VIU HR Students Take Major Step in Achieving Professional Designation

Students taking Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Bachelor of Business Administration, major in Human Resources (HR), will graduate knowing their education reaches the highest professional standard in their field in Canada. The program is supported by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of BC & Yukon (CPHR BC & Yukon), and the coursework meets their standards.

This means VIU students can earn exemption from the National Knowledge Exam, a key step towards achieving the CPHR designation, which is quickly becoming required by more and more employers across Canada. Once students complete articling work, they will have their accreditation.

“We are very happy to be able to help our students get a large step closer to professional accreditation,” said Bryan Webber, Associate Dean, Faculty of Management, and CPHR member. “It means our course content is approved by the major professional body in the country, and our students will graduate with the knowledge they require to build a rewarding career in the Human Resources field.”

VIU Provost and Vice-President Academic David Witty signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CPHR BC & Yukon President Anthony Ariganello, CPHR and Board of Directors Chair Susan Ryan, CPHR which ensures VIU’s program meets or exceeds the CPHR’s professional requirements. The signing was the culmination of much work and collaboration between Webber, the VIU Human Resources faculty and Ariganello’s team at CPHR BC & Yukon.

“We are very happy with these partnerships,” said Ariganello. “Why should we test what you are already testing? It just makes sense. It also provides an opportunity for students to start growing their career before they even graduate.”

Beyond providing an added assurance that students are receiving an education that will prepare them for their careers, students also learn key aspects of professionalism relevant to the HR field, Webber said.

“Accreditation is an important professional attribute that helps students understand the expectations of their chosen field and how to conduct themselves once they start working.”

It provides a standard people can use as a guide for their ethical and professional decisions, and ensures they understand how their performance will be evaluated. Perhaps most importantly, prospective employers know VIU Human Resources graduates are fully prepared to work, and adhere to a rigorous ethical mandate.

“It definitely gives me confidence in my degree,” said Alexis Bouma, VIU student and CPHR BC & Yukon student member. “Saving the money on the exam and not having to study for it is a nice bonus too. I’m looking forward to the mentorship and building experience now, while I’m still in school.”

Fellow student Eveline Bjorndahl is also thinking about what it means for the future. “Hopefully getting the accreditation will help us get jobs sooner,” she said.

The connection between VIU and CPHR BC & Yukon opens additional doors for students, allowing them to participate in mentoring programs, attend conferences and participate in roundtables. “Our hope, of course, is that all students decide to join CPHR BC & Yukon while they are still students to take advantage of everything the association has to offer,” Ariganello said. “The more buy-in we have, the more we can advance the high standards of the profession.”

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