13 Top-Rated HR Certifications of 2024

HR certifications are qualifications or accreditations that human resources professionals can acquire to further develop their knowledge of various strategies and methodologies within HR. HR certifications come in a variety of forms, including specialist (skill-driven), international, career advancement, and entry-level. The HR credential that bests position you for success and propels your career in HR is the finest one. 

In the industry, the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications are highly regarded and acknowledged by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 

AVADO courses, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) certification, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) certification are other HR qualifications.

1. Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)

The Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) is the organization that oversees the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) credential. Your technical and practical understanding of HR management, including familiarity with US laws and regulations, is demonstrated by your PHR certification. It is designed for HR specialists who have prior experience putting tactical or logistical programs into action. You must fulfill one of the following requirements for education and/or experience in order to be eligible for the PHR:

  •  Possess a Master’s degree or more, as well as at least a year of experience in a professional HR role.
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR role.
  • Possess a minimum of four years of experience working in a professional HR role.

The PHR exam has two hours to complete (plus 30 minutes for administration) and consists of 90 scored questions and 25 pretest questions. In addition to the $395.00 exam fee, an extra $100.00 application fee is needed. Whether a candidate withdraws or decides they no longer want to take the exam, there will be no reimbursements once an application has been accepted.

Read more: PHR Certifications Cost and Significance

2. Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Certified Professional Certification

For HR professionals working at the operational level, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification is a worldwide recognized credential. Your HR skills and understanding of HR management practices, policies, and US laws and regulations will be validated by earning the SHRM-CP certification. For HR professionals with expertise executing tactical or logistical programs, the SHRM-CP certification is designed.

One of the following requirements for experience and/or education must be satisfied to be eligible for the SHRM-CP certification:

Possess a Master’s degree or more, as well as at least a year of experience in a professional HR role.

Possess a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR role.

Possess a minimum of four years of experience working in a professional HR role.

There are 160 scored questions and 40 pretest questions on the SHRM-CP exam, which needs to be finished in four hours. For SHRM members, the exam costs $475.00; for non-members, it costs $600.00.  Whether a candidate withdraws or decides they no longer want to take the exam, there will be no reimbursements once an application has been accepted.

Following testing, your SHRM-CP certification is good for three years. You must retake the exam or accrue 60 HR recertification credits over a three-year period in order to keep your SHRM-CP credential.

3. Strategic Human Resources Leadership (SHRL) Certification by Human Capital Institute (HCI)

The Human Capital Institute (HCI) offers a professional credential called Strategic HR Leadership (SHRL). The SHRL certification is intended to assist HR professionals in developing their managerial and leadership abilities. You can practice leadership responsibilities in this practical course by examining the mapping roles of your team, developing lesson plans, and more. HR specialists with prior implementation expertise in strategic program implementation are eligible for the SHRL certification.

You need to work in a professional-level HR role for at least five years to be eligible for the SHRL certification. Three core programs, two strategic accelerators, mentoring, and an advised portfolio project make up the SHRL certification program. In just eighteen months, the program will provide you with the strategic skills you need to propel your HR career forward and steer HR’s future.

Multiple-choice questions make up the SHRL certification exam, which needs to be finished in a set amount of time. Exam costs are $600.00 for non-members and $475.00 for HCI members. Whether a candidate withdraws or decides they no longer want to take the exam, there will be no reimbursements once an application has been accepted.

4. Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) Certification by the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA)

The Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) offers a professional certification called the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) credential. HR practitioners that work in largely administrative jobs, such a contributing role in a bigger HR function or as the only HR practitioner in a small HR function, are the target audience for the CHRP certification.

One of the following requirements for education and/or experience must be satisfied to be eligible for the CHRP certification:

Possess a bachelor’s degree and at least a year of experience in a professional-level HR role.

Possess a diploma or degree from a recognized post-secondary institution and at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR role.

Possess a minimum of three years’ experience working in a professional HR role.

The 110 multiple-choice questions on the CHRP exam must be answered in 2.5 hours. For HRPA members, the exam costs $500.00; for non-members, it costs $750.00. Whether a candidate withdraws or decides they no longer want to take the exam, there will be no reimbursements once an application has been accepted.

Following testing, your CHRP certification is good for three years. You must retake the exam or accrue 60 HR recertification credits over a three-year period in order to keep your CHRP certificate.

5. Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) Certification by the Association for Talent Development (ATD)

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) offers a professional certification called the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD). Talent development specialists with at least five years of experience are eligible to apply for the CPTD certification. It assesses the professional’s proficiency in the domains of talent development and capabilities.

