HR Certification: Getting Started

Congrats! You’ve decided to become a certified HR professional. You likely have tons of questions and here at HR Defined we want to provide you with as much information to help you become successful in pursuit of your certification goals.

  1. Decide what exam to take.

There are two exam providers. HRCI and SHRM. Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)- are the governing officials for the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi. For 40 years, HRCI has set the standard for HR expertise and excellence around the globe. Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)- are the governing officials for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP. Over the past 7 decades, SHRM has been described as a leading provider for HR resources and professionals. Note: You are likely wondering which exam you should take. Both exams are recognizable in the HR community and there has been no evidence to support employers preferring one over the other.

2. Register for the exam

No matter what exam you choose, you will still need to register for the exam through the governing officials. You can do so here: https://www.hrci.org/how-to-get-certified/apply-for-certification/application-process for HRCI.

3.  Decide how you would like to prepare for the exam.

These national exams are difficult. Determining how to prepare for these exams will be key in your success.

  • Self Study- self studying for the exams gives you the flexibility to study at your leisure.

  • Prep Course- taking a prep course is facilitated by a certified instructor to help bring some organization to your study sessions.

  • Self- Paced- a self paced method to studying to help with your certification goals

4. Prepare rigorously

Reminder: These exams are difficult. And they are also a huge investment.  Allow yourself enough time to appropriately prepare for these exams so that you are successful on your first try. The time it will take you to prepare will be unique to you. Many recommend spending at least 100 hours preparing for the exams. No one form of preparation will completely prepare you for the exam. Nevertheless, you can do this and we are here to help.