Completing the Application to Take the PHR or SPHR Exam - dummies

Completing the Application to Take the PHR or SPHR Exam

By Sandra M. Reed

Part of PHR/SPHR Exam For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The PHR and SPHR exams are experience based; therefore, it stands to reason that the application process will begin with a review of your HR work history. Start by creating an online account with the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). You also will log in your recertification credit activities after you’ve been successful taking the exam at this account. (Keep track of your password.)

Don’t wait until the last minute to complete the application. Submit you application early in the exam window to avoid delays or late application fees.

After your account is established, you can begin the online application process. Make sure the name on your application matches the name on your government-issued ID. You also need to use approved position title codes as you outline your work experience. Find the complete list at If you have a compatible title such as operations manager or executive, you can use code 999 and upload a current job description to help HRCI determine your exam eligibility. Submit your payment along with the application and wait to receive your authorization-to-test (ATT) email.

Think about the two main requirements of completing Form I-9 in the HR world. The form’s purpose is two-fold: verify identity and verify eligibility to work in the United States. The goal of HRCI’s application process is similar. HRCI needs to know who you are and that you meet the minimum requirements. The verification continues at the testing center. The name on your application must match the name on your unexpired, government-issued ID.