Frequently Asked Questions

Exam & Eligibility

View the eligibility requirements. Contact us if you have additional questions. A job description(s) may be requested in order for us to determine your eligibility.

Eligibility requirements to sit for either of the SHRM exams must be met at the time you apply for the exam.

You may apply for the exams when the application period is open.Visit https://store.shrm.org/certification-application. After completing the application process, create a user account, or login if you already have a profile. Enter your name as it appears on your unexpired original government-issued ID. (Name on ID must be represented in Latin characters).

View the eligibility requirements to ensure you do meet the requirements. If you know you are typingvalid eligibility data and you are still getting the error, please try the following:

  • Log out of your certification profile.
  • Clear your cookies and temporary internet files in your web browser.
  • Log back into your certification profile.
  • Try the application again.

If the error message persists, you will need to contact us for further assistance.

The SHRM exams are administered via computer-based testing by SHRM’s test delivery vendor, Prometric, at one of their testing centers. Once your application is complete, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter via e-mail. This letter will include your Eligibility ID that you will need when you contact Prometric to schedule your exam appointment. Go to prometric.com/shrm or call 888.736.0134 to schedule your exam appointment.

In order to receive an ATT letter, youmust have::

  • Submitteda completed exam application with payment.
  • If audited, completed, and passed the audit verification process.
  • If special testing accommodations were requested, submit a completed Testing Accommodations Request Form and had itapproved by the SHRM Certification Department.

If you have completed all of the applicable requirements, you shouldbe able to access your ATT letter by going to your certification portal and clickingon the link locatedunder the"Submitted Certification Applications" section. If you do not see the link, please contact us.

If you are currently eligible to sit for the SHRM-SCP exam, you may apply for the SHRM-SCPexamwhen the application period is open.Visit https://store.shrm.org/certification-application. and complete an application for the SHRM-SCP exam.

Yes, you may take both exams within the same testing window as long as you are eligible for and pay for both exams. In order to apply, complete your first exam application https://store.shrm.org/certification-application. To apply for the second exam, please contact us at certification@shrm.org for assistance. Please be aware that should you pass the SHRM-SCP and decide not to take the SHRM-CP exam you will be bound by the cancellation/refund policy outlined in the Certification Handbook.

Exam appointments may be changed as long as you are keeping your appointment within the same exam window and do so five or more business days before your scheduled exam appointment.

  • If a candidate cancels more than 30 days prior to their exam appointment, a $35.00 cancellation fee will be charged by Prometric.
  • If you are between five and 29 business days before your scheduled exam date, you may reschedule your exam appointment, but there will be a fee due to Prometric.
  • If you are less than five business days before your scheduled exam date, you may not reschedule and will forfeit your fees.

All exam appointment changes must be done directly through Prometric:

  • Within the U.S.: prometric.com/shrm or 888.736.0134
  • Outside the U.S.: prometric.com/shrm or call the local Prometric Regional Contact Center found in Appendix C in the Certification Handbook
  • If you requested special testing accommodations: 800.967.1139

A candidate may request an exam level change once during an exam window.

If an exam appointment has already been scheduled, it must first be canceled with Prometric. Once the exam appointment has been canceled, an exam level change request must be submitted at least 10 business days before the scheduled exam date. Because an exam level change cancels the originally scheduled exam appointment, a candidate is required to schedule a new exam appointment. If the exam window has already opened, the same time and location for the new exam appointment is not guaranteed.

To request an exam level change, e-mail certification@shrm.org, specifying which exam you wish to take. Candidates requesting to change from SHRM-CP to SHRM-SCP must provide applicable work experience to ensure the eligibility requirements for the SHRM-SCP are met. If those requirements are met, SHRM will verify the exam level change request with a new ATT letter.

Both exams will contain Knowledge- and Competency-based questions:

  • Candidates for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams will have 4 hours to answer a total of 134questions, of which approximately 55are stand-alone knowledge items and 55will be situational judgment items.

Breakdown of Testing-Time:

Candidate Confirmation Details: 2 minutes

Introduction and Tutorial: 8 minutes

Exam: 4 hours (240 minutes)

Note: The entire seat time is 240 minutes. However, the exam itself is 220 minutes long administered in two equal halves of 110 minutes.

Survey: 5 minutes

Each section shows a countdown timer on the screen, and each section is separate and time-independent. Minutes do not rollover. For instance, if a candidate spends less time in the introduction, extra minutes are not rolled over to the exam portion.

