SHRM Books Read for Recertification Credit

SHRM Books Read for Recertification Credit

Welcome to the SHRM Books Read-for-Recertification Credit Program!

IMPORTANT! Use the how-to guide to upload your essay.

Please note that book quizzes were replaced with an essay activity beginning January 1, 2021.

Read. Write. Recertify.

Reading for recertification credit is a great way to broaden knowledge and earn SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® professional development credits (PDCs) along the way.

Here is information you need to write a successful essay and earn credit toward recertification.

1. Read the program FAQs

Read this page for detailed information about the program, approved books, and essay activity.

2. Choose a book

Select from the list of more than 100 approved books on a range of HR, management, and business topics.

Not every book in the SHRMStore is approved for recertification credit. Please make sure your book appears on the list before you start reading.

Obtain the book from your favorite bookseller or library in your preferred format (print, e-book, audiobook, etc.) 

Also, check the list of books leaving the program (see below) so you can plan ahead.

3. Write your essay

Be sure to read the essay tips below before you start writing.

4. Register for the essay activity

The essay activity is free and open to all SHRM-certified professionals.

When you have finished reading the book, follow the how-to guide to register for the eLearning essay activity.

Important! Your essay cannot earn SHRM Certification PDCs unless you have registered for the related eLearning activity as explained in the how-to guide.

5. Submit your essay

After registering for the essay activity, return to the how-to guide for upload instructions.

When SHRM Books accepts your essay (please allow up to 7 calendar days), your eLearning account will be updated the same day and your Certification PDC history shortly thereafter.

You can also self-report your activity to SHRM Certification as explained in the how-to guide.

Program FAQs


Q. How many PDCs can I earn through the program?

You can earn three professional development credits (PDCs) toward recertification by reading an approved book then writing an essay that meets the program criteria and is accepted by SHRM Books. 

Q. Is there a limit to how many PDCs I can earn through this program?

Currently, the SHRM Certification Recertification Requirements Handbook does not indicate a limit for the number of PDCs earned through self-paced and instructor-led activities which include the Read-for-Recertification Credit program. 

Important! SHRM Certification can change this policy so always check the current handbook for guidance as you plan your recertification activities.

Q. Do all the books have the same PDC value?

Yes. If SHRM Books accepts your essay, you will earn three PDCs for reading and writing about any of the books in the program. 

Q. How often are books added to the program?

Books can be added to the program throughout the year so be sure to check the list for updates.

Q. When are books removed from the program?

Books that no longer meet the program criteria are removed throughout the year. The titles are posted on the list as they are selected for removal. 

Q. Where can I access the book I want to read for the program?

You can obtain the book from your favorite bookseller or library. 

Q. Can I read the e-book or listen to the audiobook and still receive credit?

Yes. You can access the book in any format.

Q. What else should I know about the program?

SHRM Certification may select your essay for auditing and contact you for more information at your time of recertification.


Q. How much does it cost to register for a book essay eLearning activity?

Nothing. All book essay activities in eLearning are free. The registration process requires that you add the activity to your cart and check out but the price is zero and you will NOT be charged for the registration.

Q. Does registration include access to the book?

No. You can obtain the book from your favorite bookseller or library.

Q. Can I skip the registration and just submit my essay in the online form?

No. Your essay cannot earn SHRM Certification PDCs unless you first register for the book's eLearning essay activity through the SHRMStore. Please register now then allow up to 20 minutes for the activity to appear in your SHRM eLearning account.

Q. Can I compose my essay in the online form?

No. The activity form does not count words, check spelling and grammar, or save draft versions of your essay. 

Important! To protect against data loss and use text editing features, write and save your work on your own device then paste the text into the form.


Q. What should I write about?

Please answer the question "What lessons have you learned by reading this book and how will you apply them in your work?"

Important! Do not review, recap, or summarize the book. Instead, write about how the information has changed or will change your work, professional relationships, career plans, and perspective.

For inspiration, skim this example of an essay that was accepted and awarded PDCs.

Q. How long must my essay be?

About 500 words. Non-narrative text such as the book title, author name, chapter headings, etc. does not count.

Q. How much time do I have to submit my essay after I finish reading the book?

Try to submit your essay as soon as you finish reading the book; books no longer meeting the program criteria are removed throughout the year.

Q. Can I use automated tools such as ChatGPT?

No need. You definitely have what it takes to write a successful essay.


Q. How do I submit my essay after I register for the activity?

After you receive email confirming your successful registration, follow the steps in the how-to guide to upload your essay.

Q. If my essay is incomplete or contains errors, can I submit an updated version?

No. The first version you submit is the only version that will be considered.

Q. Does an essay earn three PDCs as soon as it is uploaded?

Not instantly. SHRM Books may first contact you with questions.


Q. When will my essay be evaluated?

Please allow up to 7 calendar days from the date you submit your essay. 

