A NEW REGULATORY ACT
FOR THE HR
PROFESSION 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, forecasting
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
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 thinking
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.
Photo by Ivelin Radkov / Photos.com
8 ❚ JANUARY 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL