HR Certification Institute™ Introduces First Early HR Career Certification

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HR Certification Institute (HRCI) introduces the aPHR credential, designed for new HR generalists and individuals transitioning to HR. HRCI also unifies family of HR credentials by renaming certifications for HR pros practicing outside of the United States.

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The aPHR joins HRCI's family of the most recognized, respected and sought after credentials for HR professionals in the world. The aPHR will set you on a path for career success from the start.

HR Certification Institute™ (HRCI™), the premier professional credentialing organization for the human resources profession, is introducing the first early HR career certification, the Associate Professional in Human Resources℠ (aPHR℠). The aPHR, which demonstrates foundational knowledge of human resource operations as practiced in the United States, is designed for professionals who are embarking on an HR career or transitioning into the HR field.

“The aPHR joins HRCI’s family of the most recognized, respected and sought after credentials for HR professionals in the world,” said HRCI CEO Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Ed.D., SPHR, CAE. “Holding an aPHR will tell employers you are committed to excellence and give you a competitive advantage when seeking a new job or promotion. The aPHR will set you on a path for career success from the start.”

Individuals planning a career in human resources starting with high school graduates and college students seeking a degree in HR, those serving in HR support roles or who have HR responsibilities but do not currently hold an HR position, as well as military personnel seeking HR professional development or transitioning to civilian HR roles will be particularly interested in this certification, explained Dufrane.

The aPHR exam focuses on the fundamentals of HR principles and practices including recruitment, HR development and retention, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and health, safety and security. HRCI’s competency-based Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) credential is the next step up from the aPHR and requires at least one to two years of high quality on-the-job professional HR experience, expertise and applied knowledge.

With the addition of the aPHR, HRCI now offers a portfolio of seven professional credentials designed to meet the needs of HR professionals around the globe from the very beginning of their career through their veteran years and as they practice in different geographic locations and specializations.

“HRCI’s commitment to HR professionals from the start of their careers through the most senior levels remains unmatched as we celebrate 40 years of serving HR professionals and advancing the HR profession,” said Dufrane.

Registration for the aPHR pilot exam opens February 16 for test dates in early May, and registration for the first aPHR testing period opens April 1 for test dates in November 2016 through January 2017. Individuals passing the aPHR exam during either testing window will receive the aPHR designation. Learn more at

HRCI also announced that, effective February 1, 2016, its credentials for HR professionals practicing outside of the United States, the Human Resource Management Professional® (HRMP®) and Human Resource Business Professional® (HRBP®), will be renamed Professional in Human Resources – International℠ (PHRi℠) and Senior Professional in Human Resources – International℠ (SPHRi℠), respectively.

“The renaming fully unifies our portfolio of professional HR credentials and capitalizes on the strength of HRCI’s flagship credential – the internationally renowned and respected Professional in Human Resources, or PHR,” said Dufrane. “The PHR is highly sought after, rewarded and increasingly required by employers and quite lucrative for individual HR professionals.”

In fact, a recent large-scale and comprehensive independent study on the value of HR certification – which looked specifically at the PHR and SPHR – demonstrated that supervisors of HR teams recognize HRCI certifications as a powerful indicator of an HR professional’s potential value to an organization. More specifically, HRCI certificants were found to have more HR expertise, perform at higher levels of excellence, have greater potential for higher level positions and perform better at strategic HR tasks than their non-certified peers. HRCI-credentialed professionals surveyed in the study had significantly higher annual income, faster income growth and significantly greater career satisfaction than their non-certified peers.

About HRCI

HR Certification Institute (HRCI) is the premier professional credentialing organization for the worldwide human resources profession. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in the United States, HRCI is celebrating 40 years of setting the standard for HR mastery and excellence around the globe. An independent nonprofit organization, HRCI is dedicated to advancing the HR profession through developing and administering best-in-class certifications including the NCCA-accredited Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) and Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR®). All of HRCI’s credentials are recognized as the most rigorous, meaningful, and grounded professional certifications demonstrating competency, real-world practical skills and knowledge in the field. Together with HRCI-certified professionals in 100 countries around the globe, HRCI ensures, strengthens and advances the strategic value and impact of HR.

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Julie Rosenthal
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