SPHRi: HRCI Senior Professional in Human Resources – International

Demonstrate your strategic HR leadership with the Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi). The SPHRi is for HR leaders based outside of the U.S. The certification recognizes senior-level HR competency of generally accepted HR principles in strategy, policy development and service delivery in a single international setting.

Independent of geographical region, the credential complements local HR practices. This exam is also available in Spanish – Castilian.

Try Online Exam

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for the SPHRi you must meet one of the following conditions for education and/or experience: Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a master’s degree or global equivalent, Have at least five years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, OR a minimum of seven years of experience in a professional-level HR position. The SPHRi requires documented knowledge of local employment laws.

HRCI SPHRi Exam Summary:

Exam Name HRCI Senior Professional in Human Resources – International
Exam Code  SPHRi
Exam Fee USD $495
Application Fee  USD $100 
Exam Duration  165 Minutes plus 30 minutes administration time
Number of Questions  140
Passing Score  72%
Format  Multiple Choice Questions
Sample Questions  HRCI HR Senior Professional in Human Resources – International Exam Sample Questions and Answers
Practice Exam  HRCI Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi) Practice Test 

HRCI HR Senior Professional in Human Resources – International Syllabus Topics:

Topics Details Weights
Business Leadership

– Leading the HR function, providing strategic HR consultation to senior management, and developing partnerships with all areas in the organization. Contributing to the overall strategy of the organization through activities such as evaluating organizations considered for mergers and acquisitions, conducting human capital analyses, and understanding global HR issues.


  • Contribute to the development of the organization’s strategy
  • Determine how the organization’s strategy guides workforce requirements (for example: decide how human capital strategy will support the business)
  • Assess future business opportunities from an HR perspective (for example: building new operations, global expansion, mergers and acquisitions)
  • Conduct due diligence before acquiring another company (for example: evaluate important information about the potential acquisition)
  • Manage the integration of people, systems and cultures during organizational transitions
  • Design and lead an HR function by establishing major HR roles and responsibilities
  • Co-lead in establishing the organization’s values and ethics that support its strategy
  • Promote the organization’s corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • Advise business leaders and others on HR matters
  • Align the human capital strategy with the organization’s business strategy
  • Align local HR strategy with global HR strategy
  • Lead the executive management team in HR discussions and decisions
  • Conduct a human capital risk analysis, (for example: workforce needs)
  • Promote the organization’s employer brand
  • Promote and support the organizational culture
  • Promote a culture that welcomes new ideas and innovation
  • Develop and manage the HR budget

Knowledge of:

  • Business elements of an organization (for example: products, competition, customers, technology, demographics, culture, processes, safety and security)
  • Financial knowledge (for example: evaluating financial statements, budgets, accounting terms, and cost management)
  • Vision, mission and values of an organization
  • Strategic planning process
  • Global and local economic and geopolitical trends that affect the business
  • Methods of gathering data for strategic planning purposes (for example: using methods such as a SWOT analysis [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats] and a PEST analysis [Political, Economical, Socio-Political and Technological])
  • Legal and regulatory requirements
  • Merger and acquisition processes
  • Expectations of HR from the internal and external stakeholders
  • Cultural and social sensitivity (for example: awareness of and appreciation for cultural differences in the workplace)
  • Corporate social responsibility (for example: environmental practices, sustainability and protection of resources)
  • Management functions (such as planning, directing, assessing, implementing, delegating, coaching, etc.)
  • Decision making processes in the organization (problem solving, consensus building, rational, etc.)
  • Drivers and impact of organizational culture
  • Labor legislation and compliance (for example: labor categories, health care, retirement and cross-border legislation)
  • Effective communication skills locally and globally (for example: interpersonal skills, listening, speaking, and cross-cultural communication)
  • Human relations concepts and applications (for example: relationship building, emotional intelligence, interpersonal communication)
  • Dealing with situations that are uncertain, unclear or chaotic
  • Corporate governance procedures and compliance (for example: Board of Directors)
Talent Development and Management

– Identifying and developing relevant individual and organizational competencies; developing and using a talent management strategy to sustain long- term, effective alignment with organizational strategies to achieve human capital objectives; establishing a learning environment in which continuous professional development includes staying current in HR practices. Using a set of systematic and planned activities designed by the organization to help people develop the necessary skills to meet current and future organizational needs and objectives. Creating an organizational environment that encourages and retains the employees.


