SHRM Announces Certification Body of Competency and Knowledge


By SHRM Online staff September 10, 2014

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today released the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge, which contains the knowledge and behaviors on which the new SHRM certifications are based.

“Today’s release is significant because it provides the framework for the profession to continue the evolution of HR professionals to strategic business leaders,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, SHRM’s president and CEO. “This is what the business community demands.”

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

The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge documents the nine behavioral and technical competencies on which the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (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.

SHRM’s certifications cover people, organization, workplace and strategy operations and also incorporate the knowledge required to perform specific HR activities. 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. A preliminary framework was reviewed and validated by an advisory panel made up of HR and business leaders from various industries. Feedback from the panel was incorporated into what SHRM adopted, and the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge then was assessed by five major corporations and research universities to determine if proficiency in these competencies translated to enhanced performance.

“What [the Body of Competency and Knowledge] says to me,” Jackson said, “is that the HR profession is evolving and has been for many years. HR is a relatively young profession, and therefore evolution is inevitable. The Body of Competency and Knowledge now codifies where the HR profession has evolved to, and it will continue to evolve and be updated as the profession evolves.”

A pilot exam will be given in mid-October to ensure the exam validates proficiency in these competencies, Jackson said. “For individuals who wish to move from current general certifications to the new SHRM certifications, there will be a tutorial incorporated in the process, to make sure you know competencies and how they are utilized and practiced. They can also self-evaluate where they are relative to these,” he added.

“As the intellectual cornerstone of the SHRM Certification, the Body of Competency and Knowledge provides those in human resources an opportunity to begin thinking about the content for the new certification,” said Bette Francis, SPHR, chair of SHRM’s Board of Directors. “The updated knowledge component reflects the modern and current skills, including technology, big data and employee engagement, that are critical in today’s global business environment.”

Also today, SHRM announced the SHRM Preferred Provider Program, which gives organizations that offer HR-related education and training the opportunity to award professional development credits without pre-approval from SHRM during a two-year period. And the

SHRM Certification Recertification Requirements Handbook, which explains the requirements and qualifying activities for recertification, is now available.

HR professionals with existing HR generalist certifications in good standing will be eligible for the new SHRM certification on Jan. 5, 2015, by taking an online tutorial. HR professionals seeking a certification for the first time can apply for the SHRM Certification exam beginning Jan. 5. The first exam period is scheduled for May 1 through July 15, 2015.


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