HRCI logo - an 'r' is positioned inside an 'h' shape - text: HR CERTIFICATION INSTITUTE

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Common Questions

Q: How do I know which exam is best to apply for?

 A:  Register for the exam that covers the responsibilities and knowledge that best describe your on-the-job experience.

Q: What is the definition of "professional-level" work?

 A: A professional Human Resources (HR) position refers to an individual explicitly engaged and qualified within various aspects of the HR practice.  Your level of actual work, experience, and responsibilities make you accountable for the day-to-day HR activities, practices, and deliverables.

To be considered “professional-level,” an HR position must include: 

  • the ability to use independent judgment and discretion in performing work duties
  • a level of specialized knowledge in the HR field with some authority for decision-making
  • in-depth work requirements, such as data gathering, analysis and interpretation
  • interaction with a broad range of individuals, including key personnel, AND
  • individual accountability for results.

Q: How is “global HR experience” defined?

A: Global HR experience is defined as having direct cross-border HR responsibilities for two or more countries or regions.

 Q: Can students take the exam?

 A: Students will not be eligible to take the exam unless they meet the exam’s eligibility requirements.

Q: My bachelor’s (or master’s) degree is not in HR. Does that matter?

 A: No, you do not have to have an HR degree to be eligible to take the exams. However, because the exams are both experience- and knowledge-based, your specific area of study can make a difference in your exam performance.

Q: Can I transfer or move my exam date from one testing period to another?

 A: Candidates are not able to move or transfer their exam date from one testing period to another.

Q: What is the exam application cancellation policy?

 A: The administration fees are non-refundable.  A 50% refund of the exam may be given if an exam appointment is not scheduled or cancelled within three days of the exam.

 Q: I am interested in taking the California certification exam. What are the eligibility requirements for that certification?

 A: To be eligible for the California certification, you must already be certified as a PHR or SPHR.

 Q: How do I schedule the exam?

 A: After submitting your application, a link will appear at the top of your receipt page to schedule your exam.  This link will take you directly to Prometric to schedule your exam appointment.

Q: If I want to recertify by retaking the exam, do I need to meet the exam eligibility requirements?

 A: Yes. If you are currently certified and wish to recertify by taking the exam, you will have to meet the exam eligibility requirements.

 Q: How can I pay for the exam?

 A: Major Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express) are accepted forms of payment.

 Q: Where can I go for more information?

 A: Contact the HR Certification Institute by:

E-mail: HR Certification Institute
Telephone: 1.866.898.4724, Outside of the US + 1.571.551.6700