@SHRM Certifications Gain Accreditation!

If you haven’t seen it SHRM announced last week that they gained accreditation for their SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams by the Buros Center for Testing. This was a big deal because it was one of the major things HRCI was holding over the heads of those HR pros trying to decide which HR certification they should get. This is no longer a factor as both are accreditated.

From SHRM’s press release:

To achieve accreditation, SHRM submitted a 1,900-page application documenting its testing practices, methodology, and policy. The thorough review process took six months to complete and included site visits of SHRM and its testing vendors.

Since the launch of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP two years ago, SHRM has worked to gain recognition as the global standard in HR certification. Achieving accreditation further demonstrates to HR professionals and their employers that SHRM-certified professionals meet the high standards expected and needed in HR today.

We celebrate this milestone with more than 96,000 SHRM–certified professionals, the fastest-growing HR certification community. The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are the most widely-taken HR exams in the world.


Who can also listen to a portion of media call where SHRM made this announcement by clicking on this link.

So, why is this a big deal?

I could argue that for most HR pros and most organizations hiring HR pros, it’s probably not. Many won’t understand the difference in being accreditated or not accreditated. All they want is the letters behind your name. But, if you believe that hiring someone who actually knows how to work in the business of HR, then it becomes a very big deal!

It’s like hiring someone from a great university, say Michigan State University and their fantastic HR program, versus hiring someone who graduated with an HR degree from the back of an airline magazine. You want to make sure you’re actually hiring someone who came from an accreditated program!

Another piece that’s important here is the continued battle between SHRM and HRCI to gain the trust of the growing profession of human resources. There are roughly 1700 university-based HR programs available in the United States. The profession of HR continues to grow at a staggering pace.

I’ve argued all along that SHRM has many advantages in continuing to have the upper hand in this war for HR pros, being accreditated just took away a major advantage HRCI had over SHRM. I’ve always thought the competency based measurement that SHRM has is better than a knowledge based assessment. I don’t much care if my HR pros can give me facts, I need them to be able to use that knowledge to move my business forward and demonstrate to me they have that ability.

SHRM still has a ton of work to do to stay on top, like updating their university program and allowing HR college students and new graduates to gain some sort of certification that isn’t pending. A global certification is another item that is a must. Plus, SHRM has to figure out how to act smaller and move faster. They’re a very traditional, large association type organization, and quite frankly that isn’t a strength in a world that is moving extremely fast.

As a SHRM member, I’m happy that the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are now accreditated. I look forward to seeing continued updates and changes from SHRM, and I’m excited to see that they’re actually being a bit more open with the HR blogger community and giving us access to information before it goes public.

4 thoughts on “@SHRM Certifications Gain Accreditation!

  1. I’m sorry, but the accrediting body isn’t even one anyone has ever heard of. With the ongoing partnership SHRM had with ANSI, why would they not seek accreditation through them? Why not through NCCA?

    • Linda,

      The reality is no one really cares about who the certifying bodies are because no one knows the difference. Who is to say just because you didn’t hear about the body who accredited SHRM that they are worse than another, maybe they’re actually better! Also, every CHRO that I’ve ever spoken to about this could care less. They just want to know it’s legit, at that point, it’s a non-issue. They feel this is very legit.


  2. As a Master of Science degree candidate in Villanova University’s HRD program, I am extremely pleased to hear the news. It solidifies my decision to go with the SHRM certification. The competency based program coupled with the competency based study materials only support each other’s direction. While understanding facts is important to a point, having a strategic mindset is doubly important because it moves to add value and makes the HR professional a value driver.

    Great news!

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