Learning Topic

SHRM Body of Competency andKnowledge

SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge

The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) is based

on the SHRM Competency Model. This competency model identifies the

knowledge areas, skills, and abilities that are essential for HR

professionals to succeed in the field. Beginning in 2011, this list of skills

and competencies was developed through research and consultation with

a broad range of HR professionals (Society for Human Resource

Management, n.d.). In addition to listing key behavioral competencies and

knowledge areas, the SHRM BoCK provides information about the

structure and content of SHRM's certification examinations, including the

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM‐CP) exam.

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The SHRM BoCK has two main sections: business competencies and HR

functional areas of expertise. This combination of active behaviors and

conceptual knowledge is key to this competency model because

successful HR practitioners go beyond theory to skilled application.

Through SHRM BoCK's core areas, HR professionals can facilitate a

strategic mindset, influence individual performance, and help achieve

successful business outcomes (Society for Human Resource Management,


As you prepare for the SHRM‐CP exam, you may find it valuable to use

this SHRM‐CP Exam Study Guide (/content/dam/course‐content


CP%20Exam%20Study%20Guide.docx) to make note of what you

already know and what you need to revisit in each of the competency

areas. As you review the study material and conduct your own research,

you can use the final column to capture notes of what you learn along the

way. (/content/dam/course‐content/tus/hrmn/hrmn‐495/document


The following information and resources provide additional details about

the SHRM BoCK, including how to use the framework as a study resource

for the SHRM‐CP exam:

SHRM BoCK Behavioral Competencies

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The first cluster, or grouping of behavioral

competencies, includes two sub‐

competencies: (1) leadership and navigation

and (2) ethical practice. This cluster

emphasizes the HR professional's ability to

act as a leader within an organization and

influence the strategic direction and culture

of the organization. A successful HR

professional balances a keen strategic

mindset with a commitment to promoting

high ethical standards.


The second cluster includes three

competencies specific to interpersonal

dynamics: relationship management,

communication, and global and cultural

effectiveness. This grouping of

competencies focuses on the HR

professional's ability to build strong

relationships among members of the

organization, navigate conflict,

communicate with clarity and empathy, and

promote diversity and inclusion in the


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The final cluster of behavioral competencies

includes three sub‐competencies: business

acumen, consultation, and critical

evaluation. These competencies require HR

professionals to understand business and

operational best practices, work

collaboratively within the organization, use

data to identify opportunities for growth,

facilitate change management, and garner

support from key stakeholders.

SHRM BoCK Knowledge Competencies


The first area of HR knowledge, People,

includes five functional areas: HR strategic

planning, talent acquisition, employee

engagement and retention, learning and

development, and total rewards. These

areas are united in their emphasis on

identifying, retaining, and engaging high‐

quality employees. HR professionals play a

central role in defining the strategy that

helps businesses achieve these goals. As the

champion for the employees, it is essential

that an HR professional has deep

knowledge of the activities and best

practices associated with each of these

functional areas.

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The second domain within the HR

knowledge competencies is Organization.

The five functional areas in this domain

focus on the structure and procedures

deployed by HR professionals to help

support the functioning of the business.

They are the structure of the HR function,

organizational effectiveness and

development, workforce management,

employee and labor relations, and

technology management.


The final area within the knowledge

competencies is Workplace. There are five

functional areas in this domain: HR in the

global context, diversity and inclusion, risk

management, corporate social responsibility

(CSR), and US employment law and

regulations. Successful HR professionals

must have a strong knowledge of the laws,

regulations, ethical principles, and cultural

dynamics that play a role in business and

employee relations. This knowledge,

combined with the behavioral

competencies, equips HR professionals to

be champions for justice, equality, and

inclusivity within the workforce.

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Society for Human Resource Management. (n.d.). The SHRM Body of

Competency and Knowledge.


• SHRM BoCK Model (


• SHRM HR Competency Model



• 2021 SHRM Certification Handbook












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