Certification is an essential tool for maintaining high professional standards and shows that you have accepted the personal challenge to stay abreast of new developments in the human resource field. It distinguishes you among your peers; it highlights your commitment to the HR profession; it ensures that your knowledge of HR topics and legislation is current; it opens doors to career opportunities and it demonstrates that you have mastered the HR body of knowledge. Beyond experience and education, it is a primary measure of knowledge in the Human Resource Management field.
Professional certification is intended for HR professionals with at least two years of exempt level HR experience. PHR and SPHR certification exams are offered through HR Certification Institute every year in May and December. Candidates for certification may select which level of certification they want to pursue based on their own mastery of the HR body of knowledge and their personal experience level. Information about the specific requirements for each exam is available at hrci.org.
The University of Arkansas also offers classes to prepare you for the certification test. For more information on these classes, when they are offered and the cost, visit the University of Arkansas website.
Certifications Available to Human Resource Professionals
The HR Certification Institute offers three core certifications: Professional in Human Resources (PHR©), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR©), and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR©). The PHR exam focuses on the technical and operational aspects of human resource practices, U.S. laws and regulations. The SPHR exam focuses on the strategic and policy-making aspects of HR management in the United States. The GPHR exam focuses on the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully operate in a global marketplace. In addition, the GPHR exam covers major employment laws from Canada, China, the European Union, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- An Ideal PHR candidate has a tactical/logistical orientation.
- Focuses on program implementation rather than creation.
- Has two to four years of exempt-level (professional) generalist experience.
- An ideal SPHR candidate designs and plans rather than implements.
- Has extensive knowledge of all aspects of HR and ultimate responsibility in the HR department.
- Has four to eight years of progressive exempt-level (professional) experience.
- An ideal GPHR candidate develops and implements global HR strategies.
- Manages cross-border HR operations and international assignments.
- Has at least two years of exempt-level (professional) experience in international HR.
The HR Certification Institute’s credentials are valued throughout the global HR industry because the exams test knowledge gained over experience working in the HR field as well as forward-thinking HR practices, policies and procedures that professionals are expected to know in order to perform their jobs effectively.
Prove that you have mastered and can successfully apply relevant human resource principles and disciplines throughout your career by obtaining HR credentials and maintaining them through recertification from the HR Certification Institute.