HRIP Examination Blueprint


This is an examination blueprint, also referred to as a specification, for IHRIM’s Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) Certification Examination. The blueprint is used as a map to create the certification examination content. It contains information about the target candidate for whom the examination is written and the areas of knowledge tested. Finally, an appeal process exists regarding the HRIP credentialing process outlined below.

Candidate Qualification Description

The description below outlines the key competencies describing a candidate's primary job responsibilities and relevant knowledge content areas.

Type of Candidate Description of Candidate
Clearly Qualified 5 plus years of experience
  • Can analyze, understand and contribute to the development of an HR Technology Strategy.
  • Has developed a business case for implementations or enhancements.
  • Can translate business requirements into technology specifications.
  • Has a broad understanding of HR functions and processes including HR Benefits, Payroll and Talent Management.
  • Has participated in a systems assessment or evaluati on and hasassisted with the recommendations for systems solution and development of an implementation plan.
  • Can evaluate, analyze, design, and maintain company Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS).
  • Understands vendor and contract management.
  • Understands and has participated in all phases of HRMS implementation or enhancement including selection, analysis, design, testing, training and support.
  • Able to identify new HR needs and the technology solutions to fulfill these needs based on business strategy and needs.
  • Familiar with HR policies and procedures – both internal and external - that influence data management (e.g., compliance issues).
  • Has demonstrated experience working in cross-functional teams and has the ability to contribute positively to internal communication and change management strategy as it pertains to the implementation and sustainability of Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS).
  • Has served in a project lead role and demonstrated project management skills.
  • Possesses strong familiarity with HR technology trends.
May or May Not Be Qualified 3 to 5 years experience
  • Understands how an HRMS business case is formed and has been a contributor to creating one for an implementation or enhancements.
  • Can translate user needs and requirements into system specifications and requirements.
  • Supports the evaluation, design and ongoing operations of company Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) with direction from a more senior team member.
  • Can assist in identifying new HR needs and the technology solutions to fulfill these needs.
  • Understands the key features needed to implement a Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS).
  • Understands and has participated in several phases of HRMS implementation, including selection, analysis, design, testing, training and support.
  • Has a broad understanding of most HR functions and processes, including Benefits, Payroll, and Talent Management.
  • Has some proven project management skills and has been a member of a systems project team.
  • Understands the principles of project management with moderate project experience.
  • Familiar with HR technology and business trends.
Informed but Not Qualified Less than 3 years experience
  • Knows concepts needed to develop a business case.
  • Recognizes features and benefits of a Human Resource Management System.
  • Supports the ongoing operation of a company Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) with close supervision.
  • Has a general understanding of HR technology solutions.
  • Has a general understanding of project management, but project experience limited.
  • Has familiarity with HR Technology and business trends.

Relevant Knowledge

The candidate should be familiar with the following topics, which are not explicitly tested:

  • Presentation and facilitation
  • Business process flow analysis
  • Interviewing
  • Resource scheduling
  • Change Management
  • Future of HR Technology
  • Financial principles
  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Problem solving
  • Vendor and contract management
  • Software testing methodologies
  • Analysis

Examination Content Outline

This section provides the information on the knowledge domains, test objectives and example content covered on the examination. These are presented as guidelines and designed to help candidates prepare for the exam. The example content is not intended to limit the subject matter or to be all-inclusive of what might be covered in an examination.

The table below lists the high-level domains measured by this examination and the extent to which they are represented in the examination.

Domain % of Examination
1.0 Technology Strategy and Solutions Assessment15%
2.0 HR Technology and Business Processes30%
3.0 Systems Selection, Implementations and Upgrades30%
4.0 HR Systems Operations25%



Knowledge Domains

The knowledge domains measured by this examination are based on the main knowledge areas of an IHRIM Professional of Human Resources Information.

Domain 1 - Technology Strategy and Solutions Assessment

Content covered in this domain focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to determine business needs when creating strategic plans for the design and deployment of Human Resource technology and service delivery models for the enterprise.

1.1 Recognize the components of business case development for new HR systems and technology based on business requirements and decision drivers.

  • Business case analysis essentials • Demographics – globalization and localization requirements
  • Risk assessment
  • Key business decision drivers and requirements
  • Return on Investment (ROI) development, components and methods to be considered
  • Identification of solutions that positively impact business results
  • Identification of business problems and opportunities to achieve organizational goals

1.2 Recognize the methods for delivery of technology applications and how they best fit the needs and objectives of a strategy. Identify the differences between the delivery methods and pros/cons of each one.

  • Based on the business case and strategy, which method of technology delivery will best enable achievement of desired benefits
  • Delivery methods to consider, including:
    • Custom built applications
    • On Premise licensed software
    • Cloud or SaaS Subscription-based software or hosted applications
    • HRO, BPO, PEO
    • Ancillary requirements might include mobile, artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning.
    • Understanding of total cost of ownership for each model

1.3 Determine the components of an HR technology strategy, including recognizing the role of the business needs analysis, identifying the steps that are typically performed in a needs analysis and the deliverables from this work effort.

