Choosing the Right SHRM Certification

Individuals who perform HR duties or students who wish to verify, validate, enhance and expand their HR capabilities are likely candidates for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification.

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) logo

SHRM Certified Professional
(SHRM-CP®)


For individuals performing HR or HR-related duties or pursuing a career in Human Resources (basic working knowledge in HR is recommended).

Your current or most recent work in HR is operational in nature (i.e., implements policy, serves as HR day-to-day point person, etc.)

Your duties tend to be specialized versus general.

SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) logo

SHRM Senior Certified Professional
(SHRM-SCP®)


For individuals with a work history of at least three years performing strategic level HR or HR-related duties; or for SHRM-CP credential holders who have held the credential for at least three years and are working in, or are in the process of transitioning to, a strategic level role.

Your current or most recent work in HR is strategic in nature (i.e., develop HR policies, execute all integrated HR operations, direct the entire HR enterprise, or lead the alignment of HR strategies to organizational goals).

Selecting the Right Credential

One approach to selecting the right exam is to read the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge™ (SHRM BASK™) and assess which proficiency statements best represent the work you perform on a daily basis. If your daily work most resembles the proficiency statements listed for advanced professionals, then we suggest applying for the SHRM-SCP exam. If your daily work most resembles the proficiency statements listed for all professionals, then you are elligible to take the SHRM-CP exam.

International applicants also choose between the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP based on the credential most relevant to them. Please note that international exams may ask about universal employment law concepts rather than the employment laws of any particular country or region.

For additional information e-mail certification@shrm.org.


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