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SHRM Plans to Launch New Certification, Snubs HRCI

SHRM Plans to Launch New Certification, Snubs HRCI

by Joseph ShaheenJune 23, 2014

In a move that has puzzled some, and suprized many, SHRM, the society for Human Resource management –  a body that represents the HR profession in the United States has announced that it will be launching a new certification, which will not be associated with what many see as it’s sister organization, HRCI. Executives at the Human Resource Certification Institute, the main HR certifying body in the United States were both surprised and outraged by the decision.

HRCI issue a press release criticizing the actions of SHRM, “SHRM launched a competitive certification without notification and terminated HRCI’s operating agreement that connected us for decades. Then they barred us from participating as an exhibitor at the SHRM Annual Conference. We are not sure what Hank Jackson, C.P.A., President and CEO of SHRM, means when he says he is hopeful HRCI will support SHRM’s new certification.”

HRCI, and many Hr community members have spoken out against the measure which claims that it has “frustrated” and “confused” the HR community. One HR expert with close relations to HRCI, says that when it comes to certifications, competition is “not essential” to advancing the HR profession.

In a recent town hall conducted by SHRM, CEO Hank Jackson explains how the new certification will be launched, test-taking eligibility and how this certification will be different from its counterparts. This comes after the original May 12th announcement was received with a mixed response.

SHRM argues that this certification will meet the needs of the HR profession more closely than any other certification on the market. It plans to make it “low cost”, “practical”, and that it will form the association’s main “value proposition”. SHRM plans on creating a new certifying body, much like HRCI, to administer the certification. Jackson compares this with other associations, such as the famed ASAE, and the pervasive PMI as standard bearers in the are of certifying professionals.

In response to the news bloggers and community members had a wide range of reaction ranging from apathy to rage. One well followed blogger wrote in an editorial “what did you expect?”, arguing that there have been conflicts brewing for quite some time within the leading HR association in the world, and that due to the lack of involvement and action of SHRM members, the organization is “disassociating” themselves from HRCI.

Meanwhile, SHRM made the formal announcements this week (Week starting June 22nd, 2014) at the annual conference in Orlando, Florida. The certification model the HRCI counterparts closely, with one certification geared towards junior professionals and one geared towards more senior professionals. Instead of HRCI’s “experiential” exams, SHRM is implementing exams that will “test practical skills”. It was not immediately clear how differences between the two would take shape. SHRM’s competency exam does seem to differ slightly, but not in major ways from HRCI’s certification.

Neither SHRM, nor HRCI could not be reached in time for publication.

About The Author
Joseph Shaheen
Editor-in-Chief of the Human Talent Network. Email me news, tips, and questions to [email protected] I blog at, write news and editorials all over the web. HTN is always looking for contributors and talented writers. Reach out to me using the contact form or start your application process right away at

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