PHR®and SPHR® BODY OF KNOWLEDGEThe Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) exams are created using the PHR and SPHR Body of Knowledge, which outlines the responsibilities of and knowledge needed by today’s HR professional. The PHR and SPHR Body of Knowledge is created by HR subject matter experts through a rigorous practice analysis study and validated by HR professionals working in the field through an extensive survey instrument. It is updated periodically to ensure it is consistent with current practices in the HR field.
PROFESSIONAL IN HUMAN RESOURCES (PHR®) AND 14 Develop and manage an HR budget that supports the organization’s strategic goals, objectives, and values. SPHR organizational branding, business case development, corporate responsibility) SENIOR PROFESSIONAL IN HUMAN RESOURCES (SPHR®) only est. 1988 15 Monitor the legislative and regulatory environment Functional Area 02: Workforce Planning and for proposed changes and their potential impact to the Employment (24%/17%) organization, taking appropriate proactive steps to support, Developing, implementing, and evaluating sourcing, modify, or oppose the proposed changes. recruitment, hiring, orientation, succession planning, retention, PHR SPHR and organizational exit programs necessary to ensure the Business Management and Strategy (11%/30%) 16 Develop policies and procedures to support corporate workforce’s ability to achieve the organization’s goals and 8% 7% 11% governance initiatives (for example: whistleblower protection, objectives. Workforce Planning and Employment (24%/17%) code of ethics). SPHR only 30% 20% 14% Human Resource Development (18%/19%) 17 Participate in enterprise risk management by ensuring that Responsibilities: 24% policies contribute to protecting the organization from potential 01 Ensure that workforce planning and employment activities 13% Compensation and Benefits (19%/13%) risks. are compliant with applicable federal laws and regulations. 19% 19% 17% Employee and Labor Relations (20%/14%) 18 Identify and evaluate alternatives and recommend 02 Identify workforce requirements to achieve the 18% strategies for vendor selection and/or outsourcing. SPHR only organization’s short- and long-term goals and objectives (for Risk Management (8%/7%) example: corporate restructuring, workforce expansion or 19 Oversee or lead the transition and/or implementation of reduction). new systems, service centers, and outsourcing. SPHR only if the laws change 03 Conduct job analyses to create and/or update job 20 Participate in strategic decision-making and due diligence descriptions and identify job competencies. We realize that employment laws change constantly. Candidates are responsible for knowing the HR laws and regulations that are activities related to organizational structure and design (for in effect as of the start of each exam period. example: corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions 04 Identify, review, document, and update essential job [M&A], divestitures). SPHR only functions for positions.Functional Area 01: Business Management & strategic goals and objectives (for example: corporate social 21 Determine strategic application of integrated technical 05 Influence and establish criteria for hiring, retaining,Strategy (11%/30%) responsibility and community partnership). tools and systems (for example: new enterprise software, and promoting based on job descriptions and requiredDeveloping, contributing to, and supporting the organization’s 06 Develop and utilize business metrics to measure the performance management tools, self-service technologies). competencies.mission, vision, values, strategic goals and objectives; achievement of the organization’s strategic goals and SPHR onlyformulating policies; guiding and leading the change objectives (for example: key performance indicators, balanced 06 Analyze labor market for trends that impact the ability toprocess; and evaluating organizational effectiveness as an scorecard). SPHR only Knowledge of: meet workforce requirements (for example: federal/state dataorganizational leader. 01 The organization’s mission, vision, values, business goals, reports). 07 Develop, influence, and execute strategies for managing objectives, plans, and processes.Responsibilities: organizational change that balance the expectations 07 Assess skill sets of internal workforce and external labor01 Interpret and apply information related to the and needs of the organization, its employees, and other 02 Legislative and regulatory processes market to determine the availability of qualified candidates,organization’s operations from internal sources, including stakeholders. utilizing third party vendors or agencies as appropriate.finance, accounting, business development, marketing, sales, 03 Strategic planning process, design, implementation, andoperations, and information technology, in order to contribute 08 Develop and align the human resource strategic plan with evaluation 08 Identify internal and external recruitment sources (forto the development of the organization’s strategic plan. the organization’s strategic plan. SPHR only example: employee referrals, diversity groups, social media) 04 Management functions, including planning, organizing, and implement selected recruitment methods.02 Interpret information from external sources related to 09 Facilitate the development and communication of the directing, and controllingthe general business environment, industry practices and organization’s core values, vision, mission, and ethical 09 Establish metrics for workforce planning (for example:developments, technological advances, economic environment, behaviors. 