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SHRM Certification Guide for HR Professionals

Take your HR career to the next level with SHRM certification. Learn about its benefits, the certification process, and how Deel can help you get SHRM credits.

Michał Kowalewski
Written by Michał Kowalewski
February 16, 2024
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Key takeaways

  1. SHRM is a globally recognized credential that enhances HR professionals' expertise, making it a significant asset for career advancement.
  2. The path to obtaining SHRM certification involves determining eligibility, choosing the appropriate credential (SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP), completing an application, preparing for the exam, and finally taking the test.
  3. SHRM certification requires renewal every three years, requiring ongoing professional development and learning to maintain the credential.

For HR workers across the world, the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) certification is a gold standard that validates expertise, boosts resume, and opens doors to many professional opportunities.

This comprehensive guide unveils the key benefits of acquiring the SHRM credential, tailored for HR professionals at all stages of their careers. We offer a clear roadmap to certification, covering eligibility requirements, exam formats, and valuable study resources.

Read on to learn how you can leverage Deel’s resources to get SHRM certification credits.

Understanding SHRM and SHRM Certification

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a global organization dedicated to the professional development of HR practitioners. It provides resources, global best practices, and a network for its members to exchange ideas and enhance their skills. SHRM also advocates for HR issues at legislative levels, ensuring the profession remains influential and responsive to changing workplace needs.

SHRM is an HR certification, encompassing SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credentials, is tailored for HR professionals to demonstrate their expertise and proficiency in strategic and operational HR practices. This certification is recognized globally and emphasizes the application of HR practices in real-world scenarios, making it highly relevant for professionals aiming to advance their careers and contribute effectively to their organizations.

SHRM-CP vs SHRM-SCP: Types of SHRM Certifications

SHRM offers two distinct certifications to cater to HR professionals at different stages of their careers:

  • SHRM-CP Certification (Certified Professional) is aimed at HR professionals primarily engaged in operational roles. This certification focuses on implementing HR policies, serving as a point of contact for employees and stakeholders, and managing day-to-day HR functions. It's suitable for those looking to solidify their foundational HR skills.

  • SHRM-SCP Certification (Senior Certified Professional) is designed for senior HR professionals who play a strategic role within their organizations. This certification emphasizes developing and executing HR strategies, policies, and practices that align with the business goals. It's ideal for HR leaders responsible for planning at a higher level

Do you need SHRM certification to work in HR?

No, SHRM certification isn't mandatory for all HR roles, but it goes a long way in terms of improving your career trajectory. Employers often value SHRM-certified professionals for their proven HR knowledge and skills, which can lead to more opportunities for advancement and recognition in the industry. Additionally, the certification process equips you with the latest HR strategies and practices, keeping you abreast of industry trends and standards.

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Benefits of SHRM Certification for HR Professionals

The SHRM certification offers both tangible and intangible benefits, enhancing career prospects and professional credibility in several ways:

  • Career advancement: It opens doors to higher roles, as employers often prefer certified professionals for senior positions, acknowledging their proven expertise.

  • Salary increase: Certified individuals may see a notable increase in salary, reflecting the value organizations place on this credential.

  • Professional recognition: Holding a SHRM certification earns respect and credibility from peers and management, showcasing a commitment to the HR profession.

  • Knowledge expansion: The certification process updates professionals on the latest HR practices, laws, and trends, keeping their skills current.

  • Networking opportunities: Certification provides access to an exclusive community of HR professionals, offering networking, support, and exchange of best practices.

Step-by-step process for obtaining SHRM Certification

To achieve SHRM certification, follow these structured steps, offering a blend of clear guidance and additional insights:

  1. Eligibility criteria: First, determine if you meet the prerequisites for either the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. These vary based on your educational background (HR-related or not) and the amount of HR experience you have. For SHRM-CP, requirements range from having an HR-related degree with one year of experience to a non-HR degree with four years of experience. For SHRM-SCP, the criteria extend from an HR-related degree with three years of experience to a non-HR degree with seven years of experience.