We have enhanced the exam layout to improve navigation throughout the exam. We recommend you become familiar with the new layout prior to your exam date. A tutorial is now available to preview the navigation functions including the highlight feature, the strike out feature, the calculator and marking questions for review. Click here to access the tutorial. On the first page of the tutorial simply click on OK to begin the tutorial.

Situational judgment items (SJIs) assess candidates’ judgment and decision-making skills, which are not easily measured using traditional knowledge-based questions. Examinees are presented with realistic work-related scenarios and asked to choose the best of several possible strategies to resolve or address the issues described in each scenario. Although more than one strategy may be effective for addressing actual work-related scenarios, examinees only receive credit for choosing the best possible answer, as determined by a panel of experienced HR professionals. All other answers, which reflect either less effective or ineffective strategies, receive no credit.

There are two categories of stand-alone knowledge-based items on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. Items in the first category, referred to as HR-specific knowledge Items (KIs), cover key concept topics associated with the 14HR functional areas, while items in the second category, referred to as foundational knowledge items (FKIs), cover key concept topics considered foundational to the nine behavioral competencies. Examinees receive credit for selecting the correct answer to a given question; otherwise, no credit is awarded.

Degree verification (if applicable) (any of the following):

  • Copy of degree or transcripts (If your name has changed since you earned your degree, you must also include your legal name change document.)
  • Letter from registrar on school letterhead confirming degree
  • Letter from evaluation services confirming degree level (global equivalence)

AND

Experience documentation to verify years of experience and the specific HR role(s) included on your application:

  • Letter from a supervisor, HR, or business owner (on company letterhead)
  • - Letter to include years of experience as well as responsibilities in HR role(s)

    - Must verify 1,000 hours in a calendar year in an HR role

    - Satisfies years of experience as well as HR role

  • Experience Verification Form
  • - Complete the Experience Verification Form

    - Must be signed by a supervisor, HR, or business owner

Upload the supporting documentation to the Certification Portal.

If you require testing accommodations, complete and submit Sections I, II, and IV of the Testing and Certification Accommodations Request Form at the time of application submission. Upon approval, SHRM will provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations related to the testing process.

Payments & Refunds

When you get to the payment screen in your exam application, click on "Pay by Check/ACH." A form will popup that can be printed out. You may also go to the "My Resources" tab, then "My Orders tab and print a copy of your order. If this does not work, please contact us so we may e-mail you a copy. Please ensure your popup blocker is turned off.

Please include a copy of your order when mailing your check. If a copy of your order is not included, it will significantly delay the processing of your exam application.

When you get to the payment screen in your exam application click on "Pay by Check/ACH." A form will popup that can be printed out. You may also go to the "My Resources" tab, then "My Orders" tab and print a copy of your order. If this does not work, please contact us so we may send you a copy. Please ensure your pop-up blocker is turned off.

Candidates may request a transfer to the next testing window one-time per exam application for a fee of $100.00 under the following circumstances:

  • Candidates with an exam appointment must submit their request no later than 5 business days before their scheduled appointment. The exam appointment must be canceled before the transfer request can be processed. A cancellation fee of $35.00 (more than 30 days prior to an exam appointment) or $53.00 (less than 30 days prior to an exam appointment), payable to Prometric, may also apply.
  • Candidates without an exam appointment may request a transfer up to the first day of the current testing window.

Candidates who receive a transfer but who are unable to test during their new appointment will forfeit all fees, except in the case of a medical or personal emergency. Under these circumstances, supporting documentation must be provided.

To cancel an exam appointment, visit prometric.com/shrm or call Prometric, SHRM’s test delivery vendor at 888.736.0134. International candidates, refer to the Certification Handbook and see Appendix C: Regional Testing Contact Centers for the correct phone number. To cancel an exam appointment based on a request for testing accommodations, call 800.967.1139.

If a candidate cancels more than 30 days prior to their exam appointment, a $35.00 cancellation fee will be charged by Prometric.

If a candidate cancels less than 30 days but no later than five days prior to an exam appointment, a $53.00 cancellation fee will be charged by Prometric.

