You might be looking at today’s post and thinking “What is the ‘60’ she’s talking about?”. Well, I’m referring to the number of recertification credits required to maintain credentials with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). To me, recertification is the most important part of the SHRM certification process because it reinforces a commitment to continuous learning about human resources competencies.
If you’re not aware, SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credential holders must earn sixty (60) professional development credits (aka PDCs) within a three-year period. Or retake the exam.
Many certified professionals do opt to retake the exam as a way to recertify. I get it. Retaking the exam allows a person to participate in the rigor associated with studying and preparation – which I admit is challenging. But I also know that not everyone will want to follow that path.
As a SHRM-SCP, one of the things I do is turn the process of recertifying into a game. What I mean by that is I set goals for myself. For example, it’s always a goal of mine to get recertification points in each of the three PDC categories.
Advance Your Education – continuing education including conferences, seminars, eLearning, webinars, etc. It also includes programs held at local SHRM chapter meetings and reading HR books that have been pre-approved for credit.
Advance Your Organization – work projects that support organizational goals like designing a training program, revamping the company’s performance management program, and implementing a new technology solution.
Advance Your Profession – volunteer activities and thought leadership that contribute to our profession such as professional membership, speaking at events, and writing (including writing on blogs!)
In fact, to add a little extra challenge, I use the SHRM Recertification Handbook to set goals within each category. For example, under advance your education, I might include:
- Attend one webinar program a month
- Listen to one podcast each week
- Read one HR book for credit each quarter
The reason I’m mentioning my recertification goal-setting process is because, even though the requirement is 60 credits, we shouldn’t stop learning once we’ve entered 60 PDCs. It might be tempting to say, “Whew! I’m done. I’ve got my 60 credits.” The truth is we still always have learning to do. We can’t make decisions about our professional development based on the number 60.
In addition, we shouldn’t stop tracking our professional development once we fulfill our “60” obligation. We can use our recertification documentation for more than PDCs. It might be something to share with your boss. Or use in developing a competency.
The SHRM Certification team has made it very easy for us to keep track of PDCs with their app (FREE on iTunes and Android). The app allows you to enter PDCs as you earn them. According to Cornelia Springer, director of SHRM certification services, people are enjoying the app. “Of the 52,000 individuals due to recertify in 2018, 12 percent have entered 60 or more PDCs. We attribute some of that to the ease in online and mobile tracking.”
Getting and maintaining a certification isn’t easy. On some level, it’s supposed to be challenging. But we can’t confuse our certification with our professional development. To stay relevant in our careers, we need to be learning all the time. That can make the process of recertifying a piece of cake.
Image of Sharlyn Lauby captured during her SHRM Annual Conference presentation in Orlando, FL. SHRM Certification seals used with permission.