HR pros have more questions than answers following a May announcement by the Society for Human Resource(SHRM) that it will begin offering its own professional certification program in direct competition with the familiar Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designations held by more than 130,000 practitioners.
Those credentials have been offered for almost 40 years by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), which says it was taken by surprise by SHRM’s move to roll out the new certification process in 2015.
SHRM helped found HRCI in 1973 and has supported its work since then. The two organizations share office space in the same building in suburban Washington, D.C.
A SHRM statement said, “The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels—entry, middle, senior and executive.”
Officials at HRCI said the organization will continue to offer its full line of certifications.
However, SHRM plans to stop offering its long-standing test-prep program designed to help HR practitioners pass the HRCI exams.
The new certification program will launch in January 2015. HR professionals holding certifications in recognized HR generalist programs will have a year to convert their credentials to the new SHRM program at no charge. To convert, HR pros must prove that their certifications are current and agree to sign the SHRM code of ethics. They will have to complete an online tutorial to finish the process.
The first exams for the new SHRM certification will be held in May 2015.