One of the first things I look at is whether or not the certification will transfer over if I am not certified. A few years back, there was an SHRM-SCP given out by Microsoft. The idea behind the certification was to give people with Microsoft experience a jump start on getting into this field. What they did not realize is that people who had never even dealt with Microsoft systems were taking the exam, while those who had were doing just fine. If you are someone who has never dealt with Microsoft computers, it might make sense to skip the training and take the test without the SHRM certification.
Another important consideration is what other certifications are being offered by the company offering the training. Are they certifying for the basic level, or are they going to be extending it? The exams offered today are much more difficult than they used to be. Many people who have taken today’s exams are amazed at how difficult they are. They also realize that the competition has become so intense that companies are scrambling to get new candidates to take their tests.
The third thing I look at is the cost of the training. Just because someone else is offering certification training for a price does not mean it is affordable. Most people get into this field with very little money, if any at all. Even if someone does have some money to get into the training, most times they are looking for a way to get out from under the debt as quickly as possible.
If you find that there is any kind of reputation attached to a particular school or website, investigate it. Find out where people are saying this school is, and if it is credible. The reputation of the people offering the certification is an important indicator of how likely you are to pass the exam. When you do find something, such as a website with a great reputation, this should be one of your determining factors.
The final thing to consider is the amount of time you will have for the training. There is often a big gap between the actual exam date and when you will start to receive the certification. You want to make sure that you can manage this time while you are busy working, and not juggling too many different things. This will be your only real opportunity to learn the material, so make sure you are able to take advantage of it.
Take some time to think about what skills you already have. If you are familiar with medical transcription, this is probably the route you should take. If you have no experience, however, look towards taking a more generic training course that will give you the foundation you need. Some popular options include Health Management Associates, which usually focuses on leadership and managerial skills. Some other popular certifications are Registered Health Information Technician, which are more oriented towards administrative and managerial skills; and Health Information Security, which are more related to information technology.
Once you have found a list of top-rated medical schools, you can begin searching for a suitable program. Most of the certifications require a passing score on the MCAT. This score is usually based on your prior knowledge, so you should spend some time researching the different options. Once you’ve found the right training and exam, you will have all the tools you need in order to pass the SHRM certification exam.