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Top 11 Labor Relations Specialist Certifications

This article will explore the top certifications for labor relations specialists and how to obtain them.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a labor relations specialist in the job market because they demonstrate competency and expertise in the field. Certification programs provide an opportunity for individuals to gain specialized knowledge and skills that are essential for success as a labor relations specialist. Additionally, certifications may be required by employers when hiring labor relations specialists, and can help set applicants apart from other applicants who do not have them. Certifications also allow individuals to stay up-to-date on changes in the field of labor relations, which is often rapidly evolving. Ultimately, having certifications can help ensure that a labor relations specialist has the necessary qualifications to excel in their role.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Labor Relations Specialists and explain how they can contribute to a labor relations specialist's career.

What are Labor Relations Specialist Certifications?

Labor relations specialist certification is a professional credential that recognizes the knowledge and expertise of labor relations professionals. It demonstrates to employers and other stakeholders that an individual has the necessary skills to effectively manage labor and employee relations in any organization. The certification provides assurance that individuals are well-versed in the legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements of labor relations, as well as in the theories, principles, and practices associated with collective bargaining, contract administration, dispute resolution, and other labor-management topics.

The certification process includes an assessment of an individual’s knowledge base through a series of tests or examinations. Upon successful completion of this evaluation process, individuals earn the right to use the designation “Certified Labor Relations Specialist” (CLRS). This credential can help enhance career opportunities by demonstrating competence in labor relations management. It also serves as a signal to employers that an individual is qualified to provide sound advice on workplace issues related to labor-management relationships. Additionally, it can open doors for those seeking advancement or higher salaries within their field.

Pro tip: When pursuing labor relations specialist certification, make sure to research the specific requirements that are necessary for your state or jurisdiction. This will help ensure that you have all of the necessary qualifications and credentials to become a successful labor relations specialist.

Related: What does a Labor Relations Specialist do?

Top 11 Labor Relations Specialist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Labor Relations Specialists today.

1. Certified Labor Relations Professional (CLRP)

Certified Labor Relations Professional (CLRP) is a professional certification program offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in labor relations and collective bargaining. The CLRP credential demonstrates mastery of the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively manage labor relations in today’s complex environment.

To become a Certified Labor Relations Professional (CLRP), an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an exam administered by SHRM. Eligibility requirements include at least five years of professional-level experience in labor relations or collective bargaining, or a combination thereof. Additionally, applicants must have either a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or equivalent work experience.

The CLRP exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as labor laws, union avoidance strategies, contract negotiation techniques, dispute resolution processes, and collective bargaining agreement interpretation. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and costs $400 USD for SHRM members and $500 USD for non-members.

2. Certified Human Resources Professional in Labor Relations (CHRLR)

Certified Human Resources Professional in Labor Relations (CHRLR) is a professional designation offered by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). It is designed to recognize HR professionals who specialize in labor relations and collective bargaining. The CHRLR designation requires that individuals demonstrate mastery of the core competencies related to labor relations and collective bargaining, including: knowledge of applicable legislation, negotiation strategies, dispute resolution processes, and the management of collective agreements.

It takes approximately two years to complete the requirements for the CHRLR designation. To be eligible for the certification, applicants must have at least three years of experience in human resources or labor relations, as well as a post-secondary degree or diploma in a related field. Applicants must also successfully complete an online assessment and an in-person interview with HRPA assessors.

The cost of obtaining the CHRLR designation varies depending on whether you are an HRPA member or non-member. For members, it costs $1,195 plus applicable taxes; for non-members, it costs $1,445 plus applicable taxes.

3. Certified Employee Relations Specialist (CERS)

Certified Employee Relations Specialist (CERS) is a professional certification program designed to provide Human Resources professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage employee relations in their organizations. The CERS certification is offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The CERS program consists of two components: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as labor laws, employee benefits, workplace conflict resolution, and performance management. It takes approximately six weeks to complete the course. After completing the course, participants must pass a comprehensive exam in order to earn their CERS certification.

The cost of the CERS program varies depending on whether you are a SHRM member or non-member. For SHRM members, the cost of the program is $1,299 USD; for non-members, it is $1,499 USD.

4. Certified Labor Relations Manager (CLRM)

Certified Labor Relations Manager (CLRM) is a professional certification program that provides specialized training and education in labor relations and collective bargaining. The CLRM program is designed to help individuals gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively manage labor relations issues in their organizations.

The CLRM program consists of four courses: Labor Law I & II, Collective Bargaining I & II. Each course takes approximately 10-15 hours to complete and can be taken online or in a classroom setting. The entire program takes approximately 40-60 hours to complete.

