Education, Human Resources, Training





HR Certificates: An Overview 

Lets first define them, according to Wikipedia they are as follows.

CIPD: The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is a professional association for human resource management professionals. It is headquartered in Wimbledon, London, England. The organisation has over 135,000 members across 120 countries, and achieved chartered status in 2000.

SHRM: The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing about 260,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India.

Now that we covered the definitions, let us take a better look inside:

  • Founded:
    • CIPD: 1913
    • SHRM: 1948
  • Based in:
    • CIPD: The United Kingdom
    • SHRM: United States of America
  • Certificates:
    • CIPD:
      • Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP) Entry/support (Level 3) level qualification leading to Associate membership
      • Certificate in Recruitment and Selection (CRS) is a level three qualification that’s based on the CIPD’s support-level Professional Standards.
      • Certificate in Training Practice (CTP) is a recognised Level three trainers qualification that also underpins NVQ 4.
      • Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring (CCM) Introduces students to the skills needed to be an effective coach and mentor. It’s a level three qualification that’s based on the CIPD’s support-level Professional Standards.
      • Certificate in Employment Relations, Law and Practice (CERLAP) Designed to introduce students to the key elements of employment law and practice. It covers the skills and competencies needed by today’s HR and development professionals. It’s a level three qualification that’s based on CIPD’s support-level Professional Standards.
      • Certificate in Business Awareness & Advanced Professional Study (CBAAPS) This is a Level 6 qualification. It has been developed to help students make the transition from a level three or non-relevant degree programme onto postgraduate programmes. It will enables them to join a CIPD-approved postgraduate level qualification with the right entry level knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for a master’s level study.
    • SHRM:
      • Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) The PHR exam focuses on the technical and operational aspects of human resource practices, U.S, law and regulation based.
      • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification is designed for the HR professional who designs and plans, rather than implements, HR policy, also focuses on the “big picture”, has ultimate accountability in the HR department, typically has six to eight years of progressive and increasingly complicated HR experience, has breadth and depth of knowledge in all HR disciplines, uses judgment gained with time and knowledge application, and understands the business beyond the HR function and influences the overall organization
      • Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®) The Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®) certification is designed for the HR professional who has HR responsibilities that cross national borders, understands the strategies of globalization versus localization of HR policies and programs, establishes HR policies and initiatives that support the organization’s global growth and employer reputation, designs organizational programs, processes and tools to achieve worldwide business goals, develops, implements, and evaluates programs, processes and tools, ensures that programs, processes, and tools align with competitive practice, the organization’s objectives, and legal requirements, oversees practices that balance employer needs with employee rights and needs, and has core knowledge of the organization’s international HR activities
      • California Certification (PHR-CA® and SPHR-CA®) The PHR-CA®/SPHR-CA® certifications are designed for HR professionals who currently hold PHR® and SPHR® credentials and are experts in regulations and legal mandates specific to the state of California. The exam focuses on California HR-related laws and practices and does not test knowledge already covered on the PHR or SPHR exam. HR professionals who earn a PHR-CA or SPHR-CA have proven that they have mastered the unique skills necessary to practice in the state of California.
      • Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP?) The Human Resource Business Professional (HRBP?) is a globally relevant credential that is designed to validate professional-level core human resource knowledge and skills. The credential demonstrates mastery of generally accepted technical and operational HR principles. Independent of geographic region, the credential complements local HR practices. Through demonstrated knowledge, the credential enhances the credibility of HR professionals and the organizations they serve.
      • Human Resource Business Professional (HRBP?) The Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP?) is a globally relevant credential that is designed to validate management-level core human resource knowledge and skills. The credential demonstrates mastery of generally accepted HR principles in strategy and policy development as well as service delivery. Independent of geographic region, the credential complements local HR practices. Through demonstrated knowledge, the credential enhances the credibility of HR professionals and the organizations they serve.

<< Note that the SHRM needs minimum experience years for each certificate >>

after listing all the information above, I should mention, there is no better here, it depends on the person to decide, for instance, when I worked for Halliburton, a lot of the senior HR staff had the PHR, but if you notice the local Saudi market, you will notice that CIPD is widely held by HR professionals, so it always depends on you.

