The PHR certification test and testing material exhibit slight variations year after year. However, the 2014 PHR certification requirements are not subject to much change—they were the same in 2013 and years prior. The PHR certification requirements are based off of both work experience and education level.
First and most importantly, the PHR requires test takers to have at least a year of experience in any exempt level (professional) Human Resource work.
Exempt level work is Human Resource work that allows freedom to employees, and forces in depth decision making. Alternatively, exempt level Human Resource work is work that meets the requirements to be exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. The United States Department of Labor website is an irreplaceable resource to find which jobs meet the exemption requirements.
Secondly, education plays an important role in testing eligibility. Certification can be granted to those with a high school diploma to a PHD, although one’s education level is an important factor for another reason—the higher one’s education, the less time is required before meeting the requirements for exempt level work. Those holding a PHD only need a year of exempt level work. Those with a bachelor’s degree need two years of exempt level work, while high school diploma holders need a total of four years of exempt level work. This trend holds generally true with other Human Resource tests as well, including the SPHR and GPHR certification tests.
Although each test has different requirements, one is required to sign up for an account on the HRCI Organization’s website. Be sure to use a valid email address. It is a required step for PHR, SPHR, GPHR, and CA test takers. The organization needs to ensure that all test takers are legal citizens and are eligible to take the test.
Once test takers setup an account, they need to enter their name in addition to a government issued identification number. Social security numbers work fine. Afterwards, future test takers need to enter their mailing address and demographic information (as the company likes to keep track of the certified body’s demographics as a whole). Demographic information will not be used in an illegal or discriminatory fashion.
One the above is taken care of, future test takers must complete a testing application form and pay for the test. Here one enters their prior job or jobs that make them eligible to take the exam, as well as their highest level of education completed. Future certification test takers need to ensure that their prior job’s or jobs’ code matches the approved position codes. Eligible jobs without codes on the website need to be accompanied by an official job description for the organization to review. Once the above is completed, one must pay their testing fee. Tests are held once every six months, so be sure that there are no activities that will interfere with the test. In addition, tests are pretty pricey. Non HRCI members must pay four hundred dollars for the test, while HRCI members must pay three hundred and fifty dollars for the test.
The third step online is to affirm that all submitted information is correct. Incorrect information will not fly with the HRCI. One must also affirm that he or she has read the HR Certification Handbook and agree to all the listed policies and procedures. After affirming that all information is correct and that one has read the HRCI handbook, one is able to pay their testing fees. However, the application must be complete beforehand. Only complete applications that have been paid for are able to be processed by the HRCI.
Finally, and most importantly, one must schedule their certification exam. Schedule carefully, scheduled exams cannot be changes to other locations and/or dates. The HRCI holds tests in over one hundred and sixty countries, so one should be able to find a testing center without leaving their country. Be aware, however, that exam scheduling is outsourced by the HRCI to Prometric. This third party company both schedules and holds the certification exams across the globe. Upon arriving for the test, be sure to bring a government issued identification card, such as a passport or a social security card. Prometric is in charge of ensuring the HRCI test takers really are who they say they are, and does not give any leeway to those “forgetting” their ID.