Recertification Q&A: Consulting, Writing, Volunteering

Answers to frequently asked questions about maintaining your credential

By the SHRM Certification Team January 23, 2020
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Have questions about recertifying your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP? In every issue, the SHRM Certification team will answer some of the frequently asked questions they receive from credential-holders.

Q: I was determined to "hang out my shingle" as soon as I became certified. Now that I have my SHRM-SCP credential, I run my own HR consulting business. How many professional development credits can I get for this?

A: Congratulations on your entrepreneurship! While consulting is an integral part of the HR industry, professional development credits (PDCs) are not awarded solely for setting up shop as a consultant. But the individual consulting projects you work on for your clients may qualify for up to 20 PDCs, depending on the amount of time and effort put forth.

Review the guidelines on work projects in the SHRM Recertification Requirements Handbook. To submit those that qualify for credit, fill out the Advance Your Organization Work Project Worksheet in your SHRM Certification Portal. Make sure both you and your client are OK with providing supporting documentation about the project, in case you are randomly selected for a SHRM verification review.


Q: I wrote a research paper for a management class and revised it into a magazine article, which has been accepted for publication. It comes out in print next week. How many PDCs can I get for this?

A: Congratulations on becoming a published author! PDCs are indeed awarded for research, writing and publishing activities that meet certain guidelines; check the handbook for details. If your article meets the requirements, you can receive 10 PDCs for your work.


Q: A volunteer group at my local library helps job seekers work on their interviewing skills. I signed up to conduct mock interviews with these potential candidates. How many PDCs can I get for this?

A: Congratulations on doing good for your community! Various volunteer activities may be eligible for PDCs. To qualify, the activity must be performed:

  • In an HR services role.
  • Without compensation.


  • For a nonprofit organization.

If you'd like to have a specific volunteering activity reviewed for eligibility, contact the SHRM Certification team. Include supporting documentation that validates the work.


Have additional questions? Send them to

For more information on SHRM Certification, and to register for the exam, please visit our website.

Already SHRM-certified? Be sure to maintain your credential by recertifying. Learn more about recertification activities here.


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