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How to Get SAP HCM Certification

With each day that passes, the business world evolves further and becomes more competitive, and to that effect, businesses are increasingly depending on competent human capital management systems to help them streamline their workforce operations. 


And the most widely-recognized and efficient human capital management system is the SAP HCM (Human Capital Management ) system, which was previously known as SAP HR (Human Resources). 

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SAP HCM is a software system from the renowned SAP company which serves as a solution to the resource management needs of organizations. 

This system enables businesses to effectively manage their human resources, from recruitment and employee data management to payroll and performance evaluation, amongst others. 


To learn more about the SAP HCM system and how it works, click HERE.


There is an increase in the adaptation of the SAP HCM system and this has also led to an increase in the need for SAP HCM professionals, especially certified professionals, who can properly use and manage this system.

So, if you are someone who is looking to get into the HR or Human Capital Management industry, or you are already in the industry and looking to advance your career, this is the right time to get skilled and certified in the use of this system. 


SAP HCM certification proves that you have the required expertise and proficiency in handling the SAP HCM system, and this gives you a competitive edge in the job market. 


Aside from this, there are several other benefits to obtaining this certification which we will be looking at in this blog post. 


In this article, we will be looking at all the benefits of obtaining SAP HCM certification, the requirements involved, and also providing a step-by-step guide on how to rightly go about it, amongst others.


So, ensure you read to the end.


But before we get into all that, let’s, first of all, look further into what the certification is all about.

Understanding SAP HCM Certification

SAP HCM (Human Capital Management) certification is a professional credential that validates the knowledge, experience, and expertise you have in efficiently using and managing the SAP HCM software system. 


This certification is issued by the renowned SAP company as proof that you can effectively use the SAP HCM software and its various functionalities to enhance workforce management, optimize HR processes, and contribute to the success of any organization you work with.


It also shows that you are excellent in the HR and HCM fields. 


But to obtain this certification, you have to undergo comprehensive SAP HCM training with a recognized training provider and then pass the certification exam.


We will be talking about this later in the article, but for now, let’s look at the key benefits of getting an SAP HCM certification.

Key Benefits of Becoming Certified

 The key benefits of obtaining an SAP HCM certification include: 

• Enhanced Career Opportunities

One of the major benefits of obtaining an SAP HCM certification is that it opens more doors for you and provides more opportunities for you to improve your career in the HR and HCM field.


First, if you are looking for a job and apply to a company that uses the SAP HCM system, you have a way higher chance of landing the job than your counterparts who are uncertified. 


Also, with this certification, you will be able to work in different roles and industries. 


In addition, because you are certified in this field, you will be regarded as a professional and given more advanced tasks and roles which will lead to promotions and a higher salary. 

•  More Knowledge and Skills

In the process of trying to obtain an SAP HCM certification, you will need to undergo comprehensive training with a recognized training and during that time, you will gain more knowledge, skills, and expertise on how to properly use the SAP HCM system and HR processes in general.


This knowledge will come in handy while you are handling HR roles. 

• Increased Efficiency and Productivity

With the increased knowledge, skills, and expertise that you will gain while undergoing a SAP HCM training program, you will be able to use the SAP HCM more efficiently and this will not just boost your productivity but that of the organization as well. 


For example, when you fully understand the functionalities of SAP HCM and how they work, you will be able to efficiently streamline recruitment and onboarding processes, manage employee data, automate payroll calculations, and properly track and evaluate employee performance.

• Industry Recognition

SAP certifications are widely recognized and respected by industry professionals and employers around the world, and the SAP HCM certification is no exception.


So, by obtaining this certification, you will be recognized in your industry, and different parts of the world as someone who is committed to continuous learning and improvement in the efficient use of the SAP HCM system.


And with this recognition, you will be able to get better job prospects, increased credibility, and higher salary opportunities from various employers and industries around the world.

• Professional Growth and Development

Just like other SAP certifications such as the SAP MM certification, obtaining the SAP HCM certification isn’t a one-off affair, you will need to continuously keep learning and being updated to be able to maintain it. 


This certification isn’t a bus stop but a stepping stone to continuous professional growth.


This is because from time to time, SAP releases new updates and enhancements to all its software including the HCM system, so as a certified professional you will need to stay up-to-date with these updates.  


