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SHRM-CP credential-holder will take SHRM-SCP exam as part of his recertification plan
Anthony Ray, SHRM-CP
SHRM's announcement that its credentials received accreditation for meeting the highest standards in testing inspired Anthony Ray, SHRM-CP, to look back with satisfaction on his HR career to date—and to look ahead with confidence.
"Great news. I'm going to take the SHRM-SCP as part of my recertification," he commented on the SHRM Certification LinkedIn Group, a 6,000-member online forum for professionals to discuss the new credentials.
We asked Ray to tell us about the motivation behind his ambitious plan. After all, not every SHRM certificant seeks professional development credits by reaching for the next level of credential.
"Certification shows a commitment to my craft," said Ray, for whom HR is a second career. Now executive director of HR and ombudsman at Morton College in Cicero, Ill., Ray was first exposed to HR work at a previous employer eight years ago. He has been at the suburban Chicago educational institution for three years, starting there just before SHRM certification was introduced.
"I obtained my SHRM-CP via the online tutorial pathway, and its impact on my career has been great," Ray said, describing his rapid advancement. "At least one of my promotions has been attributable to my SHRM credential, and I was pursued for two other opportunities for that reason as well."
Ray had intended to recertify as a SHRM-CP, but once he found out that the SHRM credentials were accredited, "I saw that the SHRM-SCP would be more valuable at my career level," he said. "Accreditation told me that SHRM certification would be around for a while."
At Morton, Illinois' second oldest comprehensive community college, Ray is responsible for all HR functions and policy, and he serves on the president's cabinet as a member and strategic partner, providing advice and information to the board of trustees.
"The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge [BoCK] facilitates the shift from practitioner to business partner, and I'm very comfortable with how it does that," Ray said. "The SHRM-SCP is an appropriate level of testing on HR's role in strategic business decisions. It's a win-win."
Echoes of the SHRM BoCK reverberate throughout the website of the HR department that Ray heads—including compliance with the law, community service, lifelong learning, and continuous improvement through strategic plans that address collective bargaining, recruitment and human resource information systems, and more. So it's no surprise that of Ray's four-person HR team, "two of us are certified and one more is working on her certification."
Ray plans to sit for the SHRM-SCP exam in July and, before that, to prepare with SHRM training, "probably a SHRM seminar, online or in person," Ray said. "I would hate to fail!" He has already taken several practice tests. "What I like are the scenario-based questions—they're more realistic. They really show that the test-taker is an HR professional."
Earning his senior-level professional designation from SHRM will validate Ray's accomplishments so far and help him lay out a road map for future success. "I was pleasantly surprised to see the SHRM credentials [being] recognized by employers in job postings," Ray said. "Along with accreditation, I realize that SHRM certification will not only maintain its value, it will become more valuable as more employers require it or list it as desirable."
Rena Gorlin, J.D., is an independent writer and editor in Washington, D.C.
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