Everything you need to know about the SHRM-CP for HR professionals
What is the SHRM-CP?
The SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management-Certified Professional) is a certification offered to human resources professionals to help them advance in their careers and demonstrate their knowledge of HR policies and strategies.
To obtain this certification, you must be able to show relevant education and experience, and take an exam. The exam is administered by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), which is an organization with 300,000 members worldwide and supports HR professionals through education, training, networking, and lobbying on behalf of policies that are fundamental to HR and labor management.
The exam consists of questions based on “knowledge items and situational judgment.” Those who receive their SHRM-CP can show their extensive knowledge of HR practices to employers and clients, which can set them apart from the competition.
What are the benefits of the SHRM-CP?
Prove you’re an expert
By obtaining a SHRM-CP, you have in hand credentials that prove your advanced knowledge in the HR field. If you work as an independent HR consultant, you can leverage your certification to attract new clients and win contracts with companies.
Demonstrate your practical skills
Part of the SHRM-CP exam is designed to test your practical skills in HR. Having this certification not only demonstrates your expert knowledge but your ability to put it into practice.
Globally recognized certification
The SHRM-CP is a globally recognized certification. This means that no matter where your clients reside, your certification will be recognized and valued by individuals and companies.
Who qualifies for the SHRM-CP?
In order to qualify for the SHRM-CP, there are some education and experience requirements you must meet. This chart on the SHRM website breaks it down clearly, but in general, you do not need to have a degree in HR nor do you need to have completed a degree to start the process of obtaining a SHRM-CP. However, if you have less relevant education, you’ll be required to show proof of equivalent work experience.
All applicants have to show proof of at least 1,000 hours of HR-related work experience, or 500 hours if you’re a student, in one calendar year. However, there are some specific guidelines around this.
- Non-HR job titles – If you don’t have a job title specific to HR, that’s okay, as long as you can prove that you completed 1,000 hours of HR-related work in one calendar year.
- Supervisors of HR professionals – If you supervise someone in an HR role but you yourself do not perform HR duties as part of your job, this does not count towards the 1,000 hours of experience.
- Contractors – If you take on HR work as a consultant, these hours still count.
- Part-time work – Part-time work in an HR role qualifies. Just make sure that the 1,000 hours of experience occurred in the same calendar year.
- Students – If you are a student currently enrolled in your final year of an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a university that is “approved by SHRM’s Academic Initiatives staff as being aligned to SHRM’s curriculum guidelines,” you are eligible to take the exam. You will need to show proof of 500 hours of HR experience.
What can you expect on the SHRM-CP exam?
The SHRM-CP exam tests your “knowledge of factual information,” judgment, and decision-making skills through a series of multiple-choice questions. The exam is based on the 15 HR functional areas and the eight behavioral competencies, which are part of the SHRM Body of Competency & Knowledge (SHRMBoCK). You can download a guide to this information on the SHRM website.
Once you have fulfilled the education and experience requirements and passed the exam, you’ll receive your SHRM-CP designation. With your certification in hand, you can look forward to advancing in your HR career.