Certification and Education for HRD Professionals One indication of the growth of the HRD field is the push for professional certi- fication. To increase the credibility of the HRD field, ASTD began a certification program in 2006, based upon the competencies identified in its recent “Mapping the Future” study.This certification is called the Cer- tified Professional in Learning and Performance™ (or CPLP™), and is offered by the ASTD Certification Institute. It includes both a 150-item multiple choice test, as well as the submission of a “work product.” Further information can be found at the ASTD website.
For the field of human resource management in general, there are three certifi- cation examinations offered by theHuman Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) (in conjunction with the Society for Human Resource Management). They are called the Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) exami- nations. The PHR and SPHR examinations both consist of 225 multiple-choice items that cover various HRM topics.53 Seventeen percent of both PHR and SPHR examinations cover human resource development. The GPHR examination consists of 165 items, with 22 percent of them devoted to “organizational effective- ness and talent development.” To be certified for any of these three examinations, individuals must pass the test and have two years of HR exempt-level work experi- ence. Beginning in 2011, students who do not have the required work experience will not be allowed to sit for the exam (prior to this, students could take the exam, and then had five years to obtain the relevant work experience). As of July, 2010, over 106,000 HR professionals have been certified with either the PHR, SPHR, or GPHR designations (PHR: 60,767; SPHR: 45,155; GPHR: 932).
Over the past twenty years, the HRD profession has become better connected to and involved with the academic community. Three developments illustrate this relationship: (1) ASTD changed its governance structure to include a Professor’s Network and an Academic Relations Committee; (2) The Human Resource Devel- opment Quarterly, a research journal focusing on HRD issues, began publishing in 1990; (3) Another organization has been formed, the Academy of Human Resource Development, to further advance scholarly research concerning human resource development issues.