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Free RCH Credit Webinars for SHRM and HRCI Professionals
  • Business Management

SHRM Vs. HRCI: Which certification would spearhead your HR career

Free RCH Credit Webinars for SHRM and HRCI Professionals
Allen Smith, CPA
  • June 10, 2021 12:00 AM EST

Forward-thinking HR professionals would be proactive to know the proper certification or credits that can leverage their respective profiles. In this context, you may have a common question at the back of your mind- "What is the difference between PHR and SHRM certification?" Remember, more than 33% of successful HR professionals already have a certification.


In this regard, you may be knowing that most HR professionals go for either HRCI (HR Certification Institute) or SHRM (The Society for Human Resources Management). These two institutes are the key players in this industry. Professionals often count on SHRM workshops to streamline their profiles with adequate knowledge. One can obtain senior as well as junior-level certifications from both HRCI and SHRM. The HRCI and SHRM programs have their respective fees and requirements. Well, if you are not sure which course would suit your profile, here's some valuable information for you.

What are HRCI Certifications?

The HRCI manages the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. The PHR SHRM CP certification has been there since 1976. For HR professionals, this was the only option for decades. However, HRCI and SHRM parted in 2014, after which the former came up with a plethora of other certifications. These certifications were customized as per the geography and skillset of the professionals. Now, many professionals wonder if SHRM CP or PHR easier. Before we proceed to this aspect, let's have a look at the SHRM PHR certification cost. The aspirants need to shell out an application fee of $100 and a separate fee for the examination. Next, you need to clear a test lasting for three hours. For the exam, the fee for SPHR and PHR are $495 and $395, respectively. In both these examinations, you would cover specific common topics, such as:

  • Compliance.
  • Talent acquisition.
  • Employee relations.

However, the focus on strategy and leadership would be more significant in SPHR certification. For both these certifications, the pass rates are close to 60%. For qualifying for SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and PHR (Professional in Human Resources), you need some HR experience.

Experience for PHR: For candidates with a bachelor's degree, the required experience would be two years. If you have a bachelor's degree, the necessary experience would be four years. For graduates, one year of experience would be required.

Experience for SPHR: Bachelor's degree holders would need five years of experience, while those without a bachelor's degree would need seven years of experience. Graduate degree holders require four years of experience for obtaining this certification.

Please note that you need to renew HRCI certifications every three years before they lapse by earning 60 credits or retaking the examination.

What is SHRM certification?

The SHRM global certification has international recognition. It is easy to choose one of these certifications, as you have only two options, SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional) and SHRM-CP (certified professional). The SHRM eligibility requires the candidates to clear a four-hour examination. The fee ranges between $300 and $475. The SHRM PHR SPHR certification would prove to be immensely valuable for professionals. The aspirants need a certain amount of experience for clearing the examination, depending on their education. Professionals generally find the free SHRM PDCs beneficial to prepare themselves.

SHRM CP qualifications: Without a bachelor's degree, you need 3-4 years of work experience, while professionals are holding a bachelor's degree need 1-2 years of experience. Graduates need one maximum of one year of experience in this regard.

SHRM SCP qualifications: You would need 6-7 years of experience without a bachelor's degree. If you have a bachelor's degree, 4-5 years of professional experience would be fine. For graduates, 3-4 years of experience would work perfectly.

Most professionals attend free webinars for SHRM credits, as they need to renew the certifications every three years using 60 credits or retaking the examination. You may also reach out to an SHRM recertification provider for the SHRM recertification handbook.

HRCI certification vs. SHRM certification: Which one should you go for?

Often, professionals land up in a dilemma between HR certification SHRM vs. HRCI. Now, if you want to know which among PHR or SHRM CP certifications are preferred, you should note that PHR is equivalent to SHRM-CP. Also, SHRM-SCP is equivalent to SPHR.

Before finalizing your SHRM HRCI certification options, take a note of the following aspects:

  • The PHR certification will help you learn business law HR-oriented business law, and you are working with less than 250 people.
  • The SHRM-CP will be a better option if you are interested in consulting behaviors or leadership aspects while working in a larger organization.

Now that you have a good idea about the SHRM PHR certification qualifications, you can make the right choice with the SHRM PHR certification course and other options available. myCPE offers a variety of continuing education related to Human Resouces for HRCI and SHRM qualifications.

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Free RCH Credit Webinars for SHRM and HRCI Professionals

Allen Smith, CPA

Learning Consultant

The Authors, Allen Smith is a Practicing Certified public accountant and senior vice president at myCPE – Continuing Education Platform for Professionals. He understands the current needs of the education domain and strategies for the presenters to adapt the new changes.