Recently the Society for HR Management (SHRM) announced that they were withdrawing their support for the HR Certification Institute an organization they founded almost 40 years ago. This decision to no longer support this independent organization and create a new certification process along with a new testing program should be of a concern for all HR professionals that have pursued the certification process.
In SHRM’s press release outlining these changes the organization summarized the reasons for this change this way:
“We believe this competency-based certification is the new standard for HR professionals around the globe—and is needed for the ever-evolving demands of business. We are seeing an increasing number of colleges and universities, and other SHRM global partners, transition to a competency-based curriculum. Businesses have been asking—almost demanding—that employees have specific behavioral competencies to be successful in the workplace. As the leading HR professional society, it is SHRM’s responsibility to stay ahead of these trends and better serve the HR professional.”
What is troubling is that the organization has provided little information to support their decision. Based upon communication from HRCI and various SHRM affiliate chapters, SHRM has managed to confuse and dilute the certification process by changing the rules and offering no alternative to HRCI. SHRM has agreed to outline a new replacement program at the annual conference this June; however, this is yet another example of the organization not discussing and obtaining the support from the membership prior to the roll-out of a new program.
Another issue that should concern all HR professionals is how this will be perceived by our employers, colleagues and the greater business community? How will this impact our relationship with our manager who has supported the certification process by paying for additional training; specifically the SHRM Learning System and the certification test? For years SHRM has been promoting the certification process as a way to improve our profession, add credibility to our work and add value to our role within our companies. This abrupt change in their support for certification process would appear to call into question their years of promoting this key business tool. As a result of this decision by SHRM, we will need to explain to our company leaders the reason for this change, how it impacts our ability to support our employees and the whether certification is necessary in today’s business environment.
So what can you do as a certified professional? Three key actions can be taken immediately to register your concern with this decision:
1. Contact Amy Dufrane the Executive Director at HRCI to indicate your support for the institute and find out what you can do to better understand SHRM’s decision and the ramifications for your certification. HRCI’s telephone number is: (866) 898-4724.
2. Contact Henry G. Jackson the CEO at SHRM to indicate your concern for this decision. SHRM’s telephone number is: (800) 283-7476.
3. At the SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando hold the SHRM Board and staff leadership accountable for their decision by challenging them, ask them to explain their rationale and their research around specific behavioral competencies and the reasons for not wanting to work through the existing partnership with HRCI.
To learn about the HRCI’s response to this decision by SHRM please follow this link:
To learn more about the reasons behind this decision by SHRM please follow this link: