Registering for the PHR Exam
Registration for any PHR certification (including the PHR, PHRi, GPHR or PHRca) begins with a visit to the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) website at hrci.org. Here, you can learn more about your certification and about the organization itself, as well as create the account that you will use to complete the registration process.
Because the process is handled entirely online, you may apply for PHR certification and register for the exam any time. However, before you start, it's a good idea to take a few minutes and check out the most current information and eligibility requirements for the PHR. All HRCI certifications are based on educational and professional experience, as well as geographic location and whether you are working for a multinational company. It may be that a different level or type of certification would be more appropriate for you; if you are unsure, the HRCI website has a brief Which Certification is Right for You? questionnaire that can help you make the right choice.
When you're ready, follow the simple step-by-step directions to complete the PHR registration process.
1. Create Your HRCI Account and Profile
If you haven't already done so, create a user account with HRCI on the official website. To begin, provide an email address and password, then your full legal name, country of residence and your organization.
Note: When creating your user profile, use your full name as it appears on any official, unexpired government-issued ID form. The name you use on your profile and application must match the name on the ID that you present at the testing center.
After you create your account, you'll be able to complete your user profile and include more information, such as your home address and job details.
2. Select Your Certification and Apply
Next, visit the My Exam Applications section on your user profile. Find the certification you wish to earn and click the Apply button.
Fill out each page completely:
- Page 1: Personal information, such as your legal name, address and any HR affiliations/prep courses you've completed. Some of this information may be filled in automatically if you already noted it in your HRCI profile.
- Page 2: Educational and professional experience. Denote the highest level of education you have received, as well as any relevant work experience; HRCI will review your application to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. You may also be randomly selected for an application audit where you will be asked to submit additional information.
- Page 3: Fee Review. The current cost for the PHR, PHRi and PHRca is $395, with the GPHR costing $495. Each certification also carries a $100 application fee. You may choose to bundle in additional testing materials into your total cost, but this is totally optional.
- Page 4: Special Accommodations. If you require alternative testing arrangements for a documented disability, you may request them here; you'll also have to submit a Special Testing Accommodation Request form with your exam application and provide professional documentation. Note that all Pearson-VUE testing centers already allow many common medical/comfort aids and mobility devices by default.
When you're finished, submit your application and check out. You can also save your progress and return to the application later if needed.
After you complete the application, proceed to the checkout page. The total includes exam cost, plus the application fee and any additional testing materials as requested in the application. All fees are in U.S. dollars and may be paid by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express), money order, or certified, company or cashier's checks from a U.S. bank. HRCI cannot accept cash or personal checks.
4. Confirmation and Scheduling
You should receive confirmation by email within one business day of submitting your application/payment. Then, allow for additional processing time for HRCI to review the application. This usually happens within a day or two, with longer times for accommodations requests or those who have been randomly selected for auditing.
If your application is randomly selected for an audit, you'll have to submit additional information to HRCI, including an audit form, educational transcripts and more information about all jobs held, including documentation of your job titles (such as a job description on company letterhead).
If your application is approved, your registration will be valid for 120 days. You must schedule your exam with Pearson-VUE during this time or your registration will be cancelled without a refund. However, if needed, you may request a 60-day extension within this period.
You can schedule your exam with Pearson-VUE, through their HRCI page at home.pearsonvue.com/hrci. Here, you can locate a testing center and select an exam appointment that works best for you. To avoid disappointment, it's best to schedule your exam as soon as possible as seats can fill up fast.
Studying for the PHR Exam
Now it's time to study! Review everything you need to know for the exam with the online PHR Study Guides you'll find right here on Study.com:
Our expert-taught prep courses organize each exam's major content areas into easy-to-follow chapters containing quick video lessons (transcripts included), plus self-assessed quizzes that help make sure that you're keeping up with the material.