Earning certification from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) demonstrates a level of skill and commitment that employers find attractive. The designation adds credibility to one’s reputation in the industry and can open doors to higher titles and responsibilities. Some job descriptions may even include certifications as a prerequisite.
But while holding HRCI certification is a hallmark of HR success, don’t think of it as a one-size-fits-all business. For HR professionals to maintain their distinction, they must engage in continuous professional development.
HRCI certification is valid for three years after passing the test. To maintain the credential, the holder must earn a specified number of recertification credits during this three-year period or retake the exam. (The majority of people choose the first option.) Thereafter, certifiers must continue to recertify every three years throughout their career.
The necessary number of HRCI recertification credits
Earning recertification credits doesn’t happen overnight. Thus, it is beneficial for HR professionals to know upfront how many credits they will need in each three-year cycle. This information allows enough time to plan an action plan.
The following HRCI certifications require 45 HR recertification credits:
aPHR, Associate Professional in Human Resources
aPHRi, Associate Professional in Human Resources – International
These certifications require 60 recertification credits, distributed as shown:
PHR, Human Resources Professional (60 HR credits)
PHRi, Human Resources Professional — International (60 HR credits)
SPHR, Senior Professional in Human Resources (45 HR credits, 15 business credits)
SPHRi, Senior Professional in Human Resources — International (45 HR credits, 15 business credits)
PHRca, Human Resources Professional – California (45 HR credits, 15 California credits)
GPHR, Global Professional in Human Resources (45 HR credits, 15 global recertification credits)
Let’s take a closer look at the different categories of credits and how HR professionals can get them.
HR knowledge is at the heart of all HRCI certifications. So, anyone looking to recertify should focus on ongoing HR-related training and success. HRCI designed its HR credit requirement to broaden skills and keep people up to date with industry practices.
There are many ways to accumulate recertification hours. According HRCI Recertification Policies and Procedures Manual,”In general, if an activity can relate to the specific HRCI exam content overview associated with your designation and adds to the knowledge of a professional in the HR field, it will receive recertification credit. When you submit your recertification application, you must show how the activities are all HR related.”
HR credits fall into two basic categories, professional development and professional success.
The former includes things like pre-approved programs, continuing education, and self-directed learning. Delivery methods take various forms, such as on-demand webinars, podcasts, virtual lectures, seminars, on-site or online courses, and independent study.
The second is to receive credit for a professional activity, such as joining an industry organization, presenting on a webcast, completing a special project at work, conducting research, or publishing. Note that there are sometimes limits on the number of credits that can be earned in a given way.
In 2021, HRCI started requiring a ethics credit as one of 45 HR credits. As explained on the HRCI website, “This requirement ensures that our certificants remain aware of crucial ethical practices and behaviors in the workplace. There is NO specific “Ethics Credit” designation to select when entering the business. Simply include an ethics-themed activity in your recertification plan and check the required “ethics affirmation box” to submit your recertification application. »
The renewal of an SPHR or an SPHRi implies obtaining 15 company credits in addition to the 45 HR credits. Trade credits help these high-level HR professionals improve their knowledge of their organization’s operations and its industry.
The activities that qualify for business credit go beyond basic HR responsibilities. Rather, they are those that require learning a different business function or partnering with another department. A better understanding of, for example, finance or marketing helps HR to have an impact on the growth, development and overall vision of the company.
When reviewing the types of activities that meet the objectives of the Business Credit Requirement, HRCI recommends referring to the relevant review: the “Leadership and Strategy” area of the Content Overview SPHR exam or the “Enterprise Leadership” functional area of the SPHRi exam. Content preview. This table of activities eligible for business credit can also be useful. It contains the categories ‘on the job’, ‘continuing education’, ‘training/instruction’ and ‘research and publication’ with examples of approved recertification activities and what participants can gain from them.
California employers value human resources professionals with a PHRca. This certification shows proficiency regarding the state’s unique human resource management laws, regulations, and practices. The 15 California Special Credits required for recertification ensures continued understanding and practice of California-specific business operations to maximize employee performance and organizational success.
Like the PHRca exam itself, opportunities to earn California credits cover topics such as compensation, employment lifecycle and labor relations, time off and benefits, and health and safety. , workers compensation, compliance and risk management. A good way to identify relevant recertification activities is to research HRCI database and California credit screening.
Holding the GPHR designation demonstrates expertise in multinational HR responsibilities. However, keeping up with progress and changes in the ever-growing global marketplace involves earning 15 global credits during each three-year recertification period (in addition to 45 HR credits).
According to the HRCI Recertification Policy and Procedures Manual, Specialized Global Credits require a GPHR certificate to demonstrate:
- Understanding of US labor laws and regulations and how to integrate with labor laws, culture and environment impacting employees in other countries.
- Hands-on experience managing cross-border employees while supporting organizational growth by balancing and prioritizing business operations between these distinct cultural/geographical environments.
- Experiential learning focused on global HR strategies and policies, staffing and talent development, compensation and benefits, and risk mitigation.
Maintaining HRCI certification is an important and ongoing commitment. the HRCI website, http://www.hrci.orgprovides a significant amount of information regarding recertification.
Four of the sections that HR professionals may find most useful in determining how they will obtain the necessary credits include:
The HRCI Learning Center. The catalog shows a plethora of opportunities. Search by topic or credit type, or browse the full catalog and see what piques your interest.
A search engine of approved service providers. These are organizations whose continuing education activities have already been reviewed and pre-approved by the HRCI.
A search engine of upcoming activities such as webinars, workshops and seminars. Use filters to target specific locations, opportunity type, number of credit hours, and credit type (HR, Corporate, California, or Global).
- HRCI Recertification Policies and Procedures Manual. Consider the most recent edition of this brief manual to read whether you are recertifying for the first time or your tenth!
Daily Business Management Webinars
An easy way to track your HRCI credits is to use the wide variety of webinars and recorded trainings offered by Business Management Daily. Here you can find training on a wide variety of HR topics to suit your needs and keep earning HRCI credits!