Other Questions?

What is accreditation, and why is it important?

The Department of Education defines the goal of accreditation as “to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.” In terms of testing programs, such as the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), accreditation involves a third-party review of exams, policies and procedures to ensure that organizations maintain a standard of quality as determined by the testing industry.

Achieving accreditation was important to SHRM because it provides SHRM-certified professionals and their employers with the assurance that SHRM’s credentials meet the high standards expected and needed to advance the HR profession.

Who awarded SHRM accreditation, and what did the process entail?

The Buros Center for Testing, the premier test review center located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, accredited SHRM’s certification exams (the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP). The Buros Center for Testing is an independent nonprofit that has accredited and reviewed other well-known tests, including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for law school and graduate school; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and technicians.

The Buros Center for Testing measures testing programs against the Buros Institute for Assessment Consultation and Outreach (BIACO) Standards for Proprietary Testing. This review includes examining the psychometric properties of the test, reliability, decision consistency, equated passing score as well as item analyses and other analyses. SHRM submitted a 1,900-page application, which documented its testing practices, methodology and policy, for a thorough review by The Buros Center for Testing. The review process took six months to complete and included site visits of both SHRM’s offices and those of its testing vendors.

Why did SHRM seek accreditation from Buros?

The Buros Center for Testing was established in 1935 and is a nationally recognized accrediting organization. The Buros Center for Testing functions as the world’s premier test review center, having published more than 7,500 tests (or revisions of test) since its founding.

The Buros Center for Testing measures testing programs against the Buros Institute for Assessment Consultation and Outreach (BIACO) Standards for Proprietary Testing, which consists of the American Psychology Association (APA), American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) standards for educational and psychological testing, recognized by US federal agencies and courts as the most-comprehensive standards for ensuring fairness in testing. This review includes examining the psychometric properties of the test, reliability, decision consistency, equated passing score as well as item analyses and other analyses. Consequently, testing programs accredited by The Buros Center for Testing display high standards of psychometric quality as articulated in the professional standards and the expectations of the testing community.

Additionally, Buros has accredited and reviewed other well-known tests, including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for law school and graduate school; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and technicians.

What does becoming accredited mean for SHRM-certified professionals?

Since the launch of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP program, SHRM has worked towards evolving its credentials and maintaining recognition as the global standard in HR certification. Achieving accreditation demonstrates to HR professionals and their employers that SHRM’s credentials meet the highest standards in testing.

SHRM was awarded accreditation by The Buros Center for Testing. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The Buros Center is the premier test review center and has accredited or reviewed other well-known tests, including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for medical school, law school and graduate school; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and educators.

To learn more about The Buros Center for Testing visit buros.org.

I have been granted my SHRM certification. When will I receive my certificate?

Approximately four weeks after the close of the exam window, candidates will receive an e-mail directing them to retrieve their official results from the "My Results" tab in their portal. Candidates who pass the exam will receive an official congratulatory letter, credential certficate and lapel pin. The certificate and lapel pin will be sent 4 to 6 weeks after the official results. If you have a mailing address outside the U.S., please expect 8 to 10 weeks for receipt of your certificate packet.

How do I change my name in the Certification Portal?

Once you login to your certification portal, on the home page, you will see an option for a name change request under “Your Portal.” You will need to complete the online form and submit documentation that supports a legal name change.

Minor name changes (adding a middle initial or misspelling of a name) do not need documentation.

Please note, if you have an exam scheduled, Prometric requires that the ID presented must match the information that was given to SHRM when applying for the exam. If they do not match, you may not be allowed to sit for the exam. It is important that name changes are completed as far in advance as possible to ensure Prometric has the correct name on file for you.

How long are the exams? How many questions?

Both exams will contain Knowledge- and Competency-based questions:

  • Candidates for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams will have 4 hours to answer a total of 160 questions, of which approximately 95 are stand-alone knowledge items and 65 will be situational judgment items.

Breakdown of Testing-Time:

  • Confidentiality Agreement: 2 minutes
  • Introduction and Tutorial: 8 minutes
  • Exam: 4 hours (240 minutes)
  • Survey: 5 minutes
  • Each section shows a countdown timer on the screen, and each section is separate and time-independent. Minutes do not roll over. For instance, if a candidate spends less time in the introduction, extra minutes are not rolled over to the exam portion.

    What are Situational Judgment Items?

    Situational judgment items (SJIs) assess candidates’ judgment and decision-making skills, which are not easily measured using traditional knowledge-based questions. Examinees are presented with realistic work-related scenarios and asked to choose the best of several possible strategies to resolve or address the issues described in each scenario. Although more than one strategy may be effective for addressing actual work-related scenarios, examinees only receive credit for choosing the best possible answer, as determined by a panel of experienced HR professionals. All other answers, which reflect either less effective or ineffective strategies, receive no credit.

    What is a Knowledge Item?

    There are two categories of stand-alone knowledge based items on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. Items in the first category, referred to as HR-specific knowledge Items (KIs), cover key concept topics associated with the 15 HR functional areas, while items in the second category, referred to as foundational knowledge items (FKIs), cover key concept topics considered foundational to the eight behavioral competencies. Examinees receive credit for selecting the correct answer to a given question; otherwise, no credit is awarded.

    What is SHRM’s relationship with HRCI?

    Although SHRM created HRCI over 40 years ago, SHRM and HRCI have always been, and still remain, separate and distinct organizations. The HRCI certifications (e.g., PHR, SPHR, GPHR, HRBP and HRMP*) are owned and controlled by HRCI, not by SHRM. The new SHRM Certifications are separate from these HRCI certifications.

    SHRM is committed to ensuring that the certification HR professionals achieve is the best in class and distinguishes them in the marketplace. Therefore, at this time, SHRM determined that it is necessary to move forward independently with the development of a competency-based certification, which is urgently needed for the advancement of the HR profession and HR practitioners.

    We continue to hope that HRCI will agree to work with us on this effort for the betterment of the HR profession.

    *PHR, SPHR, GPHR, HRBP and HRMP are registered trademarks of the HR Certification Institute and are not SHRM certifications.