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Once you become an Associate Member of CPHR Alberta, you’re eligible to write the National Knowledge Exam (NKE). Passing the NKE is the first step to achieving the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) Designation.

What is the National Knowledge Exam (NKE)?

  • The NKE assesses your understanding of the CPHR Competency Framework, which outlines 9 discipline-specific functional dimensions that CPHRs must comprehend.
  • The NKE is comprised of 150 multiple choice questions, and you’re given 3 hours and 15 minutes to write it.

I Want to Write the NKE

  • First, you need to be an Associate Member of CPHR Alberta. Your application has to be submitted four weeks prior to the exam registration deadline. We ask for your application for Associate Membership four weeks prior to the NKE registration deadline to ensure the CPHR Alberta team has ample time to review your application. Learn more about becoming an Associate Member, or, contact us.
  • If you’re applying for Associate Membership with CPHR Alberta, make sure your transcripts or IQAS assessment has been received by our team prior to the NKE registration deadline as well.
  • Please note that to be eligible for an Associate membership, you must have a two-year diploma or degree in human resources. If you have a non-HR diploma or degree, you must complete the coursework requirement to be eligible for an Associate membership and registering for the NKE.
  • The name you register under with CPHR Alberta for membership and the NKE, must match as it appears on your government issued photo ID. Please do not register under a name or variation of your name, excluding middle names, that differs from your name as it appears on your photo ID.

Did You Graduate from a CPHR Canada Accredited Program?

When Does the NKE Happen?

A Special Note Regarding COVID-19 and the Upcoming NKEs

To maintain the health and safety of our members, the October NKE session will be administered virtually so you can write the exam from any location, rather than at a testing centre. Registrants will receive instructions to select their date and time approximately 3 weeks prior to the exam date(s). The available dates are as noted below.

Upcoming Exam Dates Registration Deadlines
October 28th and 29th, 2020  - Virtual Exam August 31, 2020
May 28th, 2021 - 9:00 am or 1:00 pm April 2, 2021


To register for the NKE:

  • Login to your Member Profile
  • Select 'Register for the National Knowledge Exam (NKE)'
  • Follow prompts to register for NKE

Where Can I Write the NKE?

The NKE is held in most major cities in Alberta:

  • Calgary
  • Red Deer
  • Grande Prairie
  • Medicine Hat
  • Edmonton
  • Fort McMurray
  • Lethbridge

How Much Does the NKE Cost?

  • National Knowledge Exam ® Fee -  $525
  • Examination Deferral Fee - $200
  • National Knowledge Exam Waiver Fee - $375

These prices are subject to 5% GST

How Can I Prepare for the NKE?

The goal of preparation courses is to equip NKE writers with the theoretical knowledge and test-taking strategies needed to effectively write the National Knowledge Exam®.

The following resources are available to assist you with preparing for the NKE:

What Happens After I Write the NKE?

  • You find out if you passed the NKE within 8 weeks of writing. If you passed you become a CPHR Candidate! Your next step is to complete the Experience Validation Assessment – the proof that you also have practical human resources experience.
  • You can write the NKE up to 4 times. If you aren’t successful with the NKE the first 3 times, you’re required to take a one-year break until you write it again for the final time.

More Information on the NKE

Questions about the National Knowledge Exam?

Alicia Djan-Draper
Lead, Professional Standards and Deputy Registrar
1.800.668.6125 ext. 108