Thursday, May 22, 2014

Some Light Reading of “SHRM Certification Announcement” Communications

submitted by Donna Rogers Skowronski

Needless to say, HR professionals all across the world are a bit confused this week by SHRM’s announcement of a competency based certification.  Personally, I believe, this confusion could have been prevented with a little more strategic planning and communication from those who made the decision to release this information.  The fact that the HRCI Executive Director did not receive advance notification leaves me a bit disappointed for a variety of reason.  Mainly, because just last year I was among four other representatives from across the country who shared with the SHRM board that membership in general feels “their house is not in order”.  There is a lot that goes into that statement based on some research that we conducted from a volunteer sample of the members.  However, the bottom line is that the comment related to turnover, previous problems with transparency perception, and communication between the other two organizations so closely related to SHRM (the foundation and HRCI).  Just last month I attended a student SHRM conference where I heard from a fellow volunteer that they were on a newly created committee with members of all three organizations with the goal to improve communications.  Basically the idea which supported our recommendation was to consistently let the right hand known what the left hand is doing.  Unfortunately, this week’s announcement took the whole effort backwards in my humble opinion.

Yesterday, I was contacted by the president of my local chapter to help explain what is going on to the membership at next week’s general membership meeting.  They had a board meeting just after the announcement hit in boxes but before other communications came out from both SHRM and HRCI.  So needless to say, the board was at a loss to answer a multitude of questions that arose at the board meeting and from members.  Just after that I received an email from a local member and another today.  I am certainly no expert and I really don’t want to be misquoted or take a chance at being misunderstood by interpreting something that is still a little unclear in my own mind even after reading all I can about the subject.  So instead of clarifying for you, I have done a search for all communications I can locate up to this point about the topic so you can find them all in one place.  I am sure in the coming days, weeks, and months, more details will unfold.  Until that time, try to stay afloat in the muddy water as the rest of the 14k certified individuals, myself included, will do the same (not to mention those unsure about whether to move forward with certification which I am guessing is also in the thousands). 

Here is what I have located so far:



Various Posts Not from SHRM or HRCI

Workforce held an online chat today:

Chicago SHRM 5/14/14 Certification Update-Recertification Program Changes

New #SHRM Certification Raises More Questions Than It Answers (Update X 2)

J.J. Keller on 5/14/14 SHRM approves plan for new human resource certification based on competencies




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kudos to Illinois SHRM Chapters

Our Chapters are awesome. In our latest SHMR In-Chapter Report, the Illinois State Council was notified of our chapters' incredible accomplishments. We are so proud!
Congratulations to the following Star and SuperStar Chapters for March:


·         Rockford Area SHRM (4th consecutive month)
·         DuPage (1st time this year – good job!)


·         HRA of Greater Oak Brook (2nd consecutive month)
·         Central Illinois Chapter of SHRM (4th consecutive month)
·         Central Illinois HR Group (1st time this year and totally bypassed Star!)
·         Heart of IL HR Council (2nd consecutive month)
·         Grundy Will HR Assn. (4th consecutive month)

The SHAPE effort is just that - EFFORT. Congrats to area state chapters who were recognized as SHAPE Winners for 2013!


·         Central Illinois Chapter of SHRM (Back-to-back awards)!  You Rock!!


·         Chicago SHRM (Silver)
·         HRA East Central Illinois (Last year no award) Awesome!
·         Stateline SHRM (Gold)


·         Rockford Area SHRM (Silver)
·         Northwest HR Council (Silver)
·         Heart of Illinois HR Council (Silver)
·         Kankakee Area HR Managers Association (Silver)
·         Quincy Area SHRM (Bronze) Good Job!
·         Rock River HR Professionals Association (Silver)
·         Grundy Will HR Association (Last year no award) Awesome!
·         Illinois Fox Valley SHRM (Silver)


·         DuPage SHRM (Last year no award) Awesome!
·         Decatur Area SHRM (Silver)

Monday, May 19, 2014

PHR, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM & HRCI What is going On?

So if you pay any attention to what goes on out here in HR cyberspace, you could not have missed that SHRM is changing its certification system – and to be correct perhaps I should say “transitioning” rather than changing.  At this point much, has been said and written.  Just in case you have been under a rock or in a different universe, here are a few examples.

Not unlike Ben Eubanks, I have done some of my own research to try to understand what is happening.  Some comments that I have heard from fellow SHRMies is that this is a money grab by SHRM, or that it is a family feud (minus Richard Dawson) between HRCI and SHRM.  At this point I do not know how we arrived at this juncture but we are here.  Most of us who hold these certifications value them. We feel it demonstrates to the world our competency.

Now to go and change it, almost out of the blue seems ludicrous.  I am reminded of time when my oldest son was attending what is now Missouri S & T. When he enrolled, they had a huge public relations campaign to grow the university with the tag line “The Name, The Degree, The Difference.”  Then, almost without any notice or fanfare, they went and changed the name of the university to Missouri University of Science and Technology a.k.a MS&T. Thus it would appear that the previous ad campaign was wrong, and the tag line was just a marketing ploy.

My point is this, SHRM is cutting to the credibility of the certification if they arbitrarily stop doing one thing and start doing another.  So all that stuff we said in the past was wrong?  I know that on-going change is necessary but in this instance it would seem change should be more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Another other thing that is unclear to me is this.  As I understand it, HRCI exists to administer the HR Certifications, that’s it.  If SHRM is no longer going to use them what becomes of them.  I would liken this as a business with one customer, and that business decides they are no longer going to do business with their one customer – what now? 

I am not naive enough to not understand there is a whole bunch more to this story, and probably a lot of it makes good sense.  The problem is this.  That story has not been communicated. The story has been communicated poorly, or it has not been communicated at all. Then BAM!  We are changing all of this, PHR, SPHR, GPHR –HRCI.  This is disconcerting to SHRM members who proudly hold these certifications.

I know this will all get squared away, and explained to the masses and it will all be fine.  However,  for now I say SHRM shame on you – you botched this one!

- Dave Ryan Co-Legislative Director for Illinois SHRM