HRCI Ethics Requirement

Effective January 1, 2021, all certificants must fulfill one ethics credit as part of the total 45/60 recertification credits requirement. This requirement ensures our certificants remain aware of crucial ethical practices and behaviors in the workplace. There is NOT a specific “Ethics Credit” designation to select from when entering the activity. Simply include one ethics-themed activity in your recertification plan and check the required “ethics affirmation box” to submit your recertification application.

The chart below illustrates the updated ethics credit requirement for all HRCI certifications. Please note, this ethics credit is one of the UNCHANGED total number of recertification credits requirement: 45 for aPHR®/aPHRi™ and 60 for PHR®/PHRi™/SPHR®/SPHRi™/GPHR®/PHRca®.


There are several ways to fulfill this requirement:

  • HRCI is excited to announce the launch of our new Ethics courses. The programs offer insight into defining business ethics within an organization and understanding the impacts of ethical decision making. Click on the ethics courses link below to learn more!
HRCI-branded ethics courses are on sale for a limited time!
  • Additional ethics courses can be sourced through our Pre-Approved Course Directory. Simply search for Ethics.
  • Non HRCI Pre-Approved Courses are also eligible. These courses must:
    • Be at least one hour in duration
    • Directly focus on ethics

To assist you with any additional questions or information, please get in touch with us! HRCI Customer Experience – or +1-866-898-4724

HRCI Code of Ethics

The HRCI Code of Ethics has been adopted to advance and uphold the highest standards of service and conduct recognized by all certificants using any of the following credentials: aPHR®, aPHRi™ PHR®, PHRi™, PHRca®, SPHR®, SPHRi™ and GPHR®.

An HRCI certification implicitly obligates the user to comply with the mandates and requirements of all applicable laws and regulations. Certificants are required to act in an ethical and professional manner by adhering to these standards and ensuring public confidence in the integrity of their professionalism.

Those holding an HRCI credential commit to the following:


Professional Responsibility

As an HRCI certificant, you accept professional responsibility for both your individual decisions and actions. As an advocate for the HR profession, you engage in activities that enhance the credibility and value of the organizations, while contributing to their ethical success.

You will:

  • Adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior.
  • Effectively achieve the organization’s HR goals.
  • Work consistently within regulatory requirements of the HR profession.
  • Strive to achieve the highest levels of service, performance and social responsibility.
  • Appreciate and value the contributions of employees and associates.
  • Advocate within established forums to influence innovative decision making and results.

Professional Development

As an HRCI certificant, you must meet the highest standards of competence and commit to strengthen your competencies.

You will:

  • Commit to continuous learning, skills development and application of new knowledge related to both human resource management and the success of organizations you serve.
  • Contribute to the body of HR knowledge, the evolution of the profession and the growth of individuals through teaching, research and global dissemination of knowledge.

Ethical Leadership

As an HRCI certificant, you are expected to exhibit individual leadership and serve as a role model while maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct.

You will:

  • Act ethically in every professional interaction.
  • Advocate for the ethical application of all transactions, regardless of the source.
  • Ensure decisions are of the highest ethical standards.
  • Acquire expert guidance, as needed, about the ethical proprieties.
  • Champion and mentor the development of other ethical leaders

Fairness and Justice

As an HRCI certificant, you are ethically responsible for promoting and fostering fairness and justice for all employees and their organizations.

You will:

  • Respect the uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every individual.
  • Treat people with dignity, respect and compassion to foster a trusting work environment free of harassment, intimidation and unlawful discrimination.
  • Assure an environment of diversity and inclusivity.
  • Confirm everyone can develop their skills and new competencies.
  • Develop, administer and advocate global policies and procedures that foster fair, consistent and equitable treatment for all, regardless of geographical location.
  • Regardless of personal interests, support decisions made by your organizations that are both ethical and legal.

Conflicts of Interest

As an HRCI certificant, you must maintain a high level of trust and protect the interest of your stakeholders, as well as your professional integrity. You should refrain from engaging in any activities that create actual, apparent or potential conflicts of interest.

You will:

  • Adhere to and advocate the use of published policies on conflicts of interest within your organization.
  • Refrain from using your position for personal, material or financial gain or the appearance of such.
  • Abstain from giving or seeking preferential treatment in the human resources processes.
  • Prioritize your obligations to identify conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof. When conflicts arise; you will disclose them to relevant stakeholders.

Use of Information

As an HRCI certificant, you must consider and protect the rights of individuals, especially in the acquisition and dissemination of information while ensuring truthful communications and facilitating informed decision-making.

You will:

  • Acquire and disseminate information through ethical and responsible means.
  • Ensure only appropriate information is used in decisions affecting the employment relationship.
  • Investigate the accuracy and source of information before allowing it to be used in employment related decisions.
  • Maintain current and accurate HR information.
  • Safeguard restricted or confidential information.
  • Take appropriate steps to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all communicated information about HR policies and practices.