National Knowledge Exam - CPHR NL

The National Knowledge Exam® (NKE) is a nationally regulated exam that assesses one’s understanding of the CPHR Competency Framework as they relate to academic knowledge. Academic knowledge refers to basic facts, policies, practices, methods, legislation, etc. It is information that can be written into procedures and transferred fairly accurately during the learning process. Examples of academic knowledge include: the rights and responsibilities of management and labour during union organizing and negotiation processes, the various methods of training and developing staff; and human rights, employment equity and pay equity legislation. 

You are not required to complete your full required length of experience (three or eight years) prior to writing the exam. We encourage you to register and write the NKE as soon as possible following graduation. 

More details about NKE content and structure can be found on the CPHR Canada website.

The NKE is comprised of 150 questions including 10 questions which are added to the exam to allow new questions to be pre-tested. Pre-test questions will not affect the score and are used in examinations as an effective and legitimate way to test the validity of future examination questions. They are placed randomly throughout the exam.  

Exam writers have 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the 150 questions on the NKE.

There are several study methods exam writers use to prepare for the exam, some set up study groups with friends or colleagues, review text books, take a preparatory program, etc. We have online NKE study group on our Facebook page as well.

Helpful Links

NKE Content and Structure

CPHR Competency Framework

Online Prep Course

CPHR Academic Program

Textbook List

Practice Exam Questions

NKE Educational Requirements

CPHR Newfoundland & Labrador requires the foundational course requirement to be completed before writing the National Knowledge Exam (NKE). This requirement is applicable unless the individual is covered by another eligible path.

Please note that courses must be assessed and approved by CPHR Newfoundland & Labrador as ‘NKE Ready’ in order to register for the NKE.

Exam Dates and Registration Deadlines
National Knowledge Exam Dates Registration Deadlines
November 14, 2024 September 13, 2024



Registration and Fees
Fee (Pre-payment required):
NKE registration fee: $400.00 + HST
Yardstick Seat fee: $145.00 + HST

Exam Fees and Locations
Exam sessions are held in St. John’s. If you reside more than a 2-hour drive from the test center, please contact us at [email protected], [email protected] or (709) 700 6002 to discuss alternative options. CPHR Newfoundland & Labrador cannot guarantee an exam site in your preferred location.

Exam Delivery
CPHR Canada has moved to computer-based testing (CBT). This transition gives members security, efficiency and convenience when writing the NKE and aligns the Association with industry best practice. 

We are offering Fall 2024 NKE writers the opportunity to indicate a preference of remote-proctored or in-person at a test center at time of registration. Remote proctoring enables writers to write an exam in a remote location while maintaining the exam’s integrity.

Writers should understand that indicating a preference does not guarantee that you will receive that preference. In the event a test center is unavailable, you will be assigned to remote proctoring. All writers will receive confirmation of how they will be completing their exam at the beginning of October. Cancellation and deferral dates remain in place.

Writers are responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate equipment to write in a remote-proctored environment.

Cancellation and Deferral Policy
All registrations are subject to the deferral policy.

Registrations cancelled prior to the registration deadline will incur a processing fee of $75 plus HST. Cancellations after the registration deadline are not possible as the deferral policy then applies.  

For information on our cancellation and deferral policy, click here

Limits on number of NKE attempts
Candidates who are unsuccessful passing the NKE three times will be required to wait one full year prior to attempting the NKE for a fourth and final time. A fifth attempt may be permitted following a review process by the appropriate provincial HR association. During the break period between the third and fourth attempts, candidates are encouraged to take a NKE preparation course and/or review the material which their NKE results indicate require more study.

Exam Results
Exam results are emailed approximately six to eight weeks after each exam session. Click here to find out more about exam scoring.

To Register for Exam:
Please register as soon as you know you plan on writing the exam as late registrations are not permitted, regardless of circumstance.

When you register, you will need to confirm you agree to abide by the Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct

Click here to visit the exam registration page or visit the page in our calendar of events.  You must be logged in as a member to register for the exam and be deemed ‘NKE Ready’.

Special Accommodation
If an exam writer requires special accommodation for the exam, they must indicate it during the online registration process and complete the NKE Accommodation Request Form. For important information regarding accommodation requests, please review the NKE Accommodations Handbook.

The completed NKE Accommodation Request Form with supporting documentation must also be submitted to us within one day of your online registration in order to make the arrangements. Only original, physician supported, documentation will be accepted. Supporting documentation must also be received by the exam registration deadline.

Please see the NKE Accommodation Handbook for Writers for a complete guide to accommodations for writers.

The completed form with supporting documentation must also be submitted to us within one day of your online registration in order to make the arrangements. Only original, physician supported, documentation will be accepted. Supporting documentation must also be received by the exam registration deadline.

Examples of special accommodations that may be provided:
• Permitting timed rest breaks during the exam
• Allowing a medical device in the examination room, such as an inhaler or diabetic equipment
• Access to food/snacks due to medical condition
• Possibility of having a reader or scribe/typist
• Increasing time permitted for the examination
• Washroom breaks required due to medical condition (if more than the two washroom breaks that are provided are required)
• Access to a separate room.

Out of Province on the Day of the Exam 
If you must be out of your home province; however, will be in another province that hosts the NKE exam on the day of the exam, you must advise us when you register for the exam (indicate in the exam location field) as out of province writing may be possible. Please note that Ontario does not host the NKE exam so out of province writing cannot be arranged in that province. 

Recognition as a CPHR Candidate
Members who have passed the National Knowledge Exam and have not yet completed the Experience Requirement will be granted the ability to use “CPHR Candidate” as a professional title.

The CPHR is valued by the employment community and the ability to be officially recognized as a CPHR Candidate will provide you with additional recognition. You may use this title in resumes, business cards, emails, Linked-In or any other public profiles. 

Individuals that pass the NKE start the ten year clock to obtain the CPHR. They have ten years to complete the overall process to obtain the CPHR, provided they remain a member in good standing of our Association.