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Home » CIPD or SHRM: Which one is better for an HRM career?

CIPD or SHRM: Which one is better for an HRM career?


For a student, who is concerned about leading a successful career in their desired profession, deciding on the right course is a crucial step that takes consideration, contemplation, and most of the time a bit of research.

If you are a student or an HR (Human Resource) professional looking to excel in Human Resource Management (HRM), you are probably dealing with the same situation.

In this post, we are going to take a look at two of the hottest HRM and leadership certifications: CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) and SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management)

Of course, the chief aim of choosing the best HRM course/certification for you is to make sure you lead a successful career and reap benefits from it.

So, the comparison between the two certifications given here is open to criticism, improvement, and further investigation.


A UK-based certification, CIPD has been around for a long time. In the global job market, CIPD is a powerful certification regardless of the experience level you have because fresh candidates can also enroll in the foundational level.

CIPD levels range from 3 (foundation), 5 (intermediate or undergrad), and 7 (advanced or postgraduate).

Skills and Assessment

If you have great writing and analytical skills, you have a pretty good chance of passing CIPD. Since CIPD tasks students with written assignments for each module or unit, you need to make up your mind regarding how you will cope with preparing your projects.

With advancement, CIPD is also adapting to modern-day methods. Now, evidence-based learning is at the heart of the UK-based certification.

Employment opportunities

If you are looking to move to the UK and the Middle East for employment, CIPD is your best choice. With almost every organization looking for CIPD-qualified professionals for HR roles in places like the UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Oman, and even Canada, you can find employment easily and with a greater possibility of growth.

Solid foothold in the global job market

With over 140,000 members worldwide, CIPD boasts a solid foothold in the employment market. As discussed above, Europe and Middle East-based companies prefer to hire CIPD-qualified candidates for HR jobs.

Salary differences

If you are a CIPD-qualified candidate, you can earn more money than the candidate who does not have the same certification. Market research shows that a CIPD-qualified person earns £10,000 more than a non-CIPD candidate in HR roles.


Founded in the US, SHRM is also one of the most popular HR certifications recognized globally.

Skills and Assessment

Unlike CIPD, SHRM assessment criteria focus on non-theoretical methods. With multiple choice questions and scenario-based learning being at the core of student assessment, students are expected to take sit-in 3-4 hours long exams.

From my own perspective, many students find it harder to pass SHRM due largely to its exam-based assessment method. So you need to take SHRM assessment methods into consideration if you are not good at attempting multiple-choice questions.


CIPD and SHRM are both employment-focused certifications. CIPD is widely accepted in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Singapore while SHRM is more popular in the US, Canada, and US-based companies operating globally.

Students who are good at assignment writing can join CIPD while those comfortable with attempting multiple-choice questions and exam-based assessments will find it easier to pass SHRM.