The Dilution of HR Certification

The continuing saga of dueling HR certifications continues into its second week and the statements continue to come from both sides of the divide. Within the past two days, there have been statements from the SHRM Board Chair (via the WeKnowNext blog) and from HRCI. These statements a reflective of each organization’s position and certainly doesn’t paint a picture that gives any hope that the differences can be resolved in a meaningful fashion that can salvage the relationship moving forward.

After hearing from SHRM leadership today during a question and answer session, I continue to have several concerns not only as an active volunteer leader, but also as a certified professional. I worry that the value of my certification, no matter which one I have (or both) will have even less value than they do now. I have this concern for the following reasons:

  • Approved providers – Although there are many frustrations with HRCI and their processes around certifying programs in a timely manner, the proposed SHRM solution of allowing their chapters to be approved providers has the potential to weaken the process o ensuring that programs meet the requirements as set by SHRM. Right now, those able to approve programs have been fully vetted by HRCI and have firm guidelines. While SHRM can go this direction, the numbers needed to support the chapters and councils could create a large discrepancy in how people certify programs for credit. Will there be different tiers for the different certifications? That is a question we do not know.
  • After years of touting the HRCI certifications as world class, SHRM’s efforts to transition to their competency based certification is an overt statement that the HRCI certifications are not valuable in their eyes. It was stated today that the new certification goes beyond knowledge and that it represents “an evolution” from the old model. As an old biology major, I know that evolution happens over time and is not a sudden change in direction. One bit of advice to SHRM, don’t describe this as an evolution. It’s closer to being a revolution.
  • Finally, I worry that having two certifications for HR associated with SHRM (let alone the others from World of Work and such) will lead to confusion. Will employers be willing to accept both HRCI and SHRM? Will the work done over the years to build recognition for the HRCI certifications ultimately prevent the new one from being established as a clear improvement over what was in place before? Two different has the potential to raise the level of confusion. If we as HR professionals are confused, how will those outside the realm be able to grasp the differences?

More information from SHRM is forthcoming at the annual conference in Orlando. Stay tuned for more and hold on as things continue to evolve!

This entry was posted in HR Practices and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Dilution of HR Certification

  1. Susan Burleigh says:

    This has me perplexed, confused & concerned. Plus it’s a dismal example of communication with your constituents. Funny coming from HR right?