Certification programmes to advance your career in human resources

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Human resource managers are necessary to ensure successful, productive operation within organisations.

By U2B Staff 

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As new technologies emerge such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, IoT, blockchain and cloud, a dramatic shift in the job market is on the horizon. Human resource (HR) management is the function that focuses on the longer-term resourcing retention, compliance, direction and engagement of individuals within an organisation. This form of management was designed to ensure successful, productive operation. It’s a balancing act that requires the right set of skills. 

With technology’s rapid growth, staying ahead has never been more crucial. According to Deloitte, reskilling the HR team should be a critical area of focus for most organisations. “Only 7% of HR leaders surveyed feel their teams can consistently deliver innovative programs that drive business impact,” Deloitte states. 

“Business leaders agree: Only 25% of business leaders believe their HR teams deliver excellent or good capabilities, compared to 75% who say HR is just getting by or underperforming.”


Simply put, human resource managers need to upskill themselves to stay ahead. An effective method? Gaining certification. These programmes provide advanced training and skills that prepare professionals for a particular position. 

Graduates with certification in HR are often able to maximise performance in organisations with up-to-date skills. An added bonus is that these bonus qualifications look great on CVs, resulting in a number of career opportunities to choose from. Furthermore, human resource management positions are popular and necessary in organisations of all sizes and sectors. 

If you are interested in upskilling yourself to advance your career in HR, these certifications are worth looking into: 

Associate Professional in Human Resources™ (APHR™)

The Associate Professional in Human Resources™ certification is perfect for entry-level human resources professionals as it does not require previous work experience. Meaning, university students studying for a career in human resources can get a head start by studying for and completing the programme before graduating. Additionally, this certification is perfect for anyone looking to make a career change.

Professional in Human Resources®

The Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) certificate was designed for human resources professionals who are a couple of years into their human resources career and looking for advanced development.

Eligibility for the PHR® depends on your level of education and your current experience in an HR role. You may be eligible for the PHR® within your first year on the job, or you may need to wait. Regardless, planning ahead with preparation is always a good idea.

Global Professional in Human Resources® (GPHR®)

The GPHR® certificate could be the final step in the international human resources certification ladder.This designation is perfect for HR professionals who work outside the US or with international teams.

The GPHR® also requires global HR experience. This is defined as having direct, cross-border HR responsibilities for two or more countries or regions. Eligibility for the GPHR® depends on levels of education and work experience.


SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

The Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, is a member-based organisation that offers two competency-based certifications: the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP, which we cover below.

In addition to usual HR tasks, a SHRM-CP is taught to understand policy implementation, strategy, and service delivery. This certification has specific professional and education requirements, starting with three or four years of experience for those without a degree. 

Senior SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

The SHRM-SCP was designed for HR professionals with advanced knowledge of HR strategy and how these strategies meet organisational goals. An SHRM-SCP assumes the role of an HR leader. These leaders are often experienced in dealing with employee performance metrics and alignment with key performance indicators (KPIs).

Requirements for the SHRM-SCP start with six or seven years of experience for those without a bachelor’s degree.