Professional Development Programs

PHR/SPHR Certification Prep Course

SHRM Member

Now is the time to boost your career, to set yourself apart, strengthen your department, become a dedicated HR expert and help your organization grow.




The PHR or SPHR certification is more than a credential, it will help you:

  • Distinguish yourself among your peers.
  • Demonstrate your long-term commitment to the HR profession.
  • Master the new 2014 HR Certification Institute's body of knowledge.
  • Keep current with HR topics, legislation and regulatory requirements.
  • Protect your organization from risk and ensure its compliance.
  • Become eligible for additional career opportunities and attain professional advancement.
  • Open doors to companies that require their employees to be certified.

Join the more than 100,000 HR professionals worldwide have received and maintained their HR credentials from the HR Certification Institute.  Learn more about the 2015 SHRM designation.

The College/University option is ideal for those who prefer a structured learning environment. You will interact with other HR professionals preparing for PHR/SPHR certification.  Your instructor, an expert in the field of HR can be an invaluable resource as you prepare for the HR Certification Institute certification exam.

The new 2014 SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR, the #1

PHR/SPHR Cert Prep Tool, features an enhanced user experience complete with updated content that reflects the HR Certification Institute body of knowledge tested on the PHR and SPHR exams. It includes application exercises and module exams to develop specific HR competencies. Professionals who use the Learning System to prepare for the PHR and SPHR exams consistently beat the national pass rate!

Why Choose the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR Certification?

  • Complete Training: The user-friendly content focuses on the HR Certification Institute body of knowledge and includes access to the Online Resource Center, more than 1,500 practice questions, flashcards, an interactive case study, and two post-tests.
  • Portable Content: You can access the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR Certification via PC, laptop, mobile or e-reader devices.
  • Customized learning: Choose the learning option that best matches your schedule and learning style, and use assessment test results to create a personalized study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ongoing Reference: This PHR/SPHR prep tool can be used as a desktop reference manual, with answers to HR challenges right at your fingertips.
  • Current: The Online Resource Center provides timely legislative changes and HR developments, so you can protect your organization from legal risk.
  • Affordability: This PHR/SPHR certification prep tool provides more content, tests, learning tools and access to expert advice than any other program.

Who should take this course?

Chanterelle AtkinsOur Human Resource certification preparation course is designed primarily for individuals seeking a PHR or SPHR certification.

As an added advantage, we use the newly updated 2014 SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation. It features up-to-date content and advanced tools that streamline study time, accelerate learning and build confidence for passing the PHR or SPHR exam.  

By attending this instructor-led course, you’ll benefit from:

  • An experienced, certified instructor
  • The SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR, ranked the #1 certification prep tool
  • A structured learning experience that keeps you on track
  • Opportunities to network and learn from your peers

This course is offered in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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PHR/SPHR Certification Prep courses are offered during both spring and fall semesters.

Fall 2014 PHR/SPHR prep courses:

To stay up-to-date on course offerings, sign up for our Professional & Continuing Education Newsletter.

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  • Instructor-led onsite format in Portland - $1025
  • Instructor-led live online webinar format - $1050

Fees include complete SHRM Learning System materials and access to online test bank. Online course fee includes head set for participating in the live online course.

  • Refund policy:
    • 100% refund if you withdraw from a class five or more business days before the class starts.
    • A course voucher for 50% of the course fee if you withdraw four or fewer business days from the start date.
    • There are no refunds once a class begins.

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Exam Eligibility Requirements:

The HR Certification Institute requires HR professionals sitting for the PHR or SPHR exams to have a combination of demonstrated work experience and education.

View exam eligibility requirements.

Note: The SHRM Learning System is not a substitute for the certification examination. If you wish to take the PHR or SPHR exam, you must complete a separate application form online through the HR Certification Institute. Download the 2013 HR Certification Handbook.

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  • Kay Whitmore, SPHR, ACC is vice president of Human Resources at Acadia Insurance Company.  She has an extensive background in all aspects of HR, having worked with organizations during times of significant change impacting every aspect of the employment relationship - from employee benefits and compensation to employee relations.  Kay is an Associate Certified Coach, a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations and in Social and Emotional Intelligence.  She is a graduate of the Maine Development Foundation's Leadership Maine program and is a Portland Symphony Orchestra trustee.
  • Jessica Palladino, SPHR, has over 10 years of HR experience. Jessica has lead numerous study groups for HR Professionals who are interested in obtaining PHR/SPHR certification. Jessica is currently the HR Manager for Formed Fiber Technologies. She has also held HR roles in the finance and healthcare industry. Jessica is the past President of the Central Maine Human Resource Association and Co-Chair for the Best Places in Maine campaign. She is a member of Human Resource Association of Southern Maine. Jessica has successfully sat and passed both her PHR and SPHR exams.

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Student Profile: 

Chantrelle Atkins - Director of Administration, Compass Health Analytics
Chanterelle Atkins accomplishes a great deal by applying knowledge gained from professional development to support her employer’s growing business. She has proactively worked with the Maine Human Rights Commission to establish her employer’s first parental leave policy, supported the implementation of its first telecommuting program, and she is currently developing metric tools to gauge employee satisfaction, all while smiling a lot and taking life with a “gratitude attitude.” Read More.

Instructor Tip:

PDP faculty member Kristine Avery talks about the Human Resource Certification Prep. course (PHR/SPHR).

Kristine Avery Video

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