I was recently asked what a “certified HR expert” is when referring to our human resources (HR) team. You see, some organizations make up fabricated claims to market their services, but we genuinely staff our team with certified experts.

Just as accounting professionals have the certified professional accountant (CPA) designation, the HR world has certifications that validate advanced knowledge and a high level of expertise. Attaining these certifications distinguishes them as an expert after proving their skills, knowledge, and competency in HR – and our team is stacked with these certifications.

certified HR expert

How do I become a “certified HR expert”?

There are two primary organizations that offer HR certifications, namely the HRCI and SHRM.

  1. HRCI Certification

The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) offers certifications for lower-level administrators to senior-level HR professionals. While they offer specialties for international and global certifications, our HR Department is primarily comprised of PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) experts.

PHR Certification

To be eligible to take the PHR, you must meet one of the following conditions for education and/or experience:

  • Have at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position and a master’s degree or higher
  • Have at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a bachelor’s degree
  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position

SPHR Certification

To be eligible to take the SPHR, you must meet one of the following conditions for education and/or experience:

  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a master’s degree or higher
  • Have at least five years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a bachelor’s degree
  • Have at least seven years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Once you demonstrate your eligibility, you study and prepare for a rigorous exam that puts your knowledge to the test. Upon passing the test, you’re considered a certified professional (or senior professional) in HR — or, in our terms, a certified HR expert.

However, these certifications are only valid for three years after testing. To maintain certification, you must submit 60 qualification credits that are earned from specific job experience, credentialed conferences and seminars, and/or online courses. Otherwise, you’ll need to retake the exam.

  1. SHRM Certification

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a professional human resources membership association that promotes the role of HR as a profession. Through the association, members receive education, certification, and networking opportunities. Like the HRCI certifications, professional certification through SHRM distinguishes capabilities from other professionals in the HR field.

SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

While the SHRM-CP designation does not require specific credentials to apply, all of our SHRM-CP consultants hold a master’s degree and/or several years of HR experience. This designation shows HR competency at the operational level and is a stepping stone for those working towards the strategic level of certification, or SHRM-SCP.

SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

The SHRM-SCP designation is for those with at least 3 years performing strategic level HR, or for SHRM-CP holders who have been certified for at least 3 years and are working in or in the process of transitioning to a strategic level role.

Similar to the HRCI exams, you study and prepare for a rigorous exam after demonstrating you’ve met the requirements. Upon passing the test, you can claim to be a SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. To maintain certification, you must earn 60 professional development credits within 3 years or retake the certification exam.

What other certified professionals does Stratus.hr offer?

Our payroll department is also comprised of Certified Payroll Professionals (CPP), which is a license accredited by the American Payroll Association (APA). To take the CPP exam, you’re required to have met payroll work experience and APA course requirements, which vary based on your work experience and prior course completion.

Once you’ve met the prerequisites and have been approved for eligibility, you’re required to pass a rigorous exam to certify your CPP designation. This certification expires after 5 years, which can be maintained through 120 recertification credit hours over the 5-year recertification period, or by exam.

But wait, there’s more!

Beyond PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, and CPP credentials, our team is also stacked with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, safety and health certifications, Certified ACA Specialists, HIPAA-certifications, Utah Health & Life Insurance Producer licenses, Property & Casualty Producer licenses, an attorney, and yes, CPAs. So while others make frivolous claims about their services, we genuinely hire credentialed experts to guide and advise our clients.

And that’s what I mean by having certified HR experts.

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    John Farnsworth, Chief Executive Officer

    Author John Farnsworth, Chief Executive Officer

    John learned at an early age the value of hard work, forming his first company before his 18th birthday. He co-founded Stratus.hr (originally “Innovative Staffing”) in 1999 and has an established reputation for his expertise, work ethic, and love for traveling.

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