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.
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.
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:
- Guide to the Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct
- What to Expect in a Workplace Investigation: A Guide for the Public
- Addressing Racism and Racial Discrimination in the Workplace: A Guide for the Public
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.
- 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.
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:
- Guide to the Employment Standards Act – This guide breaks down ESA rules such as minimum wage, hours of work, termination of employment, various leaves of absence and more.
- Employment Standards Information Centre – Contact the information centre if you require more details or clarification about ESA rules:
- Phone: 1-800-531-5551
- TTY: 1-866-567-8893
- Email: email@example.com
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.
- Ministry of Labour Workplace Health & Safety Website – Find health and safety resources along with information on how to notify the ministry about health and safety concerns in your workplace.
- Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act – This guide describes the rules set out in the OHSA in plain langue and answers commonly asked questions about the Act.
- Occupational Health & Safety Contact Centre – Contact for support regarding health and safety related questions:
- Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) – WSIB provides wage-loss benefits, medical coverage and support to help people return to work after a work-related injury or illness. Find resources on your rights and responsibilities as a worker, benefit entitlements, return to work and recovery, and more.
- Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) – The OHRC is an arm’s length agency of government dedicated to preventing discrimination and promoting and advancing human rights in Ontario. Find resources such as policies & guidelines, eLearning, webinars and more.
- Human Rights at Work 2008 – Third Edition – A guide developed by the OHRC to help create workplaces that promote the values of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
- Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) – File an application with the HRTO if you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment under the Human Rights Code.
- Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) – Provides human rights legal services to individuals who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
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:
- Accessibility in Ontario
- Accessibility in Ontario: what you need to know
- Programs and Services for People with Disabilities
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:
- Overview of the parts of the Canada Labour Code – The Code is broken into four parts which are outlined here.
- Federal Labour Standards – Information about hours of work, payment of wages, leaves and more.
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:
- Summary of Part II of the Canada Labour Code – An overview of the section of the Code that deals with occupational health and safety.
- Workplace health and safety – A collection of federal resources about occupational health and safety.
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:
- Your Guide to Understanding the Canadian Human Rights Act
- A Guide To Understanding The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
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:
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.