What is a Human Resources Certification?


Certifications have become very popular within many professions over the past decades.  Even within the field of human resources, certifications have become highly recognizable.  According to the 2010 Value of Certification Study conducted by the HR Certification Institute and B2B International, employers viewed certified human resource professionals as possessing a higher competency level through practical and professional experience.  Furthermore, the study suggests the need for certified human resource professionals will increase within the next five years.  As a result, a certification within the human resources field is essential as it highlights expertise in specialized areas in which you are qualified to practice.
Through the attainment of a human resources certification, professionals are able to demonstrate their commitment and willingness to uphold morals and values significant to the human resources profession.  From establishing your advanced knowledge regarding regulations, concepts and practices, a human resources certification validates your mastery in key principles and concepts within human resources.

Human Resources Certifications

In order to determine which certification is right for you, it is important to understand the various types of certifications that are available within the human resources profession.  Keep in mind, each certification level has different requirements.  The requirements will vary in the exempt level of human resources work experience and educational degree obtained.  You will need all the resources you have access to. These basic requirements will need to be met in conjunction with passing the specified exam.  Remember, each exam will cover specialized areas within human resources testing your proficiency in topics ranging from business management & strategy, to workplace planning, employment and risk management:

Professional in Human Resources (PHR) This certification level focuses upon technical and operational components of human resources testing individuals in human resources practices, regulations and laws.

Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) An individual interested in this level of certification has an interest in design and planning of policy.

Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) This certification is designed for professionals involved in global human resource policy, programs and global growth.

Human Resources Business Professional (HRBP) A certification within this area demonstrates an individual’s abilities in human resource management in the area of policy development, strategy and service delivery.

Human Resources Management Professional (HRMP) This level of certification demonstrates proficiency in core human resources principles in technical and operational areas of human resources.

While there are many benefits of a human resources certification for the individual and the employer, becoming a certified professional can take a great deal dedication.  Professionals are expected to fulfill various requirements before a certification is awarded.  Even once the certification is obtained, the professional is required to maintain a certain number of continuing education credits, experience and fulfill other key components to remain eligible for recertification.

Needless to say, as the demand for qualified human resources professionals continue to rise, there will be a demand for certified human resources professionals.   In fact, 62 percent of U.S. employers believe that employees possessing a certification will positively impact the profitability of a company.  Due to the prestige associated with a human resources certification, professionals are at a greater advantage in landing jobs as it demonstrates to an employer their overall commitment to being an ethical human resources professional.


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