SHRM's New Certification of Competencies Supports What We as HR Practitioners Seek in Candidates

I have been a longtime advocate that HR professionals should be certified.  As you know I am PHR certified through HRCI and a CCP and CBP through WorldatWork. Additionally, I have been long time SHRM Learning Systems Instructor having had tremendous success rate with more than 95% of my students passing on the first time out of the gate. My own personal frustration has been the next level of certification at the SPHR level. I have never been a test taker and for whatever reason have never done well. As a 30+ year veteran of Human Resources obviously having my SPHR has been very important to me. However, after numerous attempts I always manage to come up short.

 I have been a long time veteran volunteer and ardent supporter of SHRM. In my capacity of the MAC representative for the Northeast I heard on several occasions from people who were frustrated with the certification process and although they themselves were supportive of the need to reflect you are credited for a body of knowledge, certification in any capacity meant that. However, it has become increasing clear for me through the years that just because you can pass a test does not reflect in any capacity that you are competent in your role as a practitioner. It is not a measure of that, it is merely you can answer the questions in a test. I commend those who have successfully done this and I applaud HRCI's vigilance in continuing to support this very important certification, however, I believe that SHRM's new certification of Competencies supports what we as HR practitioners seek in candidates seeking employment opportunities. We strive to have Competencies assessed prior to their selection and SHRM wishing that their members seek a certification directly aligned to our own career track is truly in sync with our focus in business today.

Personally for me I am thrilled as I have always felt competent in my role as an HR Practitioner as I would not be in a senior role today. I am encouraged that maybe finally my own certification may truly reflect the seasoned veteran I really am. I have always believed that although being book smart does not always mean you are common sense smart and this repositioning of certification to reflect more on Competencies truly addresses not only what you know but how it is used as well. I personally am thrilled."




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While I appreciate the author's perspective, and look forward to additional information regarding the assessments, I hope this does not signal the beginning of mudslinging among HR practitioners. I was once PHR certified and have been SPHR certified for several years. I do not do well on tests either, however I know I wouldn't have passed the test without my strong generalist background and significant prep for the areas in which I do not have experience due to the fact that I have not had to handle those areas (such as labor relations). Let's not start disparaging HRCI or those of us who have worked hard to earn certifications. HR practitioners and companies will need to determine what is best for them. And as the author notes he has certifications through WorldatWork which has a different approach to achieving certification than HRCI. I look forward to learning more about the assessments and possibly adding the certifications to my list of credentials.

Dave- I suggest that you do not give up on your efforts in obtaining your SPHR credential, you seem to have a fantastic HR background, you simply need to sharpen up on your test taking skills!

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