CPHR Competency Framework - CPHR NL


The Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) certification recognizes achievements and capabilities. The certification signifies that an individual has achieved and continues to actively demonstrate knowledge and skills within the field of human resources. Through an examination and assessment process, each candidate for certification must demonstrate the core competencies relevant to the human resource profession.

There is a high demand for qualified human resource professionals today. As companies compete for organizational success in an ever-changing environment, they are looking to human resources to help them effectively manage talent, achieve their goals, and improve their bottom line.

The certification assures employers, clients and other human resource professionals that a CPHR has met the experience and capability requirements; is committed to abiding by a professional code of ethics; and is staying current in the field. Currency is demonstrated through compliance with the standards set for continuing professional development.

Application of the Competency Framework

The CPHR Competency Framework outlines 44 discipline specific professional competencies that candidates for certification must demonstrate in order to be certified. Competencies are written as statements that define the work of a CPHR, so that CPHR NL and CPHR Canada’s other Provincial Member Associations can assess whether candidates have met the standard expected by employers and the public. The competencies are kept up to date through analysis from the national professional practice.

The CPHR Competency Framework specifies the proficiency level at which each competency is to be demonstrated and how it will be assessed. The competencies and proficiency levels represent the minimum requirements to meet CPHR certification.

The CPHR Competency Framework is the foundation on which the CPHR certification rests. It is used by:

  • Employers and the public to better understand the value of CPHRs;
  • The academic community in the design and development of course curriculum and profession specific programs;
  • CPHR holders to validate their skills and abilities and articulate their value as a CPHR;
  • CPHR holders and Member Associations for continuing professional development (CPD) requirements; and
  • Future CPHRs to help them understand the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to become a CPHR.

Overview of the Functional Knowledge Areas

Functional competencies are those specific to the discipline of human resources. The functional competencies are grouped by knowledge area. The nine functional knowledge areas are:

  • Strategy
  • Professional Practice
  • Engagement
  • Workforce Planning and Talent Management
  • Labour and Employment Relations
  • Total Rewards
  • Learning and Development
  • Health, Wellness, and Safe Workplace
  • Human Resources Metrics, Reporting, and Financial Management

For a complete list of functional competencies within each knowledge area, refer to Appendix A – HR Competencies by Functional Area.

Enabling Competencies

In addition to the knowledge and skills competencies within the functional knowledge areas, a range of enabling competencies have also been developed. The enabling competencies are:

  • Strategic and Systems Thinking
  • Professional and Ethical Practice
  • Critical Problem-Solving and Analytical Decision Making
  • Change Management and Cultural Transformation
  • Communication, Conflict Resolution, and Relationship Management

Proficiency Levels & Assessments

Proficiency levels describe the level of knowledge or skill required by an individual to become certified. The levels of proficiency for the CPHR Framework are defined as follows:

  • Awareness – the ability to explain, describe and demonstrate knowledge.
  • Comprehension – building on awareness, comprehension demonstrates an understanding of the process to apply knowledge to perform the competency.
  • Proficiency – building on awareness and comprehension, proficiency demonstrates the ability to draw upon prior experience to perform the competency by planning, interpreting, analyzing, and tailoring to their environment.

For each functional competency, the proficiency level at which it is to be demonstrated is specified. In addition, the proficiency levels determine the method of assessment for each functional competency.

For the list of proficiency level and assessment method for each functional competency, refer to Appendix A – HR Competencies by Functional Area.

For more information on the CPHR Competency Framework click here.


*Please note that CPHR Canada’s Professional Standards Committee (PSC) and Independent Board of Examiners (IBE) routinely review the RPCs for currency to ensure they remain relevant to changing Canadian legislation, workplaces and business needs.