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Top 10 HR Representative Certifications

This article outlines the most beneficial HR representative certifications available to help professionals develop their knowledge and gain a competitive edge in the field.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for HR representatives in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers value. Certifications provide evidence that an individual has achieved a certain level of proficiency in their field and can be used to distinguish one candidate from another when it comes to job opportunities. Additionally, certifications can help HR representatives stay current on trends, best practices, and regulations within the industry. This can prove invaluable during the recruitment process or when handling sensitive employee matters. Finally, certifications provide HR representatives with the opportunity to network with other professionals in their field, which can open up new career paths and opportunities.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for HR Representatives and explains how they can help to advance an HR Representative's career.

What are HR Representative Certifications?

HR Representative Certification is an accreditation program designed to give HR professionals the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their roles. It is awarded by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), a leading professional certification organization for human resources professionals. The certification demonstrates that an individual has achieved a certain level of competency in the field of human resources, as well as a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

The certification requires individuals to complete a series of courses and pass an exam. The courses cover topics such as employee relations, compensation and benefits, recruitment and selection, performance management, training and development, labor law compliance, HR technology systems, organizational development and more. Passing the exam indicates that individuals have demonstrated mastery in these areas.

Having HR Representative Certification can help individuals stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions within their current organization. It also helps demonstrate knowledge of best practices in the field of human resources to employers who may not be familiar with them. Finally, having this certification can help build credibility with peers and colleagues in the HR field.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the specific HR representative certification requirements for the state in which you plan on working. Different states may have different requirements, so it's important to make sure that you meet all of the necessary qualifications before applying for a certification.

Related: What does an HR Representative do?

Top 10 HR Representative Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to HR Representatives today.

1. Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification

Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification is a credential offered by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) that recognizes professionals who have demonstrated a mastery of the technical and operational aspects of HR management. This certification is designed to equip professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively manage human resources within an organization.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to prepare for the PHR exam and obtain the certification. To get certified, you must meet certain eligibility requirements such as having at least one year of professional experience in a human resources role or two years of non-HR experience in a role that requires significant HR knowledge. You must also pass an exam covering topics such as strategic management, workforce planning and employment, employee development, compensation and benefits administration, employee relations, risk management, and diversity and inclusion.

The cost of obtaining the PHR certification varies depending on your membership status with HRCI. The exam fee is $395 for HRCI members and $595 for non-members. Additionally, there are fees associated with study materials and preparation courses which can range from $50-$500 depending on what type of materials or courses you choose to use.

2. Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification

The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification is a professional designation offered by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s mastery of the strategic and policy-making aspects of human resource management. This certification is highly sought after by HR professionals who want to demonstrate their commitment to excellence in the field.

It typically takes between two and five years to complete all of the requirements for SPHR certification. The process involves passing an exam, completing coursework or attending seminars, having at least four years of experience in a senior-level HR position, and demonstrating knowledge of current HR practices and trends.

To get SPHR certified, you must first become an HRCI member. You can then register for the exam online or via mail. Before taking the exam, it is recommended that you take a review course or attend a seminar to help prepare you for the test.

The cost of getting SPHR certified varies depending on your membership status with HRCI and whether or not you choose to take a review course or attend a seminar. Generally speaking, it costs around $400-$500 for HRCI members and $700-$800 for non-members.

3. SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) Certification

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification is a professional credential offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is designed to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills required to be an effective HR practitioner. The SHRM-CP certification recognizes individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the HR profession and their ability to effectively apply HR principles in the workplace.

It typically takes 6-12 months to complete the SHRM-CP certification process, depending on how quickly you can complete all of the requirements. To become certified, you must first pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as staffing, employee relations, compensation and benefits, training and development, and more. You must also have at least one year of professional experience in human resources or a related field.

The cost of obtaining the SHRM-CP certification varies depending on whether you are an existing member of SHRM or not. For non-members, it costs $300 for the exam plus a $50 application fee. For members, it costs $200 for the exam plus a $50 application fee. Additionally, there are study materials available from SHRM that may help you prepare for the exam which range in price from $100-$400 depending on which package you choose.

Overall, obtaining your SHRM-CP certification can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to your profession and show employers that you have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be successful in human resources management.

4. SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) Certification

The SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification is a professional credential awarded by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of competency in the field of human resource management. The SHRM-SCP certification is intended to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead people, manage workplace culture and drive business results.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to prepare for and obtain the SHRM-SCP certification. The process involves studying for and passing an exam, which tests your knowledge on topics such as strategic HR management, workforce planning and employment law. To become certified, you must also meet certain educational qualifications, such as having a bachelor's degree or higher in HR or related field.

To get started with the SHRM-SCP certification process, you must first purchase an application package from SHRM's website. This package includes an online study guide and practice exams that can help you prepare for the exam. Once you have purchased the package, you will be able to register for the exam at a local testing center.

The cost of obtaining the SHRM-SCP certification varies depending on your location and whether or not you are a member of SHRM. In general, it costs around $300-$400 USD to purchase the application package and take the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking proctored exams at certain locations.

5. Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) Certification

Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) Certification is a certification offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in global human resource management.

The GPHR certification requires applicants to have at least five years of professional experience in the field of global human resources, as well as a bachelor’s degree or higher. Applicants must also demonstrate their knowledge and skills through an examination that covers topics such as global HR strategies, global workforce planning, international compensation and benefits, and global employment laws and regulations.

It typically takes two to three months to complete the requirements for GPHR certification. The first step is to register with SHRM and pay the application fee. After that, applicants must complete an online application form and submit their transcripts, resume, references, and other documents required by SHRM. Once approved, applicants can then take the GPHR exam.

The cost of obtaining GPHR certification varies depending on where you live and what type of membership you have with SHRM. Generally speaking, it costs around $500-$600 USD for non-members to apply for the GPHR certification; members may receive a discount on this fee. Additionally, there are fees associated with taking the exam itself ($300-$400 USD).

6. Society for Human Resource Management - Certified HR Executive (SHRM-CPE) Certification

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional (SHRM-CPE) Certification is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and experience of human resource professionals. It is an internationally recognized credential that demonstrates mastery of the core competencies essential to effective HR management.

The SHRM-CPE Certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as employment law, compensation and benefits, employee relations, organizational development and change management, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, risk management, strategic planning and more. The exam consists of 175 multiple choice questions and must be completed within two hours.

To qualify for the SHRM-CPE Certification, applicants must have at least three years of professional HR experience or a bachelor’s degree in HR or a related field. Applicants must also complete 60 hours of continuing education credits within three years prior to applying for the certification.

The cost of the SHRM-CPE Certification varies depending on whether you are a member or nonmember of SHRM. For members, it costs $300 USD; for nonmembers it costs $400 USD. The fee includes the application fee and the exam fee.

The process typically takes around four weeks from when you submit your application until you receive your results. Once you have passed the exam and met all other requirements, you will receive your official certification from SHRM within eight weeks after passing the exam.

7. WorldatWork Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) Certification

The WorldatWork Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of compensation. It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s commitment to the profession and their ability to effectively design, administer, and manage compensation programs.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the program. The certification process begins with a self-assessment that evaluates an individual’s current knowledge of compensation principles, practices, and strategies. After completing the assessment, individuals can register for the CCP exam which consists of multiple-choice questions about topics such as job analysis, job evaluation, pay structure design, incentive pay plans, executive compensation, and global compensation.

To become certified as a CCP, individuals must pass the exam with a score of at least 70%. Once they have passed the exam they will receive their certification from WorldatWork. Individuals can also choose to take additional courses or workshops to further their knowledge in specific areas of compensation.

The cost for becoming certified as a CCP varies depending on how many courses or workshops are taken. Generally speaking it costs around $1,500 - $2,000 USD including registration fees for the exam and any additional coursework required.

8. WorldatWork Total Rewards Management Professional (TRMP) Certification

WorldatWork Total Rewards Management Professional (TRMP) Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the principles and practices of total rewards management. This certification is designed to provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to design, implement, and manage total rewards programs in organizations.

The TRMP Certification Program consists of two components: an online self-study course and an exam. The self-study course covers topics such as compensation, benefits, recognition, performance management, job analysis, and legal compliance. It takes approximately 40 hours to complete the self-study course. The exam is a three-hour proctored test that requires a passing score of 80%.

