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Chartered Professionals
in Human Resources

CPHR FAQ

 

National Knowledge Exam (NKE)

 

Degree Requirement

 

Experience Requirement

 

Continuing Professional Development Standards

 

Accreditation and Recognition Agreements

 


How do I say CPHRTM?
Like MBA or CGA, CPHRTM should be pronounced by saying each letter separately.

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What are the steps to obtain the CPHRTM designation?
To obtain a CPHRTM designation with CPHR BC & YK, you must complete the following:
There are five paths to the CPHRTM. All paths require an active membership with CPHR BC & YK, a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline and a minimum of three years professional-level experience within the past 10 years. Find out more.

  1. Maintain an CPHR BC & YK Membership
  2. Pass the National Knowledge Exam® (NKE)
  3. Submit proof of a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  4. Submit a completed experience assessment which has been validated by your employer
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What is the cost to obtain the CPHRTM designation?
All CPHRTM fees and dues listed below are in addition to Annual Member Dues. Fees and dues are subject to applicable taxes according to the member’s province of residence. In BC and YT, all fees and dues are subject to 5% GST.

CPHRTM Application Fee $60
NKE Registration Fee $400
NKE Prep Course (optional) $285-$350
Experience Assessment Review Fee $100
Experience Assessment Certification Fee $400
Annual CPHRTM Dues* $155

*Annual CPHRTM Dues become payable on the date a member is granted the CPHRTM designation.

What are the dues for?
CPHR BC & YK collects CPHRTM dues to maintain, monitor and promote the CPHRTM designation throughout BC and Yukon ensuring we increase the value of holding the designation. CPHR BC & YK also works in conjunction with the CPHR Canada to maintain the standards and continuously raise the profile of CPHRTM at a national level. One hundred per cent of CPHRTM dues collected are reinvested in the CPHRTM designation.

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What is the HR Competency Framework?
The framework, the result of an extensive Professional Practice Analysis, is based on a dual-competency model necessary to effectively practice human resources. It establishes nine functional areas of knowledge in the HR field:

  • Strategy
  • Professional PracticeEngagement
  • Workforce Planning and Talent Management
  • Labour and Employment Relations
  • Total Rewards
  • Learning and Development
  • Health, Wellness, and Safe Workplace
  • Human Resources Metrics, Reporting, and Financial Management

NOTE: The HR Competency Framework replaced the Required Professional Capabilities (RPCs) as of June 2015.

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National Knowledge Exam (NKE)

What is on the NKE?
The National Knowledge Exam® (NKE) consists of 160 multiple-choice questions which are framed around the The HR Competency Framework as they relate to academic knowledge of the nine functional dimensions of HR. More details about NKE content and structure can be found on www.chrp.ca

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Where and when do I write the NKE?
The NKE is held across Canada on the first Saturday in June and November. 3.25 hours are allotted to complete the exam. CPHR BC & YK’s exam sessions are held in up to seven communities based on demand: Burnaby, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Victoria, Whitehorse. If you are in a remote location or traveling out of province or country, there is an option to arrange a proctor. Please contact cphr@cphrbc.ca.

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Is there a deadline to register for the NKE?
Yes, the registration deadline is two months before the exam date. More information about exam dates and deadlines is available from the CPHR Canada or refer to CPHR BC & YK’s online calendar.

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What are the prerequisites for the NKE?
CPHR Canada policy states all registrants must be a member of an authorized provincial HR association in order to write the exam. Association membership must be renewed on an annual basis.

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How do I prepare for the NKE?
Exam preparation varies based on your education, experience, and study preferences. Information on preparation workshops and self-directed learning resources is available in the CPHRTM Exam Centre.

CPHR BC & YK recommends exam writers have taken at least one academic introductory HR course. Many academic institutions have human resources programs that support the CPHRTM.

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Is the CPHRTM Knowledge Exam Preparation Course required?
The CPHRTM Knowledge Exam Preparation course offered by CPHR BC & YK is optional. The goal of the prep course is to provide a high-level theory review and strategies for writing and preparing for multiple choice exams. Prep courses are held in several communities across BC and are posted on the online calendar.

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How many times can I attempt the NKE?
Effective as of the November 2014 exam session, candidates who fail the NKE three times are required to wait a full year before attempting the NKE for a fourth, and final, time. A fifth attempt may be permitted following a review process by your provincial HR association.

