Over the last few years, we’ve discussed how the business world is changing. It’s all around us. Different expectations are placed on employees by their employers. The introduction of new technologies is common. It makes perfect sense that as business changes, HR will also change.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently changed its HR competency model and SHRM SCP and SHRM CP exams. I spoke to Nancy Woolever (SHRM’s vice-president of certification operations) to provide an update. Nancy Woolever, SHRM’s vice president of certification operations, has been a friend for many years. I am thrilled to have her with me. She is the author of Ace your SHRM Certification Exam: A Guide for Success on the SHRM CP and SHRM – SCP Exams, just published in a second edition.
It is essential to keep up with changes in any profession so that credentialing exams such as the SHRM -CP and SHRM -SCP represent a state-of-the-art definition of human resource management. SHRM conducts a thorough practice analysis every three-five years to ensure that both certification exams are accurate and current. This includes input from all levels of HR professionals (from the early stages to the top). SHRM includes HR professionals from all walks of the organization in its analysis to ensure that the exams are universal.
Analyses of industry-specific HR research done since the previous practice analysis are key to updating competencies. So that subject matter experts (SMEs), who participated in the analysis, can provide feedback about the content and competencies of the current analysis. This will allow them to determine which content and behavioural competencies are most important and at what level they must be competent to make decisions, solve problems and guide the HR department at their employer. This data can be enriched by using multiple methods to collect it. For example, focus groups are used to first inform discussions about the evolution of the HR profession and followed by a universal validation survey to validate the results. This is then translated into the test blueprint, the structure of what will be tested during the SHRM certification exams.
[Woolever] As the profession evolves, so does the need for competent work in HR. The lines between the standalone competency model and the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge exist in tandem. The SHRM BASK has been created from the model.
Unsurprisingly, HR professionals will see the biggest shift, given the continuing emphasis on social injustices in organizations and society and the need to create workplace cultures that embrace and support all individuals and their unique skills and attributes. Therefore, diversity and inclusion became a behaviour that HR professionals had to demonstrate, rather than something they ‘knew about.
New names were also given to two other competencies in behavioural management and two areas of HR function under the Technical Expertise Knowledge Competency. These new names better reflect how HR is practised.
- Global and Cultural Effectiveness became a Global Mindset
- Analytical Aptitude became Critical Evaluation
- The Global Context of HR was renamed Managing a Global Workforce
- HR Strategic Planning was HR Strategy
Some content was more important than others, while some were less important than the prior practice analysis. The content did not change much, except for clarifying the definitions for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion behavioural competency, as revealed by survey research and focus groups.