Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR)

NOTE: Revisions to the exam content outline go into effect for all SPHR exams delivered on or after August 1, 2018. If you plan to test on or after this date, please prepare using the revise2018 SPHR Exam Content Outline.

Target Audience?

Showcase the HR leadership recognition you deserve with the Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR®) from HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). The SPHR demonstrates your mastery of the strategic and policy-making aspects of HR management as practiced in the U.S. The credential is designed for big-picture thinkers responsible for planning rather than implementing HR policy. Organizations seek out SPHR professionals for their proven accountability for HR department goals, for breadth and depth of knowledge in all HR disciplines, and for understanding business issues beyond the HR function.


To be eligible for the SPHR you must meet one of the following conditions for education and experience:

  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position a Master’s degree or higher,
  • Have at least five years of experience in a professional-level HR position a Bachelor’s degree, OR
  • Have at least seven years of experience in a professional-level HR position a high school diploma.

Exam Format & Fee?

  • Exam time: 3 hours
  • Exam length: 150 scored questions (mostly multiple-choice) + 25 pretest questions
  • Computer-based exam at a Pearson VUE testing center

Exam Fee*: $495 + Application Fee: $100

*Once an exam application is approved, no refunds will be made whether a candidate withdraws or no longer wishes to take the exam.

Course Outline?

Review the PHR and SPHR Exam Content Outline for details.

When Can I Take the Exam?

Testing for the SPHR is available year-round, subject to test center availability.

How Do I Remain Certified?

Your SPHR certification is valid for three years after testing. To maintain your SPHR credential, you must earn 60 recertification credits over a three-year time span or retake the exam. Of the 60 recertification credits required, 15 must be Business Management & Strategy credits. Learn more about HRCI recertification requirements.