Recertification Q&A: Earning PDCs for Work Projects

Answers to frequently asked questions about maintaining your credential

By the SHRM Certification Team March 26, 2019

Have questions about recertifying your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP? In every issue, the SHRM Certification team will answer some of the questions credential-holders often ask.

Q: How do I earn professional development credits (PDCs) for a project I'm doing as part of my job? Is there a limit to how much time is involved and how many credits I can receive for this kind of activity?

A: These activities fall under the Advance Your Organization category, for a maximum of 20 PDCs per three-year recertification period.

There are two basic qualification requirements for a work project:

  • It must meet or support your organization's goals and
  • It must provide you with opportunities to advance your HR competencies in alignment with the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK).

If it qualifies, a work project will fall into one of two categories:

  • 50+ hours spent on the project over a minimum of three months, which may be awarded 10 PDCs or
  • 100+ hours spent on the project over a minimum of six months, which may be awarded 20 PDCs.


Q: What information do I need to provide about my work project to get credit for it?

A: To be awarded PDCs, your application for recertification must include the following information about your work project:

  • Clearly defined project objectives and desired outcomes that are aligned to organizational needs and verified by your supervisor.
  • A brief description of the project, including your level of involvement and the time you spent on each initiative.
  • How stated goals were met or supported.
  • Which HR competencies were utilized and how they were applied to achieve the project goals.

You should be able to verify, with proper documentation, the project's alignment to organizational goals and the SHRM BoCK, as well as the number of hours you spent over how many months. Acceptable documents may include an executive summary and a letter from your supervisor; consult the SHRM Recertification Requirements Handbook for details.


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Want to learn more about how to maintain your SHRM certification? To attend one of our free online events and gain access to SHRM recertification counselors, visit


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