What is the difference between HR certification and an educational certificate in HR management?
Human resources certificate programs awards certificates based on courses of study that have been completed and do not require previous work experience. They are also offered by educational institutions. Certifications, on the other hand, require prior experience in the HR field and are overseen by industry associations or institutes. For instance, the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification requires a minimum of two years of professional HR experience and is overseen by the HR Certification Institute. HR certifications also require candidates to sit for a certification exam.
Additionally, most certifications require that the individual go through a recertification process after a period of time. For instance, the PHR and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) credentials require recertification every three years by accumulating 60 educational hours through continuing education, instruction, research, publishing and other related activities. Another option to meet the continuing education requirements is to retake the HR Certification Institute exam. This insures that anyone with those credentials has continued to stay up to date in their field of study. This could be compared to the continuing education that is required for Certified Public Accountants or Registered Nurses.
Additional certification programs provided by the HR Certification Institute are the GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources) and the PHR-CA and SPHR-CA (PHR with certification with a specialization in California state issues and SPHR with certification with a specialization in California state issues).
Many higher education institutions offer an online Human Resource Management certificate, making access to an HR education easier than ever.