Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge


The SHRM BASK was developed through a series of large-scale research studies that incorporated the viewpoints of thousands of HR professionals from around the world. It was most recently updated in 2021, and now includes nine behavioral competencies as well as one technical competency. 

In addition to describing the HR field, the SHRM BASK is used to define the content areas of SHRM’s certification examinations: the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP®) exam for HR professionals in operational roles and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®) exam for senior-level HR professionals in strategic roles. The two SHRM credentials provide reliable indicators to the global business community that the credential-holder is a recognized expert and leader in the HR field with the necessary capabilities in both aspects of HR practice—competencies and knowledge—that are required for effective job performance.

Further, the SHRM BASK is also the common framework for the item writers who develop SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exam questions, as well as individuals and organizations developing exam preparation materials. SHRM’s own operations for exam development are separate and independent from its operations for study material development. SHRM observes a strict firewall between these activities to protect the integrity and credibility of the certification exams.

Starting in 2023, SHRM exams are available for individuals living in South Korea to take the Korean-translated exams, and individuals living in designated Arabic-speaking counties to take the Arabic exam. Navigate to the Exam Options & Fees page to see the list of designated Arabic-speaking counties.

SHRM BASK at a Glance

A graphic chart of the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge


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