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Have you considered becoming HRIS certified but aren’t sure what’s available and what’s the best option for you? If so, you’re in the right place!

We’ve shortlisted the top programs you can take to help you expand your skillset and add more value to your organization.

While mastering these technologies might not be the sole focus of these credentials, we’ve selected programs that will help you better utilize human resource information systems.

8 HRIS Certifications and Eligibility

  1. HRIP
  2. PHR
  3. PHRi
  4. SHRM-CP
  5. aPHR
  6. SPHR
  7. CHRM
  8. CPDT

I'll explain each certification in more detail below:


The International Association of Human Resources Information Management provides the Human Resources Information Program (HRIP) certification. The HRIP includes a comprehensive review of HRIS functions, from technology to solutions assessment. The exam evaluates the proficiency and knowledge of HR professionals working in the information management field.

Obtaining this certification demonstrates your comprehension of the specific knowledge of HR information management. If you’re interested in learning as much as you can about basic HRIS functions, systems selection, and the administration of HRIS, this certification may be right for you. 

How to Get HRIP Certified:


  • IHRIM delivers the HRIP exam using recorded proctoring via webcam. This format allows you to complete the exam at a time best for you.
  • But, passing the exam is just one requirement of certification. Your HRIP credential will be active for three years. In order to maintain it, a total of 60 recertification credit hours are required during the 3-year period starting from the date the certification is granted.

IHRIM offers live HRIP review courses to help you prep and be as prepared as you can be at exam time.

Exam Details:

  • The exam is comprised of 90 multiple-choice computer-based questions


  • Member: $445 (Fee includes non-refundable $75 Application Fee and $370 Testing Fee)
  • Non-Member: $555 (Fee includes non-refundable $75 Application Fee and $480 Testing Fee)
  • Non-Member with Membership: $790 (Fee includes a non-refundable $75 Application Fee, $480 Testing Fee, and 12 months IHRIM membership – which is $60 of savings off the regular new member rate)

If you're diving into the intricacies of HRIS functions through HRIP, you'll also benefit from exploring our comprehensive guide on essential HR software tools to elevate your technical competence

2. PHR

A Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification illustrates your knowledge of both the technical and operational components of the HR world. It’s for HR professionals who have knowledge of U.S. laws and regulations and experience in program implementation.

A PHR is focused specifically on an organization’s HR needs and not necessarily the organization as a whole. This accreditation requires knowledge of existing HRIS, reporting tools or systems for effective analysis and forecasting. If you’re engaged in the day-to-day functions of HR and want your future focus to be in operational aspects, the PHR certification may be best for you. 

The PHR exam consists of these topic areas:

  • 39% Employee and Labor Relations
  • 20% Business Management
  • 16% Talent Planning and Acquisition
  • 15% Total Rewards
  • 10% Learning and Development
Download our 2024 Workplace Trends Report to stay ahead in a transforming HR landscape. Get insights from leaders on trends that will define your strategies in AI, talent dynamics, and DEI.

Download our 2024 Workplace Trends Report to stay ahead in a transforming HR landscape. Get insights from leaders on trends that will define your strategies in AI, talent dynamics, and DEI.

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How to Get PHR Certified:


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

Exam Details:

  • Exam time: 2 hours
  • Exam length: 90 scored questions (mostly multiple-choice) + 25 pretest questions


  • Application Fee: $100
  • Exam Fee: $395 

3. PHRi

A Professional in Human Resources – International (PHRi) certification is for HR professionals outside of the United States. You’ll need an understanding of regulations over managing sensitive personal data, along with standard HRIS platforms. Knowledge of job analysis, job descriptions, applicant tracking systems, and compensation/benefits tracking is also applicable.

When you obtain a PHRi, you illustrate your knowledge of generally accepted technical and operational HR principles in a single international setting. 

If your job requires international travel, or you're planning on moving abroad this certification may be a fitting option.

The PHRi exam consists of these topic areas:

  • 19% Talent Acquisition
  • 19% HR Administration and Shared Devices
  • 19% Talent Management and Development
  • 17% Compensation, Benefits, and Work Experience
  • 16% Employee Relations and Risk Management
  • 10% HR Information Management

How to Get PHRi Certified:


  • Have at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position + a master’s degree or global equivalent, 
  • Have at least two years of experience in a professional-level HR position + a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, OR
  • Have at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position.


  • Application Fee: $100
  • Exam Fee: $395 


The Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification is for those HR professionals who work in operational positions. This exam focuses on functions from HR planning, recruitment, and performance management and employee data with an HRIS understanding.

If you perform daily HR tasks, implement policies, and serve as the point-person for staff and other stakeholders in your organization, then this SHRM certification program may be the right fit for you.

How to Get SPHR-CP Certified:



shrm cp eligibility chart screenshot


  • Application fee: $50
  • Exam fee: $475

5. aPHR

You can earn an Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) certification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). According to the HRCI website, this associate certification is the first of its kind, ideal for two types of individuals: entry-level HR employees and non-HR professionals such as people managers.

