The process of maintaining your SHRM certification whether it is SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP doesn’t have to be tricky. With a little foresight and planning, you can win at HR recertification using a system I’ve recently developed.
How to Plan for SHRM Recertification
Once you’ve passed your SHRM certification exam, certified professionals need to recertify every three years. Recertification is a combination of earning 60 recertification credits in three areas:
- Advance Your Education
- Advance Your Organization
- Advance Your Profession
It’s important to note that SHRM refers to recertification credits as PDC or professional development credits. I’m not here to dispute the SHRM language, however, I do want to share best practices on entering in credits so that you manage your time to obtain the credits along with your time entering and submitting these to SHRM itself.
Whatever the combination of credits you choose, 60 is the magic number. SHRM does have some maximum credit maximums and thresholds depending on the credit concentration area as seen in the image below.
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How to Keep Track of Your SHRM Recertification Credits
SHRM has some helpful tools to allow you to keep track of your the SHRM credits to acquire throughout your 3-year cycle. One of my favorites includes the SHRM credit app available on iTunes and Google Play. The app lets you enter in credits, however, it doesn’t allow you the ability to enter in HRCI credits and track the separate HRCI Org numbers which is important for those who are certified by both HR certification bodies. Personally, I use a spreadsheet accessible via Dropbox or Google Docs to help me manage my credits no matter where I am. It allows me to organize my credits by number, type, title, and date making it easy to quickly copy and paste in my important information when I go into the SHRM Portal for recertification.
Step 1: Log into the SHRM Recertification Portal
Click here to log into the SHRM Recertification Portal. Keep your SHRM number, email address, and password hand to quickly access the system. From the main dashboard, you can see the number of PDCs you currently have and your certification deadline.
Step 2: Add Your PDCs
Select “Add PDC” and then select the type of credits you want to enter either as mentioned above. Education is webinars, courses, and conferences you have attended. Advance Your Organization is work experiences you have had like writing an employee handbook or doing a compensation study for a market location. Profession includes volunteer work including being a SHRM member, your speaking experience, writing or any special presentations or publishing you were a part of.
Step 3: Select PDC Type and Enter
SHRM has some maximum credits you can earn by credit type. See the image above. For example, SHRM only allows you 20 PDCs for work experience and 30 credits for self-paced learning under Advancing Your Education. This is where planning and organizing your credits come into play.
The fastest way to enter credits is using the activity ID number which is normally provided when you complete a class or course. You simply copy and paste that number from your spreadsheet and enter it in. The course title, facilitator, and date should auto-populate unless the course is self-paced learning. You will need to include the date you complete the webinar or class. This is a common part of the recertification process in entering credits into SHRM when you use the LEARN platform by Workology.
In the event you do not have the activity ID, you can enter the course, date, and facilitator manually. Certified professionals will receive PDCs for the course with a manual entry, however, it might increase the chances of you being audited after submitting for recertification. Getting audited is not fun so whenever possible, submit your education experience using an Activity ID Number.
Entering Work Experience and Speaking Experience
As I mentioned earlier, you can receive PDCs for your work experience, published works, speaking, and volunteering. These are completed using a more manual process and for those of us who speak or present on a regular basis, this is where your spreadsheet really comes in handy. For speakers, be sure to have the date you presented, the title and a short description handy. If you have published an article, blog, or white paper, be prepared to have a short abstract and if available the online link to your published work.
The maximum number of PDCs eligible to submit is as part of Advancing Your Profession is up to 30 with up to 9 credits coming from membership and volunteering. Publishing articles on sites like mine, Workology, SHRM’s blog, journals, reputable news outlets and industry-related blogs can count towards recertification credits. This is a great way to earn PDCs while also growing your personal and professional brand through peer to peer learning and sharing.
As a reminder, you can receive up to 20 PDCs towards your work experience. I, personally, like to sit down 1-2 times a year and document the projects I’ve been working, the requirements and what was involved as well as the results. This is not only helpful as I prepare for my annual review but when entering in PDC credits that can be put towards my work experience. Once again, that spreadsheet comes in handy. For example, last year I acquired an existing business and put forth that experience as part of my work experience PDCs. The research that was involved, setting up our corporation, and the negotiations were unique experiences and certainly helpful in my career as an HR professional and the resources I provide to my clients in the area of human capital strategy.
In order to enter in work experiences like mine, return to your main dashboard and select “Add PCD.” Then select the “Advance Your Organization ” button. You will need to title your work experience project and include your supervisor’s name and contact information if you have one. Include a start and end date and the number of PDCs earned (up to 20) before providing an up to a 2,000-word description of your work project.
Once you submit, you’ll be able to return to the dashboard to see the number of PDCs be updated in your total.
Submitting Your SHRM Recertification Application
After you have completed entering all your credits (at least 60), you can submit your application for recertification. Note, that you can do this at any time during your recertification cycle. You don’t’ have to wait until the very last minute which I advise not too because both SHRM and HRCI have a habit of having maintenance scheduled at the end of the month starting 30 minutes before the golden hour. Everyone’s recertification deadline is different. It is the end of the day of the month of your birth month.
Lastly, you are now able to submit your recertification application with more than 60 credits. This is a recent and welcome change by SHRM.Be sure to have your credit card handy. The cost to submit your recertification is $100 for SHRM members and $150 for non-SHRM members.
What questions do you have about the SHRM recertification process? We’re happy to help by leaving a comment below.