Please refer to the Continuing Professional Development page for detailed information about maintaining your designation.
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How do I maintain my designation?
How do I complete the CPD Log?
To complete the CPD Log, login to your Member Profile and click on “Submit CPD Log to Maintain CPHR”. Click on “Add” to enter a new activity. Once all your activities have been entered, click “Continue” to submit the declaration and upload your resume to complete your submission.
I am a senior HR manager and many of the professional activities that I take are business rather than directly HR related. Would they count towards my CPD Log?
In order to be a strategic partner in an organization, general (or “non-HR”) business knowledge is essential. As such, when professional development activities are evaluated in this log, the applicability of the activity to an HR professional’s role in the business community is taken into consideration. It is the responsibility of the HR professional to indicate in the log how this activity has contributed to his/her professional development.
What are my options if I am going on maternity leave, short-term disability or long-term disability?
CPHRs can request a CPD log submission extension or exemption when taking a leave. A letter from the employer indicating the length of the absence from work is required to grant the extension or exemption. For more details on how CPD Log Submission exemptions work, refer to the page on Continuing Professional Development.
What happens to my designation if I am unable to meet the minimum CPD Log submission requirements due to unforeseen circumstances?
CPHR Alberta can offer extensions in certain circumstances. Please refer to the Continuing Professional Development page under 'CPD Log Extensions' for more information, or contact us.
How long does it take to review my CPD Log?
If you've met the minimum number of hours required, your log is automatically accepted. The minimum number of hours vary depending on the year you're submitting - you can learn more about this in the CPD Handbook.
Is there a cost associated with submitting a CPD Log to maintain my designation?
No, however, if a CPD log is submitted late it is subject to a $50.00+GST late fee.
What is considered professional HR work experience?Professional HR Experience refers to experience gained through intermediate and senior level positions of influence involving:
- independence of action and decision making,
- depth of analysis and interpretations, and
- responsibility and accountability for outcomes
Professional does not simply mean supervisory or managerial as there must be an emphasis on impacting the organization’s management of human resources or human capital. Also, human resources positions performing administrative functions are not considered to be professional level, so time spent in these positions will not be credited towards the experience assessment.
Do I need a management title to satisfy the work experience requirement?
No. Your experience is not dependent on your job title. Experience is reviewed based on the Required Professional Capabilities, which may be demonstrated in a variety of different positions.
How do I know which job opportunities will meet the work experience requirement?
The human resources field is very diverse and presents many opportunities to obtain both a breadth of experience and a specialization. Each individual experience submission presents a unique background and set of accomplishments. We recommend reviewing the CPHR Competency Framework to ensure your current position and any others you might consider, align with the competencies set out for an HR professional. Remember, you will need to show evidence of experience in at least two functional dimensions.
Who assesses the work experience?
Experience is reviewed by a panel of CPHRs who have been selected for their expertise in various employment sectors. Work experience submissions are also subject to audit by a committee.
When do I need to meet the work experience requirement?
The Experience Validation Assessment must be submitted and approved within 10 years of passing the NKE.
How do I submit my experience for review?
The assessment can be submitted through your member profile by clicking on the 'submit EVA and Apply for CPHR' link
How much does the assessment cost?
The assessment costs $550 plus GST. Candidates will pay $200 plus GST upon submission of the Assessment and will pay the balance when it is approved. If an assessment is not approved, you will not be charged the second fee.
How long will it take to have my Experience Validation Assessment completed?
There are three admission deadlines throughout the year for the Experience Validation Assessment - January 31, May 31 and September 30. Your assessment will be completed within 8 weeks of the intake deadline.
How far back can I go to cite my 3 or 8 required years of professional experience?
The experience must be obtained within the last 10 years.
Is foreign experience accepted?
CPHR Alberta does not have a Canadian experience requirement and does not limit the amount of international experience that may be submitted towards experience validation.
When can I apply to waive the National Knowledge Exam (NKE)?
You can apply to waive the NKE once you have been approved for an Associate membership.
What other requirements must be met in order for a student to waive the NKE?
In order to waive the NKE, a student must achieve 70% overall average grade in the program, as well as be a member in good standing of CPHR Alberta.
Who assesses the Senior Path Experience Validation Assessment applications?
