News: Latest News

SHRM Releases Competency Ground Rules for New Certification Program

Thursday, October 2, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amber Javaid
Share |

In its push to become the standard-bearer for certification among human resources professionals, the Society for Human Resource Management has released the SHRM Body of Competency & Knowledge.


“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,” said Henry “Hank” Jackson, SHRM’s president and CEO, in a written statement. “This is what the business community demands.”

SHRM announced in May that it was developing a new certification based on the SHRM Competency Model.


According to a Sept. 11 SHRM news release, the SHRM Body of Competency & Knowledge documents the nine behavioral and technical competencies on which the SHRM Certified Professional, or SHRM-CP, and SHRM Senior Certified Professional, or SHRM-SCP, certifications are based. It also serves as the basis for the certification exams, the SHRM Learning System and the three-year recertification process for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP, the statement said.

SHRM’s certifications cover people, organization, workplace and strategy operations and also incorporate the knowledge required to perform specific HR activities, the statement said. The Body of Competency and Knowledge was developed in a thorough process that included an extensive literature review as well as academic and employer content needs research.


The HR Certification Institute, which offers such long-standing certificates as the Professional in Human Resources, or PHR, and the Senior Professional in Human Resources, or SPHR, issued a written statement on SHRM's competencies plan.

"We have not yet had a chance to closely review the proposed Body of Knowledge in detail. However, many leaders in the HR profession continue to raise legitimate questions and concerns about SHRM’s proposed certification that should be assessed," HRCI Executive Director Amy Schabacker Dufrane said in a statement to Workforce. "SHRM’s certifications are not accredited. Their model envisions a single umbrella organization that will be selling both certification preparation resources as well as administering the exams and granting certifications. SHRM also asks HR professionals to bet that their certifications will become known by employers and recognized in the marketplace. More concerning is that SHRM says it will offer its certifications for free in exchange for current HR certificants who take an online tutorial. How does this measure up with the rigor and quality HR professionals should expect from their certifications?

"We believe there’s a clear choice for those seeking a trusted, verified and proven HR certification," HRCI added in the statement.


Roger Spayer, the chief human resources officer at Harper College near Chicago, questioned the value of recertification for longtime members such as himself. He also is hesitant to recommend certification for those people entering the profession. Read more