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Can I defer writing the NKE?
Yes, you may defer writing the exam by completing a deferral application form and forwarding proof of your extenuating circumstance. Depending on when you submit the deferral form, there may be a fee of $100-$200 to defer writing the exam until the next sitting. Completed deferral forms MUST be received seven business days prior to the exam date. Any deferral requests received after the cut off will be considered ‘no shows’ and lose the option to defer your exam to the next sitting. Please note our deferral policy.

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If I do not show up on the day of the exam, will my exam fee be refunded?
No, if you do not attend on the day of the exam, you forfeit your exam fee.

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Why does it take two months to get my exam results?
Exam results are emailed about eight weeks after each exam session. This includes the time needed to receive exams, verify all exam documents have been returned, as well as the time to process and score exams. It also allows time for the results to be reviewed and test accuracy verified.

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Can I have my exam rescored if I feel there has been a mistake?
Manual re-scores are available for those who believe that there has been an error in the scoring of their exam. Requests for manual rescores will be accepted for 20 days following the release of exam results.

To request a manual re-score for the NKE at a cost of $65 + GST, please contact the CPHR Registrar at cphr@cphrbc.ca.

Please note that manual rescoring seldom changes the score. In fact, unless the answer form was bent or folded, or had a lot of erasing and smudging, a change in the score is highly unlikely. Machine scoring is very accurate.

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Degree Requirement

I don’t have a bachelor’s degree. How do I get my CPHRTM?
CPHR BC & YK members who do not hold a bachelor’s degree are eligible for the CPHRTM designation under “Path 2: Non-Degree“. Requirements for this path include the National Knowledge Exam plus 8 years of professional-level HR experience.

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How do I prove that I have a degree?
If you received your degree within Canada, contact the university’s registry and have your official transcript sent directly to the CPHR Registrar at CPHR BC & YK. The transcript fee varies, and is typically in the range of $10-$15.

If your degree is from outside of Canada, you will need to have a basic report completed by either of the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) or World Education Services. The cost for a basic report is approximately $125.

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Experience Requirement

Why is there a national requirement for professional experience in human resources in order to obtain the CPHRTM?
The national experience requirement has been established to ensure candidates have demonstrated the capability to operate at a professional level in an area of human resources and that a common standard is met across Canada. The CPHRTM experience requirement is established in compliance with the National Guidelines of CPHR Canada.

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What is the experience requirement for the CPHRTM designation?
After passing the National Knowledge Exam® (NKE), candidates for certification who hold a degree have a maximum of 10 years to prove they have three years of experience in HR at a professional level in order to earn the CPHRTM designation. Candidates without a degree must have a minimum of eight years experience. The three years of experience must be gained within the last ten years. The experience must be gained within a minimum of two of the nine functional knowledge areas of the CPHRTM competencies unless specialized in one of the functional knowledge areas. Specialized in-depth knowledge is defined as achieving proficiency in every competency in a given functional knowledge area.

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What is considered professional work experience?
Professional level HR experience is gained through roles which require the individual to use technical HR knowledge, as specified in the HR Competency Framework, to carry out their tasks and duties. The following factors should be considered:

  • Independence of actions — Does the role involve planning, decision-making and implementation involving HR knowledge without detailed and specific direction from a supervisor?
  • A depth of work requirements — Does the role require the individual to analyse and interpret unique situations by applying HR knowledge, rather than follow specified standard procedures?
  • Level of interaction — Does the role require the individual to interact directly, using their HR knowledge, on questions and issues with stakeholders inside and outside the organization?
  • Responsibility for work outcome — Does the role require the individual to be accountable for the outcomes of their decisions and actions as it relates to the application of HR knowledge?

Professional does not mean supervisory or managerial. Professional experience can be gained in many types of HR roles – for example, as a specialist or a generalist or as an independent practitioner or as an employee of a company.

Roles which perform purely administrative activities that are within the human resources department do not count towards the experience requirement. The key criteria is that the role involves work that relates to the practice of human resources and that the individual performing the role has the independence of action and responsibility for applying their HR knowledge to their day-to-day tasks, activities and interactions.

The way to distinguish which type of experience counts towards this requirement is to determine whether or not HR knowledge is required to competently perform the duties. If the tasks require you to know and apply the concepts and knowledge covered by the competencies then it can be considered to be at a professional level.

It is likely that many HR roles will contain a blend of administrative and professional level tasks. For time in a role to count towards the experience requirement at least fifty-one per cent (51%) or more of the individuals activities must involve the application of human resources knowledge.