A sub-committee of the Registration Committee made up of Senior Path Reviewers assesses SPEVA applications. They follow CPHR Alberta Board approved guidelines to assess each application independently. The committee is made up of CPHR members who have more than 15 years of HR experience.
When can I apply for the Senior Path?
You can apply for the Senior Path at any time. Senior Path Experience Validation Assessment applications are reviewed twice each year – in June and October. The application deadlines for SPEVA applications are May 31 and September 30.
How do I apply to waive the National Knowledge Exam (NKE)?
Once you are an active Associate Member, you will be able to submit a NKE waiver application through your CPHR Alberta Member Profile. Refer to this page for NKE waiver applications and accredited programs.
If someone waives the NKE, do they still need to pass the Experience Validation Assessment?
Yes, the Experience Validation Assessment is required in order to attain the CPHR designation, even if the NKE is waived.
Why was the coursework requirement introduced?
This requirement has been introduced to set the bar for academic comprehension, establish a standard for educational requirements and build on credibility of the CPHR designation. This requirement will be applicable to anyone writing the National Knowledge Exam (NKE).
Can I waive the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) with a program I completed outside of Canada?
There are no international programs that have been accredited by CPHR Canada therefore you cannot waive the NKE with international education programs. If you have completed an international program, you must complete an assessment of your program and apply to write the National Knowledge Exam.
If a post-secondary institution is not accredited, will it still continue to receive sponsorships and scholarships from CPHR Alberta?
Yes, for the time being all post-secondary institutions that receive scholarships from CPHR Alberta will continue to receive those.
What are the required courses? Why?
There are nine (9) required HR courses you must complete to be eligible to write the National Knowledge Exam (NKE). These courses are:
- Accounting and Financial Management
- Human Resources Management
- Industrial Relations
- Organizational Behaviour
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Recruitment and Selection
- Strategic Compensation
- Strategic Human Resources Planning
- Training and Development
These courses directly align with CPHR Canada's Competency Framework and are fundamental knowledge areas of human resources.
Can I pursue the CPHR designation if I have not completed a CPHR accredited program?
Yes, you can still pursue the designation without having completed a CPHR accredited program. If you are not eligible for the accredited pathway, you may still be eligible for the Standard, Coursework, or Senior Path - learn more about these here.
How do I fill out the experience section in the EVA form and who signs my form if I am currently unemployed?
Candidates should fill out the experience section in the EVA form using their most recent past employer if currently unemployed. This employer can also complete the Employer Verification section of the EVA form.
How can I complete the required courses?
You can complete the required courses in a variety of ways:
- With a post-secondary degree or diploma in HR
- With HR courses completed within your non-HR diploma or degree
- With a post-secondary certificate in HR
- Via the CPHR Canada Program with online courses from Captus Press
Is the Senior Path a new HR designation?
No, the Senior Path is not a new or separate designation. It's an alternative path to achieve the CPHR Designation.
Do any of the courses completed in my post-secondary program count for the required coursework?Yes, eligible Human Resource courses you completed within your non-HR diploma or degree can be applied to the coursework requirement. A review of your official transcripts will be conducted to determine eligibility.
What is the Senior Path to the CPHR?
The Senior Path to the CPHR is an alternative path to achieving the CPHR Designation. It provides an opportunity for HR professionals with extensive HR experience at the senior level to be recognized within their profession. Applicants will need to pass a rigorous Experience Validation Assessment to be granted the CPHR designation.
What if I have a diploma or degree in Human Resources?
A diploma or degree in HR fulfills the coursework requirement so you can move to the next step in obtaining your designation – registering for the National Knowledge Exam.
Are the National Knowledge Exam preparation workshops mandatory?
The workshops offered by CPHR Alberta are optional. It is a personal decision to take the course based on your comfort level with the sample exam questions. The goal of the workshop is to assist candidates intending to write the National Knowledge Exam by providing a high-level review of the concepts, as well as skills and strategies for writing and preparing for multiple choice exams.
Why is CPHR Alberta prepared to waive the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) for post-secondary graduates?
CPHR Alberta recognizes that many post-secondary programs cover the majority of the information included on the National Knowledge Exam. The accreditation process will allow CPHR Alberta to assess which programs cover 80% or more of the CPHR Competency Framework content. If a student has achieved 70% or higher as an overall grade in an accredited program, CPHR Alberta is confident that the student already possesses the knowledge tested in the National Knowledge Exam, so CPHR Alberta is comfortable waiving the exam in that case.