To get certified as a TRMP, you must first complete the online self-study course and then register for the exam. Once you have registered for the exam, you will be able to schedule your test date at one of WorldatWork's testing centers or through a remote proctoring service.

The cost to become certified as a TRMP is $1,295 USD plus applicable taxes. This fee includes access to the online self-study course and one attempt at the exam. Additional attempts at the exam are available for an additional fee of $250 USD plus applicable taxes per attempt.

9. International Public Management Association for Human Resources - Certified Professional in Human Resources (IPMA-CPHR)

The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) is a professional certification program that recognizes the expertise of human resources professionals. It is designed to ensure that those who hold it have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide effective leadership and management in the field of human resources.

To get certified as an IPMA-CPHR, you must meet certain requirements. These include having a minimum of three years of relevant HR experience, completing an approved IPMA-CPHR training program, passing an online exam, and agreeing to adhere to a code of ethics. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and covers topics such as strategic HR management, labor relations, employee development and compensation.

It typically takes between six months and two years to complete the process of becoming an IPMA-CPHR depending on your level of experience and how quickly you can complete the required coursework.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you take it but generally ranges from $400-$600 USD.

10. National Association of State Workforce Agencies - Certified Human Resource Manager (NASWA-CHRM)

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Certified Human Resource Manager (CHRM) credential is a professional certification program that recognizes the knowledge and skills of HR professionals. It is designed to help employers identify qualified HR professionals who have demonstrated expertise in their field. The CHRM credential is recognized by employers as a mark of excellence in the field of human resource management.

To obtain the CHRM credential, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an examination administered by NASWA. Applicants must have at least two years of professional experience in human resource management, or a combination of education and experience totaling at least four years. They must also complete an online application and pay the applicable fee.

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering nine core areas of HR management: Human Resources Planning; Recruiting, Selection, and Placement; Training and Development; Employee Relations; Compensation and Benefits; Labor Relations; Health, Safety, and Security; Performance Management; and Strategic Human Resources Management. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost to take the CHRM exam is $395 for NASWA members or $495 for non-members. In addition to the examination fee, there may be other costs associated with obtaining the credential such as travel expenses or study materials.

Do You Really Need a HR Representative Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation. If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, or manager of a larger organization, it may be beneficial for you to obtain an HR Representative Certificate. This certification can demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to handle human resource related tasks such as hiring, firing, promoting, and disciplining employees. It can also help you stay up-to-date on the latest HR trends and laws.

In addition, having an HR Representative Certificate can help build credibility with other employers or clients who may not be familiar with your work experience in the field of human resources. It can also give you access to job postings that require certification in order to apply.

On the other hand, if you are already working in a role where you are responsible for HR related tasks and decisions then it might not be necessary for you to obtain a certificate. You may already have the necessary knowledge and skills required for the job without needing additional training or certifications. Ultimately, whether or not obtaining a certificate is beneficial depends on your individual needs and goals.

Related: HR Representative Resume Examples

FAQs About HR Representative Certifications

Q1: What is an HR Representative Certification?

A1: An HR Representative Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a person's knowledge and understanding of the human resources field. It is designed to help employers ensure that their HR representatives have the skills and qualifications necessary to effectively manage personnel, payroll, and other related duties.

Q2: What are the benefits of getting an HR Representative Certification?

A2: An HR Representative Certification can provide job seekers with an edge in the competitive job market. It also signals to employers that you have taken the necessary steps to gain expertise in the field and are prepared to handle personnel issues. Additionally, it may be required by some employers for certain positions or promotions.

Q3: How do I become certified as an HR Representative?

A3: To become certified as an HR Representative, you will need to meet certain requirements set by your chosen certification body. These requirements typically include completing coursework related to human resources topics, passing examinations, and providing proof of experience in the field.

Q4: How long does it take to get certified as an HR Representative?

A4: The length of time it takes to become certified as an HR representative varies depending on your chosen certification body. Generally speaking, however, most certifications require at least two years of experience in the field before taking exams or submitting paperwork for review.

Q5: Is there a cost associated with becoming certified as an HR Representative?

A5: Yes, there is typically a fee associated with becoming certified as an HR representative. This fee can vary depending on your chosen certification body; however, most organizations charge between $100-$400 for certifications.