This exam covers an understanding of functions from onboarding to policy regulation and how to support your organization’s goals with standard functions of appropriate HRIS. You’ll showcase your skills on employee wellness programming, employee engagement surveying, and recognition. 

aPHR certification consists of these topic areas:

  • Compliance & Risk Management
  • Employee Relations
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Learning & Development

How to Get aPHR Certified:

Exam Details:

  • Exam time: 30 minutes of administrative time; 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Exam Information: 65 questions & 25 pretest questions


  • $100 for application fee
  • $300 for exam


Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through HRCI is ideal for any HR professional with strategy and policy-making expertise leading the charge in their HR department. 

This certification role is for those accountable for department goals, planning and performing strategies, and integrating relevant HRIS technologies. This includes vendor selection, management, and budgeting. 

This certification emphasizes your leadership abilities within HR and how you benchmark metrics (turnover rates, engagement, retention) to assess and drive success of strategic objectives.

SPHR certification consists of these topic areas:

  • Leadership & Strategy
  • Employee Relations & Engagement
  • Talent Planning & Acquisition
  • Learning & Development
  • Total Rewards

How to Get SPHR Certified:


Eligible HR pros must have either of the following met:

  • 4 years in a professional-level HR position and a Master’s Degree (or higher)
  • 5 years of experience in a professional-level HR position and a Bachelor’s Degree
  • At least 7 years experience in a professional-level HR role


  • $100 for application fee 
  • $495 for exam 


HR University offers a Certified HR Manager (CHRM) accreditation ideal for those without a formal HR background or anyone looking to refresh their HR skills. This course helps individuals understand HR fundamentals such as employee management, workforce planning for growing teams, and budgeting and benefits.

With extensive experience partnering with HRIS systems from BambooHR, Zenefits, to Gusto, your instructor can guide you through relevant platforms and trends within the industry.

CHRM certification consists of these topic areas:

  • HR Roles and Responsibilities
  • HR Strategy and Planning
  • Current HR Trends
  • Company Assets and Productivity
  • Managing Labor Supply
  • Equal Employment Opportunity and Discrimination Laws
  • Equal Pay
  • Harassment Prevention
  • Teamwork
  • Workforce Planning

How to Get CHRM Certified:


  • Completion of online course
  • Course Time: 1 month (self paced)


  • $199 for course with exam included but includes lifetime access to resources


The Association for Talent Development (ATD) offers a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) professional accreditation. 

Candidates for this certification should have a deep understanding of the effect and value of talent development strategies and be able to benchmark metrics like productivity and employee retention.

CPTD certification also emphasizes a solutions-based mindset for integrating, managing, and maintaining learning management software (LMS), performance management software, and HRIS platforms.

This certification showcases your ability to apply skills for talent development capability and decision-making utilizing key data.

CPTD certification consists of these topic areas:

  • Personal Capabilities
  • Professional Capabilities
  • Organizational Capabilities

How to Get CPTD Certified:


Eligible professionals must have either of the following met:

  • At least 5 years of experience in a professional-level talent development or related role and completed 60 hours of professional development within the last 5 years
  • At least 4 years of experience in a professional-level talent development or related role and have earned the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) certification 

Exam Details:

  • 3 hours
  • Format consists of multiple-choice questions and case management questions


  • $974 (members) 
  • $1350 (non-members)

How to Choose the Right HRIS Certification For You

OK, so there are quite a few to choose from. Here are some steps to take to help you select the right option for you.

  • Assess your current skill level and experience. If you're a beginner, look for foundational certifications that cover basic HRIS concepts. If you have experience, consider advanced certifications focusing on complex HRIS functionalities or strategic implementation.
  • Identify your career goals: If you’re aiming for a specialized HR role (like HRIS specialist), seek certifications that align with that specialization.
  • Research specific HRIS platforms: If your organization uses a specific HRIS (like Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, or Oracle), getting certified in that platform could be beneficial.

Getting an HRIS certification will benefit your long-term HR career as long as it matches the path you plan to follow. 

So, if you’re unsure whether an HRIS certification will benefit you, consider whether it's relevant for you and your long-term plan.

HRIS Certification As Part Of Your Wider Development

The possible HR career paths are numerous. Here are some other ways to explore what’s possible and gain knowledge and skills:

  • Attending conferences to learn more about the HR profession (here’s a shortlist of HR conferences).
  • Growing your knowledge base through independent research e.g. HR podcasts or HR books.
  • Finding a mentor in your field who can teach you what you want to know.
  • Taking another type of HR professional certification or HR course suited for your future goals.

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By Brandy Bischoff

Brandy Bischoff is the Deputy Chief of a public-safety organization in the United States. While she’s had successes as a manager, she’s always working to become better in her role and wants to learn all she can about leadership. She believes deeply in treating people with respect no matter the circumstance, exercising patience, and continued learning in all aspects of life. Brandy believes in the guidance provided within her writing and hopes it’ll help other leaders learn and become better too. Outside of her full-time career, Brandy is passionate about her loving and supportive friends and family, and she follows her passion for writing when the kids go to bed.