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I was on my unscheduled blogging sabbatical when the announcement about the HRCI and SHRM certification split was made, sending shockwaves thru the HR profession and social media.
In case you’ve been out of the loop, here’s some links I found really informative about the change.
- Check out the SHRM Certification website
- Ben Eubanks’s “SHRM to Stop Supporting the PHR, SPHR Certifications”
- Matt Stollak’s “New #SHRM Certification Raises More Questions Than It Answers”
- HR Cloud’s “8 SHRM Certification Questions Answered at SHRM14″
The gist is SHRM has decided to establish an additional HR professional certification of their own which will start in 2015. The HRCI Certification will continue separately. HR pros will be able to obtain both or either and attend HR events to get continuing education credits to maintain certified status for both through 2015. Beyond that is still up unknown.
Offline, I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I feel about this change, especially since I just took the HRCI test for my SPHR earlier this year. After my SHRM14 Conference wrap-up post, the questions started again. So I’m weighing in.
Do You Really Think HR Needs TWO Certifications?
Sure. Why not? Other professions have more than one! If you don’t believe me, google “Accounting Certifications” or “Marketing Certifications.” HR is not alone in this. In fact, it is arguable that HR has had more than one certification for awhile now when you consider the specialty certifications in Payroll, Recruiting, etc.
Do You Think This Is Just A Ploy By SHRM To Get Money?
SHRM is a business. Businesses like to get money. So do I, for that matter. There’s nothing wrong with getting money! However, I doubt seriously that SHRM spent years developing an exam and all that goes into that as well as forever changed their long-standing connection with the HRCI just for money … But if they did, that’s not my business, I don’t care and I’m not the least bit upset, offended or alarmed.
What’s The Difference Between the SHRM Test and the HRCI Test?
From what I’ve read, the difference will be that the SHRM Test focuses on the ability to practically apply their knowledge of the Body of Competency & Knowledge (BoCK). The hardest part of the HRCI testing was turning off my 15 years of practitioner brain to study the ideals and memorize the associated vocabulary. The book didn’t match what is done in real life in the majority of instances. Hopefully the SHRM exam will get closer to measuring HR reality. Since it hasn’t started yet, no one truly knows.
Are You Going to Take the SHRM Exam?
According to the SHRM Certification website, I won’t have to. Because I am already certified and in good standing, I only have to provide my HRCI documentation, sign the Code of Ethics and do a tutorial. And it won’t cost me a dime. Free is always in the budget so count me in!
For the record, even if I did have to take some kind of test or pay a fee, I would still do it. Maybe not right away, but eventually. Getting my SPHR has made a difference in my career opportunities. I am a card-carrying, t-shirt wearing, hashtag repping cheerleader for professional certification. When the job market is so competitive and candidacy can be cut short for the most minor things, it’s not wise to leave any room for doubt or question about your qualifications or commitment to your profession.
What Do You Think of the Certification Name?
SHRM named their certification SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP … Womp womp. I am admittedly underwhelmed by the name. Other than “Certified Imperially Awesome Kick-Ass Badass HR Professional”, I don’t have any better suggestions to offer. So unless they decide to change to the CIAKABHRP, I’m going to have to roll with it.
That’s all I got … Any other questions?
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