Q. How will my essay be evaluated?

The relevance and thoroughness of your reply to the question are most important. There is no evaluation of punctuation or other technical aspects of your writing. 

Reasons why the program might contact you about your essay include: 
  • The book is not approved for recertification credit
  • The essay does not match the book title on the submission form
  • The essay uses extensive quotes or text from the book
  • The essay does not answer the question
  • The essay falls far short of the target 500 words.


Q. If my essay is accepted, when will I receive the PDCs?

Your PDC history is typically updated within a day of acceptance. To update your PDC history immediately, self-report your activity to SHRM Certification by following the how-to guide.


Q. What if I have more questions?

Please contact us at

Books Leaving the Program


Books no longer meeting the program criteria are removed throughout the year. Register now and take up to one year from your registration date to complete the activity.

Books removed from the program in YTD 2023

Being Global: How to Think, Act, and Lead in a Transformed World

The Big Book of HR, Revised and Updated Edition

Calculating Success: How the New Workplace Analytics Will Revitalize Your Organization

Cape, Spandex, Briefcase: Leadership Lessons from Superheroes

Collaborate: The Art of We; Combining Capabilities to Create New Opportunities for Success

The Crowdsourced Performance Review: How to Use the Power of Social Recognition to Transform Employee Performance

The Culture Map: Breaking Through The Invisible Boundaries Of Global Business

The Data Driven Leader: A Powerful Approach To Delivering Measurable Business Impact Through People Analytics

Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action, 2e

The Definitive Guide to HR Communication: Engaging Employees in Benefits, Pay, and Performance

Effective Human Resource Management: A Global Analysis

The Employee Engagement Mindset: The Six Drivers for Tapping into the Hidden Potential of Everyone in Your Company

Employer's Guide to COVID-19 and Emerging Workplace Issues: Year 2

The End Of Jobs: The Rise Of On-Demand Workers And Agile Corporations

Financial Analysis for HR Managers: Tools for Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy

The Global M&A Tango: How to Reconcile Cultural Differences in Mergers, Acquisitions, and Strategic Partnerships

Growing Influence: A Story of How to Lead with Character, Expertise, and Impact

Handbook for Strategic HR: Best Practices in Organization Development from the OD Network

The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals, 2nd Edition

HR Transformation: Building Human Resources from the Outside In

Human Resource Management: People, Data, and Analytics 1st Edition

Humanity Works: Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future

Inclusive Leadership: From Awareness to Action

Lean HR: Introducing Process Excellence to Your Practice

Manager 3.0: A Millennial's Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management

Manager's Guide to Employee Engagement

Managing Employee Turnover: Dispelling Myths and Fostering Evidence-Based Retention Strategies

Managing the Global Workforce

Managing the Mobile Workforce: Leading, Building, and Sustaining Virtual Teams

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Negotiation at Work: Maximize Your Team's Skills with 60 High-Impact Activities

Network Beyond Bias: Making Diversity a Competitive Advantage for Your Career

Nine Minutes on Monday: The Quick and Easy Way to Go from Manager to Leader

One Strategy: Organization, Planning and Decision Making

People Analytics: How Social Sensing Technology Will Transform Business and What It Tells Us about the Future of Work

Perils and Pitfalls of California Employment Law: A Guide for HR Professionals (Ogletree Deakins/SHRM Employment Law Series)

Point Counterpoint II: New Perspectives on People & Strategy

The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change, 2nd edition

Practices for Engaging the 21st-Century Workforce: Challenges of Talent Management in a Changing Workplace

Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses Into Results

Setting Up Effective HR in Your Small Business or Startup

StandOut 2.0: Assess Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work

Strategic HR: Driving Bottom Line Results Through Your People

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.

Talent, Transformation, and the Triple Bottom Line: How Companies Can Leverage Human Resources to Achieve Sustainable Growth

Transformative HR: How Great Companies Use Evidence-Based Change for Sustainable Advantage

We Are HR: The Business Owner's Definitive Guide To Professional Employer Organizations

What Is Global Leadership?: 10 Key Behaviors that Define Great Global Leaders

Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

Workquake: Embracing the Aftershocks of COVID-19 to Create a Better Model of Working

Are You an Author?

You are welcome to submit your own book for consideration. Please review the criteria below and then submit an application to have your book evaluated.

SHRM Books selects English-language books that:

  • Cover topics as defined by the SHRM BASK™.

  • Offer practical or strategic value to HR professionals and people managers.

  • Provide timely (published within the most recent 5-7 years), relevant, well-researched and accurate content.

  • Demonstrate expertise and thought leadership on the topic.

  • Feature the length (30,000 – 100,000+ words) and standards (copyedited, indexed, typeset, etc.) typical of professionally-published business books.

  • Are readily available to individuals through publishers and book retailers.


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