PHR, SPHR, GPHR: Letters of Distinction
PHR- Professional in Human Resources
SPHR- Senior Professional in Human Resources
GPHR- Global Professional in Human Resources
In today's economy, human resources professionals are expected to be proactive, strategic business partners who assist organizations to think and act strategically in a global environment. PHR, SPHR, and GPHR certification shows that the holder has demonstrated mastery of the domestic or international HR body of knowledge.
There are a number of advantages to seeking certification. Certification becomes a public recognition of professional achievement - both within and outside of the profession. For many, achieving certification becomes a personal professional goal - a way to test one's knowledge and to measure it against one's peers. Still others see certification as an aid to career advancement. Certification sets those with the credential apart.
The PHR, SPHR, and GPHR designations are a visible reminder to peers and co-workers of the holder's significant professional achievement.
Choosing the Appropriate Exam - PHR, SPHR, or GPHR?
You should choose the exam that best represents your mastery of the HR body of knowledge. HRCI has found that appropriate exempt-level HR work experience and educational background contribute significantly to success on the exams. An honest assessment of skills, knowledge and responsibilities within the HR function is critical when deciding whether to seek certification as a PHR, SPHR or GPHR. Due to the nature of the exams and their common body of knowledge, the PHR and SPHR designations cannot be held concurrently. However, you may hold either a PHR or SPHR certification in conjunction with a GPHR designation.
Beginning with the May-June 2011 exam testing period, the exam eligibility requirements for the PHR, SPHR and GPHR will change.
1 year of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Master's degree or higher
2 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Bachelor's degree
4 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with less than a Bachelor's degree
4 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Master's degree or higher
5 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Bachelor's degree
7 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with less than a Bachelor's degree
2 years of demonstrated global professional HR experience with a Master's degree or higher
3 years of demonstrated professional HR experience (with 2 of the 3 being global) with a Bachelor's degree
4 years of demonstrated professional HR experience (with 2 of the 4 being global) with less than a Bachelor's degree
The Ideal PHR Candidate
Focuses on program implementation; has tactical/logistical orientation; has accountability to another HR professional within the organization; has two to four years of exempt-level generalist HR work experience, but because of career length may lack the breadth or depth of a more senior-level generalist; has not had progressive HR work experience by virtue of career length; focuses on the organization within the HR department rather than organization-wide; and commands respect through the credibility of knowledge and the use of policies and guidelines to make decisions.
The Ideal SPHR Candidate
Designs and plans rather than implements; focuses on the big picture; has ultimate accountability in the HR department; has six to eight years of progressive HR experience; has breadth and depth of HR generalist knowledge; uses judgment obtained with time and application of knowledge; has generalist role within organization; understands the effect of decisions made within and outside of the organization; understands the business, not just the HR function; manages relationships; has influence within overall organization; commands credibility within organization, community and field by experience; and possesses excellent negotiation skills.
The Ideal GPHR Candidate
Establishes HR policies and initiatives that support the organization’s global growth and reputation as an employer; designs organizational structures, programs and processes to achieve worldwide business needs; oversees international assignment strategies and policies; develops, implements and evaluates programs, processes and tools to ensure that they align with competitive practice, the organization’s objectives and legal requirements; oversees the processes and practices that ensure favorable employment conditions balancing employer needs with employee rights and needs; and has core knowledge of the organization’s international HR activities.
For additional information regarding certification, contact the Director of HRCI, Teresa Howlett at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.hrci.org.
Registration for the Fall 2013 Certification Study Group will be held from July 5 - August 2, and the group will meet from August 21 - November 20. Check under the Events section to enroll in the Study Group beginning July 5, 2013.