Requirement Change for PDC-Qualifying Work Projects

SHRM credential-holders can earn credits sooner for crisis-oriented short-term projects

By James Connors, SHRM-CP April 8, 2020
woman plans a project

​The COVID-19 crisis, during which HR professionals are tackling unprecedented challenges on short notice, has prompted SHRM to change the time frame requirement for work projects that qualify for professional development credits (PDCs) toward recertification. "We want to ensure that SHRM-certified professionals who work on projects that advance their organizations are acknowledged for their efforts," said Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, SHRM's chief knowledge officer. 

The revised requirement now focuses only on the number of hours dedicated to a PDC-qualifying work project in the "Advance Your Organization" credit category and eliminates the stipulation of a minimum duration for the project (until now, three to six months). With this change, effective immediately, a SHRM credential-holder may earn 10 PDCs for the completion of an HR-related project that involves 50-plus hours of work, or 20 PDCs for one that involves 100-plus hours. (See the SHRM Recertification Requirements Handbook for details.)

"The HR community is providing vital organizational support through these difficult times," Alonso said. "This expanded PDC opportunity is a small token of our appreciation and gratitude to the HR professionals who are creating better workplaces for a better world, each and every day." 

The current pandemic affects people's employment, as well as their health, and both are areas of HR expertise demanding immediate response. "[T]hrough sound and ongoing communication, decisive action and strategic leadership," said HR consultant Matthew Burr, SHRM-SCP, in a recent SHRM Online article, SHRM credential-holders and their colleagues "can play a stabilizing role ... by mitigating uncertainty."

SHRM-CPs and SHRM-SCPs now have the opportunity to earn PDCs for these essential jobs more quickly when they are submitted as work projects through the SHRM Certification Portal.

James Connors, SHRM-CP, is a senior specialist, certification communications, at SHRM.

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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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