Read for Recertification Credit

Read for Recertification Credit

Welcome to the SHRM Books Read-for-Recertification Credit Program!

IMPORTANT! SHRM has moved to a new learning management system (LMS). 

The process for submitting essays has changed so please see the how-to guide for details.

Please note the book quizzes were replaced with an essay activity beginning January 1, 2021.

Reading for recertification credit is a great way to broaden knowledge and earn SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® professional development credits (PDCs) along the way.

Here is information you need to write a successful essay and earn credit toward recertification.

1. Read the FAQs

Start with these Frequently Asked Questions for detailed information about the program, approved books, and essay activity.

2. Choose a book

More than 100 books on a range of HR, management, and business topics are currently approved for credit. 

Browse the list and choose books that best enhance your expertise and competencies. Obtain the book from your favorite bookseller or local library in your preferred format (print, e-book, audiobook, etc.) 

Also, check the list of books leaving the program so you can plan ahead.

Not every book in the SHRMStore is approved for recertification credit. Please make sure your book appears on the list before you start reading.

3. Write your essay

Be sure to read the essay tips before you start writing.

4. Register for the essay activity

The essay activity is free and open to all SHRM-certified professionals.

When you have finished reading the book, follow Step 4 in the how-to guide to register for the eLearning essay activity.

Important! Your essay cannot earn SHRM Certification PDCs unless you have registered for the book's eLearning essay activity by following Step 4 in the how-to guide.

5. Submit your essay

After registering for the essay activity, follow the steps in the how-to guide to submit your essay to SHRM Books.

Once you have submitted your essay, SHRM Books will review it within 14 calendar days and either accept it or contact you with questions.

6. Report your activity

If SHRM Books accepts your essay, your eLearning account will be updated the same day. 

To quickly update your PDC history, self-report your activity to SHRM Certification by following Step 14 in the how-to guide

continue scrolling for program and essay activity FAQs

​Are you an author?

You are welcome to submit your own book for consideration. Please review the criteria below and then submit an application to have your book evaluated.

SHRM Books selects English-language books that:

  • Cover topics as defined by the SHRM BASK™.

  • Offer practical or strategic value to HR professionals and people managers.

  • Provide timely, relevant, well-researched and accurate content.

  • Demonstrate expertise and thought leadership on the topic.

  • Feature the length (30,000 – 100,000+ words) and standards (copyedited, indexed, typeset, etc.) typical of professionally-published business books.

  • Are readily available for sale through Amazon and/or other book resellers. The Amazon listing can represent direct fulfillment or inventory sold by a third party.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How many PDCs can I earn through the program?

You can earn three professional development credits (PDCs) toward recertification by reading an approved book then writing an essay that meets the program criteria and is accepted by SHRM Books. 

Q. Is there a limit to how many PDCs I can earn through this program?

Currently, the SHRM Certification Recertification Requirements Handbook does not indicate a limit for the number of PDCs earned through self-paced and instructor-led activities which include the Read-for-Recertification Credit program. 

Important! SHRM Certification can change this policy so always check the current handbook for guidance as you plan your recertification activities.

Q. Do all the books have the same PDC value?

Yes. If SHRM Books accepts your essay, you will earn three PDCs for reading and writing about any of the books in the program. 

Q. How often are books added to the program?

Books can be added to the program throughout the year so be sure to check the list for updates.

Q. When are books removed from the program?

Books that no longer meet the program criteria are removed throughout the year. The titles are posted on the list as they are selected for removal. 

Q. Where can I obtain the book I want to read for the program?

You can purchase or borrow the book from your favorite bookseller or lending library. 

Q. Can I read the e-book or listen to the audiobook and still receive credit?

Yes. You can access the book in any format.

Q. What else should I know about the program?

SHRM Certification may select your essay for auditing and contact you for more information at your time of recertification.


Q. How much does it cost to register for a book essay eLearning activity?

Nothing. All book essay activities in eLearning are free. The registration process requires that you add the activity to your cart and check out but the price is zero and you will NOT be charged for the registration.

Q. Can I skip the registration and just submit my essay in the online form?

No. Your essay cannot earn SHRM Certification PDCs unless you first register for the book's eLearning essay activity through the link provided on the essay activity page. Please register now then allow up to 20 minutes for the activity to appear in your SHRM eLearning account.

Q. Can I compose my essay in the online form?

No. The activity form does not count words, check spelling and grammar, or save draft versions of your essay. 

Important! To protect against data loss and use text editing features, write and save your work on your own device then paste the text into the form.


Q. How long do I have to submit my essay after I finish reading the book?

Try to submit your essay as soon as you finish reading the book in case the title is scheduled for removal from the program.

Q. How long must my essay be?

About 500 words. 

Q. What should I write about?

Please answer the question "What lessons have you learned by reading this book and how will you apply them in your work?"

Important! Do not write a book review or summary. Instead, focus on how the information has changed or will change your work, professional relationships, career plans, and perspective.


Q. How do I submit my essay after I register for the activity?

After you receive email confirming your successful registration, follow the steps in the how-to guide to submit your essay for review.

Q. If my essay is incomplete or contains errors, can I submit an updated version?

Yes. You can reopen the form and submit an updated essay until SHRM Books has changed your eLearning registration status to end the activity. Please add a note at the beginning of the revised essay to indicate that it replaces a previous submission.

Q. Does an essay automatically earn three PDCs when it is uploaded?

No. SHRM Books must first evaluate your essay (see details below) then accept it or contact you with questions. While there is no guarantee that SHRM Books will accept an essay, all accepted essays earn three PDCs.  


Q. When will my essay be evaluated?

Please allow 14 calendar days from the date you submit your essay. 

Q. How will my essay be evaluated?

Your essay will be reviewed for length and relevance to the question. There is no evaluation of punctuation or other technical aspects of your writing. 

The SHRM Books program will contact you directly if there are any questions about the essay. Reasons why the program might contact you include: 
  • The book is not approved for recertification credit
  • The essay does not match the book title on the submission form
  • The essay uses extensive quotes from or paraphrasing of the book
  • The essay does not answer the question
  • The essay falls far short of the target 500 words.


Q. If my essay is accepted after review, when will I receive the PDCs?

To quickly update your PDC history, self-report your activity to SHRM Certification by following Step 14 in the how-to guide.


Q. What if I have more questions?

Please contact us at


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