Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Human Resources Introduction


The organization’s human resources practices attract and retain a competent and qualified workforce that contributes to service recipient satisfaction and positive service delivery results and supports the achievement of the organization’s mission and strategic goals.


Since an organization’s workforce performs the tasks and provides the services that fulfill the organization’s mission, its capacity to attract and retain a stable, competent, and qualified workforce is the foundation for achieving positive results for the people and communities it serves. As such, it is incumbent upon Human Resources Management to develop and implement strategies, plans, and programs necessary to attract, motivate, develop, reward, and retain the best people to meet the organization’s goals and objectives.


The HR standards apply to all “personnel” which includes both full-time and part-time employees. Standards that apply to direct service volunteers and contractual workers specifically note their inclusion. COA does not include non-direct service, occasional, or casual volunteers in evaluating an organization’s human resources practices, but organizations should consider the benefits and risks associated with their role.

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Note: Please see the CA-HR Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see HR Crosswalk.