What Does the SHRM-SCP Stand For? A Comprehensive Guide

What does the SHRM-SCP stand for? A Comprehensive Guide

The Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) is a prestigious certification designed for experienced HR professionals who have demonstrated leadership and strategic thinking in their field. There are various aspects to consider when obtaining and maintaining an SHRM-SCP certification: benefits, requirements, exam preparation strategies, associated costs, financial assistance options available to candidates, the potential return on investment from obtaining this certification, and salary expectations. Understanding these is essential before embarking on the journey of enhancing your career as an HR professional. Let’s explore all these elements so you can make informed decisions about pursuing this valuable credential. 

What is SHRM-SCP?

The SHRM-SCP, or the Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional, is a prestigious certification designed for experienced HR professionals who want to demonstrate their advanced knowledge and skills in human resources management. By obtaining the SHRM-SCP certification, professionals demonstrate they are able to develop strategies, lead the HR function, foster influence in the community, analyze performance metrics, and align HR strategies to organizational goals. 

The SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) credential signifies that an individual has met specific eligibility requirements, passed a rigorous exam, and demonstrated expertise in various aspects of human resource management such as strategy development, employee engagement, talent acquisition, workforce planning, and more.

Benefits of SHRM-SCP Certification

– Career Advancement: Earning the SHRM-SCP certification can open doors to new job opportunities or promotions within your organization.

– Increase Credibility: The credential demonstrates that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to be considered an expert in HR management practices.

– Globally Recognized: The SHRM certifications are recognized around the world as a standard for excellence in HR practices.

– Demonstrate Commitment: Obtaining this certification shows employers that you are dedicated to staying current with industry trends and best practices by participating in ongoing professional development activity.

Requirements for Obtaining SHRM-SCP Certification

To be eligible for the SHRM-SCP exam, candidates must meet specific experience requirements. These include:

– Have at least 3 years of working on strategic-level HR duties. 

– For SHMR-CP holders, have held the credential for at least 3 years and are working or transitioning into a strategic-level role. 

– Demonstrate at least 1,000 hours per calendar year working on strategic-level HR duties. 

It is not required to hold an HR title or degree to apply for the SHRM-SCP. You can find more information on SHRM’s official website under their Eligibility Criteria section.

How to Prepare for the SHRM-SCP Exam?

Preparing for the SHRM-SCP exam can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With proper planning and effective study strategies, you can increase your chances of passing the exam and obtaining your SHRM Senior Certified Professional certification. In this section, we will discuss how to understand the exam content and structure, recommended study resources, and tips for passing the exam.

Understanding the Exam Content and Structure

The first step in preparing for the SHRM-SCP exam is understanding its content and structure. The test consists of 134 multiple-choice questions covering two main knowledge domains: 80 knowledge-based questions, and 54 situational judgment questions. The allotted time for the exam is 3 hours and 40 minutes divided into two 1-hour and 50-minute sections.

To familiarize yourself with these topics, review the SHRM Body of Competency & Knowledge (BoCK), which provides an overview of each domain as well as specific behavioral competencies within them.

In addition to reviewing SHRM BoCK materials, there are several other resources available that can help you prepare effectively:

  • Workology’s Ace the HR Exam: This comprehensive course covers both SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams’ content while providing practice quizzes, flashcards, video lessons, and more that cover all aspects needed for success on either test.
  • SHRM Learning System: This self-paced online learning platform offers interactive modules, quizzes, and practice exams that align with the SHRM BoCK.
  • Study Groups: Joining a local or virtual study group can provide additional support, motivation, and opportunities to discuss exam content with fellow HR professionals.

Tips for Passing the Exam

Beyond using recommended study resources, consider these tips to increase your chances of passing the SHRM-SCP exam:

1. Create a Study Plan: Develop a realistic schedule that allocates sufficient time for reviewing each domain and competency area while also allowing breaks for rest and reflection.

2. Practice Time Management: Familiarize yourself with the almost 4-hour time limit by taking timed practice exams or setting specific timeframes during which you will complete certain sections of your study materials.

3. Analyze Your Weaknesses: Identify areas where you need improvement by analyzing your performance on practice tests. Focus on strengthening those areas through targeted review sessions or seeking additional guidance from peers or instructors in your study group.

4. Maintain Confidence & Positivity: Stay positive throughout your preparation process; remind yourself of past successes in similar situations as well as how obtaining this certification will benefit both personally and professionally moving forward after passing it successfully.

Preparing for the SHRM-SCP exam can be a daunting task, but with adequate preparation and study resources it is achievable. 

Cost of Obtaining SHRM-SCP Certification

The cost associated with obtaining the SHRM Senior Certified Professional certification can be a significant investment for HR professionals. However, it is essential to consider the potential return on investment in terms of career advancement and salary growth that comes with this prestigious certification.

