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With today’s organizations understanding the need to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, gaining a DEI certification is a valuable undertaking for HR professionals and leaders.

DEI is a complex topic, and taking a DEI certification course will help you gain the knowledge and skills needed to drive meaningful change in your organization and continue with your professional development.

Most importantly, it will help you and your team build diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces that better represent the diverse world around us.

11 Best DEI certifications

1. eCornell University Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program

Cornell University offers a holistic DEI course that will help any HR team or leader better understand the perceptual, institutional, and psychological processes that underlie today's workplace. 

As a student, you'll learn the ins and outs of employee engagement and DEI training, along with strategies to overcome unconscious bias and how to create and support psychological safety and an inclusive work environment.

You'll also receive access to Cornell's online Diversity and Inclusion Symposiums that offer opportunities to join peers in an in-depth conversation on topics surrounding DEI education and workplace diversity.

Price: $2,589 or $975/mo

Duration: 2 months

Exam Required: Yes

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 2 weeks

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

2. Georgetown's Executive Certificate in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Georgetown University's Executive Certificate in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is designed to help HR professionals and leaders create sustainable DEI strategies and drive change.

This program will teach you the latest in cultural competency, DEI research, and change management to help you design and deliver progressive strategies for your organziation or external clients.

Not only will you work and study alongside peer leaders reviewing theoretical foundations and social identities, but this inclusion certification program includes workplace application so you'll have the skill and real-life examples of how to create inclusion initiatives of your own.

Price: $8,490

Duration: 6 months

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Both

Hours of instruction: 3 weekdays x 1 mo

Eligibility Requirements: Bachelor's degree or equivalent

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3. SHRM Inclusive Workplace Culture Specialty Credential

The SHRM certification program is globally recognized and is synonymous with being an expert and leader in the human resources industry. 

Its DEI training program is no exception, covering how to foster an inclusive organizational culture with a specific focus on allyship, cultivating support, and measuring success in an inclusive workplace.

Price: Reach out for information on the package option. Each course is separately listed as $1,755 for members and $2,030 for non-members

Duration: Varies

Exam Required: Yes, a 50-question online assessment

Online, In-Person, or both? Both

Hours of instruction: Varies

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

4. HRCI’s Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management

The HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) is one of the industry go-to’s in terms of HR accreditations.

Their Certificate in D&I in HR Management program covers how to foster an inclusive culture, how to analyze and measure the success of DEI initiatives, and hiring and retaining diverse talent.

These courses are structured to provide effective strategies and critical thinking you'd face in the workplace.

Price: $239.00

Duration: Courses available for 180 days

Exam Required: No

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 12 hours

Eligibility Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree

5. Institute for Diversity Certification

The Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) offers the Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) and Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) certifications designed to empower you to strategize and lead DEI efforts.

You’ll learn how to effectively lead day-to-day inclusion efforts, build more diverse workplaces and maximize diversity of thought, and promote lasting change through their practical framework. There are classroom options or sel-paced

Price: Non-member: $3,305/$4,139 | Member: $2,644/$3,311

Duration: 1 year

 Exam Required: Yes

Online, In-Person, or both: Both

Hours of instruction: Optional

Eligibility Requirements: 2-5 years professional experience

6. American Management Association (AMA) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate Program

For HR professionals and managers, the American Management Association (AMA) offers a DEI certificate program with a full curriculum to help assess, create, and monitor success when launching your own DEI initiatives.

This short, 3-day program covers a breadth of topics such as the difference in overt versus unconscious bias, how to assess leadership styles, and the art of hosting inclusive meetings.

Upon completion, you’ll receive an exclusive AMA certificate and access to additional post-course lessons on-demand to help reinforce or refresh any skills.

Price: $3295 for non-members | $2995 AMA members

Duration: 3 days in-person | 3 classes online

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Both

Hours of instruction: Varies

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

7. ESSEC Business School – Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace 

The ESSEC Business School offers management courses to strengthen freedom, openness, innovation, and responsibility. Their Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace course provides an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of discrimination, unconscious bias, and how an inclusive leader or human resources team can manage it with your people.

You'll learn the filters through which diversity's understood and approached around the world and explore equity and inclusion from an individual an organizational perspective, along with learning valuable skills in how to apply the cognitive method in challenging our own personal perspectives.

Price: Free

Duration: 10hrs

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: on-demand

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

8. Catalyst edX's Inclusive Leadership Program

Catalyst's a leading nonprofit organization looking to elevate women in the workplace with inclusion resources and leadership courses, but everyone's welcome to take Catalyst’s mini-courses to gain knowledge and understanding about DEI.

Their roster of online modules covers key inclusive leadership skills such as accountability and courage, effective communication and listening, and even work-life balance.

Price: $147

Duration: 3 months

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 1-2 hours per week

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

9. University of Pennsylvania's Optimizing Diversity on Teams

See how you can maximize your team's performance, handle conflict resolution, and overcome common biases from an Ivy League course courtesy of Coursera and Penn.

The syllabus includes lectures to help you get a deeper understanding of diversity basics, managing confluct, and promoting diversity including real-world case studies from large organizations like Google, Nike, and UnitedHealthcare.

Price: Financial Aid Available

Duration: On-demand

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 12hrs

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

10. Rutgers’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certificate

Rutgers’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certificate dives into the foundational concepts of DEI, including the realities of race and racism, and privilege and how it these might influence their own perceptions.

Courses are interactive and include a live session online with pre-work required. Students are encouraged to participate and unpack their own biases and self-identify their own personal developmental areas through exercises and a reflection assignment.

Price: $300 per course

Duration: 6 weeks x course | 4 courses

Exam Required: N/A

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 2.5 hrs per course

Eligibility Requirements: N/A

11.  AIHR – Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program (DICP)

This is one of the Academy To Innovate HR’s specialist certifications designed to help learners get to grips with concepts such as understanding cultural differences, inclusive communication, legal issues, and how to drive cultural change within organizations.

Price: $997

Duration: 3hrs p/w for 10 weeks

Exam Required: No

Online, In-Person, or both: Online

Hours of instruction: 30 hours

Eligibility Requirements: None

Further resources

As mentioned in the intro, due to the complexity of DEI, taking a certification of some kind will go a long way to help you better understand this discipline and could be an important new step in your career.

Not only will you be more employable, you’ll provide more strategic value to your organization (think hiring, retention, innovation and engagement) and help build a better society in general.

Check out these resources to help you better understand what’s needed to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces:

More general resources to help you learn new skills and progress in your career:

By Finn Bartram

Finn is an editor at People Managing People. He's passionate about growing organizations where people are empowered to continuously improve and genuinely enjoy coming to work. If not at his desk, you can find him playing sports or enjoying the great outdoors.