05 Corporate governance procedures and compliance (for recruitment and turnover statistics, costs).labor force, and the legal and regulatory environment, in order example: Sarbanes-Oxley Act)to contribute to the development of the organization’s strategic 10 Reinforce the organization’s core values and behavioral 10 Brand and market the organization to potential qualifiedplan. expectations through modeling, communication, and coaching. 06 Due diligence processes (for example: M & A, divestitures) applicants. SPHR only03 Participate as a contributing partner in the organization’s 11 Provide data such as human capital projections and costs 11 Develop and implement selection procedures (for example:strategic planning process (for example: provide and lead that support the organization’s overall budget. 07 Transition techniques for corporate restructuring, M & A, applicant tracking, interviewing, reference and backgroundworkforce planning discussion with management, develop offshoring, and divestitures SPHR only checking).and present long-term forecast of human capital needs at the 12 Develop and execute business plans (i.e., annual goals andorganizational level). SPHR only objectives) that correlate with the organization’s strategic plan’s 08 Elements of a cost-benefit analysis during the life cycle of 12 Develop and extend employment offers and conduct performance expectations to include growth targets, new the business (such as scenarios for growth, including expected, negotiations as necessary.04 Establish strategic relationships with key individuals in the programs/services, and net income expectations. SPHR only economic stressed, and worst case conditions) and the impactorganization to influence organizational decision-making. to net worth/earnings for short-, mid-, and long-term horizons 13 Administer post-offer employment activities (for example: 13Perform cost/benefit analyses on proposed projects. SPHR execute employment agreements, complete I-9/e-Verify05 Establish relationships/alliances with key individuals and only 09 Business concepts (for example: competitive advantage, process, coordinate relocations, and immigration).outside organizations to assist in achieving the organization’s PHR AND SPHR BODY OF KNOWLEDGE 1 PHR AND SPHR BODY OF KNOWLEDGE 2
14 Develop, implement, and evaluate orientation and on- 23 Internal workforce assessment techniques (for example: Knowledge of: 05 Conduct compensation and benefits programs needsboarding processes for new hires, rehires, and transfers. skills testing, skills inventory, workforce demographic analysis) 27 Applicable federal laws and regulations related to human assessments (for example: benchmarking, employee surveys, resources development activities (for example: Title VII, ADA, trend analysis).15 Develop, implement, and evaluate employee retention 24 Employment policies, practices, and procedures (for Title 17 [Copyright law])strategies and practices. example: orientation, on-boarding, and retention) 06 Develop/select, implement/administer, update and 28 Career development and leadership development theories evaluate benefit programs (for example: health and welfare,16 Develop, implement, and evaluate the succession planning 25 Employer marketing and branding techniques and applications (for example: succession planning, dual wellness, retirement, stock purchase).process. SPHR only career ladders) 26 Negotiation skills and techniques 07 Communicate and train the workforce in the compensation17 Develop and implement the organizational exit/ 29 Organizational development (OD) theories and and benefits programs, policies and processes (for example:off-boarding process for both voluntary and involuntary applications self-service technologies).terminations, including planning for reductions in force (RIF). Functional Area 03: Human Resource Development (18%/19%) 30 Training program development techniques to create general 08 Develop/select, implement/administer, update, and18 Develop, implement, and evaluate an affirmative action Developing, implementing, and evaluating activities and and specialized training programs evaluate an ethically sound executive compensation programplan (AAP) as required. programs that address employee training and development, (for example: stock options, bonuses, supplemental retirement performance appraisal, and talent and performance 31 Facilitation techniques, instructional methods, and program plans). SPHR only19 Develop and implement a record retention process for management to ensure that the knowledge, skills, abilities, delivery mechanismshandling documents and employee files (for example: pre- and performance of the workforce meet current and future 09 Develop, implement/administer and evaluate expatriateemployment files, medical files, and benefits files). organizational and individual needs. 32 Task/process analysis and foreign national compensation and benefits programs. SPHR onlyKnowledge of: 33 Performance appraisal methods (for example: instruments,11 Applicable federal laws and regulations related to Responsibilities: ranking and rating scales) Knowledge of:workforce planning and employment activities (for example: 01 Ensure that human resources development activities are 38 Applicable federal laws and regulations related toTitle VII, ADA, EEOC Uniform Guidelines on Employee compliant with all applicable federal laws and regulations. 34 Performance management methods (for example: goal compensation, benefits, and tax (for example: FLSA, ERISA,Selection Procedures, Immigration Reform and Control Act) setting, relationship to compensation, job placements/ FMLA, USERRA) 02 Conduct a needs assessment to identify and establish promotions)12 Methods to assess past and future staffing effectiveness (for priorities regarding human resource development activities. 