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To whom does this requirement apply?
All candidates for CPHRTM certification are required to demonstrate three years of professional HR experience in order to attain the CPHRTM designation.

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I am currently a candidate for certification and feel I am not in a position where I can accumulate the professional experience required to become a CPHRTM. How would I attain my designation if I do not get employment that would allow me to accumulate the three years professional HR experience required?
Candidates are permitted 10 years to obtain the required amount of professional experience from the time of successfully completing the NKE. Should additional time be needed, please contact the CPHR registrar to request an extension.

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Is my certification automatic after completing three years of experience?
Candidates for certification who have the required experience must submit a completed Validation of Experience form. The form describes the work they have done as it aligns with the Competency Framework. Their current (or, if unemployed, most recent) supervisor must sign the document to verify it. Upon submission, the form is reviewed by a panel of experienced CPHRTM holders to determine if the experience satisfies the requirements of the designation.

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What is the submission deadline for the experience assessment?
Experience Assessments are reviewed three times per year. The deadline for submissions is February 15, May 15, and September 15 each year. Members will be notified of their results by April 1, July 1 and November 1.

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Must I have 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 competencies, which may be demonstrated in a variety of different positions.

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How can I know what job opportunities will meet the 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 CPHRTM Competency Framework to ensure your current position and any others you might consider, aligns with the competencies set out for an HR professional. Remember, you will need to show evidence of experience in at least two functional areas unless specialized in one of them. If specialized, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in all of the competencies in that functional area. Examples of three our of the five enabling competencies must also be provided.

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Who assesses the work experience?
Experience is reviewed by a panel of CPHRTM holders who have been selected for their expertise in various employment sectors. Work experience submissions are also subject to audit by the CPHRTM Audit Committee.

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When should I submit my experience for review?
You are eligible to submit your experience for review after passing the NKE and sending in proof of your degree. You must meet the experience requirement within seven years of becoming a candidate for certification.

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Continuing Professional Development Standards

When do I submit my CPD hours?
All CPHRTM members must report annual CPD hours by January 31st of the following year.

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What types of activities are acceptable for earning CPD hours?
Refer to the CPD Summary Log for a list of categories and number of hours for each activity..

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Accreditation and Recognition Agreements

What is a recognition agreement?
Accreditation or a recognition agreement is formal acknowledgement of CPHR BC & YK’s endorsement of an institutional program deemed to have met recognized competency areas culminating in a required level of skills and knowledge satisfying the CPHRTM body of knowledge.

One of the benefits of a recognition agreement is that students enrolled in programs recognized through an agreement and, upon successful completion of the program, are eligible for exemption from the National Knowledge Exam.

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What post-secondary institutions have entered into agreements with CPHR BC & YK?
Ashton College (HRM diploma program), BCIT (HRM diploma program), Camosun College (HRML degree program), Kwantlen Polytechnic University (HRMT degree program) and Okanagan College (BBA (HRM) degree program) currently have agreements with CPHR BC & YK. The association is in talks with a number of other post-secondary institutions. There are currently no accredited certificate/diploma programs.

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What timeframe do the agreements cover?

  • The agreement with Ashton College (HRM diploma program) applies to students graduated May 2017 or later.
  • The agreement with BCIT (HRM diploma program) applies to students graduated May 2013 or later.
  • The agreement with Camosun College (HRML degree program) applies to students graduated December 2012 or later.
  • The agreement with Kwantlen Polytechnic University (HRMT degree program) applies to students graduated May 2012 or later.
  • The agreement with Okanagan College (BBA (HRM) degree program) applies to students graduated May 2013 or later.
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How do I take advantage of this agreement?
As long as you are enrolled in the particular human resources program, a current member of CPHR BC & YK, and achieve a cumulative GPA equivalent to a C+, then you will likely qualify. Each institutional agreement may have additional requirements.

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Why is CPHR BC & YK prepared to offer exemption from the National Knowledge Exam for certain people?
CPHR BC & YK is committed to the integrity of the CPHRTM. By identifying and partnering with specific post-secondary institutions that have comprehensive HR programs, the association is able to conclude that students graduating from those programs have a breadth and depth of the CPHRTM body of knowledge equivalent to that required to successfully pass the NKE.

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How much will the exemption of the NKE cost?
There are no additional costs for members wanting to take advantage of this path to the CPHRTM. Student members wishing to utilize this option will pay the CPHRTM Application Fee of $60 and an exam exemption fee of $400. This amounts to the same cost if one chooses to write the NKE.

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