How do I know if I qualify for the Senior Path?
To qualify for the Senior Path, you must have the following:
- A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree
- A minimum of 10 years professional HR experience
- At least 5 of the 10 years must be on a leadership or executive team
What if I have a post-secondary certificate in Human Resources?
We will review any post-secondary certificate programs and courses you have taken to determine the eligibility of waiving some or all the required courses.
What programs qualify to become accredited?
Post-secondary programs will qualify to be accredited if it is determined that the content offered meets at least 80% of the CPHR Competency Framework content.
How do I apply for the Senior Path?
Reach out to the Director of Professional Standards & Registrar, Erica Blain: email@example.com and inform her of your intention to pursue the designation with the Senior Path. You will then need to fill out a pre-screening questionnaire. Dependent upon your answers in the questionnaire, you will then be instructed on next steps. Those approved for the Senior Path will apply for a General Membership and upload a copy of your current resume with your application.
What if my education was achieved outside of Canada?
If you have completed a non-HR diploma or degree from outside of Canada but you completed specific HR courses within the program, we require a course-by-course IQAS (or equivalent) assessment completed on your education. If you did not complete any HR specific courses within your program, then we can accept a basic assessment.
Will other provinces in Canada recognize an accredited program from Alberta, and vice versa?Yes, all provinces that are members of CPHR Canada (Chartered Professionals in Human Resources) will recognize the programs accredited by CPHR Alberta, and CPHR Alberta will do the same for programs accredited by other member associations of CPHR Canada.
What member type should I apply as for the Senior Path?
You should apply for a General Membership.
When can I register for the National Knowledge Exam (NKE)?
You are eligible to register for the NKE when you have completed the coursework requirement.
How do I find out if my post-secondary institution is accredited or in the process of becoming accredited with CPHR Alberta?
If your program is accredited, it will be listed on the CPHR Alberta website, or you can contact CPHR Alberta directly to ask about it. If it is in the process of becoming accredited, CPHR Alberta will not provide that information, but you can inquire with the administration of your program for more information.
Why was the Senior Path introduced?
A significant number of HR professionals have worked in human resources for many years, and are in the upper echelons of the profession working on or consulting to executive or leadership teams in a variety of organizations. The bottom line is that these people have been working in the business for many years and are far removed from the textbook HR knowledge from current post-secondary programs. As a result of this, an exam becomes an obstacle for senior-level professionals. These individuals have the experience, expertise, and knowledge to warrant a professional designation. As a result, several provincial members of CPHR Canada decided to make a path for professionals in this situation. The Senior Path allows members with considerable experience to skip the exam portion of the designation process and move directly into the experience validation assessment. CPHR Alberta's Board of Directors and staff carefully considered the benefits, concerns, and implications of introducing a Senior Path in Alberta, and in June 2019, the Board approved the implementation of a Senior Path to the CPHR. We thoroughly explored the feasibility of this option to attain the CPHR, and to ensure that we were applying a rigorous process for those going through the Senior Path..
What membership type to I apply for?
You should apply for an Associate Membership with CPHR Alberta
How long is the accreditation process?
The process requires the post-secondary institution to provide extensive information to CPHR Alberta with regard to the content of their programs. The process will vary from program to program, but it is expected to take a number of months in each case.
Do I require a degree for the Senior Path? Can I have an international degree for this pathway?
Yes, the minimum education required for the Senior Path is a Bachelor’s degree. We accept international education, but an IQAS (or equivalent) assessment must be completed for your degree.
Do I need to do any coursework?
No - If you are eligible for the Standard Path, this means you have a diploma or degree in Human Resources, and would not be subject to the coursework requirement.
Is there a fee to the post-secondary for the accreditation process?
No, there is no cost to the post-secondary institution for the process.
Do I need to write the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) for the Senior Path to the CPHR?
No, your Senior level HR experience exempts you from the NKE requirement. To achieve the designation with this pathway, you must complete a more comprehensive experience requirement.
When can I register for the National Knowledge Exam (NKE)?
You can register for the NKE once you have been approved for an Associate membership.
Do I still need a degree if I have a certificate from an accredited program?
A degree is not required to obtain the CPHR. Members without degrees may become designated if they pass or waive the NKE and prove 8 years of professional HR experience to pass the EVA.
