The Society for Human Resource Management has established the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK). This provides the academic basis for their two nationally recognized Human Resources certifications: SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

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What is Human Resources?

Human Resources is a business function that includes job design, recruitment, compensation, labor relations, regulatory compliance and personnel performance. HR plays a vital role in developing employees, managing employees, and mitigating risks. HR professionals play a huge role in maintaining a positive business culture, increasing employee engagement, and legally protecting organizations. On any given day, an HR professional may update an OSHA-mandated job safety analysis or help new employees enroll in medical insurance.

Why is HR Relevant?

HR professionals who are poorly trained or prepared will result in serious consequences for organizations. Poor staff planning may result in employee shortages and poor hiring practices may result in high turnover rates. HR managers who fail to understand technology solutions may be unable to reduce payroll costs and maintain recordkeeping efficiency. Poor legal due diligence results in lawsuits, agency audits and government fines. All of this reduces employee morale and engagement. If you feel this is an alarmist viewpoint, read some of the Supreme Court cases on the EEOC’s website.

What Does Certification Prove?

SHRM BoCK certification matters because it is based on competency and quality performance. HR professionals must prove that they know the right laws and best practices, but also how to apply that knowledge in specific situations. The certification content is directly based on realistic work situations, common managerial dilemmas and on-the-job legal risks. The certification is not based on American business culture, but instead applies across countries, industries, and career levels.

What Does the Certification Cover?

The SHRM Certified Professional and SHRM Senior Certified Professional include four HR knowledge domains: people, organization, workplace and strategy. People involves employee acquisition, retention, engagement, and development. The next one covers an organization’s structure, effectiveness, technology, and staff management. The workplace domain includes diversity, risk management, employment law, and corporate social responsibility. The core strategic competencies include the following HR skills: consultation, leadership, critical evaluation and relationship management.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

All exam applicants must prove that they have worked in an HR role for at least 1,000 hours, which roughly equals one year of experience. Membership in the SHRM is not required to take the new certification exams. Entry-level HR professionals without experience taking the SHRM Certified Professional exam must have three to four years of experience. Those with a bachelor’s degree will need at least one to two years of experience. Those taking the SHRM Senior Certified Professional who have less than a bachelor’s degree will need six to seven years of experience.

Every month, thousands of HR professionals take the SHRM exams, so this is now an industry standard across the country. HR certification through the Society for Human Resource Management is the best way to ensure that HR professionals are effective, competent, and knowledgeable.