Changes Ahead for PHR and SPHR Certifications

by Jenna Reed on February 26, 2018

in Learning,Resources


This January, The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) announced it is making changes to the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification exams beginning August 1, 2018.

Along with HRCI’s announcement of the changes it published a new content outline for both the PHR and SPHR exams. According to HRCI, “The exam content outlines are the result of a rigorous 2017 practice analysis study, in compliance with certification industry standards, to identify current HR practice in the United States. HRCI exam content outlines provide a mirror of the changes in HR practice over time, including the impact of new legislation, the emergence of new business practices, technological innovation and social factors.”

According to HRCI: “The 2018 PHR Exam Content Outline reflects greater emphasis on the HR professional’s role in the employee experience as well as the business decision-making process and use of data to make well-informed decisions. It outlines five functional areas for HR practitioners in management or professional-level roles: Business Management, Talent Planning and Acquisition, Learning and Development, Total Rewards, and Employee and Labor Relations. The 2018 SPHR Exam Content Outline reflects an increased emphasis on a senior HR professional’s responsibility for developing workforce strategies that are aligned with desired business outcomes. Its five functional areas are Leadership and Strategy, Talent Planning and Acquisition, Learning and Development, Total Rewards, and Employee Relations and Engagement.”

For more information on the new exam content outlines, please visit the 2018 PHR and SPHR Exam Content Outlines FAQ webpage.

These changes only impact those seeking new certifications and do not affect recertification. As a reminder, as a member of Cascade you are eligible for up to 12 recertification credits. You receive three general credits and three business credits for each year you are a member of Cascade.

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