Win or Lose: Competency-based sHRm Certification Update

Quite a buzz these days since SHRM announced the new Competency-based HR Certification. This is a SHRM certification. Bye bye HRCI??

Just a Follow-up on my previous post. Find that original talk here
You  probably have, just like me, received emails after emails from both SHRM and HRCI. Both organizations fight  for their own credentials. Certification ? Yes. Global? Yes. Universal?  ??...

Read SHRM
Read HRCI

© 2014 AR_HRCom-_HRCert2

SHRM's argument is that its certification is the evolvement of next credential for HR professionals. No longer about knowledge "only"; rather about how to apply that knowledge in the business world "with positive outcomes". It announces that the test will be more scenario-based, and does not exclude an interview down the road.

HRCI on the other hand confirms that its portfolio of certification is "competency-based" and "relevant" for all HR professionals around the globe. It will continue to offer all certifications.

This is going to be confusing to certified professionals and candidates for certification. Confusing because many people out there think - within reason -  that HRCI certification is not so easily granted. So, making the general public think otherwise or that it is not competency-based can somehow be interpreted as misleading.
In any event, SHRM is easing the "transition" by offering a "free-of-charge" conversion to the new credential. Stay tuned to SHRM. Does SHRM imply that HRCI certification is no longer an option past 2015? At this point, transpiring through a torrent of blogs, competent HR professionals feel that they are victimized by the SHRM/HRCI divorce.

So I come to wonder if the question should not rather be about educational curriculum in HR? Questions are being raised about the current SHRM CEO since his biography does not reflect any HR background. However, he holds a certification in his field: he is a CPA. To my experience, my educational curriculum - specifically talking about the HRM one here - was not only about technical knowledge but also about the translation of that knowledge into real-life scenarios, in the real world of business. And it was also global. Nightmare scenarios and exams, and interviews, we got them! I am positive that I am not the only one who had a similar experience, because there are some solid business-based HR curricula out there, and quite a few of them globally-offered!

Maybe all HR curricula and access to HR positions not all being equal is the justification of such certification? Whose is the new certification designed for? Is it to be a panacea downstream "inadequate" formal curricula and access/recruitment to HR positions? Granted it is the result of sound research, I am curious to know if there was any question in the survey that was referring to the educational background of (a) those who have answered the questionnaires and (b) HR practitioners who are around them? If there were, then it would be safe to assume that some missing links were observed. So, is this new model of certification a palliative to lack of, if it were the case, adequate formal HR education prior to entry to an HR function? (cf. responses to ratings and information)

The new model of certification is global. Am I wrong to say that European countries were not represented in the pool of SHRM study? Neither was Canada.
It appears to me that this new certification is more academically-, globally-oriented. In any event, it is my understanding that there will be several strata of certification. I would say, let's wait and see. I believe it is a work in progress.
“We view SHRM certification as the next evolution of certification for HR professionals,” Jackson told SHRM Online. “Certification started out as testing for knowledge. Now it’s evolving to how to demonstrate that you can apply that knowledge in a manner that yields positive individual performance and better business outcomes or competency.” - See more at:

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