SHRM Certification Exams Achieve Accreditation

SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams meet highest standards, advance profession

Dec 8, 2016
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​The Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM's) certification exams have been accredited by the nation's premier test review center, demonstrating that they meet the highest standards in testing. SHRM president and CEO Henry G. "Hank" Jackson said the "groundbreaking" accreditation, achieved only two years after the first SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) tests were administered, "confirmed ... that SHRM credentials meet the highest quality and standards of an industry-leading certification." Accreditation "is a reflection of SHRM's continued dedication to the future of HR," said Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, SHRM senior vice president of knowledge development and certification. 

The Buros Center for Testing said in its announcement letter to SHRM, "We not only find that you meet our standards ... for accreditation, but we also find that you are thoroughly, competently and appropriately meeting the mission of SHRM, and therefore the needs of the public." The center, located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an independent nonprofit that specializes in auditing for fairness and quality major testing programs including well-known exams for educational achievement; professional licensure; and admission to law school, medical school and graduate school. 

"HR professionals and their employers can be assured that these credentials meet the stringent requirements that they expect of a world-class professional certification," said Wayne Cascio, Ph.D., chair of the SHRM Certification Commission and distinguished university professor and Robert H. Reynolds Chair in Global Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver. Accreditation "illustrates SHRM's commitment to HR certification," he said, calling the decision a "major milestone." 

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To achieve accreditation, SHRM submitted a 1,900-page application documenting its testing practices, methodology and policy. The Buros Center's review process took six months to complete. "SHRM wanted to be held to the highest possible standard," Alonso said. "We chose to apply to Buros because of its mission in qualifying programs that serve as barriers to entry in order to ensure the public good. It has been accrediting psychometric exams for almost 80 years and is dedicated to improving standards for educational testing." 

SHRM's commitment to certificants "doesn't end with accreditation," Alonso continued. "SHRM has worked toward evolving its credentials and maintaining recognition as the global standard in HR certification." The 96,500-plus holders of SHRM credentials in 105 countries who are currently pursuing their recertification goals can do so with renewed pride and confidence, he said, knowing that the exams they passed were judged to be "fair [and] valid and [to] do what they were intended to do." 

In additional passages from its letter awarding accreditation, the Buros Center said the "primary purpose" of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams "in the protection of the public is clear and implicit" and that SHRM's efforts to develop them were "serious and committed" and "advanced this work to a new level of excellence." It also found "no conflicts of interest with other groups or with the preparation of test takers." 

"It is always extremely rewarding ... to see talented professionals engaging in professional test development and analysis tasks," the center's letter concluded, "that help to make the profession of testing positively perceived and to be beneficial to the public and a given profession." 

SHRM encourages all HR professionals to share SHRM's official news announcement with their employers, colleagues, and HR networks and communities. 

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