HR Administration

SHRM-HRCI Dramedy: Time to Set the Record Straight

By James Tehrani

May. 16, 2014

I like a good drama as much as the next person, but this SHRM-HRCI kerfuffle is turning into an episode of “The Brady Bunch.” Jan said this; Peter said that. Blame it on Tiger? Ugh, where’s Alice to police this thing?

If you haven’t been following the dramedy, here’s a quick recap:

SHRM announced its own certification program earlier this week and that the organization will start converting HRCI certifications to SHRM certifications on Jan. 1, 2015, as my colleague Rita Pyrillis first reported. What that means for the relevancy of the PHR, SPHR, GPHR, etc., credentials is unknown at this writing, but my guess is the writing could be on the wall. In the end, employers will decide which designations are important in their recruiting efforts.

Big revenue-generator, credentialing is, so this makes total sense for SHRM financially. But …

But there already is an HR credentialing organization, which, by the way, was created by SHRM back in the mid-'70s. HRCI, that is.

Cue Bill Cosby: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.”

For the record, HRCI said it will continue to develop and administer the credentials, but … Yes, there are a lot of buts.

So here’s where the story gets good or not so good depending on your perspective. HRCI, in a jaw-drop moment for them I’m sure, said it wasn’t consulted about the changes SHRM announced. SHRM, on the other hand, retorted with: “Uh, yeah you were,” only a bit more eloquently. Then HRCI took umbrage and said, “Oh no you didn’t.” Articulated better than that, of course.

So it’s a game of “He said, she said …”


I said … Let’s put an end to this now. Let’s be professional and discuss our differences in an open forum. If it has to wait until the gathering SHRM is hosting in Orlando next month, so be it, but the people in HR need to hear from both sides.

What’s lost in all of this is, of course, the humans in human resources. They are the ones with the questions. They are the ones whose lives will be affected by the decisions and changes that are forthcoming. What does this mean for them?

At some point soon who knew what and when will become moot, but before we get to that point, someone needs to set the record straight on what really transpired.

And make it snappy — before those Brady kids start singing again, please.

James Tehrani is the director of content strategy at FlexJobs.

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