What is considered senior level HR experience?
The following are some of the qualities that would help to define senior level professional experience in Human Resources:
- Progressive and credible HR background
- At least five years of experience on a leadership or executive team
- A very high amount of independence in their day-to-day work
- High impact decision-making authority
- Considerable budgetary responsibility
- Influence on the organizational strategy and business decisions
- Experience counselling senior managers on HR related matters and leading a team of other HR professionals
- Authority to recommend on most HR decisions in an organization
- Strategic thinking and execution
- Strong leadership qualities
- Personal integrity/high ethical standards
- Negotiating/influencing skills
- Ability to balance strategic with operational issues
- Strong understanding of the business and economic environment
- Authority and skill to design and implement leadership succession plans
How do I register for the National Knowledge Exam (NKE)?
Once you are an active Associate Member you will be able to register for the NKE through your CPHR Alberta Member Profile.
If someone received their degree from an accredited program in the past, can they qualify to waive the NKE?
If the degree was received within the specified timeframe for that institution and program, and if the student’s grades meet the requirements, he or she will be eligible to have the NKE waived.
Can I use international experience for this pathway?
International experience can be used for the Senior Path.
What membership do I apply for?
You should apply for an Associate Membership.
What if my post-secondary institution becomes accredited part way through my education?
As long as the program content has been the same for your whole education in that program, CPHR Alberta will recognize your accredited education toward waiving the NKE.
What documents do I need to have to apply for the Senior Path Experience Validation Assessment?
For your Senior Path EVA application, you must submit:
- A SPEVA form
- Job descriptions for the roles outlined in your application
- Organizational charts when possible
- A current resume
What if I am currently a Student Member?
Once you have completed your program you can request to transfer your membership category to Associate in your profile. Be sure to have your post-secondary send in your official transcripts.
Is there a fee associated with waiving the NKE?
Yes, the fee for waiving the exam is similar to the fee for registering to write the exam. Please click here for details.
Who assesses if I am eligible to apply for the Senior Path? How is this done?
The Director of Professional Standards & Registrar assesses if you are eligible to apply for the Senior Path by using a pre-screening questionnaire to ensure you meet the basic requirements for the Senior Path. This assessment does not guarantee that you will pass the Senior Path EVA as it is a pre-screening process.
Do I need to be a member of CPHR Alberta to write the National Knowledge Exam?
National Knowledge Exam®(NKE) candidates must be members of their provincial association and register with the association to write the exam. In Alberta, only Associate members are eligible to write the NKE.
How often are the exam preparation workshops offered?
The Workshops are offered in the fall and spring of each year (4-6 weeks in advance of each exam). Please review the NKE Workshop schedule.
What is the CPHR National Knowledge Exam® format?
The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, based on knowledge of the nine Functional Dimensions of the CPHR Competency Framework. The exam is delivered through computer-based testing (CBT).
How long do I have to complete the registration process?
Exam candidates have 10 years from the time they pass/waive the NKE to the time they successfully complete the Experience Validation Assessment. Candidates and CPHRs must keep their membership active (in good standing) with their provincial HR association in order to keep their Candidate status or CHPR active.
When are the NKE exams held?
Exams are held in the Spring and Fall of each year. Please refer to the NKE schedule for specific dates.
What is the cost of the exam?
The exam fee is $525 + GST.
Is there a deadline to register for the exam?
Exam registrants must register for the NKE at least two months in advance. Please refer to the NKE schedule for specific dates.
Can I defer writing the exam?
What if I do not show up on the day of the exam, will I be refunded my exam fee?
If you do not attend on the day of the exam, your score will be marked as a fail and you forfeit your exam fee.
What is the cut-score (passing score) for the National Knowledge Exams?
Scaled scoring is used to score the exams. A scaled score of 500 is the passing grade for the NKE.
What is self-regulation?
In a nutshell, self-regulation is a privilege given to certain professions who can demonstrate a commitment to protecting the public interest. Self-regulation means that human resources practitioners are capable of assuming the responsibilities of governing their profession in accordance with best practices, high ethical standards and a defined code of conduct.
Why is self-regulation so important?
Self-regulation of the human resources profession is the cornerstone to becoming a recognized profession; it puts us on similar footing as professional engineers, accountants and lawyers. It also demonstrates to the business community, government and the public that the human resources profession abides by a code of conduct and standards of practice that protect the public interest.
