certification, , SHRM, , phr, sphr, shrm-cp, shrm-scp

Which Way Do I Go?


As the Director of Certification for AHRM since the HRCI/SHRM certification split, the number one question I am asked is “What certification exam should I take?  Should I take them both?”  I wish I had a simple answer.  My best answer is, whichever one you want to take but not both.  This answer gets me no high fives just looks of wonder.  But it’s true.  For now, both HRCI and SHRM certifications carry great prestige and frankly similar content.  Neither one went and re-wrote their entire exam content upon going their separate ways.  They are both based on core HR knowledge and competencies, just with their own slightly different take on it.


Both HRCI and SHRM have stepped up their games on the marketing front and that part is appreciated.  Their communication with certification holders and prospects has increased significantly which has inspired more HR professionals to discuss certification and that is good for the profession.  While I have no simple answer, I can help you consider your options and make the best choice for you.  With the help of a little online research, we’ve put together a chart comparing the aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP certifications.  Click here to view the chart on the AHRM website.


Whichever way you go, August is a good time to decide.  Prep courses for exams start in September.  If you are looking for a classroom style in-person prep option, the best one in town is Davenport IPEx prep for SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP (www.davenport.edu/ipex ).  If you decide you want to pursue the PHR or SPHR, TEA (The Employers Association www.teagr.org ) is offering a web based study option.  



As a SHRM affiliated chapter, AHRM has taken the stance that we will continue to support recertification opportunities & credits for both HRCI and SHRM current certification holders.  For those pursuing a certification for the first time, we will provide you with the information to make the best decision for you and point you in the direction of resources that can help you achieve your goals.  Please reach out to me with questions This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Thank you and congrats on pursuing a professional certification! 


Amber Brueck, AHRM 2016 Director of Certification

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Association for Human Resources Management

Email: Membership@AHRM.net
PO Box 2064
Grand Rapids, MI 49501

The Association for Human Resource Management (AHRM) is a professional organization to fulfill needs of human resources professionals in the Greater Grand Rapids area and an affiliate of the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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