You need to have worked in a professional-level talent development role for at least five years to be eligible for the CPTD certification. The three main programs, two strategic accelerators, mentorship, and an advised portfolio project make up the CPTD certification program.

In just eighteen months, the program will provide you with the strategic skills you need to propel your career in talent development and steer its future.

Multiple-choice questions make up the CPTD exam, which has a time limit that must be met. For ATD members, the exam costs $475.00; for non-members, it costs $600.00. Whether a candidate withdraws or decides they no longer want to take the exam, there will be no reimbursements once an application has been accepted.

Following testing, your CPTD certification is good for three years. You need to retake the exam or obtain 60 talent development recertification credits over a three-year period in order to keep your CPTD certificate.

6. Human Resources Management Certification (CHRM) by HR University

The HR University offers a professional certification called the Human Resources Management Certification (CHRM). The HRM certification program equips you with technical HR management abilities in addition to the principles of HR administration, including how to create your own HR strategy, ace HRM interviews, set up efficient hiring procedures, and lead an HR team. Aspiring HR managers and those looking to refresh their knowledge in human resources are the target audience for the HRM certification.

Multiple-choice questions make up the HRM certification exam, which needs to be finished in a set amount of time. For members of HR University, the exam costs $475.00; for non-members, it costs $600.00. Upon approval of an exam application, candidates cannot request a refund if they decide not to take the exam or withdraw from it.

7. HR Analytics Certification by Cornell University

The online learning platform of Cornell University, eCornell, offers a professional certification called the HR Analytics Certification. The goal of the HR Analytics Certification program is to assist HR professionals in honing their analytical abilities and making decisions based on facts. The curriculum covers subjects like quantifying the business effect and return on investment associated with HR initiatives, as well as sourcing, analyzing, and visualizing HR data to guide decisions and recommendations.

The completion of the following courses is required in order to be qualified for the HR Analytics Certification:

1.Essentials of HR Analytics

2.Strategic Talent Analytics

3.Applied Predictive Analytics in HR

4.Valuing HR Initiatives

An advised portfolio project and mentoring are further components of the curriculum. Multiple-choice questions make up the certification exam, which has a time limit that must be met. Exam costs are $600.00 for non-members and $475.00 for eCornell members.

Read more: PHR vs SPHR: Which is worth taking in 2024

8. Associate Professor in Human Resources (aPHR)

The HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers a certification called Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR). It is a knowledge-based credential intended for professionals outside of human resources as well as those just beginning their career in the field. The aPHR certification exam covers themes like employee relations, remuneration and benefits, recruiting and selection, health, safety, and security, and HR operations. It assesses basic knowledge in HR. The exam, which has to be finished in one hour and forty-five minutes, consists of 65 scored questions and 25 pretest questions. There is an additional $100.00 application fee in addition to the $300.00 exam fee.

The certification lasts for three years following testing, and in order to keep it active, a candidate must pass the exam again or accrue 45 recertification credits over the same three-year period.

You can register for the exam on the HRCI website if you’re interested in obtaining the aPHR certification. Additionally, HRCI provides an online MindEdge TM-powered course for aPHR certification preparation.

9. Global Professional Human Resources (GPHR)

The HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers the GPHR certification, which is intended for HR professionals that collaborate internationally and need to comprehend the field while interacting with various nations and national regulations.

The GPHR certification validates your proficiency in managing global HR responsibilities, encompassing globalization strategies and the creation of HR policies and activities that facilitate the expansion of organizations worldwide. Your abilities to manage HR disciplines in a worldwide marketplace are acknowledged by the GPHR.

One of the following requirements for education and/or experience must be satisfied in order to be eligible for the GPHR certification:

        Possess a master’s degree or above and at least two years of experience working in a professional HR role.

        Possess a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience in a professional-level HR role.

        Possess a minimum of four years’ experience working in a senior HR role.

There are 100 scored questions in the GPHR exam, most of them multiple-choice, plus 25 pretest questions. The exam lasts two hours and fifteen minutes, plus an additional thirty minutes for administration. Exam costs are $495.00 plus a $100 application fee. Upon approval of an exam application, candidates cannot withdraw or change their mind about taking the exam.

10. Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) is a certification awarded by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) to HR professionals with strategic and policy-making backgrounds. The SPHR certificate is intended for executives who are in charge of developing US HR policy as opposed to carrying it out. SPHR specialists typically oversee the objectives of the HR department, plan and carry out business strategies and technological initiatives, and are aware of the organization’s overall HR requirements.

