By-Law 4


In accordance with the current methodology and practice used by most professions, the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) has developed a professional membership standards model. Each level of membership is defined by criteria based on professional attributes (knowledge and skills) expected of a practitioner at that level.

The purpose of this document is to detail the AHRI individual membership levels (both professional and non- professional), the criteria required at each level of membership, the professional standards required of AHRI members at all levels of professional membership and the governing structures.

Further information is located on the AHRI website.

Associate Membership

Associate membership of AHRI is a grade of membership that enables HR students, HR graduates and non-HR professionals’ access to AHRI member services.

Associate membership is ideal for people who want to keep up to date with HR and people management issues and gain access to professional networks, and is also an appropriate membership for line managers, small business operators, and business owners.

Associate members who are working in dedicated HR roles are required to upgrade to the appropriate professional membership.

Associate membership is also comprised of the following categories:


Students who have not previously worked in HR who are studying full or part- time at a tertiary level or equivalent in HR or other related areas, e.g., business, law, commerce, or psychology.

The student discount is offered only while enrolled in tertiary or equivalent HR study. Upon graduating, members will be required to renew at the graduate pricing or full Associate member pricing.


Graduates are those who have completed a HR relevant Bachelor level qualification (or higher) within the last 2 years.

The graduate discount is offered at a reduced price to recognise that graduates are at the start of their HR career. Membership at this level provides access to member resources to help build a successful future in the profession.

After 2 years of graduate membership they will be required to upgrade to Professional membership.

Professional Membership

Professional membership is designed for those individuals who wish to obtain professional recognition for their HR knowledge and skills, and their involvement in, and contribution to the profession and AHRI.

Upon entry to this membership category, there is a requirement for a commitment to continuing professional development (CPD) to maintain the awarded level of professional membership.

This level of membership is available to HR professionals who:

  • have completed an undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution and have a minimum of two (2) years recent experience in a HR role, or
  • are experienced HR professionals with a minimum of five (5) years’ working in a HR role (without a formal qualification) or
  • experienced people managers or business leaders with a minimum five (5) years’ relevant vocational practice in management, seeking to broaden and enhance their HRM capability.

Until 1 February 2022 application to the level of AMAHRI was available to those progressing down the HR academic pathway. AHRI Academic Members use their knowledge and research experience to contribute to the design, delivery, and management of higher education programs and/or research. Academic members are now recognised under Professional Membership.

Members at this level may use the post-nominal MAHRI (or CAHRI where applicable)

Until 31 December 2017 application to the level of CAHRI membership was available via an assessment of qualifications and experience. Members who were admitted to the membership level of CAHRI before 2018 are entitled to use the CAHRI post nominal.

Certified Membership

This level of membership is available to HR professionals who have successfully completed one of AHRI’s pathways to certification outlined on the AHRI website.

Until 1 February 2022, application to the level of Certified Academic member was available to experienced and senior academics to recognise their professional contribution to HR thinking and knowledge, through academic research and/or teaching. Certified Academic members are now recognised under the Certified membership and can use the CPHR post-nominal

HR professionals who have successfully completed one of the certification pathways outlined on the AHRI website will be entitled to use the post-nominal CPHR.

Fellow/FCPHR Membership

AHRI Fellow Membership is a level of professional membership which recognises HR professionals who have made a substantial contribution to and have a record of achievement in the practice of HR. Applicants wanting to become FPCHR will be required to meet the following criteria:

The criteria for FPCHR Membership of AHRI are:

  • successfully complete one of the certification pathways outlined on the AHRI website
  • ten or more years HR experience
  • a minimum of five years in a senior position demonstrating a record of achievement in strategic HR management and leadership
  • demonstrated contribution to the HR profession

Until 31 July 2020 application to the level of FAHRI membership was available via an assessment of qualifications, experience and demonstrated contribution. Members who have been admitted to the membership level of FAHRI before 1 August 2020 are entitled to use the post-nominals (FAHRI). Existing Fellows who successfully complete one of the certification pathways will be entitled to use the post-nominal FCPHR.

Until 1 March 2022, AHRI Fellow Certified Academic membership recognised Academics who use their knowledge and research expertise to provide direction and leadership in the HR discipline in academia. Fellow Certified Academic members are now recognised under the Fellow Certified membership and can use the FCPHR post-nominal.

