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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

HRPA Member: To Be or Not to be?

For me the choice is simple - I will not be... but let me elaborate.

As of May 31st 2011 I am no longer a member of the HRPAO - It has been nearly 6 months and it feels great.

In the meantime I have joined another provincial association and will continue to develop in my chosen profession.

Anyone that has read my past blogs knows that over the past year I did several blogs about Bill 138 (Now Bill 28), the HRPAO leadership, and their Customer service (or lack thereof).

Basically, my experiences with the HRPAO was enough for me to not want to be a member any longer.

Here is the story behind my decision:

I graduated from university (only a few years ago) and my next goal was to obtain the CHRP designation and start on the career path of an HR Professional.

It was not long into this journey before the HRPAO would make me question my membership with them, and the value that I would get from it.

I asked questions about national unity for the CHRP, and their Director of Membership and Chapter Relations  tried to intimidate me... I think HR should be about mutual respect and accommodation, and follow some basic customer service protocols.

Following this, the HRPA Members LinkedIn group owner told me to effectively 'shut up'.

Last year I raised questions about Bill 138 and their Registrar put forth a complaint about me and threatened to put me in front of a committee... For being rude.

Further more, the way the HRPAO board treated the Toronto Board for opposing Bill 138 was absolutely a schoolyard bullying tactic and not representative of good HR/Business practice in any sense.

Who says "Sign this contract saying you won't oppose us - right now!"

Not HR Professionals - that I am for certain.

Dealing with the HRPAO has provided more than enough material to write The Caprano's 2.

This blog is not a sob story, but rather a reflection of the lack of HR leadership at the HRPAO. 

Does this mean I am not going to continue my career in HR?

Not in the least. 

Does it mean I am going to leave the HRPAO?

Obviously it does.

Thankfully, Bill 138 didn't pass.  However, the process around it provided more than enough of a glimpse into the HRPAO's management style; combine this with all the other nonsense I had to deal with and I decided to leave.

Some people have asked me if working towards the CHRP is a worthy endeavour - and my answer is Yes!

I still believe that holding a profession to a standard is a good thing, but that achieving it should be held to a common national standard... seems logical right?

So therefore, go for your CHRP - but remember, membership with the HRPAO is not necessary in obtaining or retaining your CHRP. 

You still can be an HRPAO member - just remember to keep your head down, be quiet, pay your membership dues, and do not question them.

But do you want to be a CHRP or a SHEEP?

As for myself, I will continue to take courses, attend conferences, and network because I think it is a good thing to do in terms of personal and professional development... not because I need recertification points.  It will just not go to the HRPAO leadership - why pay bullies?

Remember, the HRPAO needs members more than members need them.

Do not let their actions deter you from a career in HR if that is what you want to do - we live in a great country and you have (better) alternatives.

I will leave you with a few frequently asked questions surrounding HRPAO membership, the CHRP designation, my decision to leave, and how you can too!


1. Do I need to be a member of the HRPA/HRPAO to obtain my CHRP designation

No.  The HRPA targets membership from other provinces, so why can't it work the other way?

Just keep in mind that if you practice HR in Ontario and have the CHRP designation but membership with another province, you can no longer use the CHRP designation on things like business cards or email signatures (in Ontario).

2. Why did you leave the HRPA/HRPAO?

Dignity.  I believe in standing for what you believe and not being bullied about it; Boycotting the HRPA/HRPAO is the first step any of us can take.

3. How can I transfer my membership/CHRP to another province?

Join the provincial association of your choice, then Contact the HRPA/HRPAO's Registrar Coordinator explaining where you want to transfer it to... Keep in mind the process is different in Quebec, but all other provinces have a transferability agreement.

4. How do I maintain my CHRP with my new provincial association?

Verify with them.  Outside of Quebec, the recertification points/process is relatively the same as it is in Ontario.

5. I don't have my CHRP yet, do I need to join the HRPA/HRPAO?

Not necessarily.  It may be easier to write the NKE if you are an Ontario resident, but all the other provinces (outside of Quebec) still have the NPPA - you could obtain your CHRP designation more quickly based on this.

6. Will I be able to get a job in HR in Ontario if I'm not a member of HRPA/HRPAO?

It hasn't been a problem for me - I have attended several interviews and have identified that I am not a member of the HRPA/HRPAO, that my CHRP is recognized by another provincial assocation and have been fine.  In fact, many senior HR Managers that I have met were not fans of the way Bill138 was 'snuck' in by the HRPA and are happy to hear about how I stood up for myself - It shows individuality and confidence.

7. What will the HRPA/HRPAO do if no one joins their association?

I don't know... probably just use their Twitter accounts to complain about home appliances I guess...

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