Senior Professional Human Resources, or SPHR Certification, is an excellent choice for experienced, executive-level, Human Resource professionals, who are looking to progress their HR career. SPHR Certification is intended for those who have at least six to eight years of upward experience within human resources. HR professionals at this level tend to be the individuals responsible for creating and writing HR policies, not enforcing them, and who’s judgment, knowledge and accountability are highly trusted due to their wealth of experience. If you’re an experienced, senior level human resources professional, who is looking to expand your credentials, SPHR certification could be an important step to take in your career.
Passing the SPHR certification exam is required to obtain certification. As with PHR certification, eligibility is dependent on your level of educational versus occupational experience. They are as follows:
- Four years of on-the-job HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
- Five years of professional HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
- Seven years of professional HR experience with anything less than a Bachelor’s degree
These are the acceptable combinations of education and career experience to make you eligible to apply to take the SPHR exam. For those who fall into the category of professionals who are willing and eligible to apply for SPHR certification, it is often a wise decision to make and can not only effect promotional opportunities, but may effect your compensation.
Applying for and Paying for SPHR Certification
There are only two HR certification exams a year, and they fill up quickly, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible. Applications are generally accepted from 5-2 months up until the date of the exam, and late applicants may be accepted as soon as a month up to the exam, although a $75 fee will be issued in this case. Applications can be completed online at the Human Resources Certification Institutes website. The cost of the SPHR Certification exam itself is $425, but depending on your method of preparation, total costs can vary.
SPHR Certification Exam Preparation
Preparing for the SPHR certification exam can be done in many ways. Online and traditional Universities offer prep courses for the exam. There are also websites that provide physical, and online preparation materials for the exam.
The SPHR certification exam is separated into six sections:
- Business Management and Strategy 30%
- Workforce Planning and Employment 17%
- Human Resource Development 19%
- Compensation and Benefits 13%
- Employee and Labor Relations 14%
- Risk Management 7%
While much of this knowledge may have been gained while on the job, it is important to not assume you are prepared without conducting some form of self- study. The examination is difficult and all-inclusive, and it is necessary for everyone to review their knowledge before attempting to take the examination.
The SPHR Certification Exam: What to Expect During the Test
When taking the exam, you’re allowed four hours to complete all of the questions. 175 multiple-choice questions, made up of the six areas mentioned previously, make-up the exam. Be sure to get proper sleep and exercise prior to taking any long, intensive exam and set aside plenty of preparation time so you can feel confident in your knowledge and abilities.
The Benefits of Obtaining SPHR Certification
Once you have reached what is considered a senior level in your professional HR Career, having credentials is vital to ensuring you are ready for the next opportunity and that you will be compensated properly for your knowledge and skill. The dedication to re-certification, and proof of your knowledge makes you stand out to current and future employers.
SPHR certification requires re-certification after three years, by committing to this, you are expressing commitment and dedication to remaining relevant in the rapidly changing business environment of the 21st century. It also serves as solid evidence that you have met all of the eligibility requirements, and that you have the knowledge necessary to perform well, while operating as a high-level HR professional.
Many in HR are opting to get their education prerequisites for the SPHR taken care of as they work and gain experience. With so many accredited educational institutions now offering online human resource degrees, the road to certification has been able to more easily fit into a model in which disruption of your work experience is not a sacrifice that is necessary.
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Article By Emily Manke