The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification is a credential sought by people who want to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities in the human resources field. In order to earn SPHR certification, a person usually has to gain experience working in human resources, especially in positions that require him to supervise other people. Once a person has gained significant work experience, he typically has to pay a fee and pass an exam to earn SPHR certification. This certification is available through the HR Certification Institute, which is a Virginia-based organization that offers certification in the United States and around the world.
An individual who seeks SPHR certification does so through the HR Certification Institute. This organization offers three different certifications to professionals in the human resource field. It offers the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, which is for individuals who are involved with the day-to-day tasks necessary in human resource management and the SPHR, which is more focused on strategic management, positive change, and designing and planning. It also offers the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification, which is designed for individuals who have international human resource responsibilities.
To be eligible to take the SPHR exam, a person needs at least two years of experience. This experience typically has to include work at a professional level, including supervisory tasks or the creation of original work. For example, a person with at least two years of experience as a benefits manager or as a change management manager may be eligible to take the exam. Requirements are subject to change, and an applicant can find up-to-date guidelines at the HR Certification Institute website.
An individual who wants to earn the SPHR certification has to pass an exam that has six different concept categories. About 29 percent of the exam focuses on strategic management while about 17 percent of it focuses on workforce planning and empowerment. Another 17 percent of the SPHR certification exam focuses on human resource development, and 12 percent covers total rewards. The SPHR certification exam also covers employee and labor relations, which accounts for about 18 percent of the questions, and risk management, which accounts for about seven percent. The exam consists of 225 questions, and SPHR certification candidates have four hours to complete it.
The HR Certification Institute requires those interested in SPHR certification to apply to take the exam. The exam is given in the spring, during May and June, and in the winter, during December and January. Candidates are encouraged to apply months in advance of the exam dates.