Why are the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP the Global Standards in HR Certification?

As part of SHRM’s 65-year commitment to growing and advancing the HR profession, we continuously evaluate our education and resources to ensure that we are meeting the needs of today’s HR professionals. This commitment inspired the development of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications.

The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications are built upon the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK). The SHRM BoCK is based on extensive global research that included employers, academics and practicing HR professionals at all levels. It defines the standards for knowledge, strategies and competencies required of HR professionals around the world.

To maintain this industry-leading level of excellence and relevancy in our ever-evolving profession, SHRM continuously monitors the HR landscape to identify opportunities to enhance and refine the SHRM BoCK and certification programs.

As a result, the SHRM BoCK is being enhanced.

What changes are coming to the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK)?

In 2015, SHRM brought together some of the best minds in the HR profession to review and validate the necessary competencies and skills required of HR professionals. SHRM Certification surveyed thousands of members and conducted nine workshops with approximately 70 subject matter experts from around the world to determine how the SHRM BoCK could be adapted to better suit the demands of the profession. The results of this in-depth study have shaped the 2017 updates to the SHRM BoCK. In this update, you will see:

  • Updated definitions for each competency and functional area;
  • Behavioral competencies grouped by themes: business, interpersonal and leadership
  • The addition of sub-competencies for each behavioral competency; and
  • The addition of key concepts to each behavioral competency.

Learn more about these enhancements by downloading the updated SHRM BoCK and watching video overview.

Will the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams change? If so, how?

The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exam content is based on the SHRM BoCK, therefore as the BoCK content evolves with the global HR profession, the enhancements are reflected on the exams.

In addition to the content, SHRM has also monitored the candidate experience with the exam format. In 2017, the exam will be adapted to better evaluate and serve certification candidates. Candidates can expect to see:

  • An equal number of questions (160) on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams;
  • Time to take the exam increased to 4 hours;
  • Credit for best answer selection; and
  • A more detailed score report.

To learn more, download the updated SHRM BoCK and watch this video overview.

Why is SHRM no longer offering partial credit for the situational judgement questions on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP?

The situational judgement questions on the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP exams are designed to test examinees’ ability to apply their knowledge to real-world HR situations. SHRM works closely with a panel of diverse and experienced HR professionals to identify the correct answer for SJIs. Panelists use their judgement and knowledge of real-world HR situations to evaluate the effectiveness of different responses to questions within a particular situation.

Research regarding the situational judgment questions that have been administered to examinees has demonstrated that the use of partial credit scoring has had very little impact on the technical properties of the exams (the reliability of the resulting test scores and the correlations between the SJIs and the HR-knowledge items), which also indicates that the use of partial scoring has had very minimal impact on an examinee’s overall exam performance. In other words, evaluating candidates’ ability to select the best answer lets us identify competent candidates as well as evaluating both best and second-best answers does.

As a result, SHRM, with approval of the SHRM Certification Commission, has made the decision to discontinue partial-credit scoring, beginning with the Spring 2017 testing window. This decision in no way alters the intent of the situational judgement questions.

Will removing the partial credit scoring for situational judgement question on the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP make the exams harder to pass?

No. The passing scores for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are determined by standard setting panels, made up of experienced and diverse HR professionals, who follow a modified Angoff method to set the passing score. The standard for the 2015-2016 exams was set based on the idea that some examinees would choose the second-best response; this meant that the passing score for the 2015-2016 exams was higher than it would have been if only full credit responses were being scored.

For 2017, a new standard-setting is being conducted, based on awarding points only for the best response to Situational Judgement Items (SJIs). Although examinees in 2017 and beyond will only receive points for selecting the best response to SJIs, the passing score for those examinees will be lower than it would have been if partial credit was still being awarded.

Will the study materials change? If so, how?

Yes, SHRM has created a seamless experience for examinees who will be testing under the updated SHRM BoCK. All SHRM study materials and services, including the 2017 SHRM Learning System and SHRM certification preparation options, have been updated to incorporate the content enhancements reflected in the new BoCK and the changes to the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. Additionally, SHRM has provided training, resources and support to ensure that our instructor led courses reflect the updated SHRM BoCK and exam changes.

To learn more, download and review the updated SHRM BoCK and watch this informative video overview.

Going forward, how frequently will the BoCK be updated?

To maintain an industry-leading level of excellence, and in compliance with industry standards, SHRM will review and update the BoCK every 3-5 years.