New #SHRM Certification Raises More Questions Than It Answers (Update X 2)

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, May 12, 2014



The big news from SHRM HQ on Monday was the announcement of the creation of a new certification program for HR professionals.

While the SHRM online staff discuss the details of the competency program, it was unfortunately very short on details regarding a whole host of questions.

What happens to current professionals who hold PHR/SPHR/GPHR certification?  While SHRM CEO Hank Jackson states that a clear path for currently certified individuals to the new model is in the works, as someone who just spent considerable time recertifying, I'm curious as to what this path holds.  Will we have to take the new exam?  Will we have to pay a fee for this exam?

Further, you have many professional chapters and state councils trying to develop programming for monthly meetings and state conferences. While SHRM indicates they will support the PHR and SPHR certification until January 2015, many chapters are already planning programming for the 2015 year. As the availability of earning recertification credit is often a strong driver for attendance, will certified professionals continue to push on hoping that SHRM will work it out, or will they wait it out until more answers are forthcoming?

What happens to those HR professionals who are getting ready to take the exam?  I already know at least one person who is questioning whether or not to take the exam next month, after spending significant money and time preparing.  Will SHRM be refunding those who spent money on the SHRM Learning System?  What happens to PHR prep courses many chapters will be offering in the fall?


What happens to the Assurance of Learning exam?   Less than 5 years ago, the HRCI made major changes regarding eligibility for the PHR exam - individuals must have two years of exempt level experience prior to taking the test.  Several years have gone into developing an alternative, the Assurance of Learning exam, so that students could demonstrate their had a strong understanding of the HR body of knowledge.

However, given that the competency model will be focusing on behavioral proficiency at four different professional levels, including "entry," does the exam go away?   Do I continue to promote it to my students (as student chapters get credit for such action on the merit award)?


Why announce now?  Usually such an announcement would be made with a big splash at the SHRM Annual Conference next month.  Perhaps SHRM wanted to get ahead of it early, so questions such as the above, can be asked and answered, and a more detailed plan will be made clear then.

In any case, I will be waiting with bated breath for answers.


UPDATE: The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) has issued a statement here.
The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels – entry, middle, senior and executive.  The new certification is focused on teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.  - See more at: http://www.shrm.org/Publications/HRNews/Pages/SHRM-Certification.aspx#sthash.bHwElfJe.dpuf
SHRM has provided an updated and FAQ here.

UPDATE 2: SHRM will allow those currently certified to transition to the new certification free of charge.  To do so, one must have proper certification documentation, sign the SHRM Code of Ethics, and complete an online educational module on HR competencies.  More details here

From Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2015, SHRM will allow those with HR certification from other organizations to convert to the new credential free of charge. Doing so requires showing documentation that the certification is current, signing the SHRM code of ethics and completing an online educational module on HR competencies. - See more at: http://www.shrm.org/Publications/HRNews/Pages/New-SHRM-Certification.aspx#sthash.zRgqnFv9.LKyfDdEb.dpuf

The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels – entry, middle, senior and executive.  The new certification is focused on teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.  - See more at: http://www.shrm.org/Publications/HRNews/Pages/SHRM-Certification.aspx#sthash.bHwElfJe.dpuf
The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels – entry, middle, senior and executive.  The new certification is focused on teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.  - See more at: http://www.shrm.org/Publications/HRNews/Pages/SHRM-Certification.aspx#sthash.bHwElfJe.dpuf

14 comments

Test

by Matthew Stollak on May 13, 2014 at 7:35 AM. #

Thanks, Matt. I have some very concerned students as well who feel like they should just give up. I am frustrated at the lack of information. Any competent Professional knows that you don't drop a bombshell like this and not have all the answers worked out. Hopefully, more answers will come soon.

by Nicole Och on May 13, 2014 at 7:44 AM. #

: I am confused..are THEY creating the test? and administering the test? Or is HRCI doing it? And I am really confused because as it stands now, While HRCI and SHRM enjoy a warm affiliation, SHRM has no special access to the exam questions
Currently The Professional Examination Service (PES): is the testing vendor with whom the HR Certification Institute contracts. PES administers the PHR, SPHR, GPHR and California certification examinations, completes the official scoring, and mails the score reports and certificates. PES also maintains the item bank of test questions and provides the HR Certification Institute with statistical information. Founded in 1941, PES is a non-profit organization that specializes in the development and administration of certification and licensure exams. PES' primary mission is the development and delivery of exams of the highest quality. Exams are developed in conformance with the standards established by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), the American Psychological Association (APA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the PES Guidelines for the Development, Use,
and Evaluation of Licensure and Certification Programs. PES is headquartered in New York City.

Prometric: is the global leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services for information technology certification, academic admissions and professional licensure and certifications. Prometric delivers standardized tests for more than 300 clients, in more than 25 languages, over the Web or through a global network of testing centers in 121 countries. Prometric is the testing vendor with whom HRCI contracts for exam delivery services. These services include providing the scheduling, administering and proctoring of the exams.


So will SHRM be doing the same? to make sure that the testing remains Standardized Nationally, and even recognized by the department of education for continuing education and credits

by karen mattonen on May 13, 2014 at 3:00 PM. #

AS of today no one at HRCI has even talked to a SHRM person about this. HRCI was blind sighted by this announcement. Nice way to treat a partner. #FAIL #AnotherSHRMMoneyGrab

by Anonymous on May 13, 2014 at 7:39 PM. #

Matthew, thanks for the post. I am curious to see how all this will play out over the coming days, weeks, and months. Curious about the SHRM classes, too - especially since I facilitate some of them.

by Kyle Jones on May 13, 2014 at 8:06 PM. #

Here's my question... on the SHRM website it indicates you can "convert" your PHR/SPHR/GPHR/etc to their "new" credentials... but how do you convert something that isn't yours? This is VERY misleading... shame on them. The PHR/SPHR/GPHR/CA/HRBP/HRMP are HR Certification Institute's credentials, not SHRM's, and HRCI isn't going anywhere, so neither should the 130,000+ certified HR professionals worldwide.

by Anonymous on May 13, 2014 at 9:40 PM. #

This is a shame and I agree with Anonymous - follow the money! The emperor has no clothes. What a joke, should we be surprised? This is one of the reasons I stopped going to the national conferences, waste of time and money. I have been joining more focused associations like HCI and others.

by Anonymous on May 14, 2014 at 8:03 AM. #

Sounds like a money grab.. how ethical is it for them to be creating, administrating, and licensing the test, when they are the predominate provider of the training materials? sounds like they want the monopoly.. I can't see the Department of Education validating this

by karen mattonen on May 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM. #

Something doesn't add up. It is very questionable that they would administer the new exam. I am sure there will be new "snake oil" products to help us pass the new exam. I don't even want to be a member any more.

by Anonymous on May 15, 2014 at 11:44 PM. #

HRCI Board Chair Clarissa Peterson's take on all this: HRCI.org/beclear

by Anonymous on May 20, 2014 at 9:48 AM. #

What's Hank up to?? Trying to leave his "mark" or create a legacy?? I am totally disenchanted. Now we have to jump through hoops to get our new certification by SHRM, from SHRM, and paid to SHRM. What a joke.

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by redcloudsystems on August 16, 2014 at 7:33 PM. #

Just last month I attended a student SHRM conference where I heard many of questions and few of them are clarified.

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by roschinkelley on November 10, 2014 at 12:24 AM. #

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