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By Phil Wilson, C.H.R.P, S.H.R.P


The profession is at an inflection point in Ontario and it has become one of the most exciting times to be an HR professional. Here are the reasons why.



Human Resources management is a growing profession. HR consistently shows up in the lists of high-demand professions.

The demand for the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation is growing every year. Between 2007 and 2013, the proportion of job postings in Hire Authority listing the CHRP designation as a requirement jumped from 36 per cent to 70 per cent.

And over the past 23 years, since HRPA’s first regulatory act (the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario Act, 1990) was passed, the role of Human Resources professionals has evolved tremendously. Responsibilities have grown from managing the personnel department concerned primarily with administrative tasks, payroll and vacation requests; to a strategic role, overseeing essential functions such as talent management, fore- casting and fulfilling the talent needs of our organizations; and organizational development, leading large-scale transformational change. As CEOs said when interviewed for HRPA’s 2011 report, The Role and Future of HR: The CEO’s Perspective, HR executives have become valued contributors to the business – trusted advisors who often play the role of confidant to the CEO and other executives. According to the CEOs surveyed, there is no question that HR issues are of paramount importance and that senior HR executives have rightly earned a place at the table.

A New Act

With so much growth behind us and a bright future before us, it’s fitting that, in November, the Ontario Legislature unanimously passed the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013. This public statute replaces the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario Act, 1990, which was a private statute. The importance of this lies in the fact that public acts carry more weight and credibility than private acts. Our new Act places the Human Resources management profession in the same tier as other established Tier 1 professions.
This new Act acknowledges that HRPA members possess a high level of professionalism and human capital management knowledge that creates enormous value for the organizations that employ them.

With the passage of the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013, the public can have even greater confidence in regulated HR professionals who are HRPA members. The new Act provides consumers and businesses with a fair and transparent vehicle to make complaints about HR professionals and will protect consumers and businesses from HR professionals who are not authorized to use the CHRP designation.

A New Mindset

This new recognition of HR as a Tier 1 profession is just the beginning. The Act provides us with the right statutory foundation to build upon, but there is much work to do, including what HRPA’s VP Regulatory Affairs, Claude Balthazard, calls the “professionalization of the HR profession” – or the evolution in the behaviour, values and attitudes of HR professionals to start think- ing of themselves as a true profession.

As Claude wrote, “The professionalization of HR has as much to do about how we think and conduct ourselves as anything else.” The various components that support a Tier 1 profession are now coming together – statutory recognition as a self-regulating profession, comprehensive post-secondary educational programs in Human Resources and the recognition by CEOs that HR is a strategic function for the organization.

Indeed, this is an exciting time to be an HR professional. 

Phil Wilson, C.H.R.P., S.H.R.P. is Chair of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) & V.P. Felix Global Corp.

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