Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)

HRCI’s Associate Professional in Human Resources® (aPHR®) is the perfect certification to help fast-track your career growth and provide you with the confidence to launch into the HR profession. The aPHR is the first-ever HR certification designed for professionals who are just beginning their HR career journey and proves your knowledge of foundational Human Resources.

The aPHR is the first-ever HR certification designed for professionals who are just beginning their HR career journey and proves your knowledge of foundational Human Resources.

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aPHR Preparation

Preparing for exams can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are several options available that can assist you in the preparation of your aPHR exam.

While HRCI does not endorse a particular resource or method of study, we encourage candidates to explore the preparation resources that are available for the aPHR certification exam.

There is no single preparation method that can meet every candidate’s needs and we urge you to use a variety of tools and resources to enhance your understanding of general HR principles and HR exam content.

Am I Eligible?

No HR experience is required since this is a knowledge-based credential.

HRCI aPHR Exam Summary:

Exam Name Associate Professional in Human Resources
Exam Code  aPHR
Exam Fee USD $300
Application Fee  USD $100 
Exam Duration  135 minutes
Number of Questions  125
Passing Score  500/700 
Format  Multiple Choice Questions
Books /Training  Preparation
Schedule Exam  PROMETRIC
Sample Questions  HRCI aPHR Exam Sample Questions and Answers
Practice Exam  HRCI Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) Practice Test 

HRCI HR Associate Professional Syllabus Topics:

Topics Details Weights
HR Operations Knowledge of:
  1. Organizational strategy and its connection to mission, vision, values, business goals, and objectives
  2. Organizational culture (for example: traditions, unwritten procedures)
  3. Legal and regulatory environment
  4. Confidentiality and privacy rules that apply to employee records, company data, and individual data
  5. Business functions (for example: accounting, finance, operations, sales and marketing)
  6. HR policies and procedures (for example: ADA, EEO, progressive discipline)
  7. HR Metrics (for example: cost per hire, number of grievances)
  8. Tools to compile data (for example: spreadsheets, statistical software)
  9. Methods to collect data (for example: surveys, interviews, observation)
  10. Reporting and presentation techniques (for example: histogram, bar chart)
  11. Impact of technology on HR (for example: social media, monitoring software, biometrics)
  12. Employee records management (for example: electronic/paper, retention, disposal)
  13. Statutory reporting requirements (for example: OSHA, ERISA, ACA)
  14. Purpose and function of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
  15. Job classifications (for example: exempt, non-exempt, contractor)
  16. Job analysis methods and job descriptions
  17. Reporting structure (for example: matrix, flat)
  18. Types of external providers of HR services (for example: recruitment firms, benefits brokers, staffing agencies)
  19. Communication techniques (for example: written, oral, email, passive, aggressive)
Recruitment and Selection Knowledge of:
  1. Applicable laws and regulations related to recruitment and selection, such as non discrimination, accommodation, and work authorization (for example: Title VII, ADA, EEOC Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, Immigration Reform and Control Act)
  2. Applicant databases
  3. Recruitment sources (for example: employee referral, social networking/social media)
  4. Recruitment methods (for example: advertising, job fairs)
  5. Alternative staffing practices (for example: recruitment process outsourcing, job sharing, phased retirement)
  6. Interviewing techniques (for example: behavioral, situational, panel)
  7. Post-offer activities (for example: drug-testing, background checks, medical exams)
  8. Orientation and onboarding
Compensation and Benefits Knowledge of:
  1. Applicable laws and regulations related to compensation and benefits, such as monetary and nonmonetary entitlement, wage and hour, and privacy (for example: ERISA, COBRA, FLSA, USERRA, HIPAA, PPACA, tax treatment)
  2. Pay structures and programs (for example: variable, merit, bonus, incentives, non-cash compensation, pay scales/grades)
  3. Total rewards statements
  4. Benefit programs (for example: health care plans, flexible benefits, retirement plans, wellness programs)
  5. Payroll processes (for example: pay schedule, leave and time-off allowances)
  6. Uses for salary and benefits surveys
  7. Claims processing requirements (for example: workers’ compensation, disability benefits)
  8. Work-life balance practices (for example: flexibility of hours, telecommuting, sabbatical)
Human Resource Development and Retention Knowledge of:
  1. Applicable laws and regulations related to training and development activities (for example: Title VII, ADA, Title 17 [Copyright law])
  2. Training delivery format (for example: virtual, classroom, on-the-job)
  3. Techniques to evaluate training programs (for example: participant surveys, pre- and post testing, after action review)
  4. Career development practices (for example: succession planning, dual career ladders)
  5. Performance appraisal methods (for example: ranking, rating scales)
  6. Performance management practices (for example: setting goals, benchmarking, feedback)
Employee Relations Knowledge of:
  1. Applicable laws affecting employment in union and nonunion environments, such as laws regarding antidiscrimination policies, sexual harassment, labor relations, and privacy (for example: WARN Act, Title VII, NLRA)
  2. Employee and employer rights and responsibilities (for example: employment-at-will, privacy, defamation, substance abuse)
  3. Methods and processes for collecting employee feedback (for example: employee attitude surveys, focus groups, exit interviews)
  4. Workplace behavior issues (for example: absenteeism, aggressive behavior, employee conflict, workplace harassment)
  5. Methods for investigating complaints or grievances
  6. Progressive discipline (for example: warnings, escalating corrective actions, termination)
  7. Off-boarding or termination activities
  8. Employee relations programs (for example: recognition, special events, diversity programs)
  9. Workforce reduction and restructuring terminology (for example: downsizing, mergers, outplacement practices)
Health, Safety, and Security Knowledge of:
  1. Applicable laws and regulations related to workplace health, safety, security, and privacy (for example: OSHA, Drug-Free Workplace Act, ADA, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley Act)
  2. Risk mitigation in the workplace (for example: emergency evacuation procedures, health and safety, risk management, violence, emergencies)
  3. Security risks in the workplace (for example: data, materials, or equipment theft, equipment damage or destruction, cyber crimes, password usage)