Human Resource Certifications - 2015

With all the activity surrounding SHRM's new certifications, there is some confusing information circulating. The information below responds to the most frequently asked questions and should provide solid clarification. There are also good links at the end of these questions where you can find additional information about both HRCI and SHRM certifications.

Q: What's the difference between HRCI's certifications and SHRM's certifications?

A: SHRM certifications are based on a Body of Competency & Knowledge (BoCK) in the domains of people, organization, strategy and workplace. To further define how HR professionals apply HR knowledge, skills and abilities, the following competencies have been identified and fall within the HR knowledge domains: HR Expertise, Relationship Management, Consultation, Leadership & Navigation, Communication, Global & Cultural Effectiveness, Ethical Practice, Business Acumen and Critical Evaluation. The focus is teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.

HRCI offers six certifications that provide an opportunity for HR professionals around the world, in different roles and stages of the profession, to demonstrate relevance, competence, experience, credibility and dedication to human resources to their employers, clients, staff members and professional peers. Their bodies of knowledge are Business Management/Strategy, Workforce Planning and Employment, Human Resources Development, Compensation & Benefits, Employee & Labor Relations and Risk Management.

Q: If I am already certified through HRCI (PHR/SPHR/GPHR, etc.) do I lose that certification if I choose to obtain one of the SHRM certifications?

A: No. You worked hard to obtain your HRCI certification and no one wants you to give that up. You may hold both certifications, simultaneously.

Q: If I am already certified through HRCI, how do I get the SHRM certification?

A: Beginning January 1, 2015, HR professionals with existing generalist certifications that are in good standing will be eligible for SHRM's new certification at no cost. To obtain that certification, you must complete the following between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015:

  • Document that your current certification is in good standing
  • Sign the Code of Ethics
  • Complete a brief online tutorial on HR competencies. The online tutorial will focus on HR competencies and will take less than one hour to complete. Once you go through this, you will add the new SHRM credential to your current list of credentials and will begin a three-year recertification cycle.

Q: What are the new SHRM certifications and how does my current HRCI certification line up with the SHRM certification?

A: SHRM is offering SHRM-CP (Certified Professional) and SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional). If you currently hold a PHR and you satisfactorily take the SHRM tutorial, you will be awarded the SHRM-CP. The SPHR certification is equivalent to the SHRM-SCP and will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of the SHRM tutorial.

Q: If I do not have an HRCI certification, how do I obtain a SHRM certification?

A: All HR professionals seeking certification for the first time who wish to apply for the SHRM certification may do so starting January 1, 2015. The first exam window of the new certification is scheduled for May 2015.

Q: If I wish to obtain my SHRM certification and I am not currently HRCI certified, what cost is involved?

A: Pricing is available here:

Q: Will TAHRA continue to offer HRCI recertification credits and also provide SHRM recertification credit?

A: Yes. TAHRA will continue to provide HRCI recertification credits as well as SHRM Professional Development Credits for our events.

There is a significant amount of additional information regarding the new SHRM certifications and of course, there is considerable information on HRCI certifications. The links below will help you in finding more information and answers to the questions not covered in this overview.