Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet specific educational and work experience criteria at the time they submit their application in order to be eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam. These requirements are outlined below:

SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP EligiBility Chart

Credential Less than a Bachelor's Degree* Bachelor's Degree Graduate Degree
HR-Related Program Non-HR Program HR-Related Degree Non-HR Degree HR-Related Degree Non-HR Degree
SHRM-CP** 3 years in HR role 4 years in HR role 1 year in HR
role
2 years in HR role Currently in HR role 1 year in HR role
SHRM-SCP 6 years in HR role 7 years in HR role 4 years in HR role 5 years in HR role 3 years in HR
role
4 years in HR role
*Less than a bachelor’s degree includes: working toward a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, some college, qualifying HR certificate program, high school diploma, or GED.

The following general eligibility criteria, listed below, also apply:
 
  • HR-related experience relates to work in any of the 15 functional areas of HR knowledge which comprise the technical competency HR Expertise, identified in the SHRM BoCK.
  • Applicants are not required to hold an HR title. The critical factor in determining eligibility is your HR-related work as opposed to your job title.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they devoted at least 1,000 hours to HR-related activities in any calendar year to qualify as having a year of HR-related experience. More than 1,000 hours in a calendar year does not equate to more than 1 year of experience.
  • Part-time work qualifies as long as the 1,000-hour standard is met within a calendar year.
  • Individuals who have mixed roles—for example, office managers who have both administrative and HR responsibilities—may also have qualifying experience, as long as HR-related duties total at least 1,000 hours in a calendar year. Supervising employees in and of itself is not considered qualifying HR-related experience.
  • Experience may be either exempt or nonexempt.
  • SHRM membership is not required.

**STUDENT ELIGIBILITY
Beginning with the Winter 2017 (Dec. 1, 2017-Feb.15, 2018) testing window, students who are enrolled in their final year of an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college or university that has been approved by SHRM’s Academic Initiatives Department as being aligned to SHRM’s curriculum guidelines, and who have accumulated at least 500 hours of an internship or practical HR experience, are eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP exam. See a current listing of approved schools at shrm.org/academics/programdirectory. For application procedures, contact your program administrator.

What Degrees Qualify as HR-Related?


GRADUATE (or global equivalent^):
HR-related degrees may include but are not limited to the following: MA in Human Resource Management (HRM), MS in Human Resources (HR), MA or MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, MA in Management (MAM) with an HR concentration, MBA with a concentration in HRM, Organizational Leadership or Leadership, Development with an HR concentration, Human Capital Development, Organizational Behavior, Labor Relations, Industrial Relations.

  • OUTSIDE THE U.S.: HR-related master’s programs may include but are not limited to the following: MA in International HRM, Professional Post-Graduate Diploma in HRM, Executive Master in HRM.

BACHELOR’S (or global equivalent^): HR-related degrees may include but are not limited to the following: BA or BS in HRM, BA or BS in Management with a concentration in HR, BA or BS in Business Administration with a concentration in HRM, Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in HR, Organizational Behavior, Industrial Relations, Organizational Development, Management and Leadership.

  • OUTSIDE THE U.S.: HR-related bachelor’s programs may include but are not limited to the following: BBA with an emphasis in HRM, Bachelor of Commerce with a concentration in Managing People and Organizations, Bachelor of Business in Pedagogy with a concentration in HR.

LESS THAN A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

  • ASSOCIATE’S: Applicants with less than a bachelor’s degree may have HR-related associate’s degrees that may include, but are not limited to the following: Associate—HR Specialist; Associate—Business: HR Management; Associate—HR Administration.

  • CERTIFICATE PROGRAM: Applicants with less than a bachelor’s degree may complete an HR certificate program from an accredited institution consisting of six to eight courses that cover the fundamentals of HR (i.e., Principles of HRM, Compensation & Benefits, Organizational Development, Recruitment & Selection, Employment Law, Training & Development, Employee Relations, Performance Management). A qualifying certificate program typically lasts 18 months.

^ For information on global equivalence evaluation services in support of the degree requirements shown, visit:
»» National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)
»» Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE)
»» American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO)
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