Application Fees and Other Costs Associated with Obtaining Certification

The application fee is $50. The exam fee for the SHRM-SCP exam varies depending on your membership status with SHRM. Non-members must pay $400 for the SHRM-SCP exam, while members will be charged a standard fee of $300. This fee includes both access to study materials provided by SHRM as well as one attempt at taking the actual examination.

In addition to these fees, candidates may also incur costs related to purchasing additional study resources or enrolling in preparatory courses like Workogy’s Ace The HR Exam Course.

Financial Assistance Options Available to Candidates

– Scholarships: Some organizations offer scholarships specifically designed for individuals pursuing their SHRM-SCP certification. For example, check out the scholarship opportunities offered by the SHRM Foundation.

– Employer Sponsorship: Many employers recognize the value of having certified HR professionals on their team and may be willing to cover some or all costs associated with obtaining an employee’s certification.

– Tax Deductions: In some cases, the costs associated with obtaining professional certifications may be tax-deductible. Consult a tax professional to determine if this applies to your situation.

Potential Return on Investment from Obtaining Certification

The cost of obtaining a SHRM-SCP certification can be quite expensive, but the potential return on investment and salary expectations with this certification may make it worth considering. Such investment can lead to significant career advancement and salary growth. According to PayScale data, professionals holding the SHRM-SCP certification earn an average annual salary that is significantly higher than their non-certified counterparts.

In addition, certified HR professionals often have access to more senior-level positions within organizations and are better positioned for promotions or job changes compared to those without such credentials. The knowledge gained through the process of preparing for and passing the exam also equips candidates with valuable skills that make them more effective leaders in their respective roles.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the average salaries for professionals with a SHRM-SCP certification and what factors impact their salary potential.

Salary Expectations with a SHRM-SCP Certification

If you’re considering obtaining the SHRM Senior Certified Professional certification, it’s essential to understand how this credential can impact your earning potential and career growth. In this section, we’ll explore average salaries for professionals with a SHRM-SCP certification, factors that influence salary potential, and additional benefits of having this prestigious HR credential.

Average Salaries for Professionals with a SHRM-SCP Certification

The salary expectations for individuals holding the SHRM-SCP certification vary depending on several factors such as experience level, job role, industry sector, and geographical location. Some examples include:

– Recruiter: The median annual wage ranges from $39K – $85K

– HR Manager: The median annual wage ranges from $50K – $98K

– HR Director: The median annual wage ranges from $59K – $142K

– CHRO: The median annual wage ranges from $95K – $238K


Factors That Impact Salary Potential with a SHRM-SCP Certification

Beyond just having the certification itself, there are other aspects that contribute to higher salaries among those holding an SCP designation:

1. Degree of Experience: As with most professions, the more experience you have in HR management and leadership roles, the higher your earning potential will be.

2. Job Role & Responsibilities: The scope of your role within an organization can also impact salary. For example, a Senior HR Manager overseeing multiple departments or locations may command a higher wage than someone managing a smaller team at one location.

3. Industry Sector: Some industries tend to pay higher salaries for HR professionals compared to others. For instance, technology companies and financial services firms often offer competitive compensation packages for experienced SCP-certified individuals.

4. Geographical Location: Your physical location plays a significant role in determining salary expectations as well. Major metropolitan areas with high costs of living typically provide higher wages compared to rural regions or smaller cities.

Frequently Asked Questions What Does the Shrm-Scp Stand for

What does SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP stand for?

SHRM-CP stands for Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional, while SHRM-SCP stands for Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional. Both are professional certifications offered by the Society for Human Resource Management to validate HR professionals’ knowledge and expertise in their fields.

What are the benefits of SHRM-SCP certification?

The benefits of obtaining a SHRM-SCP certification include increased credibility as an HR expert, improved career opportunities, potential higher salary, access to a network of certified professionals, and staying updated on current trends and best practices in human resources management. It also demonstrates a commitment to personal growth within the profession.

What does SCP stand for in management?

In the context of human resource management, SCP stands for Senior Certified Professional. The term is used specifically with regard to the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), which is an advanced-level certification awarded by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) after passing a rigorous exam covering various aspects of HR leadership.

How hard is it to pass the SHRM-SCP exam?

Passing the SHRM-SCP exam can be challenging due to its comprehensive content. However, with proper preparation using recommended study materials, attending preparatory courses or workshops, and dedication to studying, candidates can successfully pass the exam.


In summary, the SHRM-SCP certification is a valuable credential for HR professionals with at least three years of experience in a leadership or recruitment role. Obtaining this certification can lead to increased job opportunities, higher salaries, and enhanced credibility within the industry. To prepare for the exam, candidates should understand its content and structure, utilize recommended study resources, and follow tips for success.

Overall, obtaining a SHRM-SCP certification requires an investment of time and money but has the potential to provide significant returns throughout one’s career.

If you’re interested in pursuing this certification or learning more about human resources topics in general, visit Workology for helpful resources and insights.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell is the founder of Workology, a digital resource that reaches more than a half million HR and workplace leaders each month and host of the Workology Podcast. Jessica lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, daughter, and an assortment of furry family members.


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