When the Society of Human Resource Management announced last May that it was launching a new certification system for HR professionals, the initial reviews weren't kind.

Some HR professionals questioned the point of creating a new system. Others questioned SHRM's motivation, with the HR Capitalist blog calling it a money grab. And the HR Certification Institute, the organization that's overseen the industry-standard Professional in Human Resources and Senior Professional in Human Resources certifications since 1976, said SHRM cut HRCI out of the planning process for the new system.

Nine months later, as the new arrival took its first steps by officially offering certification testing to HR professionals, a sense of détente had settled in. With the Jan. 5 launch date of exams for the new certifications—SHRM-Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)—many in the industry are signing up for the new system, but taking a wait-and-see attitude overall on which certification system is best.

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