Recertification Q&A: Categories of Professional Development Credits

Answers to frequently asked questions about SHRM certification and recertification

By the SHRM Certification Team April 15, 2021
Recertification Q&A: Categories of Professional Development Credits

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Q: How are SHRM recertification credits categorized, and what activities do the categories cover?

A: SHRM credential-holders maintain their certifications by engaging in professional development activities that relate to the behavioral competencies and HR knowledge areas outlined in the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge® (SHRM BoCK®). There are three categories of professional development credits (PDCs) for SHRM certification:

  • Advance Your Education.
  • Advance Your Organization.
  • Advance Your Profession.

The Advance Your Education category covers all HR-related educational and training activities, whether they are instructor-led or self-paced, or conducted in person or virtually. Activities include attending conferences, seminars and workshops; taking college or university courses; earning continuing education units (CEUs) or continuing legal education (CLE) credits; participating in webcasts (live or on-demand), videoconferences, podcasts or e-learning events; and reading SHRM-approved books or e-books.

The Advance Your Organization category covers work-related projects that support organizational goals and provide opportunities to advance your capabilities in the HR behavioral competency areas.

The Advance Your Profession category covers activities such as: researching, writing and publishing; presenting and teaching; volunteering; and professional membership in SHRM and other HR-related organizations.

Consult the SHRM Recertification Requirements Handbook for additional details on each type of activity.


Q: Do I have to earn a minimum number of credits in each category? Is there a maximum number of credits I am allowed to earn in each category?

A: There is no minimum PDC requirement in any of the three categories.

There is no maximum in the Advance Your Education category—all 60 PDCs may be earned in this area. However, the other two categories do have maximums:

  • Advance Your Organization: credits capped at 30 PDCs.
  • Advance Your Profession: credits capped at 30 PDCs.

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