The PHR and SHRM-CP are recommended for HR professionals who have experience with implementation of policies and strategies, have a tactical/logistical orientation, are accountable to another HR professional within the organization, serve as point of contact for staff and stakeholders, deliver HR services, and have responsibilities that focus on the HR department rather than the whole organization.   


The HRCI-SPHR and SHRM-SCP is recommended for HR professionals who are big-picture thinkers responsible for planning rather than implementing HR policy. Generally speaking, the HR professionals have shown accountability for HR department goals, have a breadth and depth of knowledge in all HR disciplines, and understand business issues beyond the basic HR function. Once certification is completed, they are considered masters of the strategic and policy-making aspects of HR management.