CPHR Canada’s Competency Framework is Evolving

National HR

Changes Reflect the Future of Work

In 2019, CPHR Canada commenced a review of the CPHR Competency Framework, the last being in 2013.

The result of the review includes HR Competencies that are more specific to the work of today's HR professional as well as broadening the scope of non-HR competencies, now termed General Competencies. The separation of competencies into HR-Specific Competencies and General Competencies helps the field move beyond the silos of "functional" HR areas, which results in the structure of the new framework being more strategic and integrative. These enhancements showcase the greater breadth of the practice of HR and reflect how the evolution of the professional is playing out in workplaces across Canada.

Anthony Ariganello, CEO of CPHR Canada

"Our competency framework will always be evolving to reflect the reality of HR," says Anthony Ariganello, CPHR, CEO of CPHR Canada. "Best practice suggests we review and update every five or so years, which is what we have done and is how we plan to proceed in the future."

Enhancements to the framework have the most direct impact on the people who are preparing for the designation; writing the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) and gaining HR experience at the applied level through the Validation of Experience (VOE) requirement. The changes also impact accredited Post-Secondary Institutions (PSIs). Each Member Association will work with their primary stakeholder groups and PSIs to educate on the changes and what it means for each of them. The following is the timeline of implementation:

  • Beginning fall 2022, the NKE will test the updated Competency Framework;
  • Beginning 2023, the VOE assessment process will follow the updated Competency Framework; and,
  • Post-Secondary Institutions align curriculum to the updated Competency Framework from 2022, and no later than 2025.

For current CPHRs, Ariganello says there is an ongoing benefit:

"The format of the updated Competency Framework has been simplified and has greater usability for current CPHRs through expanded content on what is expected of a CPHR designation holder. This includes a new section covering advanced Human Resources competencies to support those in more senior strategic roles."

To support the supply of emerging HR professionals across the country, minimal impact is anticipated for accredited PSIs and students. Each Member Association will work with their PSIs over the coming years to meet the 2025 deadline. The overall 80% of curriculum aligned to the Competency Framework requirement remains unchanged, although there is a requirement for curriculum to now also align to a portion of the General Competencies reflecting the greater breadth of skills needed by future HR professionals.

CPHR Canada Member Associations see this as being a positive step forward for the PCHR designation and their stakeholders to ensure preparation and alignment of members to a quality professional designation standard.

The updated Competency Framework recognizes that there is no longer an ideal role, position or way of functioning for the HR Professional, instead, providing a strategic approach that matches the pace of change. It is made up of HR Specific Competencies and General Competencies as below:

Image of HR Specific Competencies

Image of General Competencies









You can see the updated Competency Framework here. If you have specific questions about the updated Competency Framework, contact your Member Association.