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SHRM announces its own HR certification

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in HR Management,Human Resources

HR pros have more questions than answers following a May announcement by the Society for Human Resource Management (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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jennifer July 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Unfortunately SHRM overly markets the exam and many employers are “buying in” preferring SHRM over HRCI. It is an expensive process between prep courses, practice exams, SHRM membership and the exam fees ($1800). SHRM is administratively a nightmare. They canceled exam dates Spring 2017 without notifying members. (You learned through an email from the third party testing center confirming your cancellation). Even after straightening that mess and delaying taking the exam because of SHRM’s admin issues – It seems to take up to 6 months for the organization to acknowledge credentials (if at all). Keep your letters from the 3PL indicating passing and any HR certifications with the SHRM learning system or learning partner to evidence skill/knowlege. If an employer uses a third party service or independently uses a system to validate credentials, your SHRM certifications will be “unverifiable”. The reality is, SHRM is an organization for political advocacy and expanded into an area developing their own certification without the ability to effectively manage it. You have to wonder what the negative impact will be on the organization becoming overly diverse in their offerings.


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