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SHRM Certification

Eligibility Criteria

Step into a world of professional growth opportunities with SHRM's certification programs.

Whether you're a seasoned HR expert or just beginning your journey in human resources, understanding SHRM's eligibility criteria is your first step toward certification success.

Explore the requirements for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications and embark on a path that amplifies your HR acumen, credibility and career prospects.

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP®)

The SHRM-CP certification is intended for individuals that perform general HR/HR-related duties; or for currently enrolled students and individuals pursuing a career in Human Resource Management.

Candidates for the SHRM-CP certification are not required to hold an HR title and do not need a degree or previous HR experience to apply; however, a basic working knowledge of HR practices and principles or a degree from an Academically Aligned program is recommended.

The SHRM-CP exam is designed to assess the competency level of HR at the operational level. This level includes implementing policies, supporting day-to-day HR functions, or serving as an HR point of contact for staff and stakeholders.

Refer to the SHRM BASK® for detailed information on proficiency standards for this credential (i.e., Proficiency Indicators only For All HR Professionals).


SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®)

The SHRM-SCP certification is for individuals that have a work history of at least 3 years performing strategic level HR/HR-related duties; or for SHRM-CP credential holders who have held the credential for at least 3 years and are working in, or are in the process of transitioning to, a strategic level role.

Candidates for the SHRM-SCP certification are not required to hold an HR title and do not need a degree to apply.

The SHRM-SCP exam is designed to assess the competency level of those who engage in HR work at the strategic level. Work at this level includes duties such as developing HR policies and/or procedures, overseeing the execution of integrated HR operations, directing an entire HR enterprise, or leading the alignment of HR strategies to organizational goals.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they devoted at least 1,000 hours per calendar year (Jan. – Dec.) to strategic level HR/HR-related work.

  • 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 per calendar year standard is met.
  • Experience may be either salaried or hourly.

Individuals who are HR consultants may demonstrate qualifying experience through the HR/HR-related duties they perform for their clients. Contracted hours must meet the 1,000-hour standard.

Refer to the SHRM BASK® for detailed information on proficiency standards for this credential (i.e., Proficiency Indicators For All HR Professionals and For Advanced HR Professionals).


Student Eligibility

Students must be enrolled in an HR degree program to be eligible for student exam application pricing. 

Students seeking to earn the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) credential must meet the SHRM-SCP criteria to apply.


Volume Exam Purchase Program

SHRM is excited to offer organizations the opportunity to purchase SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exam seats in bulk through our Volume Exam Purchase Program. You can now buy five or more exam seats in advance for a reduced rate. The volume discount does not apply to student applicants.


Military Eligibility

Depending on your educational background, military career field, and time-in-service, you may be eligible for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential and a reduced exam fee. Those elligible to apply for the exam include:

  • U.S. military service members (active-duty, retired and veterans including, Guard and Reserve) who have served or are serving in the human resources, personnel management, recruiting or career counseling career fields. 
  • U.S. military personnel who serve or have served in a leadership role performing HR-related duties in any of the 14 functional areas outlined in the SHRM BASK® .
  • Spouses of U.S. military service members in or interested in entering the HR field.
Funding Opportunities

Through multiple service-specific credentialing initiatives and tuition assistance (TA), SHRM's accredited credential is eligible for funding to cover and offset the costs of certification preparation, examination and recertification fees. Please visit the service-specific Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) sites below to determine your eligibility and what resources are available for you:

covered certification benefits

For active-duty, veterans and military spouses, learn how you can use your Post-9/11 GI Bill to pay for your SHRM certification.

For more information, please visit the military eligibilty page.