRPA member or student?

One of the most important responsibilities of HRPA is to ensure our registrants (members and students) are practicing HR competently, professionally, and ethically – and in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct. If you believe that an HRPA registrant has failed to meet their professional obligations under the Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct, we’re here to help.

Here are ways to reach us:

By email:

By Phone: 1-800-387-1311 (Toll-Free) or 416-923-2324 (Local)

If you require TTY Services, please call us at: 1-289-401-3382

Our Hours of Operation are from 8:30am-5:00pm Monday to Friday. We look forward to connecting.

  • HRPA can only investigate a complaint filed against a registrant of the HRPA. To find out if an individual is a registrant of the HRPA, use HRPA’s Public Register or contact the Office of the Registrar to confirm a person’s registration.
  • Anyone can file a complaint – including a member of the public (employee or employer), a fellow HRPA Registrant or the Registrar on behalf of the HRPA.
  • It is useful and important to provide specifics, details, information pertaining to, or from witnesses, and any other documentation you can as part of a complaint.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot investigate complaints against non-registrants and they must be directed to authorities other than the HRPA. If you come across a Human Resources professional who is not registered with HRPA but claims to be, HRPA has the authority to stop this individual from making such a false claim.

A full outline and summary about the complaints process, how it works, what to expect, and ways to contact the Office of the Registrar is available. Learn more about HRPA’s Complaints Process .

Resources for Workers in Ontario

Most workers in Ontario are classified as either provincially or federally regulated depending on the industry that they work in. The following resources provide links to important government websites and major pieces of employment legislation to help you better understand your rights as a worker in Ontario.

Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour provides information and resources to help support workers in Ontario. Visit the ministry website for resources about Ontario employment laws, finding a job, career planning, immigrating to Ontario and more.

Employment Standards

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) provides the minimum employment standards for most workers in Ontario. To learn more about the ESA and your rights as a worker in Ontario, consult the following resources:


Occupational Health and Safety

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) was established to set out the rights of employees and responsibilities of employers regarding health and safety standards in the workplace. The resources below contain guidance for understanding the OHSA.


Human Rights

The Human Rights Code protects the people of Ontario from being discriminated against based on its protected grounds. Consult the links below for more information and resources:



The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is intended to reduce and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Consult the government links below for more information and resources:


Pay Equity

The Ontario Pay Equity Commission is composed of two separate bodies: the Pay Equity Office and the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal. The Pay Equity Office administers Ontario’s Pay Equity Act and refers matters to the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal for further enforcement when appropriate. Consult the links below for more information and resources:

Employment Standards

Part III of the Canada Labour Code sets out employment standards for employees working in federally regulated industries. Consult the following resources for more information about the Code:


Occupational Health & Safety

Part II of the Canada Labour Code relates to occupational health and safety. Consult the following resources for information about workplace hazards, rights and responsibilities, health and wellness and more:


Human Rights

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) were created under the Canadian Human Rights Act to deal with complaints of discrimination by federally regulated employers, ensure employers promote workplace equality for the groups named in the Employment Equity Act, and promote an understanding of human rights in federally regulated workplaces. Learn more about the CHRC and CHRT through the links below:

The CHRC works with federally regulated employers to ensure compliance with the Accessible Canada Act, the Employment Equity Act, the National Housing Strategy Act, and the Pay Equity Act. Access resources and learn more about the work of the CHRC in these areas:

Not yet a member of HRPA but still keen on keeping up with trending topics in HR? Subscribe to the HR Insights newsletter for a monthly round-up of all things human resources, including HR articles, news, resources and upcoming events.

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Please note that these resources are intended for informational purposes only, they are not exhaustive and do not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to keep these resources updated, information supplied by third parties may change and HRPA cannot guarantee that the links on this page reflect the latest information available, nor can we guarantee the accuracy of information provided by third parties.