HR Profession's First Early Career Certification Conferred to First Class of Certificants by HR Certification Institute®

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HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®), the premier credentialing organization for the human resources profession, announced that the first class of certificants has earned the HR profession’s first early career HR certification, the Associate Professional in Human Resources™ (aPHR™).

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The enthusiastic response to the aPHR pilot validates what we already knew, which is that the HR profession and the business marketplace are ready and eager for an early career HR certification.

HR Certification Institute® (HRCI ®), the premier credentialing organization for the human resources profession, announced that the first class of certificants has earned the HR profession’s first early career HR certification, the Associate Professional in Human Resources™ (aPHR™). The aPHR demonstrates foundational knowledge of human resource operations as practiced in the United States and was designed by HRCI for individuals embarking on an HR career or transitioning into the HR field. 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.

“Within minutes of aPHR test takers receiving their notification that they passed, we saw these newly-minted certificants adding the aPHR credential to their LinkedIn profiles because they know employers recognize the value of HRCI’s credentials,” said HRCI CEO Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Ed.D., SPHR, CAE. “The enthusiastic response to the aPHR pilot validates what we already knew, which is that the HR profession and the business marketplace are ready and eager for an early career HR certification.”

HRCI announced its newest credential in January 2016 and received a higher than expected number of applicants for the aPHR pilot phase, which has now been successfully completed. Registration is now open for aPHR test dates on or after November 1, 2016.

“Over the years, HRCI has received numerous requests for an early career credential, and our focus group research and surveys both confirmed the demand and informed the development of the aPHR,” said Dufrane. “The introduction of the aPHR continues HRCI’s efforts to elevate the HR profession through rigorous standards, world-class credentials and continuing education.” With the introduction of the aPHR, HRCI offers a portfolio of seven credentials designed to meet the needs of HR practitioners from the very beginning of their career through their veteran years.

Of those that took the aPHR exam during the pilot phase, their education levels (including the global equivalents) were:

  •     35 percent are high school graduates,
  •     51 percent hold a bachelor’s degree,
  •     14 percent hold a master’s degree, and
  •     Approximately one percent have earned a doctorate.

As these demographics suggest, individuals looking to build an HR career including high school graduates, college students and recent college graduates, 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 may be particularly interested in the aPHR certification.

Jestina Shand, a human resources generalist at America II Electronics in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., jumped at the chance to take the exam as she was not yet eligible for HRCI’s PHR and SPHR. “I was excited to see that there was now an exam that is geared for my level so I can show my employer my commitment to the field and to continuous learning and development,” said Shand. “The aPHR gave me a solid overview of the HR field and the exam content was universal – information you should know no matter what company you work for. Now that I’ve earned the aPHR, my managers are incorporating me into some special projects that will help me acquire additional skills.” Shand is continuing her education, having just started attending Webster University to earn a Master of Arts in Human Resources.

HRCI is offering a special reduced exam application fee of $40 for anyone who applies to take any HRCI exam before the end of this year using the promo code HRCI40. Also, as previously announced, HRCI has “thrown testing windows out the window,” and starting November 1, 2016, registrants for any of HRCI’s seven credentials will be able to take their exam on any date they choose. Learn more about the aPHR at hrci.org/aphr.

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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