On the foot note, I have always leaned towards CIPD for HR Professionals in Saudi Arabia, because I have noticed that SHRM has a huge following in the united states and from what I read in the books, it focuses more on United States law, where CIPD has a more ratio in global members, but that is just my opinion.


Tagged , , , , , ,

About HamadJ87

Diverse Human Resources experience spanning semi-government, startups, business consulting, oil/gas, petrochemicals and multinational corporations. Deep understanding of multiple sectors of economy. Drives business performance, people and culture change, and transformation initiatives through encouragement and empowerment, and human capital management expertise. Leverages best practices, and regional experience to identify challenges to deliver sustained results. He has experience in business development strategies and corporate policies by: • Planning and managing working capital and general budgets. • Development of management transformation strategies. • Applying the latest global practices in planning organizational structures and human resources strategies. • Develop global human resources mechanisms and systems Education & Certifications: • Certified Trainer by Center for Creative Leadership • Certified in Change Management from Prosci • Certified from KornFerry in TalentQ Assessments and Job Evaluations • Associate CIPD Member • Bachelor degree in Psychology • Associate degree in Computer Science
View all posts by HamadJ87 →

37 thoughts on “SHRM Vs. CIPD

  1. Dear Hamad, now there is a new formed certificate by SHRM which is ” HRMP ” which includes a module about UAE labor law , and here im really confused and dont know what to take CIPD or HRMP ( equivalent to SPHR) , can you advise me please ?

    1. Dear Ahmad,

      Thank you for your comment, as for your question, I believe that it is a personal preference. I have recently started my journey in taking the CIPD Associate Degree Diploma, and I personally prefer the united kingdom’s method (assignments) over the american method (multiple choice exam). In the assignments method, you can actually dig deeper and learn more using that method.

      Again, I say that it is a preference matter. and also, it depends on what company you are aiming to join or empress.

  2. thank you for raising this matter, As a South African I am also confused which one to take up as I like to enter the international market.

    1. Well I believe that it depends on what market you are interested in, for example in Europe the CIPD is more recognized than PHR/SPHR/GPHR.
      On the other hand American companies prefer the later.
      Also, as I said before, it depends on the way you want to get accredited, CIPD uses the research and assignments method, where the PHR/SPHR/GPHR is based on the final exam.
      Good luck in your endeavor.

  3. Hammed thanks for all info u post ,,, that’s really useful
    but how can i get CIPD-CTP while am in Khobbar

    i need it plz?

    1. Hello Fahad,

      Thank you for you comment, as for you request, the training providers that I know that are currently running CIPD trainings in Saudi Arabia are:

      Prime HR Solutions:

      Intelligent Management Solutions:

      Good luck to you.

      Accept my kindest regards,
      Hamad S. Al-Jibreen
      Associate CIPD

  4. Hi Hamad, i am a little confused here. I have a post graduate diploma in HR management from India and I am finding it tough to find an HR role in London…. Do I need to do CIPD And if yes then what level i.e level 5 or 7…. I need to basically equip myself to be able to present my CV for advisor or business partner level roles as I find HR assistant roles very basic for me considering my PG diploma. Please help and guide.

    1. Hello Neha,

      As for the London job market, I am not “The Expert” on it, but what I know is that you definitely need a CIPD.

      As per the level, I am not 100% sure about the UK market, but i think if you are a fresh graduate, you have to start from an assistant/administrative level, because with all the knowledge that you have, you need the practical experience to rise to the adviser/business partner level.

  5. Hi i recently joined for HRBP Course after a long confusion &discussion. Im an MBA graduate working as an HR Executive in Dubai and i have 2.5 years experience in HR. Since CIPD is too costly i preferd to do HRBP which is equiva;ent to PHR. Is my decision wrong?

    1. Hello Deepa,

      when you are developing yourself there isn’t a wrong decision, any step you take for development is a correct step, but you have to evaluate your goals, if your goal is to join an European organization, then it would be in your benefit to invest in a CIPD Certificate/accreditation.

      I hope this helps you, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  6. Dear Hamad,

    Interesting post .
    I have recently move to Dubai and realized that to stand out from crowd you need to have some extra qualification and then I came across CIPD .

