Certification FAQ

HRAM Study Guide

Study materials come from a study guide prepared especially for HRAM and copyrighted by Ray Weinberg. This study guide, over 350 pages of information, is presented in sections representing the six areas of focus found on the content outline from HRCI. The content outline represents the common body of HR knowledge according to HRCI standards. Students receive access to a copy of the content outline that describes the percentage of test questions, which can be expected to occur from each of the six outline sections. 



Qualified Instructions

Instructors, selected for their expertise in the subject matter of their presentation topic, present each of the segments found in the Study Guide. Most of the instructors are HRCI-certified instructors, or they possess other certifications such as CCP, CEBS, JD or a PhD. Fields may be covered in as many as three nights of presentation to cover all of the areas in the Study Guide. Time is allotted based on the percentages found in the HRCI content outline itself.  An area of study that has a heavier emphasis on the content outline will receive more time in the course. 

Pre & Post-Test Assessment


Students are given a pre-test on the first night of class. Results of this assessment are provided to students to help them assess their areas of need and plan their study emphasis. On the last evening of class, students are given a post-test assessment with results again provided to each individual. 



Study Tips & Instructor Assistance


Many instructors provide additional study material on their area of instruction as well. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors with questions. Each instructor provides personal contact information so students can contact him or her at any time during the course. Although a topic may be allotted only one night of instruction, oftentimes students will cover that topic on their own study time at a later date. Our instructors are eager to help a fellow HR Professional in their exam preparation.

Books & Other Study Materials

Access to the study guide is provided once your registration fee has been paid and one week prior to the start of class. However, there is a list of recommended textbooks that are provided to the student along with instructions on how to order the book through the SHRM website.

It is recommended that students have access to sources of study in addition to the study guide. Even an old HR textbook from your college days will be beneficial if you do not wish to purchase a new textbook. Sometimes these materials can be checked out from a library at no cost. Additionally, don’t overlook the Internet for great study materials. The SHRM website has some valuable resources, as do many other websites.

Study Groups

The certification committee will assist you in whatever way we can to form study groups outside of class time. The Certification Course covers the topics with a very broad stroke aimed at both the PHR (generalist) student and the SPHR (strategic) student. Instructors can also assist groups with additional direction or questions outside of class. 

The Certification Prep Course provides supplementary study materials specific to the strategic nature of the SPHR candidate. Additionally there will be built-in opportunities for the SPHR candidates to participate in study sessions specific to the strategic nature of the SPHR exam. 



If you have additional questions about the HRAM Certification Course, contact the HRAM office at staff@hram.org or (402) 932-1007. Additional information about PHR and SPHR Certification can be found on the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org

Exam Preparation

HRCI does not endorse any study materials or products. The certification exam is considered a self-study exam, which is designed to test candidates on the knowledge they have already obtained through professional experience. 



There are several options for preparing for the exam:

  • SHRM Certification Preparation Course is a 3-day course offered in various parts of the country which is designed to prepare a candidate for the PHR or SPHR exam. Information is available on the SHRM Website, www.shrm.org.
  • Materials such as the Certification Guide – a 200-page book with questions and answers –are available from the SHRM Store. These materials could be a part of your preparation for the exam.
  • HRAM, the Human Resource Association of the Midlands, like many local chapters, offers an affordable Certification Preparation Course that has been quite successful. The course includes a study guide designed around the functional areas included in HRCI’s content outline. Other certified professionals present the modules over 16 weeks. There is a pre-test and a post-test assessment, which helps you assess your readiness to take the exam. More information on this exam is available on this HRAM Website or by contacting the HRAM office at staff@hram.org or (402) 932-1007.

HRAM Prep Course and the SPHR

The HRAM Certification Course is strongly oriented toward the general knowledge represented by the PHR exam. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be very helpful as you study for the SPHR exam. It means that the SPHR candidate will have to work at applying the general knowledge that the Certification Course presents to management, policy or strategic experience they have had.

It is strongly recommended that the SPHR candidate have 6-8 years of exempt level experience. If this experience is in policy-making or a strategic level of HR, it will greatly enhance the ability to apply knowledge presented in the Certification Course. 

We recommend that both PHR and SPHR candidates form small study groups outside the classroom as well. For the SPHR candidate, organized discussion groups can really help to apply the materials presented as well as share a wealth of experience among the members.

Upcoming Events

06.23 - June Strategic HR Leadership Forum 2017
8:00 am - 9:30 am
07.11 - July Member Orientation 2017
10:30 am - 11:15 am
07.11 - July Program 2017
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
07.26 - Government Affairs July Webinar 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

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Human Resource Association of the Midlands

Rockbrook Village    
11060 Oak Street, Suite 5    Omaha, NE 68144
P  402.932.1007    F  402.932.1095

© 2017 Human Resource Association of the Midlands. All rights reserved.

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