HRCI Certification, HR

The Many Paths to HRCI Recertification

It’s both a major advantage and challenge for HR management professionals who are part of the HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) community and want to maintain their elite status as credentialed HR practitioners. We are talking about HRCI recertification credits.

Earning an HRCI certification is the first step for today’s HR leaders to demonstrate, with credentials, that they have mastered HR knowledge and skills, and can implement best practices that add value to businesses. HRCI recertification is an important second step – providing proof of your ongoing commitment to professional development and ability to lead organizations and workforces into the future.

In other words, HRCI certification is more than a one-and-done proposition, one of the many reasons top HR professionals seek and maintain their hard-earned HRCI credentials. Here’s how it works: Every three years, HRCI certification holders must recertify, either by re-testing or by accumulating 45-60 recertification hours (depending on the credential type) through professional development or professional achievement.

Here are some quick tips:

Earn Credits Through Professional Development

Continuous professional development is a must for today’s HR professional. Professional development opportunities abound and are some of the first things certification holders think about when seeking recertification credits. They include:

  • Pre-Approved Programs: These are programs offered by HRCI Approved Providers and organizations that adhere to HRCI’s standards and Exam Content Outlines. There is no maximum on earning hours in this category to meet recertification credit requirements.
  • Instructor-Led Continuing Education: These are courses that are led by an instructor and have a formal structure to the program. There is also no maximum on earning hours in this category.
  • Self-Directed Learning: These are HR-related activities that have no formal structure or instructor, but which facilitate a better understanding of one or more aspects of the profession. There is a maximum of 30 credit hours in this category.

Recertification Through Professional Achievement

That’s right. New professional achievements can count toward recertification credits. A recertifying professional can use up to 40 of the total recertification credits in the Professional Achievement category. Here are some of the many options:

  • Instruction: This includes presenting on an HR topic or facilitating a book club.
  • On-the-Job Experience: You can earn credits for creating an employee handbook or implementing a wellness program, for example.
  • Leadership: Credits can be earned for volunteering your HR knowledge and expertise outside of your organization. However, this category does have specific maximums associated with it.
  • Research/Publishing: This category allows credit for professionally publishing HR-content in a journal, article, book or for an HR-related video.
  • HR Membership: This category allows credit for participating in an HR association at the national or local level. The maximum is 12 credit hours in this category.

Some Helpful HRCI Recertification Tips

As you can see, there are many ways to earn your HRCI recertification credit hours.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Remember, all content must be HR-related.
  • Know your recertification due date! The three-year cycle goes by quickly, so make sure you remember when you are due to recertify. This helps when you are planning your activities.
  • Don’t forget about completing work-related HR activities. This is a commonly overlooked category! New things you do at work, such as drafting an organization handbook, for example, can earn you credit. In such cases, you earn hour-for-hour credit for the work you have done. And such credits are at no cost to you (since you aren’t having to go and pay for a course).
  • This one is easy, yet many of us struggle to do so: as soon as you complete an activity, attend a conference/webinar, take a few minutes and just log those hours in your online recertification profile. Attach any information that is relevant as well so as not to misplace or try to remember such later. Completing this as you go will help you avoid last-minute stress and it is one less item to worry about over the 3- year interval.

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