  • Design and implement programs or processes in order to develop and engage the workforce (for example: training and development programs, knowledge management)
  • Analyze labor market trends that influence workforce availability
  • Train and coach managers on performance management systems and processes
  • Facilitate change in the organization
  • Develop programs and processes that promote diversity and inclusion
  • Establish programs to identify and develop high potential employees
  • Create succession and career development plans
  • Engage in continuous professional development
  • Provide mentorship to the HR team and overall organization

Knowledge of:

  • Organizational development methods and problem-solving techniques
  • Change management processes and techniques
  • Leadership theories and applications
  • Adult learning principles and methods
  • Training design and development
  • Techniques for integrating employees into the organization after a merger, acquisition or restructure
  • Methods to motivate employees
  • Employee collaboration methods (for example: team building)
  • Cross cultural and multigenerational awareness (for example: dynamics of global teams)
  • Retention strategies
  • Benchmarking
  • Performance management theories and approaches
  • Talent management practices (selecting, assessing and developing employees)
  • Organizational demographics (for example: the generations of employees, their ages, cultures, and genders)
  • Conflict management (recognizing and resolving difficult issues and problems)
  • Coaching and mentoring techniques (helping others develop, providing guidance and feedback, executive coaching)
  • Facilitation (for example: managing teams, leading meetings and focus groups)
  • Succession planning frameworks
  • Techniques to encourage creativity and innovation
  • Career development paths (structuring promotional and developmental opportunities within an organization)
  • Compensation and benefits philosophy
HR Service Delivery

– Using effective HR Service Delivery methods to deliver accurate and consistent programs that support sustainable organizational growth. Creating an environment where all employees can find answers to HR questions; using effective communication plans, HR technology and tools; identifying HR service delivery methods used by a group that may be applicable across the organization; defining and implementing compensation and benefit programs and managing employee arrivals and departures from the organization as appropriate.


  • Develop and implement effective recruiting and hiring processes
  • Establish programs that support flexible work practices
  • Analyze internal and external labor market conditions (for example: skills available locally, salary expectations)
  • Optimize technology and tools to deliver HR services (for example: payroll, employee self-service, social networking, and Human Resource Information Systems [HRIS])
  • Plan and implement employee benefits programs
  • Develop and implement total rewards programs (for example: salary, bonus and other forms of employee recognition, expatriate and foreign national compensation programs)
  • Establish on-boarding processes and employee integration plans
  • Develop and manage programs to balance the organizational and employee needs (for example: expatriates, disability challenges, dependent care, employee health and safety)
  • Manage the return of employees to the organization (for example: people returning from maternity leave, expatriates returning to home country, people ending sabbaticals, or employees returning from layoffs)
  • Manage employee’s exit from the organization (both voluntary and involuntary)

Knowledge of:

  • Industry trends in HR (for example: population statistics, economics, sources of talent)
  • Industry benchmarks for compensation (for example: salary surveys, benefit packages)
  • Local labor conditions, including laws, legislation and international practices
  • Organizational needs and practices
  • Employee relocation, domestic and international
  • Forecasting techniques (for example: determining staffing needs for the future)
  • Assessment methodology (survey, observer ratings, gap analysis, etc.)
  • Recruitment practices and sources in target markets
  • Employer marketing and branding techniques
  • Techniques and methods for organizational design (for example: outsourcing, shared services, organizational structures [matrix, hierarchy])
  • Evaluation of HR information systems (HRIS) and technology (for example: their use for payroll, talent development, and employee data)
  • Social media and web applications
  • Project management (for example: goals, timetables, deliverables, and procedures)
  • Negotiation techniques (including influencing others)
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Investigation techniques
  • Parameters around giving advice to employees
  • Supporting ideas and concepts to the appropriate audience (advocacy)
  • Compensation and benefits administration (including non-cash rewards, stock programs)
  • Termination processes
  • Data security and privacy
  • Organizational documentation and electronic record retention and storage requirements
  • Workplace security (including disaster preparedness, recovery, business continuity)
  • Workplace health, wellness and safety practices
  • Service standards for HR service delivery
Measurement and Analysis

– Developing and utilizing key HR and business metrics such as those related to individual and organizational performance. Interpreting data to improve employee performance and increase the value of the organization.


  • Monitor the effectiveness of an employee performance management system
  • Establish and analyze HR metrics as they relate to the organization’s goals (for example: employment statistics, return on investment [ROI] of HR activities, training evaluation, employee satisfaction surveys, productivity data, organizational analysis)
  • Integrate individual and team performance results with organizational measures of success
  • Develop and utilize key HR and relevant business metrics to measure achievement of the organization’s strategic goals and objectives

Knowledge of:

  • Quantitative metrics
  • Qualitative measures
  • Performance management data interpretation
  • Financial metrics (for example: ROI, cost per hire, gross profit, cost-benefit analysis)
  • Operational metrics (for example: measures of production, service measures, customer satisfaction)
  • HR measures (established measures, benchmarks and scorecards)
  • Data appropriate to different audiences (customized reports for appropriate audiences)
  • Methods of reporting organizational metrics (for example: dashboard indicators)
  • Technology available to evaluate and present metrics (for example: Enterprise Resource Planning system [ERP], desktop software, HRIS)
  • HR audit and evaluation (for example: payroll reconciliation, head count)
  • Techniques to assess training program effectiveness (for example: participant surveys, pre- and post-testing)
  • Basic research principles