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Navigating the world of professional certification and training options, alongside other dispatches from the new global workplace.

A Fundamental Unanswered Question about the SHRM Certification

Thursday 8 October 2015

Lately I've been chased around from website to website with ads for the Society for Human Resource Management's new-ish certification program, the "SHRM-CP" and "SHRM-SCP" designations.  (Clever how they titled it so that every certification-earner's business card or email signature block will provide free advertising for the membership association, no?)  This aggressive marketing reminded me that (1) I started a blog about the certification industry some years ago, (2) that it's been almost two years since I updated that blog, and (3) that I started the blog mainly to point out that there is a big business of certification, no matter how diligent most certifying bodies are about filing their paperwork for nonprofit tax exemption with the US Internal Revenue Service (or whatever equivalent tax body in their country of incorporation), and that professionals considering whether to earn certification need to be aware that sometimes the interests of the certifying association may not always be perfectly aligned with those of individual certification earners.

Anyway, now that a year and a half have passed there are some reports of what the SHRM testing process was like floating around the Internet and we've gotten some idea of how SHRM's abandoned step-child, the Human Resources Certification Institute, is responding to the competitive threat posed by SHRM's entry into the certification business.  I will try to put together a series of blog posts that speculate on what happened, what this means for those working in HR, and how things may play out for the profession at large.  But for me, the biggest unanswered question - and one with implications that reach far beyond the certification business - is this: why didn't SHRM's most engaged and involved members, including state chapter leaders, not know that the national association was planning to sever ties with HRCI?  The fact that a national membership association as large as SHRM could make such a decision without consulting its most engaged activists, much less its "rank and file" members, is a stunning departure from the model of grassroots, member-led advocacy that characterized national trade associations throughout the 20th century and most certainly a departure from the generally accepted best practices for the management of national membership associations.  I wonder how many other associations have governance structures that would permit such a fundamental change in defining the organization's responsibilities as SHRM did.  I suspect that SHRM is simply the most visible case study in a trend away from internal democracy that is affecting the entire community of national membership associations.

1 comment

  1. informative post! I really like and appreciate your work, thank you for sharing such a useful information about implications of human resource management, keep updating the blog, hear i prefer some more information about jobs for your career hr jobs in hyderabad .



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