Your Top Recertification Questions, and the Answers

By the SHRM Certification Team November 2, 2017
Your Top Recertification Questions, and the Answers

Not long ago, we asked you to tell us what you wanted to know most about SHRM recertification. This month and next month we'll answer your frequently asked questions, starting with these five:

Q. I've just passed the exam! What's my next step? 

A. First things first: Celebrate! You worked hard to earn your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP, so enjoy your newly regained free time and do some of your favorite things. After that, get ready to focus on recertification: Your SHRM credential needs to be recertified every three years. To start building your recertification plan, download the SHRM Recertification Handbook—a very useful tool to guide you through the ins and outs of recertification.


Q. How do I find out my recertification date? 

A. It's as easy as remembering your birthday. Your three-year recertification cycle begins the day you passed your exam, and ends on the last day of your birth month. For example, if you took your exam on May 1, 2015, and you were born on July 4, then your recertification period is May 1, 2015-July 31, 2018. Check your recertification date by logging into the SHRM Certification Portal. To get instant, on-the-go access to your SHRM certification status, download the SHRM Certification App (available for iOS and Android).


Q. What is the maximum number of credits, or the range of credits, I can receive by attending SHRM's Annual Conference?

A. The maximum number of professional development credits (PDCs) you can earn from attending SHRM's Annual Conference & Exposition depends on the number of sessions you attend. If you attended all eligible sessions at the most recent conference, for instance, SHRM would have awarded you 17.25 PDCs. One of the benefits that SHRM members enjoy is that their PDCs for qualifying SHRM-sponsored activities are automatically uploaded to their SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP portal and are typically viewable approximately two weeks following the conclusion of the event.


Q. I have both my SHRM-CP and PHR. Do the PDCs that I enter into the portal automatically update both? Did the SHRM-CP take the place of the PHR? 

A. The SHRM-CP and PHR are two separate credentials, backed by two different organizations. The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are the only HR credentials backed by SHRM. When you enter your PDCs into the SHRM Certification Portal, they are applied only toward the recertification of your SHRM credential. To maintain another HR certification, you will need to follow the procedure for that organization's credential.


Q. Do I need a certain number of PDCs from each area or category? 

A. SHRM-certified professionals must earn a total of 60 PDCs within their three-year recertification cycle and must stay within the maximum guidelines established for each of three categories: Advance Your Education, Advance Your Organization and Advance Your Profession. There is no minimum PDC requirement for each of these categories, however. SHRM believes that you deserve the flexibility to create a recertification plan that supports your career goals and the success of your organization. 

Visit to learn more about activities that qualify for PDCs. The SHRM Recertification Handbook provides detailed information, including how to calculate eligible PDC hours.

Learn more about the SHRM Recertification program at

What perplexes you most about recertification? Send your questions to



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