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Thursday, May 22, 2014

An Unfortunate Reality: SHRM & HRCI At Odds

Are they really or is this a chance for improvement for both of them?  I tend to think yes!

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.

  1. If you were planning to test this year for any of the HRCI certifications, do it! 
  2. 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.
  3. When reading communications from anyone other than SHRM or HRCI (including myself), take them with a grain of salt. 
  4. 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.
  5. Continue to check back with the SHRM and HRCI FAQ documents for more answers as they are both living documents and currently updated daily.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9.  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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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: 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MORE Consolidated List of SHRM Certification Announcement Posts with LINKS (Updated)

UPDATE 5/21: Added one more post and link below from not found last night when I originally wrote this post.

On the eve of my attempt to help our local CIC-SHRM members make sense of the news of last week at our bi-monthly meeting tomorrow, I did another search. Again, I will wait to comment fully about my own understanding and opinions until after I get a response from SHRM regarding a question I have that has yet to be addressed and I hear again from our regional MAC rep on a call I am scheduled to participate in on Thursday.

However, I do want to rescind and revise a comment I made in my earlier post. Last week I stated the following which is not entirely true: “The fact that the HRCI Executive Director did not receive advance notification leaves me a bit disappointed for a variety of reasons.” The HRCI Executive Director did know about SHRMs plans because she is part of the board where the topic was discussed. However, she did not know the communication would go out so fast and obviously did not have time to prepare current certificant’s as well as staff to handle questions.

I have separated the links to show those from SHRM, HRCI, and OTHERS separately.

In addition to doing a Google search on this topic you can go to a variety of LinkedIn groups where there is a great deal of conversation following these communications. The following lists of articles and links contain the most recent posts from this week first (under the appropriate header) then below them is a copy of the link from last week’s post starting with the words: “FROM LAST WEEK:”

From SHRM Board Director:

SHRM-HRCI Dramedy: Time to Set the Record Straight

The Last Word: SHRM’s Door Swings Open for Whom?

The CYA Report E62: The SHRM Certification Fiasco

The Top Nine People SHRM Hurt When It Said Goodbye to HRCI...

Weekly Wrap: Just How Important Is an HR Certification, Anyway?

SHRM Rolls Out New Certification from HR Executive Online

FROM LAST WEEK: Workforce held an online chat today:
FROM LAST WEEK: HRCI: Surprised by SHRM Plan to Offer HR Certifications:
FROM LAST WEEK: New #SHRM Certification Raises More Questions Than It Answers (Update X 2)
FROM LAST WEEK: SHRM to Stop Supporting PHR, SPHR Certifications
FROM LAST WEEK: J.J. Keller on SHRM approves plan for new human resource certification based on competencies*052014_10151_-1_10551

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Summary (with Links) of ALL “SHRM Certification Announcement”Communications Thus Far (UPDATED)

Here is a link to the Updated Post regarding this topic which consists of a full list of articles and links as of 5/21/14:

Needless to say, HR professionals all across the world are a bit confused this week by SHRM’s announcement of a competency based certification.  Personally, I believe, this confusion could have been prevented with a little more strategic planning and communication from those who made the decision to release this information.  The fact that the HRCI Executive Director did not receive advance notification leaves me a bit disappointed for a variety of reasons.  Mainly, because just last year I was among four other representatives from across the country who shared with the SHRM board that membership in general feels “their house is not in order”.  There is a lot that goes into that statement based on some research that we conducted from a volunteer sample of the members.  However, the bottom line is that the comment related to turnover, previous problems with transparency perception, and communication between the other two organizations so closely related to SHRM (the foundation and HRCI).  Just last month I attended a student SHRM conference where I heard from a fellow volunteer that they were on a newly created committee with members of all three organizations with the goal to improve communications.  Basically the idea which supported our recommendation was to consistently let the right hand known what the left hand is doing.  Unfortunately, this week’s announcement took the whole effort backwards in my humble opinion.

Yesterday, I was contacted by the president of my local chapter to help explain what is going on to the membership at next week’s general membership meeting.  They had a board meeting just after the announcement hit in boxes but before other communications came out from both SHRM and HRCI.  So needless to say, the board was at a loss to answer a multitude of questions that arose at the board meeting and from members.  Just after that I received an email from a local member and another today.  I am certainly no expert and I really don’t want to be misquoted or take a chance at being misunderstood by interpreting something that is still a little unclear in my own mind even after reading all I can about the subject.  So instead of clarifying for you, I have done a search for all communications I can locate up to this point about the topic so you can find them all in one place.  I am sure in the coming days, weeks, and months, more details will unfold.  Until that time, try to stay afloat in the muddy water as the rest of the 14k certified individuals, myself included, will do the same (not to mention those unsure about whether to move forward with certification which I am guessing is also in the thousands). 

Here is what I have located so far (readers please add additional links in the comments section):



Various Posts Not from SHRM or HRCI