Why a blog on the professionalization of HR?

By Claude Balthazard, Ph.D., C.Psych., CHRL
Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs and Registrar at HRPA

The professionalization of HR is without a doubt the most enduring theme in the evolution of the profession for many decades now. Indeed, discussions of the professionalization of HR can be found in print as early as the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. However, for all its importance, the topic is rarely discussed in HR journals and conferences. More importantly, the professionalization of HR may be at an inflection point.

We learn from the sociological literature that professionalization is a process for which success is by no means guaranteed. In fact, most occupations that aim to become professions fail to fully achieve this objective. On the other hand, there is the real possibility that HR may just be one of the occupations that professionalizes successfully. But this won’t ‘just happen.’ With the passage of the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013, the profession has entered a new phase. Exactly where things go from here is not yet entirely clear. Although it offers some markers of professionalization, the experience of other professions does not provide a detailed roadmap as to how to get from here to there. In other words, we are pretty much going to have to figure it out on our own.

The object of this blog is to contribute to the professionalization of HR by increasing HR professionals’ understanding of what it means for HR to professionalize.

There are many topic to explore.

  • What does it mean to professionalize?
  • What is still left to be done?
  • What are the implications for members of the profession?
  • What are members expected to do to move the professionalization of HR along?
  • And what about licensing?
  • And so on

It is hoped that the blog will spark discussion and debate about any or all of these questions—so let’s get started.



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