Guinea Pig

December 2nd, 2015

Do you ever feel like the guinea pig? I don’t mean the furry critter that looks and smells like a rat, but the one that you could interchange the word SUCKER for, or that the dictionary defines as a ‘subject of research, experimentation, or testing.’ The unfortunate thing is, when you are the guinea pig, you know it. You find yourself being nominated by your less-than-daring friends into doing things like going down a steep slope on a sled, while they stand cheering from a safe distance, or walking out onto the ice, just to see if it is frozen solid yet. The guinea pig is either crazy or brave, depending on the situation, and how well your friends “sell it.”

Taking the HR Certification Exam doesn’t need to be one of these situations. You do not need to go into the exam blind. The benefit of coming to HRCP for help and study materials is that we have done all the leg work for you. Our staff members at HRCP have passed the HR certification exams MANY times. We certify every three years by examination, the best way to ensure that the HRCP Program is up-to-date.

In addition to the thousands of individuals who have prepared for certification using our materials, many organizations—including human resource associations, employers’ groups, and universities—have adopted our materials for their certification study groups. We partner with individuals and groups who have the experience to serve as another resource for you. Don’t be a self-appointed guinea pig. We have navigated the scary part for you.

The updated 2016 HRCP study materials will be coming out soon! Check our website for updates:

Don’t miss out on our extended HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF the HR Quick Study Flash Cards through Dec 31, 2015 (regular price $25). Use GIVING as the Discount Code at checkout.

HR Certification Frustration

May 6th, 2015

I spoke with a man last week who got riled up just talking to me about HR Certification. I was standing behind him while waiting in a very long line, so we struck up a conversation to pass the time. Rick introduced himself and told me he worked at a nearby high-tech company. He is the Director of Safety at his company, and has been for almost ten years. I naturally asked him if he had taken the HR Certification exam. Bad idea. He erupted into this rant about how he had spent and arm and a leg in study materials, (from another company, not ours) participated in an organized prep course and spent hours on his own studying for the exam, only to find he did not pass. I felt horrible. I wouldn’t have asked if I knew what an uncomfortable topic it would turn out to be. I couldn’t help myself, however when I asked, “Are you going to take the exam again?”

Rick was very polite. He said he would LOVE to have his SPHR Certification, but let me know in no uncertain terms that he had NO CONFIDENCE in the study materials he had purchased. It was a beautiful set up for me. It was perfect! I couldn’t have planned a better introduction if I tried! But I choked. It felt like it was too easy… like picking low-hanging fruit.

I mentioned the “You Pass or Your Money Back” guarantee on our website and told him to look us up. He couldn’t believe the guarantee, and wanted more explanation, thinking it was too good to be true. Just then, we got to the front of the line and we said goodbye. My opportunity for a sales pitch was over.

So Rick, here is the rest of my sales pitch:

Having the HR Certification on your resume can do nothing but enhance your resume and increase your skills in your current career. The HRCP program thoroughly covers the essential topics in human resource management. The HRCP program is based on the content outline used by the HRCI in designing the PHR and SPHR exams. By passing the Certification Exam you will have a body of knowledge that can continue with you in whatever career path you take. There is a “You Pass or Your Money Back” guarantee that you will love. No kidding! There is no down side to ordering the materials and preparing for the exam. We have confidence in you! We will cheer you on!

Talking Shop

December 15th, 2014

My family recently spent a week at my parent’s home for the Thanksgiving holiday consuming far too many calories and spending far too much money on gifts to be given the next time our family members gather.

On a few occasions I took the opportunity to “talk shop” with my dad, who is also involved in ALL things HR. It is amazing how “talking shop” can build and rejuvenate if you are talking to someone who has an understanding of your challenges at work. Visiting about “Matt from Marketing” who gets hopelessly drunk at every holiday work party, or “Patti from Purchasing” who is dating her way through the sales force becomes more of therapy session or an HR strategies discussion rather than a gossip fest. in addition to our page on Facebook can provide you with those meaningful work connections if you are looking for the PHR/SPHR Prep Courses. “Talking Shop” can not only lift and support you in your chosen career in HR, it can also be a means to educate and support you while furthering your career by certification. Not all HR conversations have to be about “Matt from Marketing” or “Patti from Purchasing” who provides enough gossip to surround three water coolers.

Why not reach out to “talk shop” with a study group who can prepare you for the PHR/SPHR exam?

Use it or Lose it

November 20th, 2014

How does the old saying go? “IF YOU DON’T USE IT, YOU’LL LOSE IT.” I’m reminded of this truth every day, feeling every muscle ache and pain as I will myself out of bed at 5:30 am. I join a small but very determined group, ranging in a wide spectrum of fitness level every day at a local church parking lot to run, walk, or do a boot camp fitness routine together, depending on the day of the week. “IF YOU DON’T USE IT, YOU’LL LOSE IT” runs through my head with each stride like a broken record player. The problem I face is that “I didn’t use it” for many years, so I “lost it” and I’m attempting to find it again.

You ask, “How does this have anything to do with HR? My point is that anything that you have had, whether it is a muscle group, or a body of knowledge, must be used regularly so that it does not go the way of my former fitness. Human Resource principles must be reviewed regularly to keep fresh in your mind. You may have studied very hard at one point to pass the PHR or SPHR exam, but only keep up-to- date on a small percentage of those items as it relates to your current job. A quick review performed regularly will keep essential HR practices and key concepts out of the cobwebs. Most of our HRCP customers keep their study manuals as resource materials at work. Each person marks them in a fashion that makes sense only to them, with things like colorful tags, sticky notes, or color highlighters.

