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!

Tomato sauce: a cautionary tale

October 19th, 2009

I’m a farm girl. I grew up planting, watering, hoeing, and harvesting fruits and vegetables with my family. Each fall, my mom guided us through the process of canning and freezing much of our produce for use during the winter months ahead. As an adult, I’ve occasionally made the pilgrimage home to help with the fall harvest, but what I had never done, until this year, was attempt to preserve crops harvested from my own small garden. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes this season, and the few slices we used in sandwiches and salads and the generous gifts we gave to neighbors were barely making a dent in our bounty, so I decided to make and preserve tomato sauce. I remembered with nostalgia the hours and hours we spent working as a family and the satisfaction of seeing, at the end of the day, rows of bottled sauce lined up on the kitchen counter. It would be a good experience for the kids, I thought, teach them the value of and satisfaction in good hard work.

The kids were surprisingly enthusiastic about the project. They picked and washed the tomatoes, and they took turns cranking the handle on the strainer/sauce maker. They created such a mess of tomato splatters that it would have been alarming to anyone unaware that it was tomato sauce, not blood. The kids were excited to fill my largest pot to the brim with the bright red, bubbly liquid. I let the sauce simmer and reduce for hours (as is necessary in the tomato-sauce-making process), and the kids had long since gone to bed by the time the sauce had thickened to my satisfaction. I pictured the kids waking up in the morning and finding the rows of bottled sauce lined up on the kitchen counter. They’d be so pleased and satisfied! What lessons of work and self-sufficiency would have been learned!

Then, I measured out the results of our labors.

Two quarts.

Two measly quarts.

I poured the sauce into a couple of Ziplock bags and tossed it in the freezer.

Two quarts.


I’m afraid that some people have a similar reaction when they take the PHR or SPHR exam. They’ve put in a lot of effort. They’ve studied hard. But the test is not what they were expecting, and their result is not what they were hoping for.

Before I endeavored to preserve tomatoes, I should have called Mom. She would have let me know what I would need in order to produce my desired result of rows and rows of bottled sauce: a lot more tomatoes, for one, and a lot more time. Plus, a much bigger pot.

Similarly, those who plan to take the PHR or SPHR exam should seek guidance from those who have been through the process before, so they have a clearer picture of what to expect and what they need to do to achieve their desired result.

We’ve been there, and we’re here to help. If you would like to receive PHR and SPHR study hints and test-taking tips via email, click here to sign up. We’ll also notify you of any promotional offers we have available at HRCP.

All-time low SPHR and PHR pass rates

August 20th, 2009

I think it’s pretty safe to call it a trend. Pass rates on the HR certification exams have continued to decline, with both the PHR and SPHR exams hitting all-time lows in 2009. Here is what the results look like since 2005:


I’m not sure what to make of it. I don’t think human resource professionals are getting dumber. Or studying less. So, why the lower pass rates? Having taken the SPHR exam five times since 1997 (once every three years to recertify), I have some historical perspective on the matter. And here’s my conclusion:

The exam is getting harder.

And it’s not that the field of human resources is getting trickier. It’s that the exam questions are. See my reaction to taking the exam a couple of months ago.

Top 10 Questions: 10. How often do you update the HRCP Program?

August 10th, 2009

We update the HRCP Program every year. We release a new edition each January.

Our updates include

  • changes in legislation that impact the field of human resource management;
  • relevant court cases;
  • developments in human resource practices; and
  • statistical data regarding employment, demographics, and etc.

Also, we take the certification exams ourselves (and get feedback from others who have taken the exams) to ensure that we are covering all essential topics. We’ll start the update process soon so we can have our materials to the press before Thanksgiving. 2010! It will soon be upon us!

In Memoriam: Jan Karow

August 5th, 2009

I am taking a break from answering my Top 10 Questions to honor the memory of a man who helped shape the direction of our company. When we released the first edition of our materials 14 years ago, we were focused on providing an exam preparation tool for individuals preparing for the PHR and SPHR exams. In fact, our materials even had a different title back then: Human Resource Certification Self-Study Program. Then one morning I got a call from Jan Karow. He worked with the Employers Association in Charlotte, North Carolina, he explained, where he taught preparation courses for the HR certification exams. He hadn’t been happy with any of the study resources available, so he had started writing his own. “Then I saw an advertisement for your materials,” he said, “so I ordered a copy. After your books arrived and I looked through them, I quit writing.”

And then he placed an order. Our first group order.

Our perspective of what HRCP could be shifted dramatically. And we couldn’t have had a better pioneering instructor than Jan Karow. His classes achieved astounding pass rates. (I think maybe he scared his students into passing the exams.) He was a walking encyclopedia of HR knowledge, and he made valuable suggestions on how we could improve our materials. Now, a little more than a decade later, about half of our sales are to ongoing study groups across the country and around the world. But Jan’s group will always have a special place in our hearts, because his was first.

Jan Karow passed away on July 9, 2009, at the much-too-young age of 59.

Top 10 Questions: 9. Do you have materials specifically for the SPHR exam?

August 3rd, 2009

The PHR exam and the SPHR exam both cover the same six functional areas of human resource management. The exams have different emphasis within those areas, but the content is the same. We provide one set of materials that is designed to prepare both PHR and SPHR candidates for their exams. Within the HRCP Program, areas that are particularly relevant to one exam or the other are marked as such.

So, do we have materials specifically for the SPHR exam? Yes. And the same materials are also specifically for the PHR exam.

Top 10 Questions: 8. Did you pay them to say that?

July 30th, 2009

Heh, heh. This is one of my favorites.

Repeatedly, as we talked with visitors at our booth at the SHRM conference, we’d have other people call out as they walked by, “I just passed the SPHR using your materials! Thanks!” or “Your flash cards rock!” or “Our chapter uses HRCP. It’s the best!”

The visitors’ usual response: “Did you pay them to say that?”

Nope. Not a penny.