It seems like I get an email or call every week from someone wanting to know if they should take the SHRM Certification Prep Course to become certified as an SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP professional. I get a near equal number of calls and emails from people wanting to know if getting an HR Certificate might be right for them. Since I lead the certification prep class and instruct three required courses in the USM HR Certificate Program, I thought it would be helpful for me to share some insights.
First, the HR Certificate Program offered through University of Southern Maine. This certificate program is meant for you if you are responsible for human resources functions at your organization, either as your entire job or part of your job. A typical class is made up of HR professionals at various career levels; business professionals who are responsible for HR along with accounting or administrative functions, leaders of small to medium size organizations that have taken on HR functions because nobody else is available, and front line supervisors who have either some or very little HR support. I’ve had individuals in my classes who are executive directors of nonprofits, police chiefs, chief financial officers, controllers, accounting managers, administrative professionals who want to advance into a career in HR, office managers who have inherited HR responsibilities, front line supervisors and managers, and recent college graduates who are rethinking their careers.
The SHRM Certification Prep Course is designed for human resources professionals who want to become certified and who meet specific educational and work experience criteria, as defined by the Society for Human Resource Management. For instance, if you have an HR-Related Bachelor’s Degree and one year of work experience in an HR role, you are eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP certification. If you have a non-HR Degree and have five years of experience in an HR role, you are eligible to sit for the SHRM-SCP certification. This certification program was built on 15 functional areas of HR knowledge, which comprise the technical competency HR Expertise, identified in the SHRM BoCK—the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge.
USM offers all of the HR Certificate Program courses, both online and in person at the Portland campus. All of the required classes are offered online, while currently some electives must be taken in person. The SHRM Certification Prep Course is offered both online and in person at the Portland campus.