The Path to Recertification: Plan Early and Get Organized

By Alison Brome, SHRM-CP February 18, 2021
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The Path to Recertification: Plan Early and Get Organized

​Alison Brome, SHRM-CP

​You did it—you passed the SHRM certification exam! I hope you have been able to celebrate. You should be proud of your achievement. After I passed my SHRM-CP exam, I sat with a friend by a seaside restaurant and toasted with a tall blue drink. In all the excitement, it's easy to forget about a few important things you need to do soon, so here's a brief reminder.

Have you informed your SHRM prep course organizers and tutors that you've passed your exam? They are sure to be interested in hearing about your success after all that hard work.

Have you sent thank-you notes to everyone who assisted you along the way? It's never too late to do this, and the people who supported you will appreciate being recognized.

Have you told your supervisors that you're now SHRM-certified? Make them aware of how your new status will benefit the organization as much as it benefits you. See that your achievement pays off. Ask for a stretch assignment, promotion or raise. Remember to submit your receipts and certificate for tuition reimbursement if you're eligible.

What's Next?

Now it's time to focus on recertification. To maintain your credential, you'll need to earn 60 professional development credits (PDCs) within the next three years and enter them into the online SHRM Certification Portal. Otherwise, you'll need to retake the test within the last year of your three-year recertification cycle.

For my introduction to recertification, I listened to a SHRM webcast describing the process. It's one of several "Recert 101" reviews available throughout the year. (While you can't earn PDCs for listening to these particular webinars, hundreds of other courses and webcasts on dozens of subjects are eligible for credit.)

For continuing guidance, I refer to the SHRM Certification Recertification Requirements Handbook. It thoroughly describes the three categories of activities for earning PDCs—Advance Your Education, Advance Your Organization and Advance Your Profession—and directs you along these avenues as you seek to recertify your SHRM credential.

SHRM makes it easy to earn credits and maintain your certification. If you decide to become a SHRM member, as I did, three PDCs are available for each year you renew your annual membership, for a total of nine PDCs in your three-year recertification cycle.

Pay It Forward

Were you the recipient of a SHRM Foundation grant, as I was? I'm sure you can recall the relief you felt when you received financial assistance to help pay for a prep course, study materials and exam fees.

Perhaps you are in a better place now financially with your newly earned credential. If so, pay it forward by donating to the SHRM Foundation to assist another HR professional. There are options for one-time or monthly donations. Gifts can be made in honor of an individual or organization. (If you're a SHRM member, the process is easily facilitated through your account.)

Recertification App

I use the SHRM Recertification App for entering my recertification activities in the Advance Your Education category. It's easy to submit all of the necessary details with this convenient tool, which is available for both iOS (on the App Store) and Android (on Google Play).

Stay Organized and Up-to-Date

It's a good idea to save all relevant materials confirming that you earned your PDCs, such as webcast and course attendance certificates, details on workplace projects, and other records of your submissions. These will be necessary in the event that you are randomly selected for verification review of your activities during your three-year recertification cycle.

I keep track of these documents by saving them in a central repository with other important personal information. I also recommend cloud-based storage for portability and easy access. You've worked hard to earn your certification, so it's best to be prepared with the proof that you are maintaining it.

Lastly, make sure you stay current. For monthly updates on opportunities to earn PDCs, I subscribe to the SHRM Recertification Credit Guide e-newsletter. Another good source of information for newly certified HR professionals and aspiring SHRM credential-holders is the SHRM Certification Update e‑newsletter, which is also published monthly.

Alison Brome, SHRM-CP, is HR manager for Massy Stores in Barbados. She has a master's degree in project management and is a Certified Green Project Manager (GPM-b).

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