Take a Bead on Recertification Credit in Big Easy

By Kathy Gurchiek Apr 13, 2009

Attendees at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 61st Annual Conference & Exposition in New Orleans not only can get their fill of beignets and chicory coffee—they also can earn up to 26 recertification hours.

The HR Certification Institute—a SHRM affiliate—has approved the 2009 Annual Conference as a venue for earning PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification credit hours.

Nearly half of the required 60 recertification credits may be earned by attending preconference workshops, certificate programs, SHRM business education and executive education programs, and more than 150 concurrent sessions.

“Once you have gone through the process of being certified, recertification is a way to demonstrate lifelong learning,” said Cornelia Springer, HR Certification Institute operations director.

“You get your degree but there’s no requirement to keep yourself current. And that’s what’s great about certification in general: You’ve got to stay on top of what’s going on in your field. The sessions at the Annual Conference are a great way to do that.”

Three and a half days of concurrent sessions, scheduled June 28 to July 1, will cover six tracks; strategic management, skill development, employment, employment law and legislation, international, and total rewards.

HR in the Federal Sector, a three-day, 14-credit certificate program, has been added for the 2009 Annual Conference. Other certificate programs at the Ernest Morial Convention Center will cover SHRM Essentials of HR Management (12 credits, two-day course); HR Generalist (15 credits, three-day course); and HR in Alignment (15 credits, three-day course).

Keeping certification up-to-date is a way to gain a career edge during an uncertain economy, she noted.

“All things being equal, the credential really helps [HR professionals] to differentiate themselves in this economy, just in looking for jobs in general.”

A recertification form that can be downloaded is available on the SHRM web site. Attendees submit the completed form to the HR Certification Institute. Recertification forms will be available at the HR Certification Institute booth in the exhibit hall of the convention center.

Three credits are earned annually for being a SHRM member.

“Between Annual and membership, you’ve got more than half your hours right there,” Springer pointed out. “It’s also a great networking opportunity,” she said of the Annual Conference. Attendees who have their GPHR, PHR or SPHR may take advantage of a special lounge in the convention center during the conference.

For those looking to become certified, GPHR and PHR/SPHR preparation classes will be available at Annual Conference. This marks the first time in two years that the PHR/SPHR preparation classes have been offered during the conference.

For those who have achieved certification, the conference is a good way to pick up recertification credit, Springer emphasized.

“Most people don’t want to take that [recertification] test again. This is the easy way to get recertification credit.”

Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor for HR News. She can be reached at kathy.gurchiek@shrm.org.

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