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HR Certification

Professional certification shows that you have demonstrated mastery of the HR body of knowledge and competencies and have accepted the personal challenge to stay abreast of new developments in the field of Human Resources.

The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) maintains a nationally recognized standard that offers three levels of professional certification: Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR). The only way to become certified as a PHR, SPHR or GPHR is to successfully pass a comprehensive examination. Both the PHR and SPHR examinations have 175 multiple-choice questions and allow 3 hours for exam completion; the GPHR has 165 multiple-choice questions. The emphasis of the SPHR examination is on strategic and policy issues while the emphasis of the PHR examination is on the operational and technical aspects of HR. The GPHR examination has an emphasis on global HR issues. Recertification is required every few years (upon proof of professional development). To find detailed information about all three exams and eligibility criteria, please visit the HRCI website at

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has created its own certification for HR professionals based on a body of competencies and knowledge (BoCK).  SHRM will offer two levels of certification:  SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).  If you are not currently certified through HRCI, the only way you can become certified with the SHRM certifications is through sucessfully passing a comprehensive examination.  Both exams are expected to be 3-4 hours in length with multiple choice and situational judgement questions.  Recertification is required every few years (upon proof of professional development).  For more information about this certification, eligibility criteria, and testing details, please visit the SHRM website at 

dividuals must pay for and pass a comprehensive exam to earn the SHRM-CP/SCP credentials.


HR Certification Study Group

The Portland HR Management Association, Inc. (PHRMA) currently conducts two certification Study Groups each year. The Spring Study Group starts in February to prepare participants for the May - July examination dates. The benefits of joining the Study Group include materials specific to prepare for the exam, presentations by experts from our HR community, networking with other HR professionals preparing for the exam, access to HRCI and SHRM books on a weekly check-out basis, as well as tips for exam preparation and overcoming general test anxiety.  This study group will prepare you for the HRCI or SHRM certifications.  We use materials and information from both resources as well as others.

(for testing May 2016 - July 2016)

Dates: Tuesday's February 16th - May 10th 
Time: 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: MODA Tower: 601 SW 2nd Ave (Room location TBD) Portland, OR 97204     


  • $250 for PHRMA members.
  • $300 SHRM Member/non PHRMA Member rate (Registration plus PHRMA dues)
  • $475 Non SHRM/PHRMA Member rate (Registration plus SHRM/PHRMA dues)
  • $150 for PHRMA members who have previously attended the Study Group and wish to attend again (PHRMA and SHRM membership must be current).


You must be a current PHRMA and SHRM member upon registration. Participants must also meet current exam eligibility requirements. Determination of exam eligibility is the responsibility of the participant. PHRMA reserves the right to cancel the study group at any time if a minimum enrollment of 25 participants is not reached. A full refund will be issued to participants in the event of class cancellation (refund includes study group dues only and does not include PHRMA or SHRM membership dues). No refunds or postponements will be granted for the study group after February 9, 2016. To ensure the timely receipt of student materials early registration is recommended. You may also be able to register to attend individual sessions, as space allows, individual sessions are $30 each and do not include study materials - please contact the Certification Directors at For Financial Aid Information: Please refer to the PHRMA website.

Download a copy of the study group registration form here. Please email or MAIL your application to:

PO Box 13515

Portland, OR 97213

OR Email to: 


PLEASE NOTE: The PHRMA office is closed for 6 weeks while the Chapter Director is on maternity leave. This means all credit card transactions and check deposits will not occur until early February. Please plan your financials accordingly. Thank you for your understanding.

For additional information on how to register, please contact the Certification team at 

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