Senior Leaders Pathway to Certification

Are you a HR Leader?

As a senior HR leader, you offer a wealth of experience to the HR profession. Certification through the Senior Leaders Pathway recognises your depth of HR skills, knowledge and behaviours in advancing the HR profession and bringing about organisational change.  The Senior Leaders Pathway allows you to showcase and be recognised for your theoretical and practical understanding and experience of HR in action.

What is the Senior Leader Pathway to Certification?

The Senior Leader Pathway to Certification is the pathway for senior HR practitioners, who have significant industry experience and qualifications, to gain AHRI Certification. It is aimed at a post graduate standard and provides recognition of your in-depth experience, continuous learning and your impact in setting the industry standards.

To gain Certification, you will be required to present a case study to an AHRI certified assessor (either via a virtual presentation or written format) who will assess your submission against a robust criterion. Their recommendation will be reviewed by the AHRI National Certification Committee and if successful, certification is granted.

Making the choice to become a Certified HR practitioner comes with the many benefits of professional recognition at a postgraduate level, networking with colleagues, access to research journals, thought leadership, HR advocacy and policy etc that can drive your thinking and knowledge further than ever before. On award of your AHRI Certification, you will be able to include your post-nominals beside your name which will elevate your credentials in the employment market.

“The Senior Leaders Pathway is a great opportunity to enable highly experienced HR professionals who have embedded themselves and their strategic HR practices in their organisation to achieve AHRI Certification without having to undertake the AHRI Practicing Certificate. It provides a robust and effective way for senior HR practitioners not seeking further tertiary qualifications to achieve professional recognition at a postgraduate level. 

Mardi Tero FCPHR | Senior Human Resources Facilitator

How do Senior HR Leaders Become Certified?

There are three pathways to AHRI Certification under the Senior Leaders Pathways to Certification program. Options 1 and 2 invite the applicant to present a case study for assessment based on a project they have implemented within the last 5 years and how it impacted on the business. Option 3 involves presenting a detailed response to an AHRI case study. All submissions include an interview with the assessor and the assessor will then make a recommendation to the National Certification Council (NCC).

The case study must demonstrate the applicant’s skills, knowledge, behaviours and experience in actioning industry best practice. There are three pathways available for application to select from:

Workplace Case Study: Presentation

  • A detailed presentation of a business project you have implemented within the last 5 years and demonstrating how it has impacted on the business.
  • Virtual presentation including interview

Workplace Case Study: Written

  • A detailed written case study of a business project you have implemented within the last 5 years and demonstrating how it has impacted on the business.
  • Written submission
  • Interview

AHRI Case Study: Presentation

  • A detailed presentation of an AHRI case study to an AHRI NCC assessor
  • A selection of AHRI case studies
  • Virtual presentation including interview

Upgrade to an AHRI Fellowship

If you are an AHRI member but not an AHRI Fellow, you can be considered for AHRI Fellowship in conjunction with your Senior Leaders Pathway case study application. Please refer to the AHRI Fellow Application Guidelines via the Senior Leaders Pathway prior to submission. 


Participation in the Senior Leaders Pathway to Certification requires you to satisfy the following criteria:

  • AHRI membership at a minimum MAHRI level, plus
  • 10+ years of generalist HR experience with 5+ years’ experience in a senior leadership/management role
  • A record of achievement in the field of HR

You will also need to be able to demonstrate:

  • Leadership across HR strategy, either in generalist or specialist HR roles
  • Completion of a relevant postgraduate qualification, or equivalent knowledge, skills, and experience.

To find out more about the benefits of AHRI memberships and to join up online, go to

Continuing Professional Development

As a Certified HR Practitioner, you have made a commitment to modelling excellence in the workplace by continuing to develop your skills and knowledge and applying them at work. CPHR’s must complete sixty (60) points of CPD every three years to maintain their HR certification status or professional membership. Your continuing professional development will not only benefit your organisation, but it will also enhance your career opportunities. Follow the link to find out more about CPD requirements.

How much does it cost to become certified?

Each of the Senior Leaders Pathways to Certification cost $800 per application per person. The programs fees include the application, guidelines for your submission, support from the AHRI team and the assessment.  Please note that applicants who do not achieve certification are not eligible for a refund. Education fees are GST exempt, and you may be able to claim your study as a tax deduction. 

How do I enrol?

Enrol today to secure your place in the next round of assessments.

Workplace Case Study: Presentation

Workplace Case Study: Written

AHRI Case Study: Presentation


Yes. The three pathways enable HR professionals to apply for certification in the format that suits their preferred working style and allows for those who do not have access to recent case study materials to apply for certification. The assessment will focus on the specialist aspect of the case study and allows

specialist HR practitioners to undertake certification in a way that is reflective of their skills, knowledge and expertise without the need to be working in a generalist HR role.

AHRI accepts payment via credit card for program fees. The programs fees include the application, guidelines for your submission, support from the AHRI team and the assessment.  Please note that applicants who do not achieve certification are not eligible for a refund.  AHRI membership fees are also non-refundable.

You can apply to commence your Senior Leaders Pathway Certification journey at any time. AHRI will advise the closing dates for completed applications to be submitted based on the National Certification Council (NCC) quarterly meeting cycle. Applicants will be advised which meeting their application will go to and be notified of certification outcomes following these meetings.

There is no set timeline for candidates to complete and submit their submissions. The Senior Leaders Pathway has been designed to reflect the existing knowledge and capability of senior HR leaders and therefore there is no coursework required. Each pathway is structured in a different way, and you choose which one will work best for you. The National Certification Council (NCC) oversees all submissions and meet four times a year. Once your submission is completed and assessed, your application will be reviewed at the next sitting of the NCC.

Depending on the Pathway you select, an application might take anywhere from a day or so through to a number of weeks to prepare and present. This is because you can schedule your certification journey so that it suits your available time. The AHRI team will be available to support you throughout if/when you need it.

The Australian HR Capability Framework is designed to capture a range of values, behaviours and skills that is required by HR practitioners and seen by employers as ‘best practice’. The Framework gives HR professionals a guide as to the expectations at the level or seniority ie. Early career, mid-career, senior leader and fellow etc. The SLP is designed for senior leaders to demonstrate the skills set out in the framework for those operating at senior level in driving HR strategy and elevating the HR practices of your organisation and teams. The HR Capability Framework is linked to a Skills Analysis Tool which can help in identifying any further learning or capability gaps. We recommend you take the time to complete the tool before submitting your SLP application.

Who do I contact for further information regarding the Senior Leaders Pathway to Certification?

Any questions regarding the program can be directed to [email protected]