Guide to HR Certification Programs

This is a simple resource compiled from several different certification websites to help you understand more about the purpose of Professional HR Certification Programs, the types of programs available, and Eligibility requirements.

What Is the Purpose of HR Certification?

HR certification sets you apart from other professionals in your field and essentially boils down to a few key differentiators:

Validation of HR Expertise

Having an HR Certification not only looks good next to your title but essentially it validates your expertise via competency based testing and relevant coursework certified by the credentialing body.

Immediate Impact on Job Related Effectiveness

The coursework (initial and ongoing) is highly relevant to your career in human resources. The skills and competencies are based on practical, real-life HR information and a qualified HR professional holding a certificate can expect to use what they have learned right out of the gate.

Global Recognition via Well Respected Networks

Both HRCI and SHRM are organizations that are known across the globe.  The HR industry has been using HRCI for credentialing since 1976 and SHRM, which was founded in 1948, is the largest professional network of human resources professionals in the world, and currently holds the largest annual conference with around 15,000 attendees and 600 vendors.

What Certifications Are Available from HRCI

aPHR™ Associate Professional in Human Resources

The aPHR is the first-ever HR certification designed for practitioners who are just beginning their HR career journey. A certification from HRCI – the gold standard of HR certifications – proves your commitment to the profession and demonstrates your understanding of the fundamentals

PHR® Professional in Human Resources

PHR certification is a great way to establish yourself in the HR field. It proves your 
mastery of HR operations, best practices and regulations in the U.S., and creates a 
solid foundation for your future advancement.

PHRca® Professional in Human Resources – California

By earning the Professional in Human Resources® – California (PHRca®), you demonstrate that you are an HR professional who has mastered the laws, regulations and HR management practices unique to the state of California.

SPHR® Senior Professional in Human Resources

The recognized credential for HR leaders in the U.S.

GPHR® Global Professional in Human Resources

Demonstrate your knowledge of cross-border HR.

PHRi™ Professional in Human Resources – International

Proves your mastery of HR operations and best practices, regardless of geographic region.

SPHRi™ Senior Professional in Human Resources – International

For HR leaders, independent of geographic region.

What Certifications Are Available from SHRM

SHRM-CP SHRM Certified Professional

HR professionals who implement policies and strategies, serve as point of contact for staff and stakeholders, deliver HR services, and perform operational HR functions, should take the SHRM-CP exam.

SHRM-SCP SHRM Senior Certified Professional

HR professionals who develop strategies, lead the HR function, foster influence in the community, analyze performance metrics, and align HR strategies to organizational goals, should take the SHRM-SCP exam.