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Essentials of Human Resources

Are you prepared to handle your day to day HR challenges? This SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course covers the topics you need to meet key HR challenges that are relevant to you and your company. In 17 hours of training time, you can cover the HR concepts that can be applied to real life situations.  The Essentials of Human Resources certificate is a true introduction to human resource management. Developed by leading HR experts, HR practitioners, and legal counsel, the course covers introductory HR topics in a condensed, easy-to-understand format. It is designed for individuals who new to the field of human resources, and also for managers who are looking for some additional training in the primary HR functions.  The primary focus of this course is to provide participants with a broad overview of the human resource functions. This course is led by a SHRM certified instructor and utilizes the official SHRM curriculum.
SHRM 2019

The course consists of six modules to be offered over two days, for a total of 17 contact hours.

The course includes readings, lectures, class discussions, application activities, and a test. The discussions will help students make connections between the readings and the lectures, while the application activities assist in applying new concepts to their workplace. Online and in-class testing will help gauge the level of understanding of the material.

The course is specifically designed for the following individuals:

  • Entry-level human resource professionals
  • Supervisors and line managers who have the responsibility for interviewing and training employees
  • Individuals seeking a career in human resources
  • Employees with management responsibilities
  • Staffing specialists
  • Benefits coordinators
  • HR administrators
  • Recruiters
  • Payroll assistants

However, individuals considering a career in Human Resources will also benefit from this overview course.

At the conclusion of this course, each participant will receive a personal certificate if all requirements are met.

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Curriculum & Course Details

SHRM educational products are developed according to the highest quality standards. HR professionals and subject matter experts review each product to ensure accurate, real-life applications. In addition, SHRM programs are “living documents”-improvements and revisions are included in each reprint to incorporate the latest changes in HR practices and legislation. The SHRM® Essentials of Human Resource program is developed in partnership with the Holmes Corporation, one of the nation’s leading instructional design firms. 

Course Topics

In 17 hours of classroom time, the SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course provides an overview of human resource roles and responsibilities. The course covers real-life HR issues and current topics that are vital for any supervisor or manager to know:
Illustration of laptop and SHRM workbook

  • Human Resource Management
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Total Rewards
  • Learning and Development
  • Performance Management
  • Employment Law
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  • Fluency in English (including reading and writing)
  • Understanding that curriculum is based upon US laws and practices
  • Tuition paid in full prior to start of program
  • Computer literacy
  • Valid email account

Admission is discretionary. Duke Continuing Studies-Professional Certificate Programs- requires students be a least 18 years of age and meet minimum suitability standards. Students are not matriculated Duke University students and university student privileges do not apply to Continuing Studies students.

Duke Continuing Studies reserves the exclusive right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to withhold registration or require withdrawal from the program of, any student or applicant.

Certificate requirements

  • Attendance required for entire 2-day course.
  • Participation in class activities and satisfactory test completion at the discretion of the instructor are met.

The certificate is noncredit and does not apply toward a degree.

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Schedule & Registration


Wednesday (6/19/2019) & Thursday (6/20/2019)
8:30 am - 5:00 pm


Registration Methods

  1. REGISTER ONLINE using a credit card with our secure, real-time registration system.  Add the course to your shopping cart and follow the instructions for checking out.
  2. Register by Phone at 919-684-6259 or 1-866-edu-Duke during our business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm EST) to register.  


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Suzy Nisbet

Suzy Nisbet is a Human Resources Management Consultant with over 25 years of robust experience as a consultant, facilitator, and practitioner. She es expert advice and guidance to companies in the private sector, including manufacturing, technology, life sciences, healthcare, and services. Suzy also regularly consults with government, university, and non-profit clients. In addition to working 11 years at SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company, Suzy also held management roles at BuildNet and the N.C. Office of State Personnel.

In addition to being a long-time instructor for Duke University Continuing Studies, Suzy is a regular presenter at human resource management professional association meetings and conferences. Suzy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) from Campbell University. She holds certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), Global Remuneration Professional (GRP), Balanced Scorecard Professional (BSP).

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Tuition & Funding Sources



The course fee includes:

  • Official SHRM Reference Book
  • Official SHRM Activities Book
  • Access to SHRM interactive online software
  • Certificate (upon successful completion of requirements)
  • SHRM Certified Instructor working in the industry
  • Parking Passes for both days
  • Lunch on both days

Location/Parking - Directions will be sent via email within 10 days prior to the start of class.

Books will be distributed the first class morning.

Duke Employee Discount

• $50 off the fee of $635
Duke employee pays fee of $585
• Student must register and pay tuition in full prior to the program start date in order to reserve space in the program for that term.
• Questions:  Contact Program Manager at 919-684-2601

Discount must be requested and applied during the registration process and cannot be applied in addition to any other discount that may be offered. You may be asked to verify your status as a Duke employee.

Group Discount

Do you have a group (Duke or non-Duke entity) interested in training?

Contact the Program Manager for details.

Company Pay

Many companies will reimburse employees for educational expenses.  Contact your manager or HR department for more information.

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Policies & Procedures

Refund Policy

Refund and Change Requests must be in writing. To receive a refund, minus a processing fee for each course cancelled, we must receive your written cancellation request at least two weeks prior to the start of the program or course. Should you cancel your registration after you have been given your books and online access, we can only refund the portion of your tuition minus the cost of the books. The books/online access will remain yours. Processing fees are:

  • $20 for course fees under $500
  • $100 for course fees $500 or more

To submit a cancellation request:
Fax: 919-681-8235
Registration - Duke Continuing Studies
Box 90700
Durham, NC 27708-0700

Include your name, address, phone number, and course title to be dropped. Refunds will be made in the manner you paid us.

Refund Policy

There are no refunds for online courses.

Bad Checks

If a check is returned for insufficient funds, we will charge a returned check fee of $35. Checks will not be resubmitted. The replacement payment must include the additional $35 and be in the form of cash, money order, or credit card.

Course is Filled / Waiting List

If a course is already filled, a waiting list is usually available instead. If you are interested in placing your name on the waiting list, follow the checkout instructions to do so. If a space becomes available, a registration staff member will call you and ask if you are still interested. If you are interested, registration staff can take your payment information over the phone and complete your registration at that time.

If We Cancel a Course

Sometimes we have to cancel a course that does not meet minimum enrollment, or due to unforeseen events. If that happens, you will receive a full refund minus the cost of the books and online Learning System. The books/learning system will remain yours. Duke Continuing Studies reserves the right to substitute instructors or change the day a course meets.

Tax Deductions

Course fees and expenses are sometimes tax deductible. Please consult an accountant concerning this matter. Non-credit programs at Duke Continuing Studies do not generate 1098-T forms, in accordance with the following IRS guideline:

Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T published by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, states “You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for: Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program…”

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