Certification Q&A: SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP?

Answers to frequently asked questions about SHRM certification and recertification

By the SHRM Certification Team August 20, 2020
Certification Q&A: SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP?

Have questions about the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credentials? In every issue, the SHRM Certification team will answer some of your most frequently asked questions. Have additional questions? Send them to SHRMCertNews@shrm.org.


Q: I have determined that I'm eligible for SHRM certification, but I don't know whether to go for the SHRM-CP or the SHRM-SCP credential. How do I decide?

A: Your certification eligibility is based on a combination of your education and years of experience as an HR professional at the time you submit your application. Consider the type of work that you are currently performing to determine which credential is right for you. For assistance, use the eligibility assessment tool located on the SHRM certification homepage.


Q: How much more difficult is the SHRM-SCP exam compared to the SHRM-CP?

A: SHRM differentiates the exams by number of years of experience and type of work:

  • The SHRM-CP exam is for HR professionals with three to five years of experience who are engaged in operational or tactical roles. This work involves implementing policies, serving as the HR point of contact in their organizations and performing day-to-day HR activities.
  • The SHRM-SCP exam is for senior HR professionals with six or more years of experience who hold strategic-level positions. This work includes planning programs, policies and procedures; executing HR operations; and analyzing, interpreting and reporting performance metrics.

Want to learn more about how to obtain or maintain your SHRM certification? Visit shrmcertification.org.



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