One of the following requirements for education and/or experience must be satisfied to be eligible for the SPHR certification:

        Possess a Master’s degree or above and at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR role.

        Possess a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience in a professional-level HR role.

        Possess a minimum of seven years’ experience working in a senior HR role.

The SPHR exam consists of 115 scored questions (mostly multiple-choice) + 25 pretest questions, and lasts for 2 hours and 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes administration time). The exam fee is $495.00 + Application Fee: $100.00. Whether a candidate withdraws or decides they no longer want to take the exam, there will be no reimbursements once their application has been authorised.

Your eligibility for this certification depends on your education and experience. You can apply for the SPHR exam if you meet any of the above-mentioned conditions. For more information on eligibility criteria, recertification, and other details please visit the HRCI website.

Read more: SPHR Certification Cost and Requirements

11.Certified Staffing Professional (CSP)

The Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) program is a certification program that focuses on federal employment and labor law. It certifies your ability to deal with customers and employees while adhering to local, state, and federal rules and regulations, making it a crucial credential for staffing professionals. The CSP exam consists of 100 true-or-false and multiple-choice questions, which are timed for two hours. The certification package includes a list of required study materials, study tips, and sample exam questions.

The CSP certification is offered by the American Staffing Association (ASA), which is a trade organization that represents the staffing industry in the United States. The ASA has also released an updated CSP certification package that includes a new staffing law handbook, federal employment law workbook, CSP final exam, and CSP practice exam.

12. SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

The SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) is a certification program offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is designed for HR professionals who have at least seven years of experience in the field, or those with an HR-related bachelor’s or master’s degree. The SHRM-SCP certification is intended for senior and executive-level HR roles, focusing on strategic elements of HR such as engagement and retention, workforce planning, and policy creation for entire organizations.

To earn the SHRM-SCP certification, you must pass a comprehensive exam that tests your knowledge of HR competencies and functional areas. The exam consists of 160 multiple-choice questions and is timed for four hours. You can prepare for the exam by using SHRM’s official study materials, which include a certification handbook, online learning modules, and practice exams.

If you are interested in pursuing this certification, you can apply online through the SHRM website. The application fee is $50 for SHRM members and $300 for non-members. Once your application is approved, you can schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE testing center near you.

13. Associate Professional in Talent Development Credential (APTD)

The Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) is a professional certification offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). It is designed for talent development professionals who have at least three years of experience in the field and are in the early stages of their careers or whose goals and duties in their careers are concentrated upon the fundamentals of the field. The APTD certification is based on the Talent Development Capability Model, which outlines the skills and knowledge required for success in the talent development profession.

To be eligible for the APTD certification, candidates must have at least three years of experience in talent development or a related field. The certification process involves passing a multiple-choice exam that assesses knowledge and skills in three areas: instructional design, training delivery, and learning technologies. The exam consists of 115 questions and must be completed within two hours. Once certified, APTD holders must recertify every three years to maintain their credentials.

Conclusion

To sum up, obtaining an HR certification is a fantastic method to advance your expertise in the human resources sector. They can boost your career and make you stand out in the employment market. You can select from a range of HR certificates, including entry-level, career development, specialist, and international certifications, based on your professional requirements. Select the qualification that most aligns with your professional objectives and desires.

FAQ's

A HR certification can help you progress your career and make a lasting impression on employers. They exhibit your enthusiasm for the HR industry and your familiarity with HR procedures and practices. You can select from a range of HR certificates, including entry-level, career development, specialist, and international certifications, based on your professional requirements.

Depending on the certification you select, there are different criteria for gaining an HR certification. In general, you’ll need to fulfill specific requirements for school and work experience, pass an exam, and continue your education to keep your certification up to date.

Depending on the certification you select, you may need to fulfill specific requirements in order to keep your HR certification current. For instance, in order to repeat the exam or receive 60 HR recertification credits over a three-year period, you must first obtain a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). There may be differences in requirements for other HR certificates, such as finishing a set of professional development exercises to prove your professional proficiency in HR. 

Here are some ways to earn HR recertification credits:

  1. Attend HR conferences and seminars
  2. Complete online courses and webinars
  3. Volunteer for HR-related activities
  4. Publish articles or books
  5. Participate in HR-related research 



Depending on the certification you select, HR certification programs have different lengths. For instance, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) requires two years of professional-level HR experience for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, and four years of professional-level HR experience for the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. 

Depending on the certification and your degree of experience, studying for an HR certification exam might take a variety of times. While some people would only require a few weeks to prepare, others might need many months.

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