What do I have to do with “protecting the public”?
One of the greatest concerns of any unregulated profession is the risk to the public of unscrupulous practitioners. As a self-regulated profession, we will be entrusted with “protecting the public” from incompetent practice or work performed by an HR profession through self-policing. Instead of the Alberta government regulating the actions of CPHR Alberta members directly, CPHR Alberta will be mandated with ensuring that qualified professionals are providing trusted services to all their stakeholders.
As a CPHR designation-holder or CPHR Candidate, you will be required to abide by a set of best practices, ethical standards and a code of conduct as well as regularly participate in professional development. This will uphold our commitment to protecting the public from unethical or incompetent practice.
What will change when we become self-regulated?
Over the past eight years CPHR Alberta has worked to align its regulatory practices with the best practices of leading professional associations. This includes elevating the registration standards related to assessment, such as introducing an academic requirement, a professional experience requirement and good character attestation requirements.
CPHR Alberta completed a series of member consultations sessions across Alberta, including two sessions at the annual conference, on a new Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. The Code and Standard were approved by the Board of Directors in May 2014 and implemented January 1, 2015. The Code and Standard aligns the HR profession towards achieving self-regulation by raising the credibility of the designation and elevating the quality of HR practice in Alberta.
The Association has in place many of the components expected from a professional association seeking to become self-regulated including a discipline function, continuing professional development, a rigorous registration process, and a defined scope of practice. The Association is not requesting a limited scope of practice on behalf of the membership. Specific changes you may see under a self-regulated model include:
- Certain volunteer committees will assume formal legal functions such as the Registration Committee, the Discipline Committee and the Appeal Committee.
- Further improvements to the Discipline Committee’s processes to better protect members and the public.
- Addition of public member(s) to the Board of Directors, appointed by the Alberta government to serve in the public interest.
Didn’t we already vote for self-regulation?
The Human Resources Institute of Alberta, now CPHR Alberta, received a mandate from its members for self-regulation in 1999 and again in 2002. After successfully becoming a unified provincial association in 2013, we turned our attention to elevating the credibility of the profession through achieving self-governance. In the 2013 member survey, 80% of members identified professional self-regulation as a priority for CPHR Alberta.
In 2014, a motion by special resolution was put forward to the Chartered members asking them to approve the following:
"I am in favour of CPHR Alberta applying for self-regulation of the HR profession under the Professions and Occupations Association Act and obtaining legislation and recognition in Alberta in the same manner as other professions."
The special resolution passed with 93% voting in favour.
What will it cost me?
At this time we do not anticipate added costs to members. Any additional expenses arising from self-regulation (i.e. legal expenses) will be funded through our reserve funds. We are in a healthy financial position to accomplish this task.
When will self-regulation take place?
The Human Resources Institute of Alberta, now CPHR Alberta, formally applied for self-regulation of the human resources profession in December 2014 under the Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act (POARA). We undertook a comprehensive public and stakeholder consultation process in 2014, including the setup of an advisory group of Chartered members to advise on the initiative. The Alberta government is currently reviewing the application.
The review of an application can take months, even years, as the government works to undertake its own consultations and verifies the contents of the application. The development and drafting of regulations also require a substantial amount of time. Depending on an association’s resources, stakeholder and industry feedback, the breadth of the scope of practice; it may take years to meet the requirements defined by the Alberta government for professions seeking to become self-regulated. The decision to grant self-regulation to a profession is a decision of Cabinet.
What does “protecting the public” mean?
One of the greatest concerns of any professional is the risk to the public of unethical and incompetent practitioners. Self-regulated professions empower their professional associations to enforce standards of practice and codes of ethics to protect the reputation of the profession while ensuring the public receives a high quality of service. Instead of the Alberta government regulating the actions of CPHR Alberta members directly, CPHR Alberta would be mandated with ensuring that qualified professionals are providing trusted services to all their stakeholders. This delegation of responsibility would be conditional on CPHR Alberta being able to demonstrate its commitment to doing what is best for the public and not necessarily what is best for the individual professional.
This does not mean that the Alberta government will let CPHR Alberta take any action it wishes. Self-regulation will provide similar legal tools that organizations responsible for the oversight of the accounting and engineering profession currently enjoy.