So, what the company does is, after you get certified, it gives you access to ongoing training and resources to help you stay up-to-date with the best practices and latest industry trends.


This will help to continue learning and keep you at the forefront of HR technology, hence making it possible for you to grow both personally and professionally throughout your career.


Eligibility and Prerequisites for SAP HCM Certification

According to SAP, before pursuing the SAP HCM certification, you are required to have a good understanding of HR processes and be familiar with HR areas such as organizational management, personnel administration, benefits administration, payroll, and time management, amongst others.


You must also be able to effectively use the SAP HCM software. 


And to ensure this, you are required to undergo and complete a training program on the SAP HCM system from an authorized training provider such as Clarion College, so that you can acquire the knowledge and skills you need to properly use the software. 


And by undergoing the training program, you will also be able to comprehensively cover the syllabus of the certification, which will help you pass the certification exam.


There is no specific educational requirement before obtaining this certification but having a solid educational background in fields such as Human Resources, Business Administration, and Information Technology that are related to Human Capital Management will give you an edge and help you understand the HR processes and technology concepts in the software easier. 


Also, there is no defined practical experience that you need to have before pursuing this certification, but having prior hands-on experience in utilizing HR systems and processes will be very beneficial to you during the certification process and even after you obtain the certification.


However, if you are applying for the professional level of SAP HCM Certification, you will need to have several years of practical on-the-job experience and be able to handle real-life scenarios before you will be eligible to pursue it.

The SAP HCM Certification Exam

Before obtaining SAP HCM Certification, you are required to sit for and pass the SAP HCM Certification Exam. 


This exam is meant to verify that you have basic knowledge and understanding of SAP HCM, its concepts, functionalities, and how to properly use the software to carry out HR processes in real-world projects.


It is computer-based and its questions present you with multiple choices that you can select the correct answer from.


The associate level of this examination contains 80 questions and lasts for 180 minutes, which is 3 hours. And to pass this exam, you need to get a cut score of at least 54%.


However, the exact number of questions in this exam and how long the exam last may vary depending on the certification level and specific modules you choose.

Key Topics Covered In The SAP HCM Certification Exam

This certification exam covers a wide range of topics that are related to SAP HCM. 


However, the most common topics that are included in the certification exam are: 

• Organizational Management 

This topic area centers on the creation and maintenance of organizational structures, job positions, and reporting hierarchies.


The questions from this topic usually cover more than 12% of the certification exam.

• Personnel Administration

Personnel Administration focuses on the proper management of employee master data, organizational structures, and employee data. 


The questions from this topic area also cover more than 12% of the certification exam.

• Time and Attendance Management

The Time and Attendance Management topic area assesses your ability to properly configure time-related processes such as attendance, and work schedules, and how to manage employee leaves.


Like the first two topic areas above, the questions set from this topic area cover over 12% of the exam.

• Reporting and Analytics

As its name entails, this topic focuses on the generation of HR reports, analysis of workforce data, and proper use of SAP HCM reporting tools.


The questions set from this topic area make up less than 8% of the exam. 

• Payroll

This topic concentrates on understanding payroll processes, wage types, payroll schemas, and carrying out proper payroll reporting. 


The questions set from this topic area also make up less than 8% of the exam. 


Other notable topic areas that are covered in the exam include: 


  • SAP HCM Business Processes


  • Benefits Administration


  • Performance Management, 


….amongst others. 


Note: SAP can decide to update the exam content at any time, both the topics and the questions, so they could change as time goes on.

Additional Information

Aside from the actual certification questions in the exam, unscored questions might also be included in the exam.


These unscored questions are randomly distributed across the certification topics and whether you answer them right or wrong, it won’t be counted in your final score. 


They are just added to the exams as tests for upcoming releases of the exam.


In addition, to ensure people from different parts of the world can sit for the exams, the exams are available in multiple languages such as German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and Korean.


So you can select the language that you understand the most and take the exams in it. 


Also, due to the cloud-based nature of the certification exam, you can decide to individually choose the date you will take the exam and take it alone, at your own convenience. 


And in case you fail to meet the specified cut score of the exam on your first attempt, the cloud-based nature of the exam allows you to take it up to six times a year, whenever you want and at the location of your choosing.

Tips for Success on the Exam

 • Carefully Review The Exam Syllabus

The first thing you should do when preparing for the SAP HCM certification exam is to ensure you carefully and thoroughly review the syllabus and the topic areas of the exam, as provided by SAP. 