Refunds are provided to exam candidates as follows:

  • Candidates who withdraw from the exam 30 days or more before the first day of the testing window are eligible to receive a full refund of their exam fees, minus the non-refundable $50 application processing fee and the $75 standard deadline fee (if applicable).
  • Candidates who withdraw from the exam less than 30 days before the first day of the testing window are eligible to receive a partial refund of their exam fees, minus the $100 exam fee (or minus $50 for the student rate), the nonrefundable $50 application processing fee and the $75 standard deadline fee (if applicable). *Student “Join Now” refund needs to reference SHRM Certification Handbook, Refund Policy.
  • Candidates who determine, no later than five business days prior to their scheduled exam appointment that they are unable to test may request to be transferred to the next testing window (one time) for a fee of $100.
  • Candidates who cannot take the exam because of medical or personal emergencies within five days prior to a scheduled exam appointment may submit a request for a partial refund of exam fees no later than 30 days after closure of the exam window, to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Note: you are not eligible for a refund if you cancel less than 5 business days before a scheduled exam appointment and/or after the first day of the testing window in which you have applied, except in the case of a medical or personal emergency.

In order for SHRM to process the appropriate refund based on our policy, the Refund Request Form must be submitted.

For purposes of the SHRM certification program, medical or personal emergencies are defined as unplanned events affecting the candidate or immediate family member(s) (spouse, child, or parent), which arise within five days of the scheduled exam appointment and prevent the candidate from taking the exam, or from rescheduling or canceling an exam appointment.

An event that can be anticipated is not considered a medical or personal emergency. A candidate’s inability to take the exam due to work commitments or insufficient or inappropriate preparation is not considered a personal emergency.

Candidates with medical or personal emergencies within five days prior to a scheduled exam appointment may request a partial refund of 50% of the exam fee. A refund request must be submitted to SHRM via e-mail to certificationpayment@shrm.org no later than 30 days after closure of the exam window and must include supporting documentation as to the nature of the medical or personal emergency. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

In order for SHRM to process the appropriate refund based on our policy, the Cancellation/Refund Form. must be submitted.

In order to receive member pricing, a candidate must be a member at the time of application. If you were a member at the time of application, but are not seeing the member pricing, please contact us so we may adjust your account to reflect your SHRM membership. You will then be able to reapply to receive the member pricing.

When you submit payment, you will receive a receipt via e-mail. If you need another copy of your receipt, you can log into your certification portal click on "My Resources" then “My Order” to obtain a copy of your receipt. If for some reason this does not work you may contact us, and we will e-mail you a copy.

Certification Portal

Please reset your password here. Key in your e-mail and click “Send Instructions”. You will receive an e-mail that contains a link to reset your password. You may then access the SHRM Certification Portal.

If you have received the message "This account is currently locked, please contact SHRM for assistance." Please contact us for assistance in unlocking your account.

Please go to MySHRM and select "Change Password". Follow the prompts to change your password.

Please reset your password. If you cannot do so, please contact support.

Please login using your shrm.org information, we have merged our records and you’ll only need one login for both your SHRM membership and certification accounts.

Please login using the e-mail address and password you use for your SHRM Certification Portal account. You’ll just enter it on a different screen.

First, login to MySHRM to update your e-mail address. Then login to the SHRM Certification Portal to make sure the e-mail addresses match.

No, the only information linked between your SHRM membership and SHRM certification accounts are your e-mail address and password. The address you maintain on your certification record will not update your membership address and vice versa.

You may update your login e-mail and password via MySHRM.

You may update the e-mail address that SHRM Certification will correspond with you via the SHRM Certification Portal.

You may set these e-mail addresses to be the same or it is perfectly acceptable to have them be different.

During the profile creation process, if your country is not listed you will have an opportunity to submit it to us for review.

Recertification

SHRM credential holders are required to recertify every three years and are provided with two options to do so: by earning PDCs (60 per 3-year cycle); or by retaking the exam. The process must be completed preferrably by your end date (last day of your birth month), but definitely by your expiration date (last day of your 60 day greace period).

Your initial recertification cycle begins the day you pass the exam and ends 3-years later on the last day of your birth month. After the completion of your initial cycle, your next cycle (and those following) will begin the day after your completed file is submitted and approved. The same end date as stated above applies.


EXAMPLE

Initial Cycle:
  • Candidate’s birth month is July
  • Candidate takes and passes the exam on May 1, 2019
  • New credential holder’s recertification cycle starts May 2, 2019 and ends July 31, 2022
Next Cycle:
  • Credential holder’s current recertification cycle is May 3, 2019 – July 31, 2022
  • Credential holder recertifies on April 28 2022
  • Credential holder’s NEW 3-year cycle is April 29, 2022 – July 31, 2025

You may submit your completed recertification record after one year into your recertification cycle. Your new 3-year cycle will begin the day after you recertify. Your recertification cycle end date will remain the last day of your birth month.

