Developing Standards for Effective HR Management


Conducted from February 2008 to August 2009 the goal of this project was to develop sector-validated standards or guidelines for HR management in the nonprofit sector.

In 2008, an Advisory Committee composed of individuals from across Canada involved in providing HRM services to organizations in the sector was convened. Working with a consultant, the Advisory Committee reviewed research that identified the key features and structures to relevant standards programs in Canada and the United States. The research provided a basic framework to undertake the development of a series of HR management standards. Once a draft set of standards was developed, three validation sessions were held in Toronto, Regina and Halifax to solicit feedback from 37 individuals representing a variety of organizations. The Standards were then finalized with further input from the Advisory Committee and legal counsel.


HR Management Standards

Launched in July 2009, the HR Management Standards (Standards) are intended to inspire, educate and support board members, managers and employees with regard to the fundamental role HR management policies have in creating effective organizations. They are designed and presented in such a way as to assist nonprofit organizations in developing effective HR management policies and practices.

The Standards are presented in an online interactive tool in the Resource Centre on The Standards can also be downloaded as a PDF workbook.


Creating Awareness

After the Standards were developed, a series of information sessions were hosted in partnership with organizations across Canada. As of September 2009, more than 300 participants have attended one of these sessions.

The HR Council has developed an implementation strategy to support the continued use and implementation of the standards in nonprofit organizations beyond the time scope of this project. The HR Council continues to work with stakeholders and capacity-building organizations to encourage use of the Standards in the nonprofit sector.


Steering Committee

Sue Armstrong

Director of Human Resources
Pearson Peacekeeping Centre

Bill Palamar
Director, Human Resources Services
Scouts Canada

Eldon Emerson
Manager, Human Resources Initiatives
Muttart Foundation                          
Member, HR Council Board of Directors

Bibi Patel
Community Foundation of Ottawa

Isha Khan
General Counsel & Special Initiatives
United Way Winnipeg

Yves Savoie
CEO, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Member, HR Council Board of Directors

Suzanne Lawson
Organizational Consultant

Katherine van Kooy
President and CEO

Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations

Don McCreesh
Chair, Imagine Canada
President, The Garnet Group Inc.


For more information about this project please contact