39 Compensation and benefits strategiesexample: costs per hire, selection ratios, adverse impact) 35 Applicable global issues (for example: international law, 03 Develop/select and implement employee training programs culture, local management 40 Budgeting and accounting practices related to13 Recruitment sources (for example: employee referral, social (for example: leadership skills, harassment prevention, approaches/practices, societal norms). SPHR only compensation and benefitsnetworking/social media) for targeting passive, semi-active computer skills) to increase individual and organizationaland active candidates effectiveness. 36 Techniques to assess training program effectiveness, 41 Job evaluation methods including use of applicable metrics (for example: participant14 Recruitment strategies 04 Evaluate effectiveness of employee training programs surveys, pre- and post-testing) 42 Job pricing and pay structures through the use of metrics (for example: participant surveys,15 Staffing alternatives (for example: outsourcing, job sharing, pre- and post-testing). SPHR only 37 Mentoring and executive coaching 43 External labor markets and/or economic factorsphased retirement) 05 Develop, implement, and evaluate talent management 44 Pay programs (for example: variable, merit)16 Planning techniques (for example: succession planning, programs that include assessing talent, developing career Functional Area 04: Compensation and Benefitsforecasting) paths, and managing the placement of high-potential (19%/13%) 45 Executive compensation methods. SPHR only employees. Developing/selecting, implementing/administering, and17 Reliability and validity of selection tests/tools/methods evaluating compensation and benefits programs for all 46 Noncash compensation methods (for example: equity 06 Develop, select, and evaluate performance appraisal employee groups in order to support the organization’s goals, programs, noncash rewards)18 Use and interpretation of selection tests (for example: processes (for example: instruments, ranking and rating scales) objectives, and values.psychological/personality, cognitive, motor/physical to increase individual and organizational effectiveness. 47 Benefits programs (for example: health and welfare,assessments, performance, assessment center) retirement, Employee Assistance Programs [EAPs]) 07 Develop, implement, and evaluate performance Responsibilities:19 Interviewing techniques (for example: behavioral, management programs and procedures (includes training for 01 Ensure that compensation and benefits programs are 48 International compensation laws and practices (forsituational, panel) evaluators). compliant with applicable federal laws and regulations. example: expatriate compensation, entitlements, choice of law codes). SPHR only20 Impact of compensation and benefits on recruitment and 08 Develop/select, implement, and evaluate programs (for 02 Develop, implement, and evaluate compensation policies/retention example: telecommuting, diversity initiatives, repatriation) to programs (for example: pay structures, performance-based 49 Fiduciary responsibilities related to compensation and meet the changing needs of employees and the organization. pay, internal and external equity). benefits21 International HR and implications of global workforce for SPHR onlyworkforce planning and employment. SPHR only 03 Manage payroll-related information (for example: new 09 Provide coaching to managers and executives regarding hires, adjustments, terminations).22 Voluntary and involuntary terminations, downsizing, effectively managing organizational talent.restructuring, and outplacement strategies and practices 04 Manage outsourced compensation and benefits components (for example: payroll vendors, COBRA administration, employee recognition vendors). PHR only PHR AND SPHR BODY OF KNOWLEDGE 3 PHR AND SPHR BODY OF KNOWLEDGE 4
resolution, labor/management cooperative strategies)Functional Area 05: Employee and Labor Relations 07 Develop, monitor, and test business continuity and disaster Core Knowledge:(20%/14%) recovery plans. 76 Needs assessment and analysis 52 Employee involvement strategies (for example: employeeDeveloping, implementing/administering, and evaluating the management committees, self-directed work teams, staffworkplace in order to maintain relationships and working 08 Communicate and train the workforce on the business 77 Third-party or vendor selection, contract negotiation, and meetings)conditions that balance employer/employee needs and rights continuity and disaster recovery plans. management, including development of requests for proposalsin support of the organization’s goals and objectives. (RFPs) 53 Individual employment rights issues and practices (for 09 Develop policies and procedures to direct the appropriate example: employment at will, negligent hiring, defamation) use of electronic media and hardware (for example: e-mail, 78 Communication skills and strategies (for example:Responsibilities: social media, and appropriate website access). presentation, collaboration, sensitivity) 54 Workplace behavior issues/practices (for example:01 Ensure that employee and labor relations activities are absenteeism and performance improvement)compliant with applicable federal laws and regulations. 10 Develop and administer internal and external privacy 79 Organizational documentation requirements to meet federal policies (for example: identity theft, data protection, workplace and state guidelines 55 Unfair labor practices02 Assess organizational climate by obtaining employee input monitoring).(for example: focus groups, employee surveys, staff meetings). 