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Human Resource Certification Institute

March 02, 2008

The Society for Human Resource Management offers three certification courses in Human Resources through the Human Resource Certification Institute.

Why Certification?

Certification sets those with the credential apart–or above–those without it. There are a number of advantages to seeking certification. Certification becomes a public recognition of professional achievement–both within and outside of the profession. For many, achieving certification becomes a personal professional goal–a way to test knowledge and to measure it against one’s peers. Others see certification as an aid to career advancement.

PHR and SPHR Exams

The Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) exams are both based on U.S. federal laws, regulations and practices and are generalist in nature (i.e., they assess all the functional areas of the HR field). They differ in terms of focus and the cognitive level of questions. PHR questions tend to be at an operational/technical level. SPHR questions tend to be more at the strategic and/or policy level.


Globalization is the defining political and economic force in the world today. It requires new ways of thinking and responding. For HR professionals, recognizing and understanding this phenomenon is fast becoming a job requirement. The purpose of the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHRTM) certification is to assess your mastery of the necessary knowledge to be successful in this worldwide marketplace.

Eligibility Requirements

The PHR and SPHR are generalist exams and assess knowledge of the entire domestic HR field. If you have never been an HR generalist or do not plan to become one, please evaluate whether these exams are right for you. The GPHR exam is intended for HR professionals who develop and implement global HR strategies, oversee international assignment management and manage HR operations overseas.

To be eligible to take an exam, candidates must demonstrate that:

• They have two years of HR work experience.

• At least 51 percent of their daily activities are within the human resource function.

• Those activities are at the exempt (professional) level


PHR: $250 (SHRM member), $300 (non-member)

SPHR: $375 (SHRM member), $425 (non-member)

GPHR: $375 (SHRM member), $425 (non-member)

Download the 2008 PHR/SPHR/GPHR Certification Handbook

Buy a Study Guide for PHR/SPHR Certification

HRCI also offers a special student/recent graduate category. For more information about taking the exam as a student/recent graduate, click here

The HRCI offers special certifications for California. For more information, click here

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