SHRM to Create New Certification Based on HR Competencies

By SHRM Online staff May 12, 2014

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has announced it will create a competency-based certification program for human resource professionals.

The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels – entry, middle, senior and executive. The new certification is focused on teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.

“The differentiator for HR professionals will not be what you know, but what you can do with what you know,” said SHRM Board Chair Bette Francis, SPHR. The SHRM Board of Directors voted to approve the creation of the competency-based certification. “SHRM has a responsibility to lead the profession towards a certification process that proves competencies. That will benefit the individual, the profession and employers by aligning HR with the changing demands of business.”

SHRM developed the competency model over the past three years and is currently working on a certification program that will create a testing regime and governance model to provide integrity to the exam process.

SHRM plans to offer the first exam for the new competency-based certification in mid-2015. However, to ensure that no applicants or other stakeholders are disadvantaged by this transition, SHRM will continue to support the PHR and SPHR certification programs through the December 2014-January 2015 test window. Other exams will be supported through their last test window in 2014.

“We have been working towards this for several years and are taking steps to ensure a smooth transition for SHRM members and HR professionals,” said SHRM CEO and President Henry G. "Hank" Jackson. “We are creating a clear pathway for HR professionals who are already certified under knowledge-based credentials so they can move to the new SHRM competency-based certification. This certification will be relevant to all career levels, across all industries, and organizations around the world.”

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