  • Strategy development
  • Business requirements development
  • Gap list creation – and alternative process changes to fit technology
  • Executive presentation that supports the business case
  • Governance Model
  • Data privacy considerations locally and globally

Domain 2 - HR Technology and Business Processes

Content covered in this domain focuses on the technologies and HR processes that support HR service delivery, and the use and advantages of technology and systems throughout the HR function.

2.1 Recognize the interrelationships/integrations among HR systems and other functional areas, 3rd party vendors, etc.

  • Enterprise data warehouse
  • System data integration
  • Reporting methods and tools
  • Finance, Budgeting, and Accounting systems
  • 3rd party Payroll-related providers
  • 3rd party Benefits-related providers
  • 3rd party Talent Management Systems
  • ERP systems (Finance and Supply Chain processes)
  • Other Best of Breed solutions that are not part of core HR technology suite

2.2 Recognize the key features, functions, and benefits of HR business applications in supporting the HR disciplines and processes.

  • Self –Service / Direct Access
  • Core Human Capital Management Processes
  • Talent Management and Acquisition Systems
  • Employment Branding/Careers Site Optimization
  • Time and Labor
  • Workflows
  • Dashboards
  • Analytics
  • Portals
  • Knowledge Management
  • Case Management (For HR Service Center Delivery)
  • Mobile enablement

Domain 3 – Systems Selection, Implementations and Upgrades

Content covered in this domain focuses on systems selection, implementation and upgrade methodologies and best practices to keep HR systems plans on track and improve chances for success

3.1 Identify the steps and components in creating business requirement documents.

  • Identify business process owner and subject matter experts for gathering requirements
  • Determine primary objective and clarify requirements
  • Prioritize needs
  • Determine system features/functions that are required
  • Evaluate current state and obstacles to reaching the desired future state.
  • Identify future state business processes
  • Identify key elements of the business requirements document
  • Tie requirements back to the strategy and business case
  • Verify IT Strategy and HCM Delivery Options
  • Evaluate available timeline and resources

3.2 Recognize key factors to be considered in managing vendor evaluation and selection.

  • Establishment of decision criteria
  • Business process and application needs
  • Vendor offerings relative to business needs
  • Establishment of evaluation criteria/matrix
  • Demonstration Scripts and their value
  • Contracts and service level agreements (Working with legal and procurement, ensure the service levels and deliverables meet the overall objectives and requirements of the business.)
  • Having a “sandbox” system to do self-evaluation

3.3 Identify the components that go into creating an HCM system evaluation and the factors to consider while reviewing the proposals.

  • Given list of business needs, identify requirements to be used in vendor selection and differentiation
  • RFP/RFI – major components of each
  • Decision process including decision criteria, decision drivers, priorities, etc.
  • Review and differentiation between vendor bids and proposals – knowing what to examine
  • Creation of business case for vendor evaluation/selection
  • Cost model comparisons
  • Global systems and their impact on selection

3.4 Recognize the important functions and phases of Project Management.

a. Managing a project and key deliverables in each project phase (based on a methodology) containing the following phases:

  • Initiation
    • Project Proposal and executive approval
    • Project Charter
  • Planning
    • Business Case
    • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
    • Process for managing scope creep
  • Executing
    • Implementation Plan
    • Business Continuity Plan
    • Executive leadership
  • Monitoring & Controls
    • Change Request form
    • Project Status Report
  • Completion/Closeout
    • Project Closure Report

b. The people side of project management and understanding the various roles that must be filled to create an effective project organization

  • Defining project roles & responsibilities
  • Negotiation
  • Relationship building
  • Conflict management
  • Resource planning

c. Critical success factors and how the main components of project management (Cost, Time, Resources) work

d. Addressing issues and how they affect project delivery

  • New requirements/scope change
  • Resource (people) availability
  • Resource (money) availability
  • Application bugs
  • Testing issues
  • Company reorganizations/changes
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

3.5 Recognize the components of a Change Management program for HR technology implementations and when they are used in the project management life cycle.

  • Identification of the need and business case for change
  • Analysis of organization ability to manage change
  • Creation of Stakeholder assessment
  • Creation of Communication plan
  • Creation of Training Plan
  • Assessment of change readiness
  • Execution of Change Plan

3.6 Recognize the tasks to be performed during the implementation phase of the project.

  • Functional and technical requirements definition
  • Interface development
  • Data conversion
  • Report creation (based on identified reports in the requirements gathering)
  • Prototyping
  • Security
  • Testing
  • Working with vendor and/or consultant teams

Domain 4 - HR Systems Operations

Content covered in this domain focuses on the ongoing processes involved in HR systems management, maintenance and operational considerations.

4.1 Recognize the capabilities and role of the appropriate analytic reporting methods to provide information in support of business operations.

