HR Certification

The Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), the credentialing arm of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), offers professional certification at two levels: Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Human Resource practitioners wishing to earn the PHR or SPHR designation must meet specific eligibility requirements and then take and pass a comprehensive written examination.

Certification is an essential tool for maintaining high professional standards. It shows that Human Resource professionals have demonstrated mastery of the HR body of knowledge and accepted the personal challenge to stay abreast of new developments in the human resource field. To be effective in their jobs, HR professionals must know how to deal effectively with HR strategic planning, international competition, management staffing, and family and social issues that affect the workplace, employee rights, and emerging HR issues.

Certification provides national recognition of professional achievement, may be an aid to career advancement and a visual reminder to peers and coworkers of professional achievement through the use of the PHR or SPHR designation on business correspondence and by display of the certificate awarded.

You can request a copy of the HRCI Certification Information Handbook by contacting them at Once you are at the website you will be able to review the materials posted regarding certification process, costs, and testing.

Certification signifies mastery of the human resources body of knowledge as outlined in the test specifications. The HR field however, is constantly changing, challenging professionals to stay abreast of key issues and increased demands. Recertification is the method by which certified professionals update their knowledge in the HR field and maintain their professional edge.

To maintain the PHR or SPHR designation, HRCI requires certified HR professionals to recertify every three years. Recertification can be obtained either by re-examination or documenting professional development experience. To recertify through professional development experience you will need to accumulate 60 credit/contact hours through any combination of continuing education, research and/or publishing, instruction, new on-the-job experience, leadership or professional membership. Individuals are encouraged to track earned recertification hours throughout the three-year period and submit documentation when the 60 hours are reached. For a more complete explanation of the recertification requirements go to the HRCI website at and look under Recertification.

Leave a Reply