Life Fellowship

AHRI Life Fellowship is the most distinguished award the Institute makes. As such it is deserving of close examination and reflection, and it should not be easily given.

Life Fellowship of AHRI is by invitation (not self-nomination/application) and may be awarded to individuals who:

  • are nationally and/or internationally recognised for excellence in the field of human resources.
  • have made a highly distinguished and nationally and/or internationally recognised contribution and impact on the human resources profession within the past 5 years.

Persons nominated for Life Fellowship should normally have been Fellows of the Institute for more than five years, although it is possible for persons other than Fellows to be elevated to Life Fellow.

Nominations in writing for the award of Life Fellowship may come from a State Council, a reference or advisory panel, the Council of State Presidents or the AHRI Board.

Admission as an AHRI Life Fellow is a two-step process requiring approval of the AHRI Board and the Council of State Presidents. A majority is required from the two groups for the nomination to progress.

If the nomination is carried, at the discretion of the AHRI Board, the nominee should be approached to determine whether they are willing to accept the award.

The approval of the award should be confidential to the nominee, the Board, and the minimum number of administrative staff necessary, until it is announced. Once approved, the Council of State Presidents and/or the nominating body should advise the relevant state president of the approval. Details regarding the formal announcement of the award will be determined post approval.

Life Fellows may use the post-nominal ‘FAHRILife’. Life Fellows who hold AHRI certification already or who are successful in achieving AHRI certification may use the certification post-nominal followed by Life (i.e. ‘FCPHRLife’) subject to the CPD requirements of FCPHR until they have declared their retirement from employment.

A register of the names of Life Fellows shall be maintained by the AHRI National Office. Life Fellowship is complimentary and carries the membership benefits of Fellows without further cost to the Life Fellow, for the life of the Life Fellow.

Life Member of AHRI

In recognition of commitment and loyalty to the Institute, AHRI Life Membership is awarded to those who have membership tenure of 50+ years.

Life Membership is complimentary and continued use of the post-nominal achieved before being awarded Life Membership.

Note: Life members and Life Fellows are different in status. Life Membership is based on longevity of membership tenure, whereas Life Fellowship is only awarded to those Members who have made a significant contribution to the field of HR, and to the profession.

Organisation Membership

AHRI organisation membership provides private and public companies and government departments at all levels with exclusive access to comprehensive, current and relevant HR industry knowledge and expertise ensuring that individuals responsible for people management take every step to stay in touch with developments in the field of HR.

Organisation members pay a flat annual fee for access to a comprehensive range of organisation specific benefits and individual membership (professional or non-professional) for one nominated employee.

Additional nominated members may be added to receive additional benefits.

Membership Requirements Summary

This table below represents a summary of the initial and ongoing requirements for AHRI membership.

For specific references to the application of the core capabilities for each member grade, please refer to the Australian HR Competency Framework on the AHRI Website.

Professional members of the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) have made a commitment to model excellence in the workplace. A key element of maintaining professional standards is continuous professional development (CPD) which ensures that your professional skills and knowledge are current. For further detail please refer to the AHRI CPD Guide on the AHRI Website.

Applications for AHRI memberships or upgrades may be made online via the AHRI website.

Member Designation





Have management responsibilities but HR is not their primary function; or

Work in HR, but do not yet meet professional membership; or

Student studying HR or other related areas, at undergraduate level or above, with no prior HR experience

Not applicable


An AHRI-accredited or other HR relevant undergraduate qualification and 2 years’ experience in an HR role; or

5+ years’ HR work experience; or

5+ year’s relevant vocational practice in management

60 hours over 3 years


Successful completion of one of the AHRI pathways to certification

60 hours over 3 years


Considered for AHRI Fellowship in conjunction with Senior Leaders Pathway case study application.

Considered for AHRI Fellowship for an existing CPHR

60 hours over

3 years

Life Fellow

By discretion of the Board

FCPHRLife members must maintain the same CPD requirements as FCPHR until they declare they have retired from employment.

Life Membership

Membership tenure of 50+ years.

As per the current membership level achieved, until they declare they have retired from employment.

Page updated: February 2024