Procrastination, Panic and the Portal: My SHRM Recertification Story

It was almost midnight on Halloween as my deadline approached ...

By Jenny Locanthi Dowell, SHRM-SCP March 14, 2019

​Jenny Locanthi Dowell, SHRM-SCP

​Last October, I had an experience that many readers can relate to: I recertified my SHRM-SCP credential for the first time! What may be less relatable is how close I came to missing the deadline for recertification.

I've been an HR professional for 11 years, and, in our nonstop world of endless to-do's, I often feel like I'm triaging tasks and working up to the last possible minute more often than I ought to. I knew my SHRM recertification deadline was coming up and that "one of these days" I should really look into it and see what I needed to do about it.

Well, one thing led to another, and somehow that deadline went from months away to days away to hours away. I found myself sitting at home on Oct. 31, just a few hours from midnight on Halloween, with the startling realization that today—now!—was in fact the last moment I could recertify my SHRM credential (short of paying a late fee to submit within the grace period—yes, you can do that).

On top of that, I had recently changed jobs and wasn't quite sure where the records of my recertification credits were. Did I remember to transfer them from my old work computer? Did I remember to grab that file folder of hard-copy certificates from my local chapter meetings and state conferences? What were those credit categories, anyway? How many credits could I claim from my memberships and volunteer roles? Could I get an extension? And on and on ...

Needless to say, my anxiety was starting to climb. My mind was filled with increasingly panicked thoughts as I rapidly ran through my options. 

After a few minutes, I thought it might be a good idea to just go ahead and see what I had to work with. I logged into the Certification Portal on the SHRM website.

When it loaded, I looked at the recertification credit summary right there on the landing page—and realized that I already had every credit I needed and more! The hours I had earned directly from SHRM events and as a SHRM member were already listed and accounted for. 

My hands literally shot into the air as I shouted a relieved "Yes!" I clicked through the next few screens to confirm and pay for my recertification. Done! 

If your recertification deadline is coming up, don't wait—log into your portal today. Just get started. SHRM has so many great credit-earning opportunities, both free and paid. Many credits are automatically uploaded into your account. And there are tons of resources—the SHRM Recertification Requirements Handbook, videos, webcasts, hotlines, etc.—to help you navigate the process. Take advantage of SHRM's support for recertification in whatever way works best for you. 

We worked hard to earn our SHRM credentials. Respect and honor your commitment by protecting your SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP with recertification. 

Jenny Locanthi Dowell, SHRM-SCP, is manager, Compensation & Organizational Effectiveness, Division of Human Capital Services, at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., and the current director of the Kansas State Council of SHRM.

Need professional development credit (PDCs) direction to help you MAINTAIN your SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP? Visit the Qualifying Activities section on

Ready to COMPLETE your SHRM recertification? Visit your certification portal and finish today.

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