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The Power of Professionals: Certifications and Licenses

Updated: Jun 4

Have you experienced hiring challenges in an increasingly competitive labour market? One way to ensure a strong return on investment when hiring or retaining employees is to look for licenses, designations, or certifications, as they can be a good indication of the knowledge, skills, and experience that a person brings with them into the workforce. Certified individuals bring valuable expertise, enhanced credibility, a competitive edge, and a commitment to ongoing learning and growth. In this blog we will explore more about what certification means and the value it can bring to an organization.

Professional Memberships and Designations

Each year, Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services (LIHR) renews our professional memberships – both for the organization and our employees. There are benefits to participating in both. As a company, we are members of the AFOA Canada, Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, and the Society for Human Resources Management. This creates a network for our business and these memberships help us stay updated on issues impacting our economic environment, our business community, and support best practices for our professional products and services.

The employees of LIHR are also dedicated to their own development and profession, shown through the pursuit and achievement of the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designations. These designations are achieved through education, demonstrated experience, and extensive exams that focus on legal principles and required competencies, and must be maintained through continued professional development.

Is Certification Required?

In Canada, some certifications are “nice-to-have” while others are required by law to work in a regulated occupation – this is the difference between a certification and license. For example, the most common licensed professions in Canada are Accountants, Engineers, health care professionals such as Doctors, Dentists, Midwives, Nurses, and members of the Skilled Trades. Licensed and certified professions are overseen by regulating bodies that set the professional standards and conduct for the occupation, assess qualifications, set licensing exams, and fulfill the criteria that is “regulated” under government legislation. Most also offer continued development and career advice (including specialized job posting boards) to both their members and potential employers. Hiring certified professionals provides employers with confidence in their abilities and expertise. They have undergone rigorous training and met specific criteria, validating their knowledge and skills. This expertise translates into improved performance, higher-quality work, and more effective decision-making. Certification bodies also offer a venue to make complaints if certificate holders are not following established standards and ethics. By employing certified professionals, organizations demonstrate a commitment to competent and qualified individuals, which positively impacts their reputation and fosters trust among clients, partners, and customers. Certifications enhance the credibility of both individuals and organizations. Certified professionals also offer a competitive advantage -- they must stay up to date with industry trends, regulations, and best practices through continuous professional development. This knowledge and skill set enables organizations to adapt, innovate, and outperform competitors, while helping to foster a culture of improvement for other employees within the organization.

How can I support Certification?

Not everyone will bring a certification or license when you hire them and that is okay, as long as this meets your business needs (and the law). This can provide employers with the opportunity to support the employee in their professional or career development – if you think back to our discussion on total rewards, training and development are a key way to engage and retain employees. This is particularly important if you are a certified professional –you now have the opportunity to support learning, and not only are you helping to grow your own employees, but also shape the overall workforce and give back to your professional field.

Benefits of Certified Professionals

When you work with certified professionals in any field, you receive the benefit of their knowledge, professional standards, and overall knowledge network. This brings efficiency, credibility, and competitive advantage to you. When looking to partner with an external contractor or service provider, always check for their professional memberships and certifications to make sure that these meet your needs and legal obligations. If you’re not sure where your organization is at with your Training and Development, book time with an HR Advisor to chat about how we can help. We offer Training Needs Analysis packages for any sized organization across Canada.

For professional HR advice that you can trust, contact us today!

Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services

From the LIHR team and lead collaborator, Rebecca Wilkinson, Senior HR Consultant

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