Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) is a US-based credentialing body that offers certifications to HR managers, generalists, and administrators. It awards the certifications after the professionals successfully complete the exams of competency covering HRM (Human Resource Management) practices, policies, and principles as the subjects. Thus, it helps HR professionals boost their career opportunities, professional credibility, and compensation rates.
The examination content of HRCI varies by the type of certification. The institute designs every exam to exhibit mastery and real-world application of HR practices, principles, and policies. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) takes care of the accreditation for the exams. In addition, professionals need to renew/recertify their credentials every three years. They can do this either by retaking the certification exam or by earning 60 HR-related professional development training credits. Also, only HRCI Approved Providers (APs) can provide them with the required training.
The average pass rate across all the HRCI certifications is 71%.
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Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Continuing Legal Education (CLE), college and university courses, video conferences, conferences and seminars, audiotapes, podcasts, webcasts, and e-learning courses are some of the accepted training formats. For every hour of concurrent session time, the professionals receive one recertification credit hour from HRCI.
Certifications under HRCI
- aPHR (Associate Professional in Human Resources)
- aPHRI (Associate Professional in Human Resources – International)
- SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)
- SPHRi (Senior Professional in Human Resources – International)
- PHR (Professional in Human Resources)
- GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources)
- PHRca (Professional in Human Resources – California)
- PHRi (Professional in Human Resources – International)
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How to apply for the HRCI certification:
- Create an HRCI account.
- Review your requirements in terms of education and career.
- Begin the application by choosing the appropriate certification(s).
- Review the content outlines of the exam.
- Take practice tests (fees applicable).
- Pay application fee and exam fee.
- Schedule an appointment for your test (within 120 days). The exam will be held at a Pearson VUE testing location.
- Receive official results within 1-2 days.
HRCI and SHRM – How do they differ?
While HRCI offers eight certifications, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers two competency-based HR certifications. These include SHRM-CP (SHRM Certified Professional) and the SHRM-SCP (SHRM Senior Certified Professional).
Another significant difference between the courses offered by both these institutions is in their pricing structures. HRCI varies its certification fees with their types, while both the certifications from SHRM are priced equally ($300 for SHRM members and $400 for others).
But, HRCI and SHRM certifications are similar on the front of recertification. Professionals need to earn 60 SHRM credits every three years in order to recertify their SHRM certifications.