SHRM Announces Certification Body of Competency and Knowledge

Cornerstone of SHRM’s HR Certification is the result of extensive preparation and industry research

Sep 10, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) took an important step in the introduction of the SHRM Certification today when it released the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge.

“Today’s release is significant because it provides the framework for the profession to continue the evolution of HR professionals from practitioners 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.

“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.

The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge, the SHRM Preferred Provider Program and the SHRM Certification Recertification Requirements Handbook are available for download along with more information about the SHRM Certification at

Media: For more information, please contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 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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