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Chartered Professionals
in Human Resources

National Knowledge Exam

Important Notice – The fall 2020 exam session will be the last exam before the pre requisite course requirement comes into effect in January 2021.

This means if you do not pass the fall 2020 exam you will be required to take courses or provide proof of any of the nine courses you have already taken prior to registering for the exam.

To determine if the courses you have already completed are equivalent to our requirement, contact our partner Captus Press Inc to evaluate and provide a report back to us.

The National Knowledge Exam® (NKE) assesses one’s comprehension of the academic knowledge related to professional competencies across nine functional areas of human resources as outlined in the CPHRTM Competency Framework. Find out more about the NKE content and structure.

NKE Educational Requirement starting 2021

As of January 2021, CPHR BC & Yukon will be adding a new educational requirement that must be completed prior to writing the National Knowledge Exam. This requirement is applicable unless the individual is covered by another eligible path (Pathways 3-5).

Please note: until January 2021, you can apply to write the NKE in the Fall of 2020 without taking any courses. 

Starting January 1, 2021, you will need to prove that you meet the educational requirements in order to write the NKE; therefore, if you plan to enroll in the June 2021 NKE, please ensure that you have successfully completed all nine accredited HR courses offered by CPHR BC & Yukon.

In partnership with Captus Press Inc. we are offering the first four courses this spring. Registration is now open and the spring semester begins between May 4 and May 15, 2020 and ends between July 24 and August 7, 2020. (Flexible start and completion dates to suit your schedule) The first four courses available are:

  • Training and Development
  • Recruitment and Selecton
  • Strategic Compensation
  • Organizational Behaviour

For more information on the courses click here.

If you have successfully completed any courses that are equivalent to any of the listed courses offered, you may be able to transfer credits.

Exam Dates and Locations

Exam Date Registration Deadline
October 28 or 29, 2020 August 31, 2020

Registration and Fees

If you are registering for the NKE, as an active member for the first time the manual registration forms are below:

Registration includes:

  • $60 CPHR Application Fee
  • $525 NKE Registration Fee

Please note: CPHR BC & Yukon fees such as the NKE registration fee are non-refundable. See below for information on exam deferral.

Exam Centre & FAQs

If you are looking for resources to support you to prepare for the NKE, visit the Exam Centre. If you have further questions, start with the CPHR FAQ.

Exam Deferrals

Registrants may defer writing the exam to the next sitting. Please note the deferral policy before you submit a CPHR Exam Deferral Form.

Exam Attempts

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.

Exam Results

Exam results are emailed approximately 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 the quality of the exam verified.

Overall scores are reported as scaled scores to ensure consistent reporting of scores between different versions of the NKE. It is achieved through mathematically converting raw scores into scaled scores with the passing scaled score always equal to 500. Find out more about exam scoring.

Exam Exemption

Depending on your educational credentials, you may be eligible for an exemption from writing the exam. Please refer to The CPHR Path for more information.


Upon successful completion of the NKE, you have 10 years to complete the remaining steps if you are following Pathway 1 or 15  years to complete the remaining steps if you are following Pathway 2  of The CPHR Paths in order to earn the CPHR designation: