Recertification Q&A: Volunteering and Memberships

Answers to frequently asked questions about SHRM certification and recertification

By the SHRM Certification Team September 16, 2021
Recertification Q&A: Volunteering and Memberships

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Q: I volunteer as an HR mentor for a local charity. How can I earn professional development credits (PDCs) for doing so?

A: SHRM recognizes the value of volunteering your time and talent to support HR and HR-related activities for nonprofit organizations by awarding recertification credit in the Advance Your Profession category. To receive PDCs, you must provide your services without receiving compensation. Also, you must complete your volunteer commitment before entering the PDCs into the Certification Portal.


Q: What other kinds of volunteering can I do to earn PDCs?

A: A wide variety of volunteer activities qualify for credits toward recertification, as shown by the examples below. The SHRM Recertification Requirements Handbook provides more details and specifies the number of PDCs allocated for each activity.

  • Mentoring in a formal HR or HR-related mentorship program.
  • Peer-reviewing white papers or articles.
  • Visiting or writing a letter to Congress or a state legislature concerning an HR-related issue.
  • Participating in a SHRM research workshop, focus group or survey.
  • Writing and editing questions and answers for the SHRM certification exams (knowledge items and situational judgment items).
  • Reviewing SHRM certification exam items for content validity, bias and cultural sensitivity, effectiveness, etc.
  • Serving as a leader, officer or member of a board, committee, council or panel of SHRM or a SHRM affiliate.


Q: Can I get credit for becoming a member of an HR association (or one related to HR)?

A: SHRM recognizes the value of joining the wider community of HR professionals as an individual member of a national or international HR or HR-related association. As a member, you can earn 3 PDCs per year with your recertification cycle. Examples of eligible associations include:

  • SHRM (national level only).
  • World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA).
  • Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Canada (CPHR).
  • Institute for Human Resource Professionals Singapore (IHRP).
  • Association for Talent Development (ATD).

SHRM membership credits are automatically uploaded to your recertification account after you complete a full year of membership. You can also manually enter the PDCs at the time of initial purchase or renewal. 

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