80 Adult learning processes 56 The collective bargaining process, strategies, and concepts Knowledge of: (for example: contract negotiation, costing, and administration)03 Develop and implement employee relations programs (for 61 Applicable federal laws and regulations related to 81 Motivation concepts and applicationsexample: recognition, special events, diversity programs) that workplace health, safety, security, and privacy (for example: 57 Legal disciplinary procedurespromote a positive organizational culture. OSHA, Drug-Free Workplace Act, ADA, HIPAA, Sarbanes- 82 Training techniques (for example: virtual, classroom, on-the- Oxley Act) job) 58 Positive employee relations strategies and non-monetary04 Evaluate effectiveness of employee relations programs rewardsthrough the use of metrics (for example: exit interviews, 62 Occupational injury and illness prevention (safety) and 83 Leadership concepts and applicationsemployee surveys, turnover rates). compensation programs 59Techniques for conducting unbiased investigations 84 Project management concepts and applications05 Establish, update, and communicate workplace policies 63 Investigation procedures of workplace safety, health and 60 Legal termination proceduresand procedures (for example: employee handbook, reference security enforcement agencies 85 Diversity concepts and applications (for example:guides, or standard operating procedures) and monitor their generational, cultural competency, learning styles)application and enforcement to ensure consistency. 64 Return to work procedures (for example: interactive dialog, Functional Area 06: Risk Management (8%/7%) job modification, accommodations) 86 Human relations concepts and applications (for example: Developing, implementing/administering, and evaluating06 Develop and implement a discipline policy based on emotional intelligence, organizational behavior) programs, procedures, and policies in order to provide a safe,organizational code of conduct/ethics, ensuring that no 65 Workplace safety risks (for example: trip hazards, blood- secure working environment and to protect the organizationdisparate impact or other legal issues arise. borne pathogens) 87 Ethical and professional standards from potential liability.07 Create and administer a termination process (for example: 66 Workplace security risks (for example: theft, corporate 88 Technology to support HR activities (for example: HRreductions in force [RIF], policy violations, poor performance) espionage, sabotage) Information Systems, employee self-service, e-learning, Responsibilities:ensuring that no disparate impact or other legal issues arise. applicant tracking systems) 01 Ensure that workplace health, safety, security, and privacy 67 Potential violent behavior and workplace violence activities are compliant with applicable federal laws and08 Develop, administer, and evaluate grievance/dispute conditions 89 Qualitative and quantitative methods and tools for analysis, regulations.resolution and performance improvement policies and interpretation, and decision-making purposes (for example:procedures. 68 General health and safety practices (for example: metrics and measurements, cost/benefit analysis, financial 02 Conduct a needs analysis to identify the organization’s evacuation, hazard communication, ergonomic evaluations) statement analysis) safety requirements.09 Investigate and resolve employee complaints filed withfederal agencies involving employment practices or working 69 Organizational incident and emergency response plans 90 Change management theory, methods, and application 03 Develop/select and implement/administer occupationalconditions, utilizing professional resources as necessary (for injury and illness prevention programs (i.e., OSHA, workers’example: legal counsel, mediation/arbitration specialists, 70 Internal investigation, monitoring, and surveillance 91 Job analysis and job description methods compensation). PHR onlyinvestigators) techniques 92 Employee records management (for example: electronic/ 04 Establish and administer a return-to-work process after10 Develop and direct proactive employee relations strategies 71Employer/employee rights related to substance abuse paper, retention, disposal) illness or injury to ensure a safe workplace (for example:for remaining union-free in non-organized locations. SPHR only modified duty assignment, reasonable accommodations, 72 Business continuity and disaster recovery plans (for 93 Techniques for forecasting, planning, and predicting the independent medical exam).11 Direct and/or participate in collective bargaining activities, example: data storage and backup, alternative work locations, impact of HR activities and programs across functional areasincluding contract negotiation, costing, and administration. procedures) 05 Develop/select, implement, and evaluate plans and policies 94 Types of organizational structures (for example: matrix, to protect employees and other individuals, and to minimizeKnowledge of: 73 Data integrity techniques and technology (for example: hierarchy) the organization’s loss and liability (for example: emergency50 Applicable federal laws affecting employment in union data sharing, password usage, social engineering) response, workplace violence, substance abuse).and nonunion environments, such as laws regarding 95 Environmental scanning concepts and applications (forantidiscrimination policies, sexual harassment, labor relations, 74 Technology and applications (for example: social media, example: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats 06 Communicate and train the workforce on security plansand privacy (for example: WARN Act, Title VII, NLRA) monitoring software, biometrics) [SWOT], and Political, Economic, Social, and Technological and policies. [PEST])51 Techniques and tools for facilitating positive employee 75 Financial management practices (for example: procurementrelations (for example: employee surveys, dispute/conflict policies, credit card policies and guidelines, expense policies) PHR AND SPHR BODY OF KNOWLEDGE 5 PHR AND SPHR BODY OF KNOWLEDGE 6