  • Ability to take data and transform it into information
  • Analysis of data for trends
  • Understanding the concepts around Big Data
  • Identify how to structure reports and queries to derive information
  • Understand the use and benefits of HR data repositories (data warehouses), reporting tools and dashboards
  • Identification of the role of metrics and analytics in reporting
  • Apply business intelligence data for problem solving or improving performance
  • Analyze trends and predict future outcomes

4.2 Identify the components of user procedures, guidelines, and documentation of systems and HR processes

  • Workflow Diagrams
    • Purpose and use of workflow diagrams
    • How to create a workflow diagram
  • Process documentation and procedures
  • Support and Escalation
    • Tier 1, 2 and 3 support roles, SLAs and when to contact
    • Effectively using cloud support
  • Methods for training/documentation

4.3 Recognize the policies, practices and procedures for creating and managing a Data Management program.

  • Types of data to be tracked
  • How information is tracked
  • System of Record
  • Data integrity
  • Data accuracy
  • Global legal and data privacy Issues
  • Data backup and storage

4.4 Be familiar with the components and procedures of a Records Management and Retention program.

  • Understand multi-tenancy and where data is stored in a cloud solution
  • Processes to ensure compliance
  • Archiving vs. deletion
  • Impacts and legal ramifications of non-compliance

4.5 Identify the factors to consider when developing a business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan.

  • The difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan
  • Resources that are required
  • Components and key attributes that are needed
  • How to rate criticality of recovery by process and how processes are interrelated and determine contingency plans accordingly
  • Testing of disaster recovery plans

4.6 Understand best practices for managing data privacy and security issues in HR systems operations.

  • Security policy setting, implementation and administration
  • System audits, and change log tracking
  • Global legal and data privacy Issues
  • Separation of duties
  • Security levels
  • Understanding of GDPR, HIPAA, FAS and other auditable requirements

4.7 Life cycle management: Identify process improvement and provide ongoing assessment of HR systems operations and retention of data.

  • Evaluating environment to propose solutions
    • Awareness of business changes and how they affect the current system and processes (Mergers and Acquisitions)
  • Managing, planning and prioritization of system change requests
  • Upgrading strategies
    • Review of new software release functionality for process improvements
    • Track distributed upgrades and plans for future use
    • Understanding risk and impact to current operations
  • Establishing and managing of steering committees for prioritization of work requests
  • Understanding how to manage optional versus mandatory changes to a cloud system.

HRIP Appeal Process

HRIP Candidates and Certificate Holders may question or raise issues from time to time concerning test results, exam questions or their answers, the assessment of one's resume, and the process itself.

Appealing a decision, determination, or assessment allows an individual to seek redress for an adverse non-disciplinary decision made as part of the candidate's eligibility for certification, examination process/question/answer, and recertification. Some items that fall into this policy include:

• Candidate deemed ineligible to take an exam
• Examinee has concerns about an unsuccessful exam result
• Test site issue resulting in an unsuccessful result
• Rescheduling of the exam by testing vendor
• Personal emergency preventing the Candidate from taking the exam
• Denial of one's recertification application

The Appeal

An Appellant must submit an appeal as a type-written document of up to 1000 words containing the date of the event and a rationale supporting the appeal.  Any relevant supporting materials should be submitted within the Appeal document, which shall be in Adobe PDF format. The Appeal shall also contain Appelant's primary email address, postal address, and primary phone number with preferred times to reach. By submitting an appeal, the Appellant agrees to make themself available at reasonable times and dates to meet with the Appeal Board of Review and to furnish any evidence that supports the appeal on time.

The Form and Substance of an Appeal

The Appeal document shall be transmitted by email to [email protected] with the subject containing the word "Appeal" within 90 days of the event in question, i.e. decision, determination, or assessment.  The Education Committee Chair shall designate an Appeal Board of Review consisting of 3 HRIP-certified members, including one member of the IHRIM Board of Directors, one member of the HRIP Certification Advisory Committee, and one non-Committee, non-Board member at large with established subject matter expertise on the topic under appeal within 15 business days.

The Appeal Board of Review

The Appeal Board of Review shall convene to consider the appeal within 15 business days of its designation and render a written decision or request for information by email.  The communication from the Appeal Board of Review may affirm the original decision, determination, or assessment, change or modify the original decision, determination, or assessment, or request additional information from or a meeting with the Appellant. In the first two cases, the decision is considered preliminary unless the Appellant wishes to meet with the Appeal Board of Review. In the third case or when an Applleant requests, the Appellant has 15 business days to provide the information or meet with the Appeal Board of Review. The Appeal Board of Review will render a final, written decision within five business days of the Appellant meeting or receipt of the information submitted but no later than 35 business days following its initial meeting. The decision of the Appeal Board of Review shall be final and impartial without prejudice to any candidate or appellant.

The Finality and Impact of Decisions of the Appeal Board of Review

When a final decision by the Appeal Board of Review impacts the eligibility status or examination scores of other candidates, a review or rescoring of all those potentially impacted shall automatically be conducted. HRIP Staff Administrator shall notify all affected individual(s) of the review or rescoring and final decision within 60 days of the Appeal Board of Review's final, written determination.

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