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Pathway 1: APC program

Mid to Senior Level HR Practitioners

Start your journey towards becoming a Certified HR Practitioner by enrolling in the AHRI Practising Certification Program. Build the strengths and diversity of your HR skills and increase your capabilities as an HR partner to the business.

For upcoming enrolment information, please contact

This program is ideal for experienced HR professionals with a minimum five years' HR experience. Skills recognition is also offered through Recognition of Prior Learning or Credit Transfer.

    The APC Program has been developed around the globally benchmarked AHRI Model of Excellence. With the program, AHRI leads the way in ensuring HR certification recognises HR capability as a combination of what you know and how you apply this knowledge in practice. The APC program is a four-unit study program equivalent to an AQF level 8 postgraduate program.

    "The APC Program has not only improved my knowledge, but has given me confidence in my HR capabilities which I am now applying to the workplace in a very tangible way."

    Current APC participant, Julianne Jex, Director, Workplace Relations, Australian Bureau of Statistics

    "Job candidates who have, or are embarking on the APC Program, show me that they have a commitment to ongoing development and the wider HR profession."

    Rowena Bain CAHRI, Assistant Secretary in the Culture and People Development Branch, Department of Defence

    "I was immediately hooked on learning with the very first workshop, and could see linkages in my day to day HR business everywhere in Defence."

    Current APC Program participant Melissa Hennessy, Assistant Director Diversity, Diversity Directorate, Culture and People Development Branch, Defence People Group

    "The APC Program's  strong focus on strategic HR  has really made me think differently about the needs of the business...  My business partners now value my opinion a lot more than they used to."

    Current APC Program participant Julie Dawson at RSM Australia

    "With my peers and outside the ATO, the capstone project was an ideal vehicle for demonstrating my experience in the HR profession and personally the program provided me with a sense of accomplishment and validation."

    Kerrie Wilby CPHR, Director, Learning and development, ATO People

    "The APC Program gets participants to think strategically, and not just operationally… When these job applicants spoke about HR, they were grounded with a sense of pragmatism, and weren't just quoting textbook theory."

    Elizabeth Nunez FAHRI, National Director of HR, RSM Australia

    Find out more


    This pathway towards HR certification is suitable for:

    • If you are a MAHRI, CAHRI, or FAHRI member; or equivalent membership; or
    • Experienced HR professionals with a minimum of five (5) years’ experience in a HR role and no formal qualification; or
    • HR professionals with a HR relevant undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution and a minimum of two (2) years’ recent experience in a HR role; or
    • Business leaders with a minimum five (5) years relevant vocational practice in management, seeking to broaden and enhance their HRM capability.

    Please note: You are required to be a current professional AHRI member at a minimum MAHRI level to commence your studies in the APC program, you can sign up for membership as part of your application for admission into the APC Program.

    If you don’t have the work experience required for this pathway, you can consider undertaking the BSB41015 Certificate IV in Human Resources or any of AHRI accredited undergraduate programs.


    AHRI offers Skills Recognition through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Credit Transfer (CT) to recognise the skills and knowledge you have gained through formal study, life/work experience and non-accredited training.


    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the recognition of skills and knowledge gained through life and work experience and through non-accredited training.


    Credit Transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal training and/or qualifications. Your previous post-graduate study may count towards credits for units within the APC Program. AHRI will consider AHRI accredited qualifications completed within the last 10 years. If your qualifications are more than 10 years old, you can still submit an application if you can demonstrate you have maintained involvement in the subject area, to ensure currency of knowledge and skills.

    To read detailed information about RPL and Credit Transfer, visit the APC Program page.


    If Pathway 1 towards HR certification isn’t the right pathway for you, please use the HR Certification Pathfinder to receive an instant online recommendation on the most suitable pathway for you. Other pathways you might be eligible for are:

    Pathway 2: Senior Leaders Pathway towards HR certification

    Via this pathway, senior practitioners submit a case study and undertake an intensive interview by the NCC sub-committee. Find out more about Pathway 2.

    Pathway 3: Pathway towards HR certification for CIPD Chartered Members or IHRP Certified Professionals

    This pathway is available to HR practitioners who have achieved the equivalent of certified practitioner status by attaining the Chartered CIPD category from CIPD in the United Kingdom, or the IHRP Certified Professionals from IHRP in Singapore. Find out more about Pathway 3 CIPD Reciprocity or Pathway 3 IHRP Reciprocity.

    Pathway 4: Academic pathway 

    This pathway offers an opportunity for academics and senior academics to become a Certified Academic HR, by presenting a portfolio of evidence demonstrating contribution to the body of HR knowledge and/or excellence in HR teaching practice. Find out more about Pathway 4.


    We're minded to look at initiatives to lift HR managers onto that strategic planning role … but also we've got to equip HR with the capability.

    John Lloyd, Public Services Commissioner


    Certification professionalises HR by providing a solid foundation and developmental path to follow. Organisations start to look for it.

    Georgia Siabanis FCPHR, HR Director, The Turning Lane


    The time is right for a post-nominal that signifies to business the professionalism of the HR person they are employing. Hopefully, the HR profession will take it up and take pride in it.

    Jim Bailey LFAHRI, AHRI's inaugural National President


    AHRI, in partnership with senior members of the HR profession, need to champion certification as a means to recognise the quality of the professionals in the field and to continue to lift the contribution of the HR profession in enabling business success.

    Grant Kerswell FAHRI, HR Director, Broadspectrum

    AHRI Assist