In order to become certified, an individual must pass all four courses with a minimum grade of 70%. Upon successful completion of the program, the individual will receive a Certificate of Completion from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This certificate is valid for three years and must be renewed every three years in order to maintain certification status.

The cost of the CLRM program varies depending on where it is taken; however, it typically costs between $500-$1000.

5. Advanced Certified Labor Relations Specialist (ACLRS)

Advanced Certified Labor Relations Specialist (ACLRS) is a certification program designed to provide labor relations professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage labor relations in the workplace. This certification is offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The ACLRS certification program consists of two parts: an online course and an in-person exam. The online course covers topics such as labor law, collective bargaining, arbitration, and dispute resolution. It typically takes between three and six months to complete the coursework.

To get certified as an ACLRS, applicants must first meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least five years of professional experience in labor relations or a related field. They must also submit a completed application form and pay the required fees. Once approved, applicants are required to take and pass the ACLRS exam.

The cost of obtaining an ACLRS certification depends on several factors, including where you take the exam and whether or not you need to purchase additional study materials. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 for all associated fees.

6. National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) Certification

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) Certification is a voluntary certification program designed to recognize organizations that demonstrate excellence in the professional employer organization (PEO) industry. The NAPEO Certification is the only certification program of its kind and is recognized as the gold standard for PEOs.

To obtain NAPEO Certification, an organization must meet stringent criteria, including demonstrating financial stability, maintaining a satisfactory record with state regulatory agencies, and having appropriate insurance coverage. The application process includes completing an extensive questionnaire and providing supporting documentation.

The entire NAPEO Certification process typically takes 4-6 weeks from the time of submission to completion. To begin the process, organizations must submit an application packet along with a non-refundable fee of $1,000. Once the application is approved by NAPEO’s review board, an onsite audit will be conducted by a third-party auditor to verify that all requirements are met. Upon successful completion of this audit, the organization will be granted NAPEO Certification status for two years.

Organizations that maintain their certification status may reapply for renewal after two years at no additional cost. However, organizations that fail to meet any of the requirements during their two-year period will have their certification revoked and will be required to reapply for certification at the full cost of $1,000.

7. Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional in Labor-Management Relations (SHRM-SCP-LMR)

The Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional in Labor-Management Relations (SHRM-SCP-LMR) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of labor-management relations. This certification is designed to demonstrate an individual's knowledge and understanding of the laws, regulations, and practices related to labor-management relations. It also demonstrates an individual's ability to effectively manage labor-management issues within an organization.

To obtain the SHRM-SCP-LMR certification, individuals must first meet the eligibility requirements. These include having at least five years of experience in labor relations or human resources management, as well as a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution. Individuals must then pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as collective bargaining, dispute resolution, and labor law.

The exam typically takes four hours to complete and consists of 150 multiple choice questions. The cost of taking the exam varies depending on the country in which it is taken; however, it generally ranges between $300-$400 USD.

8. International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) Certified Labor Relations Officer (CLRO)

The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) Certified Labor Relations Officer (CLRO) is a professional certification program that provides labor relations professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage labor relations in public sector organizations. The CLRO program is designed to help human resource professionals develop the skills needed to successfully negotiate collective bargaining agreements, resolve grievances, and handle other labor-related issues.

The CLRO program consists of four courses: Introduction to Labor Relations, Negotiations and Collective Bargaining, Grievance Handling, and Employee Discipline. Each course is approximately eight weeks long and requires approximately 40 hours of study time. Upon successful completion of all four courses, participants will receive their CLRO certification from IPMA-HR.

To be eligible for the CLRO program, applicants must have at least three years of labor relations experience in a public sector organization or have completed a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field.

The cost of the CLRO program varies depending on whether you are an IPMA-HR member or nonmember. For nonmembers, the cost is $1,500 per course ($6,000 total). For members, the cost is $1,200 per course ($4,800 total).

In addition to the tuition fees for each course, there may also be additional costs associated with taking the CLRO exam. The exam fee is $150 for members and $200 for nonmembers.

9. American Arbitration Association’s Mediator Qualification Program

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediator Qualification Program is a comprehensive program designed to ensure that mediators meet the highest standards of professional practice. The program includes an application process, a written examination, and an in-person assessment.

To become qualified as a AAA mediator, applicants must submit an online application and provide documentation of their education and professional experience. After submitting the application, applicants are required to take and pass a written exam that covers topics such as dispute resolution theory and practice, communication skills, and ethical considerations. Once the written exam has been completed successfully, applicants must attend a two-day in-person assessment session which includes role-plays with simulated clients.

