Which HR Certification?

Determining whether to pursue the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential is an important decision involving multiple factors worthy of consideration. While education and years of experience are the criteria that determine eligibility, it is equally important to consider the nature of your HR role and responsibilities.

scp-imgcertification is designed for HR professionals at a senior level who operate primarily in a strategic role—developing policies and strategies, overseeing the execution of HR operations, analyzing performance metrics, and/or contributing to the alignment of HR strategies to organizational goals.

certification is designed for HR practitioners who are engaged primarily in an operational role— implementing policies, serving as the HR point of contact for staff and stakeholders, and/or performing day-to-day HR functions. If this is your focus, the SHRM-CP is likely your best option, even if you meet the eligibility criteria for the SHRM-SCP.

To ensure that you take the exam that best reflects your experience, see Exam Eligibility Table Below. Then compare your core responsibilities with the key responsibilities highlighted in the SHRM BoCK. This exercise will help you, as the test taker, make the most appropriate choice for attaining success.

In order to be eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam, an applicant must meet specific educational and work experience criteria, outlined below:

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SHRM Eligibility Table

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must show that they have worked in an HR role for more than 1,000 hours within a calendar year, which equates to 1 year of experience.
  • HR experience may be in an HR exempt or nonexempt capacity.
  • Applicants with a graduate degree (or global equivalency) in HR must currently be employed in an HR role.
  • HR experience may be classified directly, as working in an HR role, or indirectly, by consulting, educating or researching HR practices linked specifically to human resource management.
  • SHRM membership is not required.