Getting Credit in a Crisis

SHRM expands opportunity to earn PDCs for work related to COVID-19

By the SHRM Certification Team June 18, 2020
business woman in face mask checks phone

​During the COVID-19 crisis, HR professionals are meeting unprecedented challenges by providing vital organizational support on short notice. Their dedication has prompted SHRM to change some requirements for activities that qualify for professional development credits (PDCs) toward recertification. For their COVID-19-related work, SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential-holders can now earn all 60 of the PDCs they are required to earn within a three-year cycle.

Previously, a maximum of 20 PDCs could be earned for such activities, which fall into the "Advance Your Organization" credit category. Credential-holders can continue to earn all 60 PDCs for activities in the "Advance Your Education" category. Credits earned for activities in the "Advance Your Profession" category continue to be subject to a 30-PDC limit.

"SHRM is aware of and would like to acknowledge the countless hours that you have dedicated to this effort," said Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, SHRM's chief knowledge officer. "This expanded PDC opportunity is a small token of our appreciation."

SHRM-certified HR professionals have been deeply involved in a wide range of issues raised by the pandemic: the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and its impact on unemployment; communicable disease exposure; defining "essential" business and workers; quarantine pay; hazard pay; worker safety in public; Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) implementation and exceptions; furloughs, pay reductions, layoffs and WARN Act compliance; virtual hiring; rescinding and delaying offers; Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans and loan forgiveness; recalls; employee health screening and testing; social distancing; fear of returning to work; transitioning to a virtual workforce; telework; inability to telework; keeping employees engaged; and more.

SHRM credential-holders seeking recertification who have led or participated in organizational or community responses to COVID-19 should be prepared to summarize their activities, and the knowledge and expertise they obtained or shared as a result, on the special COVID-19 Response Summary Form. Activities can include educational programs and events offered by SHRM or through SHRM local chapters or state councils. U.S.-based SHRM credential-holders must attend at least one chapter or state council COVID-19-specific program and include the PDC code in their writeup. (A list of free chapter and state council regional webcasts is available here.)

The response form instructions and an FAQ page, Recertification PDC Allotment for COVID-19 Activities, provide additional details and clarifications of the new PDC opportunity. This option will be available for the rest of this year and may be extended to next year if the COVID-19 situation continues to require the same level of attention from HR professionals.

For questions or additional information, e-mail

Not a chapter member? Take this opportunity to expand your network by engaging with your local SHRM chapter.

For more information on SHRM Certification, and to register for the exam, please visit our website.



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