The entire process typically takes around four months from start to finish. The cost of the program varies depending on the type of membership chosen by the applicant; however, it generally ranges from $500 to $1,000.

10. National Labor College’s Certificate in Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration

The National Labor College’s Certificate in Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration is a professional development program designed to provide union leaders and staff with the skills they need to effectively negotiate, administer, and enforce collective bargaining agreements. The program consists of four courses: Introduction to Collective Bargaining; Negotiating and Administering Collective Bargaining Agreements; Labor Relations Law; and Contract Administration.

The Certificate in Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration can be completed in as little as one year, depending on how quickly you complete the courses. Each course is offered online or through self-study, so you can complete them at your own pace. You must complete all four courses with a grade of “C” or better in order to receive the certificate.

To get started, you must apply for admission to the National Labor College. Once accepted, you will be able to register for the courses that make up the Certificate in Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration. Tuition for each course is $495 per credit hour plus fees, so the total cost of the program will depend on how quickly you complete it.

11. The Institute of Industrial and Labor Relations Certificate in Applied Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

The Institute of Industrial and Labor Relations Certificate in Applied Negotiation and Conflict Resolution is a professional certification program designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully manage workplace disputes. The program provides an overview of conflict resolution theory, negotiation strategies, communication techniques, and legal aspects of labor relations. It also covers topics such as collective bargaining, dispute resolution systems, mediation, arbitration, and other related topics.

The program is offered online in a self-paced format over the course of six months. During this period, students will complete five courses that cover the fundamentals of negotiation and conflict resolution. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate from Cornell University's ILR School.

To get the certificate in Applied Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, applicants must first complete an application form on the Cornell University ILR School website. After submitting their application materials, applicants must pass an entrance exam before being accepted into the program. Once accepted into the program, students must complete all required courses within six months to receive their certificate.

The cost for the Institute of Industrial and Labor Relations Certificate in Applied Negotiation and Conflict Resolution is $3,000 USD (plus applicable taxes). This fee includes all course materials as well as access to online resources such as webinars and discussion forums.

Do You Really Need a Labor Relations Specialist Certificate?

In today's labor market, having a Labor Relations Specialist Certificate can be beneficial in many ways. It shows potential employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to handle labor relations issues. It also demonstrates your commitment to the profession and your dedication to making sure that all employees receive fair treatment.

The Labor Relations Specialist Certificate is an important credential for those working in human resources or labor relations departments. It shows employers that you are knowledgeable about labor laws and regulations, which helps them make decisions about employee rights and benefits. Additionally, it demonstrates your understanding of collective bargaining agreements and other labor-related topics.

Having the certificate also gives you access to additional resources such as specialized seminars and workshops. These events can provide valuable insights into current trends in the industry, as well as networking opportunities with experienced professionals who may be able to help you advance your career. Additionally, having the certificate may open up job opportunities in other fields, such as consulting or dispute resolution services.

The Labor Relations Specialist Certificate is not a requirement for most positions in human resources or labor relations departments; however, it can certainly give you an edge over other applicants who do not have this credential. Employers value employees who demonstrate a commitment to their profession by obtaining certifications like this one, so having a certificate can give you an advantage when applying for jobs or promotions within these industries.

In conclusion, earning a Labor Relations Specialist Certificate can be an invaluable asset when seeking employment in human resources or labor relations departments. It shows employers that you are knowledgeable about current trends and regulations relating to these industries, as well as demonstrating your dedication to the field. Having this certification will open up job opportunities and additional resources that can help further your career development.

Related: Labor Relations Specialist Resume Examples

FAQs About Labor Relations Specialist Certifications

1. What is a Labor Relations Specialist Certification?

Answer: A Labor Relations Specialist Certification is a specialized certification program designed to help professionals gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in labor relations. It provides courses on topics such as collective bargaining, dispute resolution, labor law, and more.

2. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a Labor Relations Specialist?

Answer: Becoming certified as a Labor Relations Specialist can provide numerous benefits to professionals, including increased job opportunities and higher salaries. Additionally, it can give employers an assurance of expertise in this field and demonstrate commitment to the profession.

3. What qualifications do I need to become certified as a Labor Relations Specialist?

Answer: To become certified as a Labor Relations Specialist, you must typically have at least three years of related experience and complete an approved training program or coursework that covers the core competencies for labor relations specialists.

4. Where can I get my certification?

Answer: Most certifications for labor relations specialists are offered through professional organizations such as Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) or the American Arbitration Association (AAA).

5. How long does it take to get certified?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to get certified varies depending on the organization offering the certification and your current level of experience. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete all necessary coursework and requirements for certification.