Whatever your method of marking or review, HRCP can help you with your retention. HRCP provides flashcards or practice tests that can keep your body of knowledge mentally accessible. We will help you “USE IT,” because it’s a lot of work if you have to go “find it” again.

HR Certification and Buzzards

November 9th, 2014

“That test was hangin’ over me like a buzzard fixin’ to peck out my eyes!”
We can’t all express our feelings about taking the Certification exam as descriptively as my new friend from Texas, but I think we all agree that we can share in the same emotion and trepidation. The fear of failure is a real concern for all of us. Putting ourselves “out there” to be judged for what we do or do not know takes courage and emotional fortitude.
However, the benefits of Certification should far outweigh the fear of trying. There is no “down side” to preparing to take the exam. In many instances, your employer will pick up your tab for the exam and study materials. And with the “You PASS of your Money Back” guarantee, isn’t it time you move ahead?
Our HRCP team members will be your biggest cheerleaders. Terri may even do a cartwheel for you, or Laura may do a little jig. We will help you prepare. Isn’t that “buzzard fixin’ to peck out your eye” motivation enough?

Jen Throckmorton

Dusting out the cobwebs

November 6th, 2014

Oh, how time flies. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted an entry on our blog. We have been busy with so many things. We are preparing to make the HRCP Program available in an online format in addition to the printed program. Our 2015 edition will be ready to roll (both in print and online) by the beginning of the year. We have rolled out our new materials for the HRMP and HRBP exams. We will also soon have them available online. We are also translating the HRMP and HRBP materials into Spanish!

I am turning the blog over to HRCP co-founder, Jen Throckmorton. Henceforth, expect to hear from her on a more regular basis than you’ve been hearing from me.

Best, Laura Middleton

You Pass or Your Money Back!

March 14th, 2012


If you don’t pass the PHR or SPHR exam, we’ll refund your money.

We are so certain that using the HRCP Program will prepare you to pass the HR certification exam, we’ll give you your money back if you don’t pass. Here’s how to qualify:

  1. Purchase the complete 2012 HRCP Program at
  2. Read and study all six units.
  3. Complete all 14 practice exams with an 80% pass rate. (You can retake them as needed.)
  4. Take the PHR or SPHR exam. If you don’t pass, we’ll refund the purchase price of the HRCP Program.

How can we offer a money-back guarantee? We have confidence in the HRCP Program. If you learn the material and take the practice exams, you will be prepared to pass the PHR/SPHR exam. We’re willing to bet on it.

Learn more here:

Introducing the New HRCP Website

December 23rd, 2010

We’ve just moved into our new digs! We’ve been working on an update to our website for months. It’s a lovely Christmas present for us to have the new site finally active.

We’re really excited about the new site. It integrates a number of different processes and provides a better overall experience for visitors to our site. The shopping cart system is redesigned for a more efficient check-out process. And in the new “My HRCP” section, customers have immediate access to the online resources they have purchased.

We’ve doubled the number of review questions in our test bank, and the upgraded site also provides better resources for those teaching HR certification preparation classes.

Drop by for a visit!

Other exciting news: We’ve begun shipping the new 2011 edition of the HRCP Program!

Happy Holidays to all!

June Gloom? What June Gloom?

July 1st, 2010

We’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to San Diego for the annual SHRM Conference and Expo. The weather was great! The locals call it “June Gloom,” but I call it perfect: overcast with temperatures in the 60s. (It’s in the nineties here at home today. Ugh.) Plus, we were able to visit with HR professionals from all over the place. HR people are some of the best people on the planet. There was certainly no gloom inside of the convention center.

We were delighted to meet up with several of the instructors who teach PHR and SPHR prep classes using the HRCP Program. Amanda Close, who teaches in the Seattle area, came and hung out with us in our booth for three days. She is a better salesperson by far than any of us! Plus she’s a warm and wonderful person. Lucky are the HR folks who prepare for the exam under her tutelage.

Our booth also became the meeting spot for the Jacquelyn Thorp fan club. She instructs prep courses in Southern California using the HRCP Program. We had people stopping by our booth throughout the day looking for Jacquelyn. She has quite a following. Like a rock star.

Sheri Bias came by while I was away from the booth, and I’m so sad I didn’t have the chance to meet her. She works with HR Synergy and has provided invaluable feedback on our human resource development unit.

Beth Berret stopped by to say hello. She uses the HRCP Program in their Ph.D. program at Alvernia University. (A little-known fact about the HRCP Program is that it is used for educational and training programs that have nothing to do with human resource certification. Universities love the HRCP Program because it is more current than a textbook. We update the HRCP Program every year, and textbooks are out-of-date before they even come off the press, with a new edition still three to five years away.)

It was fun to meet Ben Eubanks from UpstartHR in person. He’s been so kind to mention us frequently on his website. He has sent a good many PHR and SPHR hopefuls our way.

We talked to dozens of people who used our materials to prepare for the exams, and dozens more who plan to in the future. It was a great event for us. I wish the SHRM conference were in San Diego every year. Love that June Gloom!

Back from beyond

May 12th, 2010

I accidentally deleted my blog last week. I mean I completely nuked it. Dead. Gone. Obliterated.

Fortunately, I had a fairly recent backup, so I didn’t lose much. I would have lost the following data if I had posted it when the information was first available. So, I’m posting it now. (Warning: Don’t try to follow that logic.)

Here are the PHR and SPHR pass rates from 2005 to the December 2009-January 2010 test window. (Click on the graphic to see it bigger.)


As you can see, there was a little, one-point bounce on each exam, but the pass rates remain lower in the past two years than they’ve been since the exams became computer-based in 2004.

I’ll be interested to see how things go with the current test window. And to those who are currently preparing for the PHR or SPHR exams: Reverse the trend, my friends. Reverse the trend!