  2. Certification selection: Decide between SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP based on your current job role and future career goals. SHRM-CP suits those in operational HR roles, while SHRM-SCP is designed for HR professionals involved in strategic decision-making.

  3. Online application: Check the SHRM website for exam dates, prep course, fees, and the application process. Register through the SHRM portal, complete your application, and submit the fee. 

  4. Exam preparation: Opt for self-study with the SHRM Learning System or join an instructor-led course. Regardless of your choice, the study content, based on SHRM's Body of Competency & Knowledge (BoCK), remains consistent across both methods.

  5. Exam participation: The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams consist of 134 questions divided into knowledge and situational judgment sections. The total allowed time is three hours and 40 minutes, with each section timed independently.

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SHRM Certification: FAQ

What is the cost of SHRM certification?

The SHRM certification cost for members is $335 (early-bird) or $410 (standard), while non-members pay $435 (early-bird) or $510 (standard). There are also special rates for students, corporate, and military applicants. A $50 application fee applies to all candidates. Membership can provide discounts and additional resources, making it an option worth considering for those pursuing certification

How often does an HR professional need to renew their SHRM Certification?

An HR professional needs to renew their SHRM Certification every three years. To maintain certification, they must earn 60 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) during the three-year cycle or retake and pass the certification exam. PDCs can be earned through continuing education, instructing others, on-the-job experience, research and publishing, and volunteer service.

How often must I renew my SHRM Certification, and what does the process involve?

SHRM Certification renewal is required every three years. To maintain your certification status, you must either accumulate 60 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) through activities such as continuous learning, teaching, practical HR experience, contributing to research, or volunteer work within this period, or opt to retake and pass the certification examination.

What is the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK)?

The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) serves as the foundational document for SHRM certification exams, detailing the necessary competencies and knowledge for human resources professionals to excel. It emphasizes a range of behavioral competencies such as leadership, ethical practices, and communication skills, crucial for navigating the HR landscape. It covers technical knowledge domains like HR strategy, people management, organizational structure, and workplace dynamics

How can the effectiveness of SHRM Certification be enhanced and assessed?

To enhance its effectiveness, SHRM Certification could continuously update the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) to mirror the evolving HR landscape and business needs. The impact of the certification can be assessed by conducting surveys and research to compare the performance of certified HR professionals against their non-certified counterparts. Gathering feedback from both certified individuals and their employers can also offer valuable insights into the certification's relevance and value in the current professional environment.

Enroll and earn SHRM credits with Deel

Deel offers webinars that delve into global HR practices, where participants can earn SHRM Professional Development Credits (PDCs) to support their recertification. These educational sessions cover critical topics such as compliance, compensation, and talent strategy in the evolving workspace. Here’s a list of relevant Deel resources for HR professionals:

  • Global Hiring Summit, co-hosted by HR startups Ashby and Deel, discusses global hiring trends, covering topics from sourcing to compliance. It features keynotes and panels with industry experts, offering insights on global compensation, compliance, and AI-driven hiring strategies. Participants can earn 1 SHRM PDC credit by joining this event.

  • The Global Payroll Summit, hosted by Deel, addresses the complexities of managing international payroll, featuring experts from companies like Klarna and Brex. It covers global compliance, compensation structures, and the use of technology to unify distributed workforces. Participants can earn 1 SHRM PDC credit.

  • Global Hiring Fundamentals, is a Deel's free HR course that offers comprehensive training in international HR management, covering compliance, recruitment, and global mobility. It's designed for HR professionals at all levels to enhance their skills in managing a global workforce, with interactive lessons and actionable resources. Upon completion, participants earn a Deel certificate and 1 SHRM PDC credit.

Next steps

🔮 Download our Future of HR Report for insights into fostering a great employee experience

📖 Read about 7 Workforce Management Tools to Ramp up Your Global Team

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