If you recertify with more than 60 credits, you are able to carry over up to 20 credits of those earned in the Advance Your Education category to your new cycle. Carryover credits will be auto-uploaded at the end of the month.

Activities may be entered with or without an activity code. If you do not have a code, simply select the category the activity falls under (Advance Your Education, Advance Your Organization or Advance Your Profession), select the type of activity, then fill in the required information.

Are you using the same e-mail address for certification and shrm.org? If you think you may have more than one e-mail address or account with SHRM, please contact us and we’ll help you consolidate your accounts.

Events cannot be entered until they have ended. If after checking the dates, you continue to receive an error, please contact us for further assistance.

Yes! All SHRM conferences, seminars and eLearning programs that you attend will auto-populate to your recertification record provided your SHRM certification and SHRM member email addresses match. If they are different simply log in to shrm.org/my/account to update your information.

Yes, we have an app for that! The SHRM certification app allows you to:

  • Easily add your PDCs under the Advance Your Education section.
  • Track all of the activities you have already added to your record.
  • Search and filter approved activities by competency, date and location.
  • Discover upcoming approved activities in your area.
  • Find out when you're eligible to apply for recertification.

The app is available for iOS and Android users. Download now from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Please contact us and we will update your records to reflect the correct dates.

Digital Badging

A badge is a version of your credential in a digital format that allows you to showcase your earned accomplishment publicly or privately on a variety of platforms. Post your digital badge anywhere – it may be shared as part of your profile on social media sites, embedded in your email signature, or posted on your website. Once shared, your digital badge can be clicked, revealing metadata which validates your achievement for employers, peers, clients, and customers.

SHRM has partnered with Credly to translate the accomplishments you have demonstrated into a badge that is issued and managed through the company's platform. The technology that Credly uses is based on the Open Badge Standards maintained by IMS Global. This enables you to manage, share and verify your competencies digitally.

Badges provide employers and peers with concrete evidence of what you earned, how you earned it, and the value you now bring as a result of the achievement. Credly also offers labor market insights based on your skills which allows you to search and apply for job opportunities right through the platform.

A digital badge represents the achievement of a credential and its issuance is triggered by the result of that event. Shortly after receiving official notification of your accomplishment, you will receive an email from Credly with instructions for claiming your badge.

No, this is a service that SHRM provides to you at no cost.

You can share your badge directly from the Credly platform to a variety of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also add it to your email signature, post it on your website and download a copy of the badge to use on printed materials.

If you do not want your badge to be visible to the public you can easily configure your privacy settings in the Credly platform to hide it.

While badges are simply digital image files, they are uniquely linked to data hosted on Credly's platform. This link to verified data makes them more reliable and secure than a paper-based certificate. It also eliminates the possiblity of anyone claiming your credential and your associated identity.

Labor market insights are data points pulled from live job requisitions that you can use to inform your job search. Based on your skills, you can learn which employers are hiring, what job titles you might be qualified for, salary ranges, and more. Search active job listings and even apply for them with just a few clicks through the Credly platform. Access labor market insights from your badge details page by clicking on the "Related Jobs", or by clicking on the skill tags assigned to your badge.

Unfortunately the ability to import badges from other platforms is not available at this time. However, exporting badges from Credly to other platforms is possible. Your downloaded badge contains Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI) compliant metadata embedded into the image. This allows you to store your badge on other OBI-compliant badge sites, such as the Mozilla Backpack platform.

SHRM BASK

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 Applied Skills and Knowledge (SHRM BASK), formerly SHRM BoCK. The SHRM BASK 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 BASK and certification programs.

As a result, the SHRM BoCK is being enhanced.

The SHRM BoCK is updated about every 3-5 years to be in alignment with industry standards and changes in the HR profession. The last SHRM BoCK update occurred in 2017.

The SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge™ (SHRM BASK™), formerly the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge® (SHRM BoCK®), represents the evolution of the SHRM Competency Model by further defining the knowledge areas in addition to the behavioral competencies.

The SHRM BASK is the product of extensive review and research that was conducted from 2019 through 2021. The 2022 SHRM BASK more clearly defines and describes the behavioral and technical knowledge required for HR professionals to meet the current and future needs of employers. The revisions provide additional clarity and guidance to facilitate HR professionals’ career development and advancement.

