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From the President: HRCI: Three Decades of Service to HR

HR Magazine, June 2006Certification benefits not only you but also your employer and the HR profession.

This year, the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) affiliate, celebrates its 30th anniversary. For the past three decades, the institute has served HR professionals by certifying their knowledge of the core principles of human resource management and the application of those principles. Over that span, HRCI has become the preeminently recognized certifying body for the profession. (For more about HRCI, click here.)

At SHRM’s Annual Conference and Exposition this month in Washington, D.C., HRCI will celebrate with special activities and events. In addition to the HRCI booth, the institute will host the HRCI Lounge, where PHR-, SPHR- and GPHR-certified professionals can relax and network with colleagues old and new; stage a session where participants can “test-drive” the recertification process; and conduct a workshop where non-certified participants can explore the advantages of certification. So, what’s the big deal about HRCI certification? What are the advantages, anyway?

I’m glad you asked.

HRCI certification is an investment in your HR department, an investment in your organization, an investment in the profession and an investment in your career. HRCI-certified professionals have demonstrated their mastery of a body of knowledge—the HR principles and disciplines necessary to meet the challenges posed by an evolving business landscape. And while certification enhances an individual HR practitioner’s standing, it has perhaps an even broader impact as a factor in gaining greater prestige for the profession—the more HRCI-certified professionals, the better it is for everyone in HR.

Professional certification in any field establishes credibility and indicates official recognition of achievement—attributes that all professionals must have to advance in their careers. HRCI’s Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certifications are visible reminders to peers and co-workers of the holder’s expertise. And recertification demonstrates that the holder has stayed current with new developments in the field.

Increasingly, non-HR executives are “getting it.” Realizing that HR professionals make critical decisions every day that contribute to organizational success, they are making strategic investments in their organization’s future by encouraging HR professionals to earn certification. Current HRCI Board Chair R. Gregory Green, SPHR, GPHR, sums it up nicely: “Just as no one would consider hiring an accountant without a CPA designation, employers are seeing a similar value in the credentialing of HR professionals.”

HRCI’s vision statement is exactly right: “Every HR professional will be credentialed by HRCI.” It’s a vision that we at SHRM support and that every HR professional should share.

Happy anniversary, HRCI!


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