Over the last week, I have participated in phone calls, read press releases, articles, and blog posts, as well as brief my local chapter members about the facts surrounding the SHRM Certification Announcement of May 12, 2014. During this time, I have stayed away from "as much as possible" communicating my personal opinions about the situation. Now after all scheduled communications that I knew I would take part in have passed, it's time to let the cat out of the bag. Well it's not as dramatic as all that but I do have a few opinions and suggestions to offer current and potential HRCI certificants regardless of your SHRM member status (because there are certificants who are not SHRM members). My comments below are in no particular order.
- If you were planning to test this year for any of the HRCI certifications, do it!
- Continue to be proud of your PHR, SPHR, GPHR, HRMP, HRBP! You earned them, they still mean something, and you have a choice to continue them. I would recommend you do so at least for now.
- When reading communications from anyone other than SHRM or HRCI (including myself), take them with a grain of salt.
- Question SHRM and HRCI directly when you feel there is a discrepancy in communications like I noticed about pricing of the SHRM learning system between what Hank was quoted as saying and what the SHRM FAQ documented.
- Continue to check back with the SHRM and HRCI FAQ documents for more answers as they are both living documents and currently updated daily.
- Understand that a SHRM affiliated chapter and state council volunteer must support their affiliation which is SHRM and not HRCI. That is not to say those individuals don't have their personal opinions but they may be quiet on the HRCI side because they have to be. So do your own homework and respect their position. Employees and independent contracts for SHRM are in the same boat.
- Realize that SHRM and HRCI are separate organizations as are their now separate certification offerings. They have separate boards and management staff even though they share space with SHRM on Duke street in Alexandria.
- Re-certify or test if that was what you were planning to do prior to this announcement. If you are an HRCI certificant holder on 1/1/15 in good standing there is not a lot you will have to do to earn the new SHRM certification. Basically it is a three step process: 1) Show documentation of certification; 2) Sign the SHRM Code of Ethics statement; and 3) Complete a one hour (or less) online webinar (that you won't have to study for).
- If you wondered why you received an extension on your HRCI certification in the mail this week, understand that this had nothing to do with the announcement. They were qued to ship before the announcement was communicated. There was a letter explaining the transition to original certification dates versus calendar year in case you did not see it. This has been in the works since late last year as I heard this first hand from HRCI in our November MAC meetings.
- Take advantage of the offerings SHRM is making to current certificants, if to do nothing else but add some more tools to your toolbox. If you fail an HRCI certification test this year, be sure to ask for your new SHRM certification learning system for free because it's available.
- If you are a pre-approved provider like my company, Rogers HR Consulting, is, keep waiting because there are currently no answers for you like there are for SHRM affiliates and Universities teaching the SHRM Learning Systems.
- Pray that all this confusion, additional lettering, frustration, hard feelings, and whatever else anyone wants to call what I am calling an unfortunate reality does not negatively affect our profession in the eyes of other business leaders and professions. This personally is my biggest fear after participating in a strong STP/ATP SHRM campaign for years. STP - Serve the professional and ATP Advance the PROFESSION. The latter is where I am concerned we just took steps backwards. Hopefully my fears are proven wrong!
- Finally, realize that in the end it's up to you. You now have more choices before you than you had on May 11th. You can chose to maintain your current certifications, add new, or trash them all (although I don't recommend the latter). As employers we will ultimately have the final say as to what is the preferred in the long run.
So take the high road, stay positive, and keep smiling because that's all we can do when it comes to change. It's always going to be there and with all change comes improvement. Regardless of SHRM and HRCI board, management, and staff feelings today, this too shall pass and both organizations will become better. I'm choosing to be optimistic. Won't you join me?
For a list with links of articles, blog posts, and articles related to this announcement see my post from yesterday here: http://donnarogershr.blogspot.com/2014/05/more-consolidated-list-of-shrm.html