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    Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) leaders are responding to queries from members and the media about SHRM’s new competency-based HR certification.

    “The SHRM Board of Directors considered establishing this competency-based certification very carefully,” said Bette Francis, SPHR, chair of the SHRM board.  “We thoroughly reviewed the research ad had in-depth discussions on the best way to proceed.  We decided that the profession needed to move toward a competency-based model and that we had to act as quickly as possible.”

    Discussions on developing the certification program started in 2011, according to SHRM President and CEO Henry G. “Hank” Jackson.  To help develop the project, SHRM used input from employers such as Wal-Mart, Boeing, Verizon and AutoZone and from universities including Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Lisbon and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Approximately 30,000 HR professionals participated in the research and a series of validation studies.

    The HRCompetency Model was unveiled at the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference & exposition and identified the following nine competencies HR professionals need to achieve success:

    • Communication.

    • Relationship Management.

    • Ethical practice.

    • HR expertise.

    • Business acumen.

    • Critical evaluation.

    • Global and cultural effectiveness.

    • Leadership navigation.

    • Consultation.

    “The research concluded that these competencies are global and that no matter where they are in their career or where their employers are located, successful HR professionals need to demonstrate competency in these nine behaviors,” said  Bob Carr, SPHR, SHRM’s senior vice president of membership, marketing and external affairs.

    According to Carr and Jackson, the new SHRM certification will assess HR professionals on their knowledge and measure how they apply it when performing their jobs.  Certification process es have previously focused on the body of knowledge within the profession, which is an essential building block to any certification program.

    “Adding competencies is the evolution of certification.  Most if not all professional certification programs are moving in this direction,” Jackson said.  “We would not be servicing the HR professional if we do not continue to develop and promote something that is better.”

    The first exams for the new competency-based certification will be held in May 2015.  HR professionals who are interested in registering for the exam will be able to perform an online self-assessment beginning in January 2015 to make sure they are eligible to participate.

    SHRM will offer two cortication exams – one for the executive level and the other for entry-, mid- and senior-level HR competencies.

    To guarantee proper oversight of the new program, SHRM is also launching a new certification board, which will manage all aspects of the new program, including development of the exam, eligibility requirements and procedures for recertification.  For more information, visit

    SHRM Online Staff
    HR Magazine July 2014


    Recently SHRM President, Hank Jackson, sent an e-mail regarding the upcoming changes for certification.  Thought it may be helpful and would alleviate some confusion if we shared what we know:

    ·                 Current HR certification is managed through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).
    ·                 SHRM, a separate entity from the HRCI, will also be developing and offering certification based on their new competency model.

    SHRM has always focused on making sure HR practitioners are seeking and attaining certification. SHRM is committed to ensuring that the certification our members achieve is recognized as best in class and distinguishes them in the marketplace. Over the past several years, SHRM has been leading the profession in the development of a competency-based education. Since currently available certifications through HRCI do not cover both knowledge and competency, SHRM has undertaken the development of a model comprehensive learning and assessment tool. 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. The SHRM certification program is the first HR certification that is focused on teaching and testing the practical, real-life information HR professionals need to excel in their careers today, including knowledge, skills and competencies.

    SHRM members who currently hold certifications (SPHR, PHR, GPHR, and others) will be given the opportunity to transition to the new SHRM certifications next year or continue being certified through HRCI, through SHRM or both. 

    For more information on the SHRM Certification Program go to:

    Hope this helps clarify.  If you’re still confused, please call SHRM Member Care at (800) 283-7476, Option 3.

    Best Wishes,
    Tammy and Linda