By doing this, you will know the key topics and areas that you need to concentrate your time and attention to and gain comprehensive knowledge in.

• Study Official SAP Learning Resources

Aside from undergoing an SAP HCM training program with an authorized training provider, ensure you study official learning resources that are provided by SAP. 


These resources could be either e-learning courses, documentation, articles, training materials, etc.


By studying them, you can gain a deeper understanding of the SAP HCM functionalities and concepts and further support and boost your exam preparation.


In the next chapter of this article, we will be sharing some recommended study materials and resources that can help you prepare properly for the exam, so keep reading.

• Create a Study Plan and Stick To It 

There are multiple topics you need to study and gain comprehensive knowledge on before you can sit for the certification exam, so you need to create a proper study that will help you allocate enough time to studying each topic, and stick to it. 


While creating a study plan, make sure that you outline your study goals, the topics you need to cover, and the study time you will be allocating to it.


You also need to ensure that your study plan has stipulated time for revision and practice exams.


And bear in mind that while preparing for this exam, you will need to take breaks and be attending to other stuff too, so you need to manage your time properly to accommodate them all, without affecting any one of them.


Furthermore, when creating a studying schedule, be realistic in setting targets and ensure the study approach is balanced so that you will be able to cover all key areas of the certification syllabus.


And when you are done creating your study plan, ensure you stick to it. 


It is one thing to create a study plan, it is another thing to stick to it. 


You need to regularly consistently follow these study sessions to be able to maintain momentum and continuity in your preparation.


And while studying, ensure you take notes and summarize key concepts. It will help you easily retain information when you start your revision.

• Practice with Sample Questions

Another great tip that can help you succeed in your certification exam is practicing with sample questions. 


Sample questions give you a preview of how the main exam will be, and will help you be prepared for what is to come on your exam day. It also helps you familiarize yourself with the exam’s format and question style. 


You can also use these sample questions to evaluate the level of knowledge you have gained after studying for a while. 


By doing this, you can identify the areas that you have gained enough knowledge in and the topic areas that require further study.


You can also use the practice exams to attempt sample questions, learn how to manage the stipulated time frame properly and improve your time management skills.


This will help you to allocate appropriate time to each question and avoid getting stuck on the difficult ones.

• Join Study Groups and Forums

Studying and engaging with other candidates and professionals in SAP forums or study groups is another great way of gaining more knowledge that will help you succeed in the certification exam. 


By joining study groups and SAP forums like SAP COMMUNITY on different social media platforms, you can be able to participate in discussions and share knowledge which will in turn provide you with valuable insights and different perspectives that will improve your understanding of SAP HCM concepts and functionalities. 

• Get Hands-on Experience

If you can, ensure you get hands-on experience on how to use the SAP HCM software before sitting for the certification exam. 


By practicing with the software, you will be able to further enhance your understanding of its concepts and functionalities by putting the theoretical knowledge you have gained into practice.

• Stay Calm and Confident

After you have confirmed that you have gained enough knowledge and finally sit for the exam, ensure you remain calm and confident on the day of the exam. 


There is usually an anxiety that you might feel especially if you writing the exam for the first time, but by remaining calm and confident in yourself, you will get past it and ace your exam. 


While writing the exam, ensure you read each question carefully and select the best possible answer. 


If you are finding it hard to pick the answer to a question, you can start by eliminating the incorrect options and then select from the remaining options. 


Lastly, make sure you avoid second-guessing. Trust yourself, and your preparation.

A Step-By-Step Guide to SAP HCM Certification

Registration Process and Fees

• Visit the SAP Training and Certification website

First of all, visit the official SAP Training and Certification website to search through the available certification options and select the SAP HCM certification that matches your career goals.

• Create an SAP Learning Hub Account 

When you are on the SAP Training and Certification website, create an account on the SAP Learning Hub, if you don’t have one already. 


Creating an account on the Learning Hub will give you access to different training materials, e-learning courses, and practice exams that will help you prepare properly for the certification exam.

• Choose Your Preferred Certification Level and Modules

Next, choose the certification level you want to pursue, such as Associate or Professional, and also pick the specific SAP HCM modules that you wish to specialize in.


