Exam & Eligibility

How do I determine if I am eligible for the exam?

View the eligibility requirementsContact us if you have additional questions. A job description(s) may be requested in order for us to determine your eligibility.

Do I need to become eligible by the time I take the exam or do I need to be eligible when I apply?

Eligibility requirements to sit for either of the SHRM exams must be met at the time you apply for the exam.

How do I apply for the exam?

You may apply for the exams when the application period is open. Visit https://store.shrm.org/certification-application After completing the application process, create a user account, or login if you already have a profile. Enter your name as it appears on your unexpired original government-issued ID. (Name on ID must be represented in Latin characters). 

When applying, I received a message stating that I am not eligible for the exam, but I feel as if I am.  How can I proceed?

View the eligibility requirements to ensure you do meet the requirements. If you know you are typing valid eligibility data and you are still getting the error, please try the following: 

  • Log out of your certification profile. 
  • Clear your cookies and temporary internet files in your web browser. 
  • Log back into your certification profile. 
  • Try the application again.

If the error message persists, you will need to contact us for further assistance.

How do I schedule my exam appointment?

The SHRM exams are administered via computer-based testing by SHRM’s test delivery vendor, Prometric, at one of their testing centers. Once your application is complete, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter via e-mail. This letter will include your Eligibility ID that you will need when you contact Prometric to schedule your exam appointment. Go to prometric.com/shrm or call 888.736.0134 to schedule your exam appointment.

I never received my Authorization to Test Letter. How do I receive it?

In order to receive an ATT letter, you must have::

  • Submitted a completed exam application with payment.
  • If audited, completed, and passed the audit verification process.
  • If special testing accommodations were requested, submit a completed Testing Accommodations Request Form and had it approved by the SHRM Certification Department.

If you have completed all of the applicable requirements, you should be able to access your ATT letter by going to your certification portal and clicking on the link located under the "Submitted Certification Applications" section.  If you do not see the link, please contact us.

I have my SHRM-CP and now I want to sit for the SHRM-SCP exam. How do I apply?

If you are currently eligible to sit for the SHRM-SCP exam, you may apply for the SHRM-SCP exam when the application period is open. Visit https://store.shrm.org/certification-application. and complete an application for the SHRM-SCP exam.

Can I take both exams in the same testing window?

Yes, you may take both exams within the same testing window as long as you are eligible for and pay for both exams. In order to apply, complete your first exam application https://store.shrm.org/certification-application. To apply for the second exam, please contact us at certification@shrm.org for assistance.  Please be aware that should you pass the SHRM-SCP and decide not to take the SHRM-CP exam you will be bound by the cancellation/refund policy outlined in the Certification Handbook.

How do I change my exam appointment?

Exam appointments may be changed as long as you are keeping your appointment within the same exam window and do so five or more business days before your scheduled exam appointment.

  • If a candidate cancels more than 30 days prior to their exam appointment, a $35.00 cancellation fee will be charged by Prometric.
  • If you are between five and 29 business days before your scheduled exam date, you may reschedule your exam appointment, but there will be a fee due to Prometric.
  • If you are less than five business days before your scheduled exam date, you may not reschedule and will forfeit your fees.

All exam appointment changes must be done directly through Prometric:

  • Within the U.S.:  prometric.com/shrm or 888.736.0134
  • Outside the U.S.: prometric.com/shrm or call the local Prometric Regional Contact Center found in Appendix C in the Certification Handbook
  • If you requested special testing accommodations:  800.967.1139

Can I change my exam level?

A candidate may request an exam level change once during an exam window.

If an exam appointment has already been scheduled, it must first be canceled with Prometric. Once the exam appointment has been canceled, an exam level change request must be submitted at least 10 business days before the scheduled exam date. Because an exam level change cancels the originally scheduled exam appointment, a candidate is required to schedule a new exam appointment. If the exam window has already opened, the same time and location for the new exam appointment is not guaranteed.

To request an exam level change, e-mail certification@shrm.org, specifying which exam you wish to take. Candidates requesting to change from SHRM-CP to SHRM-SCP must provide applicable work experience to ensure the eligibility requirements for the SHRM-SCP are met. If those requirements are met, SHRM will verify the exam level change request with a new ATT letter.

How long are the exams? How many questions?

Both exams will contain Knowledge- and Competency-based questions:

  • Candidates for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams will have 4 hours to answer a total of 134 questions, of which approximately 55 are stand-alone knowledge items and 55 will be situational judgment items.

Breakdown of Testing-Time:

Candidate Confirmation Details: 2 minutes

Introduction and Tutorial: 8 minutes

Exam: 4 hours (240 minutes)

Note: The entire seat time is 240 minutes.  However, the exam itself is 220 minutes long administered in two equal halves of 110 minutes.

Survey: 5 minutes

Each section shows a countdown timer on the screen, and each section is separate and time-independent. Minutes do not rollover. For instance, if a candidate spends less time in the introduction, extra minutes are not rolled over to the exam portion.

What is the format of the SHRM exam?

We have enhanced the exam layout to improve navigation throughout the exam. We recommend you become familiar with the new layout prior to your exam date. A tutorial is now available to preview the navigation functions including the highlight feature, the strike out feature, the calculator and marking questions for review. Click here to access the tutorial. On the first page of the tutorial simply click on OK to begin the tutorial. 

What are Situational Judgment Items?

Situational judgment items (SJIs) assess candidates’ judgment and decision-making skills, which are not easily measured using traditional knowledge-based questions. Examinees are presented with realistic work-related scenarios and asked to choose the best of several possible strategies to resolve or address the issues described in each scenario. Although more than one strategy may be effective for addressing actual work-related scenarios, examinees only receive credit for choosing the best possible answer, as determined by a panel of experienced HR professionals. All other answers, which reflect either less effective or ineffective strategies, receive no credit.

What is a Knowledge Item?

There are two categories of stand-alone knowledge-based items on the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams. Items in the first category, referred to as HR-specific knowledge Items (KIs), cover key concept topics associated with the 14 HR functional areas, while items in the second category, referred to as foundational knowledge items (FKIs), cover key concept topics considered foundational to the nine behavioral competencies. Examinees receive credit for selecting the correct answer to a given question; otherwise, no credit is awarded.

If you answered yes to having a felony conviction, you must complete the Felony Conviction Form and send it to certification@shrm.org

What do I need to provide if my exam application is selected for audit?

Degree verification (if applicable) (any of the following):

  • Copy of degree or transcripts (If your name has changed since you earned your degree, you must also include your legal name change document.)
  • Letter from registrar on school letterhead confirming degree
  • Letter from evaluation services confirming degree level (global equivalence)


Experience documentation to verify years of experience and the specific HR role(s) included on your application:

  • Letter from a supervisor, HR, or business owner (on company letterhead)
  • - Letter to include years of experience as well as responsibilities in HR role(s)

    - Must verify 1,000 hours in a calendar year in an HR role

    - Satisfies years of experience as well as HR role

  • Experience Verification Form
  • - Complete the Experience Verification Form

    - Must be signed by a supervisor, HR, or business owner

Upload the supporting documentation to the Certification Portal.

How can I request special testing accommodations?

If you require testing accommodations, complete and submit Sections I, II, and IV of the Testing and Certification Accommodations Request Form at the time of application submission. Upon approval, SHRM will provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations related to the testing process.