Your Top Recertification Questions, and the Answers—Part 2

By the SHRM Certification Team December 7, 2017

​We're back with more information about recertification in response to your most frequently asked questions. (See last month's Q&A here.) Recertifying your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP early means you're ahead of the game—you've prioritized your professional development. There is no penalty. Your new three-year recertification cycle won't start until your existing one ends. This means you won't be able to earn additional professional development credits (PDCs) until your new cycle has begun. But don't let that stop you from continuing to learn and grow—a commitment to lifelong learning is at the heart of SHRM certification.


Q. How can I earn recertification credits as a consultant? Can I earn PDCs for starting my own business? 

A. Consultants are an integral part of the HR industry. While you can't earn PDCs simply for starting your own business, the projects that you work on for your clients could qualify for PDCs. Consult the SHRM Recertification Handbook to determine whether a given project meets SHRM's guidelines (e.g., lasted more than six months, required more than 100 hours of work, etc.). Keep in mind that you (and possibly your clients) need to be comfortable with submitting supporting documentation to SHRM that validates your work, as outlined in the handbook.


Q. How many PDCs does my national membership in SHRM qualify for? 

A. As a SHRM national member, you are eligible to receive 3 PDCs for each year of membership within a three-year recertification cycle. So you could qualify for a maximum of 9 PDCs over three years. They're automatically uploaded into your SHRM portal.


Q. I don't have the activity ID from my SHRM chapter event. Can I still enter my activity online to get credit for it? 

A. Having your activity ID makes entering PDCs into your SHRM portal simpler, but you can still enter activities manually. When doing so, it's important to 1) make sure you can demonstrate that the activity is aligned to the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) and 2) calculate your eligible PDCs (consult the SHRM Recertification Handbook for details). If you are randomly selected for audit, you will have to present relevant documentation to verify your attendance at or participation in the activity you entered.


Q. If a webinar is not preapproved by SHRM, how do I know whether or not it will qualify for PDCs? 

A. The easiest way to make sure that a webinar or other activity is eligible for credit is to look for the SHRM Recertification Provider seal. SHRM's preapproved providers offer tens of thousands of recertification opportunities for you to choose from, in virtual and in-person formats. Many are listed on the SHRM portal. To claim PDCs from a provider that has not been preapproved by SHRM, you will need to be able to show that the course material or activity relates to the SHRM BoCK. You are also welcome to contact SHRM Certification for further help with validation.

Learn more about the SHRM Recertification program at

What perplexes you most about recertification? Send your questions to


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