New HR Test Gives Graduating Students an Edge Over Other Entry-Level Job Candidates

Apr 5, 2011

SHRM’s Assurance of Learning Assessment assures employers that graduates possess key HR knowledge

Alexandria, Va.The Society for Human Resource Management launched its Assurance of Learning Assessment, which tests college and graduate-level students on the human resources skills required for entry-level jobs.

The Assurance of Learning Assessment ensures a basic level of HR knowledge for test takers and provides those who pass a Certificate of Learning to differentiate themselves from other entry-level HR job applicants.

The exam covers key HR topics, including employee and labor relations, employment law, HR and organizational strategy, diversity practices, compensation and benefits, workforce planning and talent management, mergers and acquisitions, globalization, and HR information systems.

“This Assurance of Learning Assessment is part of the long-term strategy of SHRM’s Academic Initiative, and it aligns with SHRM’s mission to provide thought leadership in the field by providing a test of mastery of HR knowledge for recent graduates,” said Deb Cohen, Ph.D., SPHR, chief knowledge development and integration officer with SHRM. “First and foremost, passing the assessment will help students show potential employers they have acquired the minimum knowledge required to enter the HR profession at the entry level. For universities, a primary benefit is to help the university meet its accrediting body’s assurance of learning requirements by showing that the HR degree program teaches its students what it set out to teach them.”

SHRM developed the Assurance of Learning Assessment as part of its Academic Initiative, a campaign to set the agenda for the future of HR education. In November 2009, SHRM commissioned the American Institutes for Research to conduct a series of studies, which laid the foundation for development of the test.

To be eligible to take the Assurance of Learning Assessment, a student must:

  • Be an undergraduate or graduate school student in an HR or HR-related degree program;
  • Take the test within one year before graduation or one year after graduation; and
  • Provide information on his or her degree program, university, and number of HR courses in his or her area of study or concentration.

To view more information about SHRM’s Assurance of Learning Assessment, visit


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at Follow us on Twitter.


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