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HR Certification Corner

    PHR/SPHR/GPHR/SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP Reimbursement Program

    MCSHRM Certification Reimbursement Program

    MCSHRM is proud to announce that in 2015 we will expand our HR certification reimbursement program to also include the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications! HRCI certifications such as PHR and SPHR will still be included in the program as well. The first 10 chapter members who obtain their certification will be eligible for reimbursement for the cost of the exam. To be eligible, you must be an active Member in good standing and will be required to submit proof of achievement and a receipt for payment of the examination fee.

    Please feel free to reach out to Meredith Leader,, if you have any questions about HR certifications.


    SHRM Announces New HR Certification

    SHRM is committed to ensuring that the certification our members achieve is recognized as best in class and distinguishes them in and prepares them for today’s marketplace. Business is changing and employers are demanding that HR professionals adapt to that change.

    It’s important that SHRM stay ahead of this trend for the profession and its members.

    The Society is developing a new HR Certification program based on the competencies required to be an effective HR professional. This certification is the culmination of over three years of research, and based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which was validated by more than 30,000 HR professionals around the world. These HR professionals identified the skills needed to grow and succeed in HR careers. SHRM will soon offer a certification exam that assesses both competencies and HR knowledge.  We are working to finalize:

    • the new global Body of Competency and Knowledge (BOCK),
    • a comprehensive exam,
    • world-class instructional materials, and
    • certification preparation tools you have come to expect from SHRM.

    We know that this may bring up some questions and concerns—because you have invested time and energy in your existing credentials. SHRM will make this transition as smooth as possible to ensure your continued success. So, what does this mean for you?


    All HR professionals, whether certified or seeking certification, at all career levels and all industries.


    The new SHRM credential will be the first competency-based HR certification focused on practical, real-life knowledge and behaviors HR professionals need to excel in their careers today. The SHRM certification will be relevant to all career levels, across all industries and organizations around the globe.

    There will be two levels to the new certification:

    • SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)
    • SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)


    • Beginning January 5, 2015, SHRM will begin accepting applications for the first exam window of the new certification.  The first exam tesing window is the Spring Window: May 1 - July 15, 2015.  Click here for details on how to apply
    • SHRM will begin to offer the Learning System for the new SHRM certification on December 1, 2014.
    • SHRWM will begin offering the HR professionals with existing HR generalist certifications (PHR®, SPHR®, GPHR®, HRMP®, HRBP®, and other recognized HR generalist certifications*) the new SHRM certification on January 5, 2015.  Click here to access the SHRM Certification Online Tutorial


    We believe this competency-based certification is the new standard for HR professionals around the globe—and is needed for the ever-evolving demands of business. We are seeing an increasing number of colleges and universities, and other SHRM global partners, transition to a competency-based curriculum. Businesses have been asking – almost demanding – that employees have specific behavioral competencies to be successful in the workplace. As the leading HR professional society, it is SHRM’s responsibility to stay ahead of these trends and better serve the HR professional.



    How will this affect my current certification (SPHR®, PHR®, GPHR®, and others)?

    We recognize that you have invested a great deal of time, money and energy to obtain your credential.

    SHRM will continue to support the current programs through the December 2014 - January 2015 testing windows. For example:

    • We will continue to offer the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR, the SHRM Learning System for GPHR, the SHRM Learning System for HRMP® and the SHRM Learning System for HRBP® through November 30, 2014,
    • We will continue to support our Education Partners who offer the current certification prep programs through the end of 2014,
    • We will continue to offer SHRM certification prep programs at SHRM conferences and through our seminars, virtual programs and corporate programs,
    • We will continue to submit our 2014 programs to HRCI for pre-approved recertification credits.
    • By maintaining your existing credentials in good standing, you will be eligible to convert to the new SHRM certification program in 2015.

    If I'm already certified, what do I have to do? Do I have to take another exam?

    ‎SHRM will provide for free, the equivelant SHRM certification for HR professionals who currently hold a valid HR Generalsit certification from January 5 – December 31, 2015. During this period, you will be invited to obtain the new SHRM certification by completing the following process:  Click here for more information and to begin that process.

    • Document that your current certification is in good standing
    • Sign the SHRM code of ethics
    • Complete an online educational module and brief online test on HR competencies.

    Once you go through this process, you will receive the new SHRM credential and will begin a three-year recertification cycle. If you elect to convert to the new SHRM credential, you will be able to hold your current certification in addition to the new SHRM credential.

    What does this mean for my recertification credits?

    We recognize that you have spent a significant amount of time and energy to obtain your current recertification credits. SHRM will continue to apply to HRCI for recertification credits for all current SHRM programs and events scheduled in 2014. By maintaining your existing credentials in good standing, you will be eligible to convert to the new SHRM certification program in 2015.