    I am working as a Trainer and look forward to CIPD level 5 . I am not sure that if I am a trainer should I do CIPD Level 5 in Learning and Development only ?

    Can’t I do it in HR ?
    Please share your point of view which shall be very helpful

    1. Hello Neha,

      You are right, as for your querry;

      it depends on what your aim is, if you want to continue in your career as a trainer, couch, mentor, it is advisable to get the Learning & Development side, if you are aiming to transition to full HR role, than it is advisable to get the HRP/HRM side.

      I wish best of luck in your endeavors.

      Accept my kindest regards,
      Hamad S. Al-Jibreen
      Associate CIPD

  7. Hi Mr. Hamad,

    I’d like to ask you. What the different between SPHR and CIPD? And which better?
    Also is there any other certificate better than those.
    actually I’m looking for the best certificate.

    Many Regards,,,

    1. Hello Ibrahim,

      As for the first question, I believe the article explains the differences, and as for the best, it depends on your goals, I always say that it would be more beneficiary to get the CIPD if you are looking to join a European based company, and the SPHR if you are looking to join an American Company…

      Additionally, There are other specialized and accredited courses in specific subjects in HR, for example Compensation & Rewards, Talent Acquisition, Talent Development, …etc.

      I hope you got the answers that you were looking for, and don’t hesitate should you need more clarification…

      Accept my kindest regards,
      Hamad S. Al-Jibreen, Associate CIPD

  8. Hello,

    I am planning to migrate in Canada and have come across of which certification would I take. Can you provide me with your expert views as to which of GPHR or CIPD should I take?

    Thanks in advance and your advise is truly helpful for us. You may also respond to my email at

    Kindest regards,

    Fernando Reyes Jr., MBA
    Mobile: +971 564172740

    1. Hello Fernando,

      Canada is unique country, as it would actually welcome both, but you are planning to be migrate to North America, and a more reasonable choice would be GPHR…

      Best of luck to you,

      Accept my kindest regards,
      Hamad S. Al-Jibreen,
      Associate CIPD

      1. Dear Hamad,

        Thanks for the advice and that was truly helpful indeed. I am planning to migrate to Canada in the next 2 years that is why I am seeking for a sound advice on this matter.

        Many, many, thanks,

        Fernando Reyes Jr., MBA
        Mobile: +971 564172740

  9. Hello Hamadj

    I have done my MBA in HR from India. I recently moved to UK. To seek the job in UK is it necessary to have CIPD ??


    1. Hello Swarna,

      It would be greatly beneficiary to have it in a competitive market such as the British labor market…

      I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

      Accept my kindest regards,
      Hamad S. Al-Jibreen
      Associate CIPD

  10. Hello Hamad,

    I would like to know if CIPD is acceptable in the US?



  11. Hi Hamad,

    I would like to know about minimum qualification requirement for CIPD and a affiliated center if you know in UAE.

    Thank you

    1. Hello Shazia,

      Unfortunately I Don’t have the information that you are looking for…

      I wish you all the best,

      Accept my kindest regards,
      Hamad S. Al-Jibreen, Assoc. CIPD

  12. Good Day Hamad,

    I am also a HR professional from India who is searching for these answers..Thank you..Your answers are absolute and clear.

    One more thing I wish to know, does CIPD is a full time 3 level certification or can we get certified through Distance / flexi-mode also similar to SPHR? Is it equally valued irrespective of the mode we select?

    Binu Nambiar
    Mumbai, India

  13. Hello Hamad

    Can you pls suggest which course is more relevant for jobs in Australia. (CIPD or SHRM and what level)
    I am a post grad in HR with 8 years experience in Indian market.

    1. I would assume that the CIPD would be a better, but you also have to check what local, and regional recognized institutes…

  14. Hello Hammad

    Thank you so much for providing a clear reply on both. I have decided to go for GPHR,since many companies in UAE,Oman and Qatar are asking for the same in Job requirements.Meanwhile CIPD feels to be more money eating by process, where the knowledge and exposure from both are almost similar.

    Thank you again

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.