What Does the SHRM-CP Stand For?

everything you need to know about the SHRM-SCP Exam

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The SHRM-CP stands for Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional. It’s the HR certification that HR professionals with three to five years of experience typically take, but you can take it sooner if you have an HR-related bachelor or master’s degree. You can see more specific education requirements further in this article. 

SHRM has two HR certification designations which are the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP. Each one has different requirements and specifics, but for the purposes of this resource we are focused on the SHRM-CP

What Does the SHRM-CP Stand For? 


SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) are HR professionals who implement policies and strategies, serve as point of contact for staff and stakeholders, deliver HR services, and perform operational HR functions, should take the SHRM-CP exam. The CP stands for “Certified Professional.” 

Details About the SHRM-CP Exam


– Is multiple choice 

– Answers are ranked 

– You’re given four hours to complete the exam

– Comprised of 160 questions 

– Includes a 5-minute survey 

– Includes 30 non-test scoring questions

– Has Spring and Fall testing windows

The SHRM exams must be taken during a specific window of opportunity, as outlined below, which is why preparation and study is so important. Additionally, passing the text on your first try means you only have to pay the exam fee once. If you must take the exam again, you’ll have to wait until the next exam window and pay the full exam fee again. The most recent data from SHRM indicates a 66 percent pass rate for SHRM-CP, so a significant effort should be put into studying for this designation.

What Are the Testing And Registration Dates for the SHRM-CP Exam? 


2022 Spring Testing Window: May 1 – July 15, 2022

Applications are accepted beginning January 6, 2020. The early bird application deadline is March 20, 2022 and the standard application deadline is April 10, 2022.


2022-2023 Winter Testing Window: Dec. 1, 2022 – Feb. 15, 2023

Applications are accepted beginning May 13, 2022. The early bird application deadline is October 16, 2020 and the standard application deadline is November 6, 2022.


How Much Does It Cost to Sign Up for the SHRM-CP Exam? 


The Exam Fee:

SHRM Member: $300* USD

Nonmember: $400* USD 

*Includes $50 nonrefundable application fee.

All the tests are taken in a testing center in a nearby city. You have to register for your SHRM-CP exam date and the location. You can find the testing center nearest to you here. The testing room is normally filled with cubicles and you will have your own computer and area to take the exam. There is an exam proctor in the room to ensure you have a quiet environment to take the exam. They will also be making sure that you don’t try anything sneaky or unethical during the exam. 

What Are the SHRM-CP Testing Requirements? (This applies to both SHRM-CP.)


There are different testing requirements depending on each exam with SHRM including the SCP and CP. More details are listed in the graphic below. Starting in 2022, there are no longer experience or education requirements for the SHRM-CP. This is a dramatic change in my opinion in part due to the addition of HRCI’s aPHR certification exam program.

It’s important to note that while there are not minimum requirements, once you pass the exam, you are required to recertify every three years and SHRM requires 60 HR recerfication credits through things like continuing education, work experience and other professional opportunities.


What Is a Passing Score For the SHRM-CP Exam?


One of the challenges with both SHRM exams is they are weighted exams meaning that your score isn’t tied to a certain number of questions you get wrong or right. You won’t know the scoring or even which of the 130 out of the 160 questions are going to be used in the scoring of your SHRM-CP exam. You have four hours to answer all the questions for the exam. Thirty of the 160 questions are test questions SHRM is considering adding to the exam. They want to see how you respond and are testing them out before they become part of the scored questions for future exam. When it comes to your exam, you need a passing score for the SHRM-CP exam of 200. Anything less in a score of 200 means you don’t pass your exam. As I mentioned, the current pass rate for the SHRM-CP is 66%.

How to Prepare for the SHRM-SCP Exam with Workology 

At Workology, we offer different certification prep options for those taking the SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP exams. First, we have an HR Practice Test course complete with 200 HR Practice Test questions. Second, we have our on-demand course called Ace the HR Exam that offers more than 8 1/2 hours of audio and video learning plus a glossary resources of more than 600 important HR terms you need to know as you prepare for your exam. These resources help you retain what you learn so you can put it to use long after you earn your SPHR certification.

It’s important to focus on your individual and unique needs which is why we have exam prep resources for nearly every type of learner. In order to best prepare for the SHRM-SCP exam, we suggest a focused learning approach starting with a self-assessment and creating a study plan that focuses on HR competency subject matter areas like diversity, talent acquisition, risk, employment law, or business acumen… Your study schedule and how you prep for the SHRM-SCP exam is unique to you which is why I suggest a 12-15 week approach focused on these subject matter areas where you focus on 1-2 areas over the course of two weeks. Prep should be 3-7 hours a week during that time with review time being no more than 45 minutes in a single sitting without a break. This allows you to really focus in your study prep time for the SHRM-SCP without overworking your brain.

As I mentioned, at Workology our most robust offering is our comprehensive Ace the HR Exam Suite which includes digital and on-demand resources for all types of learners who are preparing for the SHRM-SCP Exam. This includes an audio course called Ace the HR Exam. You’ll also have access to our Ace HR Shorts course which is 100+ short 5-7 minute videos on hard to remember HR topics. Also included is our signature Ace the HR Exam course with over 28 hours of exam prep longer form review videos as well as a pre-study assessment, 150 exam test questions and other digital downloads including flashcards and a downloadable 600+ HR glossary. You can learn more about our Ace HR Exam Suite by visiting www.acehrsuite.com.


More HR Certification Resources:


Everything You Need to Know About the SHRM-SCP

Everything You Need to Know about the PHR

Everything You Need to Know About the SPHR

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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