Now that SHRM has made the decision to modify the direction and vision of its certifying criteria, we as HR professionals are now left scratching our collective heads saying, “What does this mean for us?”

We have spent time, energy, and money to gain our HRCI certifications, such as PHR, SPHR, -CA, and GPHR. We have spent countless hours earning certification hours, attending trainings and workshops, and laboring over the exams.

If you are a current holder of one of the existing HRCI credentials, you are eligible to obtain your new SHRM credentials, SHRM-CP, or SHRM-SCP (certified professional or senior certified professional, respectively) at no additional cost before the end of 2015. All you need to do is the following:

  • Document that your current HRCI certification is in good standing
  • Complete a brief online tutorial focusing on HR competencies
  • Sign the SHRM Code of Ethics

SHRM has stated that the SHRM testing principles differentiating the two certifications will be based on the practical real world deliverables and competencies that we as HR professionals practice, perform, and teach every day. These new testing principles will be based on the SHRM Competency model (see below).

Since I hold an active the HRCI/SPHR certification, I went online last week to register for my SHRM-SCP credentials. It was a fairly painless process; I had to prove my current standings of my SPHR credentials, take an hour-long tutorial, and agree to the Code of Ethics. While the tutorial was a very high level overview of what the test would eventually look like, it was apparent that time and energy has been invested for the new material to be a real asset to the HR community. While I found the HRCI/SPHR exam to be an incredible challenge, the amount of my real world experience played very little into how I answered the questions for the exam. I hope that as SHRM takes the lead, we will have the input and real ability to test and certify our profession to the highest standards possible. I would like to see HRCI keep testing the field, as well as focusing on areas for HR development that SHRM does not focus on. That way, we as HR professionals can certify in our specific areas of expertise, and the two organizations can complement one another to stay on the cutting edge of our professional needs.

In turn, SDHR will be there to serve all of your HR needs. We will continue to offer HRCI credits for our Lunch and Learns and to conduct workshops. And we are now a SHRM Preferred Provider. We welcome you to share your thoughts and experiences on the SDHR website forum.

“The release is significant because it provides the framework for the profession to continue the evolution of HR professionals from practitioners to strategic business leaders. This is what the business community demands.”

– Henry “Hank” Jackson, SHRM’s president and CEO