    Beginning in 2015, we will offer recertification credits for the new SHRM certification at SHRM programs and also authorize other program providers to offer recertification credits.

    Should I still sit for the exam I'm currently studying for or scheduled to take?

    ‎SHRM supports your decision to prepare for and take the current exam for the existing credentials. If you pass your exam, you can then convert to the new SHRM credential free of charge from January 5 – December 31, 2015. During this period, you will be invited to obtain the new SHRM certification by completing the following process:

    • Document that your current certification is in good standing
    • Sign the SHRM code of ethics
    • Complete an online educational module and brief online test on HR competencies.

    Once you go through this process, you will receive the new SHRM credential and will begin a three-year recertification cycle.  Click here for more information.

    If you do not pass your exam prior to January 2015 and you purchased the current SHRM Learning System, we will provide the new SHRM Learning System for the new SHRM certification free of charge in preparation for the new assessment.

    For more information, please visit





    EFFECTIVE 2011

    In keeping with best practices for certification programs, the HR Certification Institute conducted an extensive multi-pronged study of the eligibility requirements of their three core products: Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR). Based on feedback from both certified and non-certified HR professinals business leaders, students and academicians, the requirements will now include a combination of education and experience. These changes will go into effect in the May-June 2011 testing window.


    What are the new eligibility requirements?

    PHR Eligibility

    SPHR Eligibility

    GPHR Eligibility

    • 4 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree
    • 2 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
    • 1 year of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher

    • 7 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree
    • 5 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
    • 4 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher

    • 4 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience (with 2 of the 4 being global HR experience) with less than a Bachelor’s degree
    • 3 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience (with 2 of the 3 being global HR experience) with a Bachelor’s degree
    • 2 years of demonstrated global exempt-level HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher

    Retrieved on January 21, 2009 from


     The Center for Organizational Effectiveness in Human Capital Development

    ( a program of Humane Society University) is pleased to offer the following categories of trainings:

    HR Recertification Courses (HRCI Approved)

    1. Managing and Leading Change
    2. Managing Anger and Emotions in the Workplace
    3. Strategic Human Resources
    4. Transformational Leadership: Empowering Others to New Heights

    Leadership Development Courses

    1. Managing Diversity
    2. Negotiation Skills and Techniques
    3. Performance Appraisal
    4. Project Management
    5. Emotional Intelligence: Strategies for Success
    6. Stress Control
    7. Managing Conflict: Power through Influence
    8. Training Your Mind for Success

    For more information, visit

    Mentoring can earn you recertification credits

    Did you know that participating in a structured mentoring program can earn you recertification credit?
    Under the leadership category, you can earn up to 10 recertification credits through mentoring activities. This includes activities such as preparing an individual for the HR profession, teaching HR-related practicum or providing volunteer HR consulting services to assist with an individual or organizational need. Five recertification credits are earned for every year of service. Please note that mentoring activities must be independent of the workplace.
    Mentoring is one of many activities in which you can earn recertification credits without accruing a large expense. To learn more about no-cost or low-cost activities that can earn you recertification credit, download our “Tips for Earning Credit Hours” flier or see below.

    You may also search for activities that fit your schedule and needs by visiting our Searchable Directory of Approved Events.

    HR Certification Institute
    1800 Duke Street Alexandria, Virginia 22314 USA
    +1-866-898-4724 (US only) +1-703-548-3440 (Int’l)

    Ways to earn credit hours

    Earning recertification credit hours does not have to be costly or take you far from your work or home. You can earn many hours through your daily work responsibilities and other professional activities. In fact, you may already be doing activities that could count for recertification credit and not even know it!

    Sixty (60) recertification credit hours are required every three years to maintain your certification. Credit may be earned in the following categories:

    • Continuing Education (no max)
    • Instruction (20 hours max)
    • On-the-Job Experience (20 hours max)
    • Research/Publishing (20 hours max)
    • HR Leadership Roles (10 hours max)
    • Professional Membership (10 hour max)
    • OR you may take the exam again!

    Examples of low cost recertification activities

    • Did you know that you can earn up to 10 recertification credit hours by being a national member of SHRM or another National HR association
    • You can also earn up to 10 credit hours by holding a leadership position related to the HR field such as mentoring an HR professional or HR student or hold a volunteer position for a professional organization.
    • Many of your on-the-job HR responsibilities could be eligible for up to 20 hours of recertification credit hours the first time you perform the activity. For instance, you can receive credit hours for creating an HR budget, or developing an employee handbook, or any other activity that ties into the HR Body of Knowledge.
    • Have you ever led an HR-related workshop or training session at work or outside of your job?
    • Teaching a sexual harassment workshop at work or leading a performance management seminar can earn you up to 20 hours for the first time you present the program.
    • Earning credit hours through continuing education courses does not have to cost you much money or take you out of the office.
    • You can earn up to 20 hours from on-line professional development courses from, or other professional organizations.
    • Many web casts are offered as a benefit at no additional cost to members. These can be watched right from your PC or downloaded to your iPod.