The BASK also serves as the blueprint for the SHRM Learning System, curriculum guidebook for HR degree programs, and ultimately, the taxonomy for all of SHRM's work. Click on the link to learn more about the SHRM BASK.

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

In addition to the content, SHRM has also monitored candidate experience with the exam format.

To learn more, download the current SHRM BASK.

The SHRM Learning System and SHRM certification preparation options are optimized each year to incorporate current legislative changes and market feedback. Any significant content enhancements are aligned with the updates to the SHRM BASK and the changes to the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. This typically occurs every 3-5 years.

To learn more, download and review the current SHRM BASK.

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

Other Questions

The Department of Education defines the goal of accreditation as “to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.” In terms of testing programs, such as the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), accreditation involves a third-party review of exams, policies and procedures to ensure that organizations maintain a standard of quality as determined by the testing industry.

Achieving accreditation was important to SHRM because it provides SHRM-certified professionals and their employers with the assurance that SHRM’s credentials meet the high standards expected and needed to advance the HR profession.

The Buros Center for Testing, the premier test review center located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, accredited SHRM’s certification exams (the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP). The Buros Center for Testing is an independent nonprofit that has accredited and reviewed other well-known tests, including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for law school and graduate school; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and technicians.

The Buros Center for Testing measures testing programs against the Buros Institute for Assessment Consultation and Outreach (BIACO) Standards for Proprietary Testing. This review includes examining the psychometric properties of the test, reliability, decision consistency, equated passing score as well as item analyses and other analyses. SHRM submitted a 1,900-page application, which documented its testing practices, methodology and policy, for a thorough review by The Buros Center for Testing. The review process took six months to complete and included site visits of both SHRM’s offices and those of its testing vendors.

The Buros Center for Testing was established in 1935 and is a nationally recognized accrediting organization. The Buros Center for Testing functions as the world’s premier test review center, having published more than 7,500 tests (or revisions of test) since its founding.

The Buros Center for Testing measures testing programs against the Buros Institute for Assessment Consultation and Outreach (BIACO) Standards for Proprietary Testing, which consists of the American Psychology Association (APA), American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) standards for educational and psychological testing, recognized by US federal agencies and courts as the most-comprehensive standards for ensuring fairness in testing. This review includes examining the psychometric properties of the test, reliability, decision consistency, equated passing score as well as item analyses and other analyses. Consequently, testing programs accredited by The Buros Center for Testing display high standards of psychometric quality as articulated in the professional standards and the expectations of the testing community.

Additionally, Buros has accredited and reviewed other well-known tests, including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for law school and graduate school; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and technicians.

Since the launch of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP program, SHRM has worked towards evolving its credentials and maintaining recognition as the global standard in HR certification. Achieving accreditation demonstrates to HR professionals and their employers that SHRM’s credentials meet the highest standards in testing.

SHRM was awarded accreditation by The Buros Center for Testing. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The Buros Center is the premier test review center and has accredited or reviewed other well-known tests, including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for medical school, law school and graduate school; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and educators.

To learn more about The Buros Center for Testing visit buros.org.

Once you login to your certification portal, on the home page, you will see an option for a name change request under “Your Portal.” You will need to complete the online form and submit documentation that supports a legal name change.

Minor name changes (adding a middle initial or misspelling of a name) do not need documentation.

Please note, if you have an exam scheduled, Prometric requires that the ID presented must match the information that was given to SHRM when applying for the exam. If they do not match, you may not be allowed to sit for the exam. It is important that name changes are completed as far in advance as possible to ensure Prometric has the correct name on file for you.

Although SHRM created HRCI over 40 years ago, SHRM and HRCI have always been, and still remain, separate and distinct organizations. The HRCI certifications (e.g., PHR, SPHR, GPHR, HRBP and HRMP*) are owned and controlled by HRCI, not by SHRM. The new SHRM Certifications are separate from these HRCI certifications.

SHRM is committed to ensuring that the certification HR professionals achieve is the best in class and distinguishes them in the marketplace. Therefore, at this time, SHRM determined that it is necessary to move forward independently with the development of a competency-based certification, which is urgently needed for the advancement of the HR profession and HR practitioners.

We continue to hope that HRCI will agree to work with us on this effort for the betterment of the HR profession.

*PHR, SPHR, GPHR, HRBP and HRMP are registered trademarks of the HR Certification Institute and are not SHRM certifications.


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