HR Insights 6 min

Easy Ways to Get Free HRCI Credits for Recertification

August 21, 2019

You stayed up late nights studying, spent hundreds of dollars, and put in some seriously hard work for your HRCI certification, and you’re not about to let it expire! Unfortunately, HR certification is not a one-and-done deal; you have to get HRCI recertified every three years.

Rather than go through the pain of taking the certification test again, you can earn recertification credits. Most of the HRCI certifications require 60 recertification credits. (Excluding aPHR and aPHRi which require 45.) You can earn recertification credits by attending conferences, watching webinars, participating in online courses, and volunteering. But, some of these learning experiences can be expensive, and your wallet might already be feeling the expense of certification.

Good news! There are opportunities to earn free HRCI recertification credits.

How to Get Free HRCI Credits

The HRCI website suggests several ways to obtain free or low-cost HRCI credits:

Pre-Approved Programs

You can find a large selection of pre-approved webinars via the Human Capital Institute (HCI) when you sign up for a free HCI account. You can also find free webinars around the web (which we will share more about in the next section).

Self-Reported Programs

In-house training can qualify for recertification credit even if it was not pre-approved. You must be able to tie the activity directly back to the HRCI Exam Content Outline associated with your certificate, and it must add to your professional HR knowledge. You will not be able to count an activity focused on personal development such as a time management class or stress reduction course. If an activity was not pre-approved by the HRCI, you will need to explain on your recertification application how the learning opportunity relates to your Exam Content Outline so it can be reviewed by an HRCI Reviewer.

HRCI Resources

The HRCI provides a list of links to free HRCI webinars, videos, and ebooks you can learn from for free recertification credits. Bookmark this list, and browse it when a meeting gets canceled and an extra hour opens up in your day.

On-the-Job Experience

Have a lot of new-to-you projects coming up? Those can qualify for up to 40 credits. For example, if you are in charge of rewriting your employee handbook, the hours you spend working on it can earn you credits. To qualify, you will need to send a sample of your work (you can exclude any confidential information) and a letter from your supervisor detailing your contribution.


You can earn credits by volunteering in a position for an HR-related organization, its local chapter, or HR organization board. A volunteer role can take a lot of work, but it can get you up to 40 free recertification credits, not to mention the experience will look fantastic on your resume. In your recertification application you will need to include at least one of the following:

  • A letter from the organization or chapter you volunteered with confirming that you held the position and the dates you held the position
  • A one-page max summary of the content you covered in your role
  • An email detailing your participation in a survey or focus group


Are you an expert on an HR topic? Look for an opportunity to teach a class, lead a workshop, or host a webinar and earn a few HR credits while doing so. This can be a great way to show off all the valuable information you’ve picked up getting and staying HRCI certified.

HR Membership

As an HR professional, you are probably already a member of an HR group or two. Send in a copy of your membership card and membership dates or a receipt that includes your membership dates, and you’ve just earned yourself up to 12 credits. Joining most HR associations at a national or local level can cost you a bit, so be sure to claim your credits if you’re already a member.

Free HRCI-Approved Webinars

Free HRCI credit webinars are such a fantastic way to get your recertification credits that they get their own section of this blog post. For most, all you have to do is sit back and watch. You’ll gain exciting insights from HR thought leaders and it will only take you about an hour for each webinar. Here are a few places you can find free HRCI webinars to get you started:

Check out our lineup of upcoming HR webinars and get registered today.

BambooHR HRCI Webinars

Do you enjoy BambooHR blog posts? You’ll love our free HRCI webinars too. You can register for our upcoming webinars here. While we have a library full of on-demand webinars you may enjoy, you will only get HRCI recertification credits for watching our HRCI webinars live, so be sure to join us for our upcoming presentations and get one credit for each live webinar you watch.

You can also earn free HRCI credits by joining us for our annual BambooHR Virtual Summit, the world’s largest virtual summit dedicated to uplifting the HR industry. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from industry experts, authors, thought leaders, executive coaches, and visionaries. Register now so you don’t miss out on these free credits.


If watching live doesn’t always fit into your schedule, you can check out on-demand, for-credit webinars from BizLibrary. Not all of their on-demand webinars will get you credit, so be sure to look for the HRCI symbol at the bottom of the page. To get a taste for free BizLibrary webinars, try out some of these:

HR Daily Advisor

HR Daily Advisor will link you to HR webinars from all over the Internet. Be sure to verify that webinars are HRCI credit approved and if you need to watch live to earn credit or can earn credit by watching later.

While a majority of your HRCI recertification credits are just general credits, you will need a few specialized credits for most certifications. The filtering tool on lets you filter for HRCI General, Global, Business, and California credit webinars.

The Benefits of Recertification

Getting recertified is about more than just keeping an extra line on your resume. Your recertification credits aren’t just learning opportunities for you to stay current with the HR industry, but they’re also ongoing sources for new ideas to make your organization an even better place to work.

Don’t feel daunted by needing 60 credits to recertify. Keep track of the recertification activities you complete and thoughtfully spread them out over the three years. If you take advantage of free opportunities, HRCI recertification can be decently low-cost and a great experience builder.

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Danielle Cronquist

Danielle Cronquist is a copywriter for BambooHR. Her six years as a professional writer are supported by a degree in English with a minor in editing. At BambooHR, she focuses on creating content that gives people the tools and knowledge they need to do great work and create great workplaces.