     (Note: There is no limit to the number of credit hours that you can earn from classroom-style professional development sessions).

    Where to find preapproved programs

    The HR Certification Institute has pre-approved thousands of programs for recertification credit. Go to and access our online directory of pre-approved programs to search for classes and activities near you.

    Other helpful resources

    All recertification activities need to increase your HR knowledge. If you have questions regarding what the HR knowledge areas are for your certification please refer to their respective bodies of knowledge. They can be found in the Recertification Handbook at

    Recertifying for the first time? Take the mystery out of how to enter your activities in your personal recertification record by watching a step-by-step virtual tour of the application process on the website at

    HR Certification Institute
    1800 Duke Street
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA 22314
    US Toll Free 1.866.898.4724

    The SHRM Learning System (PHR/SPHR Prep)

    11 Weeks - 1 session per week

    Price: $1,195.00* (discounts available - click here for more information)

    * Members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) are eligible for a 5% discount.


    UMBC Shady Grove Campus
    The Universities at Shady Grove
    9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850.

    UMBC Training Centers
    The UMBC Technology Center at UMBC's South Campus
    1442 S. Rolling Road, Baltimore, MD 21227

    Catholic University of America

    Scott E. Battle, Associate Dean
    Metropolitan School of Professional Studies (Pangborn 334)
    The Catholic University of America
    620 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
    Washington, DC 20064
    (202) 319-5256

    For Information and to Register, visit or call 1-800--283-7476, option #3.

    Many more recertification credit hours are available by attending one of the preconference programs offered by SHRM. More information is available online at the SHRM web site.

    The Human Resource Certification Institute develops and delivers credentialing programs to validate mastery in the field of human resource management and to promote organizational effectiveness. As this year progresses, the HRCI Board will work to sustain the strength of its core products—the PHR, SPHR, GPHR and the new PHR-CA and SPHR-CA certifications. HRCI looks to certified professionals like you to be involved in areas such as promotion and marketing; exam development and support for those seeking certification through encouragement, coaching and teaching.

    Recertification Processing Timeline
    Find out what to expect with this anticipated timeline for application processing. Recertification is now easier than ever! You can now track your activities and submit your application online with HRCI’s new recertification system. Click on "My Recert File" under Quick Links and log in using the HRCI ID number and password which were assigned to you by HRCI.

    FAQS About Strategic Management Credits
    Those who hold the SPHR must include at least 15 strategic management hours in their recertification application. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about strategic management credits.

    California Certification

    Currently certified PHR and SPHR holders are eligible to sit for the exam.

    Encourage Colleagues to Pursue Certification

    Help colleagues start the new year right by setting their sights on certification. For details, see the “Certification” section of

    Trying to decide whether to take the PHR or SPHR exam?

    Each exam level has a different focus but covers the same body of knowledge. The PHR exam is more focused on the technical/operational aspects of HR where as the SPHR exam is more focused on strategic HR and policy issues. While the actual exam consists of 225 questions, each assessment exam consists of only 75 questions. However, the percentages reflected in the content outline for each functional area remains consistent for both the actual and assessment exams. You may take either or both assessment exams, but we strongly recommend that all candidates become familiar with the ideal profile of a PHR and an SPHR candidate before selecting their assessment exam level. To help you decide, please review PHR vs. SPHR: Choosing the Appropriate Exam on the website under the Eligibility Requirements.

    If you are considering taking the PHR or SPHR exam this year, you may want to take a study course. Many college and universities offer preparation courses for the PHR/SPHR exams. 

    Salute Your Certified Colleagues
    Everyone needs an occasional pat on the back for their continuing professional efforts. Consider giving PHR, SPHR or GPHR insignia items from the SHRMStore. Simply click the “Accessories” link in the black bar on the home page.

    Human Resource Certification Institute is located at 1800 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3499 USA
    Toll free 866.898.HRCI (4724)
    Fax 703.535.6474

    Afraid to take the PHR or SPHR Exam? Take the Assessment Exam First…

    HRCI offers an online assessment exam for the PHR and SPHR certifications. Exam candidates can use this exam to help assess their knowledge level before taking the actual exam. The assessment exams were developed using actual test questions from previous exams. This exam will give candidates the opportunity to become familiar with the format of the test questions and provide an indication of preparedness for the actual exam. It is the closest assessment exam to the "real thing" on the market today, since it is the only assessment exam designed and developed by HRCI.