12 HR pros who are really upset by SHRM’s new certification

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Yesterday, the Society of Human Resource Management held a press briefing to explain why it’s no longer endorsing the HR Certification Institute’s standard certifications. SHRM intends to establish its own set of certifications, which it says will have a greater focus on competency.

When the announcement was made, HR professionals across North America reacted with shock, confusion and a little anger:
  • David, SPHR on 5/28/2014 2:34:28 PM

    I have been in the HR profession for about 25 years and have held my SPHR for six. I think the certifications are fairly meaningless compared to real life and educational experience. My master's degree (industrial/organizational psych) was so much more difficult to earn than my SPHR, yet the SPHR is what people want to see behind your name. I can tell you that studying for the SPHR may have taught me some trivial things about the HR profession, but it did not make me a better HR professional. I will probably obtain the new SHRM certification since it will be free and I won't have to study for anything--not sure how that will make me a better professional either. I predict that these certifications will become less necessary among HR professionals and employers alike.

  • Southern SPHR on 5/28/2014 8:50:04 AM

    I have never felt that a certification made me a better or more effective HR professional. I chose to spend my self development time in other ways.

    I have also never felt valued by SHRM. I have been a member over 30 years, have helped charter two chapters that still exist, yet whenever I reach out on a an administrative issue I am made to feel like a bother. Worse yet, when I have reached out to our Board of Directors with legitimate strategic question, I received NO answer. Ever.

    I maintain my membership to support my local chapter, to utilize the informational resources, and for networking.

    I am so disappointed that the certification that the organization which is supposed to represent my chosen profession was hawked for so long, and is now being discarded for selfish reasons. For so many years, SHRM and HRCI pushed the certifications so that it became necessary for us to have them to be marketable (versus effective.)

    And we wonder why HR lacks credibility in the C Suite...

  • Carol Brendle on 5/23/2014 11:13:38 AM

    I gave up my SPHR years ago when I realized it was just a way to make money not progress a profession.
    I don't have the money or the time to play the certification game. My reputation, work experience and ethics should be enough.

  • John Jorgensen on 5/21/2014 2:47:43 PM

    And I agree that SHRM has botched this roll out and have told my friends on Duke Street the same.

  • John Jorgensen on 5/21/2014 2:46:38 PM

    For those blasting Hank Jackson for not being an HR person, I would rather have Hank running a multi-national association as an association manager than as an HR manager. There is a difference. Just my opinion.

  • Judy, PHR on 5/21/2014 2:33:48 PM

    I have been in HR for 20 years and obtained my PHR last year since these certifications have been promoted as the way to show others you have competence in the field of HR. However, any type of certification does not equal competence - in HR, accounting, nursing, or any other field. This just goes to show there is no easy answer when searching for competent employees. What a shame this is! It now looks like all of us who bought into the idea that having that certification would help us show the business world we did know what we were talking about, really didn't know what we were talking about when it comes to our HR certification. Just like people in other professions, we will have to use other means to show our competency.

  • Christine, Pittsburgh PHR on 5/21/2014 2:26:17 PM

    So now the focus is on "competency". I have been a PHR for 13 years and every three years I am required to recertify by taking classes, attending seminars, participate in research/publishing, and provide examples of On-the-job experience. How is that not showing competency? As soon as I received the e-mail from SHRM, I thought one thing... Money/Greed. I am an adult with 25 years of experience and I will not be paying to take another exam. I'm sticking with my PHR, especially since it was fine for SHRM for so many years.

  • Michele Bennett on 5/21/2014 2:04:03 PM

    While studying for my SPHR, I choose not to take the test as I was doing the review I found that althought it was "certificate" it did not make me a better HR Professional. I could answer the questions, but HR is not all aobut answering questions it's about hearing people and helping employees and employers find common ground. No test can assess how you will accomplish that.

  • Miss Kitty, SPHR on 5/21/2014 1:25:15 PM

    Oops! My incompetency in spelling has just been revealed. Meant to say that the way SHRM has handled this publicly is a problem. (Vs. publically)

  • Miss Kitty, SPHR on 5/21/2014 12:42:10 PM

    The way this has played publically calls into question SHRM's strategic management skills, or wait, would that be competency? Returning to HR after 15 yrs in Operations, my boss said, get an HR cert, it'll give you credibility. Did it & have maintained for 16+ yrs. Now SHRM says their cert is needed to demonstrate competency. Seriously? Will those with HRCI certs be convinced? Hope not!

  • Just another obsolete SPHR on 5/21/2014 12:14:49 PM

    Agree with Pam Trotter - I, too, have checked out of SHRM. They lost their way. Non-profits especially need to be more transparent than SHRM has become.

  • Pam Trotter, SPHR on 5/21/2014 12:03:53 PM

    I have long since "checked out" of the SHRM society. Yeah....I pay my dues so I can obtain their publications and have access to their website but when I learned that the
    Board of Directors of SHRM uses our membership fees to take expensive out of the country trips I stopped trusting this organization a long time ago. I would never buy into any of thier so caled certification programs. I am sticking with the long recognized SPHR. It's an obvious scam to make more money off of the HR professional.

  • Charles Little, SPHR on 5/21/2014 11:38:22 AM

    A CEO of SHRM who isn't certified and cannot be should be in our profession, should be given a vote of "No confidence" by all of our members after letting something like this bring discredit to the Human Resource profession on a national scale.
    This is why both Boards should have been comprised of nothing but certified practicioners and not filled with academics and/or non certified people. Why weren't G.E. , Hewlett Packard, DUPONT, P.&G., WALMART, HR professionals on these boards? etc. ?

  • SPHR Professional on 5/21/2014 11:20:02 AM

    I am utterly surprised. I earned my PHR and SPHR certification and have kept current with training and experience. Now I have to study and pay for a new exam?????? WTF!

  • Sarah R on 5/21/2014 11:02:48 AM

    Of course they aren't supporting it any longer. They figured out they could get more money by offering their own certification program(s). Doesn't anyone else recognize this? Shame on SHRM! Who are they really looking out for?

  • Henry Tebbe. Retired VP HR on 5/21/2014 10:06:45 AM

    Besides being insulted and disappointed I doubt any hiring CEO or manager will give any credit for certification if for years one group of certifications were touted as so important for years and now only the new one is. Why would anyone trust the new certification It's like eggs are good for you one year and then eggs are bad for you. Phooey to the whole idea.

  • Barbara Moberg on 5/21/2014 9:56:02 AM

    Having recently moved more into Organizational Development and Performance Excellence after 25 years in HR, I see the value of heightened competencies to move our organizations forward. We should let the benefits, payroll, recruitment people handle the day to day activities as we grow into organizational leaders.

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