It looked like the icy four-year relationship between HR certification organizations the Society for Human Resource Management and HR Certification Institute was beginning to thaw. The chill, however, seemed to quickly return.
Society for Human Resource Management CEO Johnny C. Taylor said in a video interview with Workforce Editorial Director Rick Bell taped May 9 that he is scheduled to meet with HR Certification Institute CEO Amy Dufrane some time during SHRM’s annual conference that runs June 17-20 in Chicago.
After Workforce posted the video on Friday, June 8, HRCI corporate communications manager Barry Lawrence responded via Twitter that “HRCI has no knowledge of an invitation from #SHRM. But we are excited to meet with the HR community to talk about the future of #HR and #HRCI innovations in certification, education and assessment.”
Dufrane confirmed June 11 that she did not hear about the meeting until an internal communications employee told her what Taylor said. “That was the first I knew of our summit,” she said. “I was surprised to learn that there was apparently some kind of meeting on our schedule.”
She added that she has yet to hear from SHRM since Taylor’s interview posted June 8.
Taylor, meanwhile, maintains that what he said in his interview was accurate from what he knew.
“HRCI is exhibiting at SHRM’s Annual Conference & Exposition in Chicago. So what better time for me, as SHRM’s new CEO, to meet with HRCI’s leader. A mutual contact invited me to do so, and it would be my pleasure to meet with HRCI,” said Taylor in an email statement. “After all, we both work to serve HR professionals.”
Efforts to confirm the identity of the mutual contact went unanswered by SHRM or Taylor.
Dufrane reiterated that she has not been approached by anyone representing or affiliated with SHRM trying to set up a meeting between her and Taylor.
Tensions between HRCI and SHRM had largely subsided since SHRM announced its own certification program in 2014. According to a 2014 article in Workforce by reporter Rita Pyrillis, Dufrane said, “We’ve had a relationship with SHRM for 37 years and we would have loved for them to talk with us about this, but they chose not to.” At the same time, then-SHRM CEO Hank Jackson said that he was “puzzled and disappointed by Dufrane’s assertion that HRCI did not know that SHRM was launching its own certification.” He also said at the time that that the two groups had been working together for months on the certification issue.
Further, HRCI did not attend SHRM’s 2014 annual conference, and HRCI also moved out of SHRM’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, that same year.
Although both organizations differ on this new HRCI-SHRM meeting, both stated interest in meeting up during the conference.
“Our vision is that people and organizations perform better because of us. We have partners around the world,” Dufrane said. “I have always been open to having discussions with folks around the world about how we can do that, how we can execute on our vision.”
Andie Burjek is an associate editor at Workforce. Comment below or email email@example.com.