After you have done that, check the certification syllabus and make sure the modules that you have chosen are covered in it.

• Pay the Certification Fee

Once you have selected the certification level and modules of your choice, pay the required certification fee.


The fee may vary depending on the certification level and region.


You can find all the information you need about the fee structure on The SAP Training and Certification website

Recommended Study Materials and Resources

SAP HCM Courses 



SAP HCM Documentation and Guides






What to Expect After Getting SAP HCM Certified

Potential Job Roles and Career Paths

• SAP HCM Consultant 

As a certified SAP HCM professional, you can work as an SAP HCM consultant for organizations and help them implement and optimize SAP HCM solutions.


While doing this job, You will be responsible for configuring the system, conducting system testing, understanding client requirements, and providing proper guidance on the best practices for HR processes.

• HR Systems Analyst

As an HR Systems Analyst, you will use your expertise and experience in SAP HCM to analyze HR systems, identify areas that need improvement, and implement changes that enhance HR processes and data management.


You will also be required to collaborate with cross-functional teams to integrate SAP HCM with other systems and provide ongoing support to HR operations.

• HR Project Manager

When you get your SAP HCM Certification, you can be able to take on project management roles and lead HR system implementation projects from beginning to end.


You can also oversee project planning, stakeholder management, and resource allocation, and ensure successful project delivery within specified timelines and budgets.

• HR Analyst 

With the knowledge and expertise you will gain about SAP HCM during the certification process, you can also work as an HR Analyst and generate reports, analyze HR data, and provide insights to support HR decision-making. 


In this role, you will also collaborate with HR stakeholders to identify trends, develop metrics, and contribute to the overall HR analytics strategy of an organization.

• HR Functional Lead 

After obtaining the SAP HCM certification, you can also work as an HR functional lead. 


In this role, you will provide strategic guidance to organizations and leverage the SAP HCM software for their HR initiatives.


You will also align HR processes with the objectives of the business, drive system enhancements, and make sure the SAP HCM software is effectively used to optimize workforce management.


Note: These are just a few of the potential job roles and career paths you can embark on when you obtain an SAP HCM certification. There are a lot more that are not listed here. 

Continuing Education and Recertification 

SAP HCM Certification is valid for only two to three years, and after that validity period, you will need to be recertified and continue studying and staying current with evolving technologies, industry trends, and best practices to maintain it. 


Through continuous education and successfully going through the recertification process, you will also be able to maintain your professional standing and show that you are committed to consistently maintaining your expertise in the field and staying current with SAP HCM advancements. 


To enable you to continue learning and recertify, SAP offers various avenues for continuing education, and recertification such as: 


  • Learning resources with the latest SAP HCM developments to deepen your knowledge and skills


  • Recertification exams


  • Updated E-learning courses


  • The Online SAP Community Network where you can engage with other SAP professionals, share knowledge, and  exchange insights about the latest industry trends


  • SAP Events and Webinars that you can attend to learn about advanced HR technologies and SAP HCM updates

Common Challenges on the Path to SAP HCM Certification and How to Overcome Them

Here are the common challenges you will face on your journey to obtain SAP HCM certification, and the strategies you can use to overcome them: 

• A Complex Syllabus

The SAP HCM syllabus is very extensive and complex in nature and this can make it very difficult for you to cover it all.


To overcome this challenge:


  • Break down the syllabus into smaller sections that you can easily study.


  • Create a study plan and assign a specific time for each topic.


  • Prioritize the topic areas based on how many percent of questions from them are used in the certification exam.


  • Don’t just memorize the content of the syllabus. Instead, focus on understanding the SAP HCM concepts and how to apply them practically. 

• Limited Access to SAP HCM Software System

To gain a better understanding of SAP HCM functionalities and how to use them, you need to have access to an SAP HCM system for hands-on practice, and most times, this is a challenge. 


 You can overcome this challenge by:


  • Searching for online resources and tutorials that provide environments where you can have access to systems you can practice with.


  • Participating in virtual or cloud-based SAP HCM environments, if available.


  • Leveraging the information in SAP training materials, practice exams, and case studies to gain more theoretical knowledge about the system.

• Time Management

The SAP HCM Certification preparation process is a very challenging one and it becomes more difficult when you are trying to balance it with your work, and personal life. 


So, to manage your time effectively:


  • Create a realistic study schedule that considers your other commitments.


