SHRM Sees Growth in Membership and Services to HR Professionals

CEO Hank Jackson announces accreditation for SHRM Certification and update to SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge

Nov 17, 2016
WASHINGTON — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) experienced record membership in 2016 and has tapped that growth to reinvest in services that benefit the association’s members and the HR profession, President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson said today in the annual State of the Society address.

“Preparing you and preparing our profession is what your society is dedicated to doing each and every day,” Jackson told more than 800 HR professionals gathered in Washington, D.C., for SHRM’s Volunteer Leaders’ Summit.

Speaking before HR professionals who lead 571 SHRM chapters, 50 state councils and the Pacific council, Jackson said the association’s membership has reached a record 289,000, representing more than 70,000 organizations. Student membership has grown to a record 23,000, and SHRM’s executive network, HR People + Strategy, now numbers 1,100.

“SHRM is committed to being a career home for HR professionals from start to finish — from students to CHROs,” he said.

This year, SHRM has reinvested in the SHRM Competency Model, SHRM Certification and other services for members and the profession. 

Jackson announced that SHRM Certification exams have been accredited by the Buros Center for Testing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which reviews licensure programs and many professional certifications, as well as established admission exams for medical, law and professional schools.

“Because of the quality and rigor SHRM used to develop our certification and our efforts to validate that the exam enhances proficiency in HR, we received accreditation,” he said. “And we did it in less than two years. This is a giant step forward for the HR profession.”

More than 96,000 HR professionals hold SHRM credentials, making SHRM Certification the fastest-growing HR certification and SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams the most widely taken HR certification exams in the world, Jackson reported. He added that SHRM research shows that almost two-thirds of HR supervisors view their SHRM-certified employees as better prospects for leadership opportunities than noncertified professionals.

The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP program was launched in January 2015 after years of research to define the competencies and knowledge relevant to today’s global HR professional. SHRM’s work on competencies continues, and an update of the framework for the certification exams — the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge — is being released next month, Jackson said.

Jackson said SHRM members asked for more competency-based education. The association responded, providing 37,000 competency-based educational offerings through SHRM and its network of 1,800 providers.

Jackson also shared other highlights from the past year, including:
A global reach with products and services delivered in 65 countries.
A consumer-focused website that now includes more content about talent acquisition. 
A milestone with the SHRM Foundation celebrating its 50th anniversary.
An annual event for the record books with the second-largest SHRM Annual Conference attended by more than 15,000 in Washington, D.C.
“The state of our society is strong and getting stronger,” Jackson said.

MEDIA: For more information, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Hill at 703-535-6072 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the 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 us at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.

Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect