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Human Resource Management Certificate Program FAQs

How rigorous are the PHR® and SPHR® certification exams?
The multiple-choice questions in the SHRM Learning System® are in the same format as the certification exams. By devoting sufficient study time to the modules and the testing component and by choosing the correct level of exam, the participant should be prepared to successfully pass the certification exam but keep in mind that success is not guaranteed. The individuals should be encouraged to take the exam that is best suited for their experience level.

Will I have a better chance to pass the exam if I take a college/university certification prep course?
Statistically, participants who have attended the SHRM Learning System course at an educational institution pass at a higher rate than those who have used another study method. For instance, the fall 2009 testing window shows that the college/university course attendees PHR® pass rate was 71% vs. the national pass rate of 60%. The same testing window for the c/u course attendees SPHR pass rate was 56% vs. the national pass rate of 53%.

What is the pass rate for attendees of the UT PDC program?
The winter 2010 testing windows show The University of Texas at Austin’s course attendees pass rate for the PHR to be 100% and the SPHR to be 91% and the new spring pass rate for the PHR and the SPHR to be 100%.

What materials come with this course?
You will receive the official SHRM Learning System® kit. This kit will contain the 6 print Modules covering the HR Certification Institute Body of Knowledge and an SPHR Preparation Book (over 1400 pages of print material). Along with the print material, the kit includes the software component offering over 1600 test questions, eFlashcards and access to the online Resource Center that contains the Audio and Webcasts, Test Taking Tips and HR Updates.

Are the materials current?
The SHRM Learning System is the most up-to-date and accurate study material available. Materials are updated at least once a year to reflect changes in the Body of Knowledge. Any legislative or HR changes that take place after the materials are printed are listed on the online Resource Center under HR Updates.

Do I need separate materials to study for the PHR® and SPHR® exams?
No, the print material covers the HR Certification Institute Body of Knowledge for both the PHR and SPHR exams. The software gives the user the option to choose either level when taking the tests. The SPHR Preparation Book is included in all of the kits.

Can I take your course using borrowed materials?
No, each Learning System kit is licensed to only one user – the materials cannot be copied, re-sold or loaned.

What are the requirements for passing your course?
To receive the UT certificate, participants must attend 10 of the 12 class sessions, take all tests and exams, and have a final course grade of 70 percent or better. The course grade is based on 25% for the Web-based component of study, 25% mid-term exam, and 50% for the cumulative final exam.

What is the recommended amount of study time needed for the SHRM Learning System?
The recommended study time is approximately 65 hours – this can vary with the amount of experience and comprehension level of the individual. The breakdown is approximately 47 hrs of reading and approximately 18 hrs of taking & reviewing the practice tests and flashcards.

Does this course qualify for recertification credits?
Only current GPHR's earn recertification credits for this program

Why should I become certified?
The PHR® and SPHR® credential offers professional recognition, improved job security, career advancement and the potential for increased earnings. Please see the Value of Certification video.

Will I be certified after completing your course?
No, the certification process is completely separate from this course. Registration and payment for the certification exam is handled through the HR Certification Institute. For complete certification information please go to www.hrci.org and download the HR Certification Handbook.

When are the certification exams given and how much does it cost to register?
The spring certification testing window is from May 1st -- June 30th and the fall certification testing window is from December 1st -- January 31st. The deadline and the registration fee vary dependent on the testing window and what exam you will be registering for. The information can be found on the HR Certification Institute’s web site at www.hrci.org in the HR Certification Handbook.

Where do I go to take the test?
The certification exams are given at the Prometric Testing Centers. For a list of testing sites close to you please go to www.prometric.com/hrci.

HR Certification Institute’s Exam Eligibility Requirements are:

PHR Eligibility

  • 1 year of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
  • 2 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
  • 4 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree

SPHR Eligibility

  • 4 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
  • 5 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
  • 7 years of demonstrated professional HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree

How do I find out more information?
Call (512) 232-4334 or (800) 687-7345.

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