Posted by: Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) | February 7, 2012

PHR/SPHR Body of Knowledge Changes in 2012

The HR Certification Institute has recently completed a practice analysis for the PHR® and SPHR® exams, and updated the Body of Knowledge. This is an exercise we undertake approximately every five years and is considered to be best practice in the credentialing industry to insure that the content of our exams remains relevant.

Read more about the changes in our press release.
Click here to access the updated PHR®/SPHR® Body of Knowledge.

Please read this article to familiarize yourself with the changes. Although much of the core content remains the same, new content has been added. Additionally, two of the functional areas have had name changes to better reflect their content:

  • Strategic Business Management is now Business Management and Strategy, and
  • Total Rewards is now Compensation and Benefits.

Please feel free to contact our team if you have specific questions. Our email address is or you may call 1-866-898-4724 (US) or 1-703-535-6000 (international), and select option “4.” We are happy to support you.

Thank you,

The HR Certification Institute

About the HR Certification Institute
The HR Certification Institute, established in 1976, is an internationally recognized certifying organization for the Human Resource profession. Today, more than 115,000 HR professionals in 80 countries proudly maintain the HR Certification Institute’s credentials as a mark of high professional distinction. The HR Certification Institute is a global leader in developing rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery and real-world application of forward-thinking HR practices, policies and principles. The HR Certification Institute awards the following credentials: Professional in Human Resources (PHR®), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®), Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®), and California Certifications. Visit



  1. Will this affect the exams in 2012 and is this covered in the 2012 SHRM learning system?

    • Hi Rosie,
      yes, this will affect the Spring (May/June) exams and from my understanding, the 2012 SHRM Learning System reflects these changes. Should you need further guidance about the changes, please feel free to contact me.

  2. Certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) is a prestigious designation.

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