SHRM Launches Next-Generation Human Resource Certification

Pathway and exam registration open for competency-based SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification

January 5, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va.— Beginning today, human resource professionals can take an important step toward acquiring the competency-based SHRM Certification, as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) opened registration for the first certification exam.

The SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CPSM) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCPSM) program was launched today by SHRM after years of research to define the competencies and knowledge relevant to today’s global HR professional.

A pathway to SHRM Certification for those with existing HR generalist certification also became available today.

“This next evolution of certification helps HR professionals demonstrate that they have the knowledge and behaviors needed to excel in their careers today as business leaders,” said SHRM President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson. “Based on feedback we’ve already received from SHRM members and business leaders, SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP will become the gold standard for HR professionals.”

Professionals holding generalist HR certifications are eligible to earn the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP by completing a free three-step pathway before Dec. 31, 2015.

For those seeking certification, applications now are being taken for the first testing window, May 1 to July 15. The application deadline is March 13. A second testing opportunity will be available from Dec. 1 to Feb. 15, 2016, with applications being taken beginning May 1.

To qualify to sit for a SHRM Certification exam, individuals must have a combination of work experience and education that reflects current HR roles.

“Today’s launch of the SHRM Certification marks the culmination of years of research and months of preparation,” said Wayne Cascio, Ph.D., chair of the Certification Commission and distinguished university professor and the Robert H. Reynolds chair in global leadership at the University of Colorado Denver School of Business. “SHRM Certification and its state-of-the-art assessments offer HR professionals around the globe a significant professional opportunity to demonstrate not only what they know, but also what they can do.”

SHRM announced in May that it was creating a certification program for human resource professionals based on the SHRM Competency Model. Since then, it has developed the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge, which documents nine behavioral and technical competencies that serve as the basis for the certification program.

In October, more than 1,000 people in six countries participated in a pilot exam. They will receive their exam results later this month.

Almost nine out of every 10 people who took the pilot exam said they would recommend it to other HR professionals. “The exam is really like life and work experience,” one HR professional said. “I have had work situations with those same issues mentioned in the test questions.”

A variety of study methods are available for those preparing for the exam, including self-study, in-person and virtual seminars, and organizational training and development programs. SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification preparation programs will be offered by 200 colleges, universities and training firms. The 2015 SHRM Learning System also is available for those preparing.

SHRM Certification is awarded for three years. Sixty professional development credits every three years — through continuing education, supervisor-endorsed work projects or volunteer activities — are required for recertification. Almost 500 SHRM state councils and chapters will serve as preferred providers of recertification credit.

For more information about SHRM Certification, visit

MEDIA: For details or to request an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.


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