  • Break down your study time into smaller, and focused sessions.


  • Stick to your study tasks and treat them with urgency and importance.


  • Eliminate distractions and create a conducive study environment.

• Technical Complexity of SAP HCM Concepts

The technological concepts and systems involved in SAP HCM are very complex, and if you don’t have an educational background in anything technology-related, it becomes way more challenging. 


Nevertheless, you can overcome this challenge by:


  • Enrolling in SAP training courses that can provide you with comprehensive technical knowledge.


  • Utilizing official SAP documentation and guides to understand the technical aspects of the system. 


  • Joining online forums and study groups to discuss technical topics and gain more insights about them.


  • Engaging in hands-on practice to gain practical experience with SAP HCM software.

• Exam Anxiety

Exam anxiety is one of the things that many people feel when they are sitting for this examination, especially when it’s their first time. 


And this can hinder performance during the certification exam.


So, if you are one of the persons going through this, you can solve this challenge by:


  • Familiarizing yourself with the exam format and structure by practicing with sample questions and mock exams.


  • Carrying out stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to stay calm and focused in the course of the exam. 


  • Reviewing and revising your study materials regularly to build confidence in your knowledge.


  • Arriving at the exam center early to reduce last-minute stress and ensure a relaxed state of mind.


If you are pursuing a career in Human Resources (HR) or Human Capital Management (HCM) or looking to advance your career in these fields, obtaining an SAP HCM certification can offer you a lot of benefits. 


Not only does this certification validates your expertise in SAP HCM, it also enhances your career prospects, and opens doors to diverse job roles and opportunities for you. 


That’s not all, this certification also expands your knowledge in your field, enables you to properly optimize HR processes with the SAP HCM software, and makes you more recognized in your industry. 


However, you must bear in mind that this certification and its numerous benefits won’t be laid for you on a bed of roses, you need to put in maximum effort, and stay focused and dedicated even when challenges arise so that you can overcome them.


You must also ensure that you study properly and gather adequate knowledge about the software and its functionalities before you sit for the actual certification exam. 


But not to worry, our training course can provide you with all the knowledge you need to become an expert in the use of the SAP HCM software and pass the certification exam on your first attempt, all at an affordable rate. 


So, click HERE to apply for our SAP HCM Training Course. 


What Is SAP HCM?

SAP HCM (Human Capital Management) is a software solution that helps businesses to effectively manage their human resources (HR) and HR processes.


This software contains different modules such as personnel administration, organizational management, time management, payroll, and benefits administration, amongst others.

Why Should I Get SAP HCM Certification?

You should get SAP HCM certification because: 


  • It validates your expertise and proficiency in SAP HCM


  • It enhances your credibility in the HR field


  • It opens up a wide range of career opportunities for you and increases your job prospects


  • It makes you and your skills in optimizing HR processes using SAP HCM software more recognized in your industry. 

What Are The Prerequisites For SAP HCM Certification?

The only requirement for pursuing SAP HCM certification is completing an SAP HCM training program from a training provider that is authorized. 


There are no stipulated educational prerequisites.


However, having background knowledge of HR processes, a basic understanding of information technology, and practical experience in HR roles or related fields is highly recommended and can be beneficial to you during the certification process.

How Do I Prepare For The SAP HCM Certification Exam?

You can prepare for the SAP HCM certification exam by: 


  • Enrolling in an authorized SAP HCM training course and studying e-learning materials.


  • Creating a study plan and sticking to it


  • Studying official SAP documentation and guides


  • Practicing with sample questions and mock exams


  • Gaining hands-on experience on who to use the SAP HCM software


  • Joining study groups or forums for more insights and support.

What Career Opportunities Are Available After Earning SAP HCM Certification?

The career opportunities available after earning SAP HCM certification include: 


  • SAP HCM Analyst


  • HR Systems Analyst


  • HR Functional Lead


  • HR Project Manager


….amongst others. 

What Are The Common Challenges In Obtaining SAP HCM Certification?

The common challenges faced in the pursuit of SAP HCM certification include: 


  • Complexity Of The Syllabus


  • Limited Access To SAP HCM Systems For Hands-on Practice


  • Technical Complexity Of SAP HCM Concepts


  • Examination Anxiety


  • Lack Of Support Or Guidance


……amongst others.

27th September 2023
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