By: John Fernandez | CRP, GMS, SSB

March 3, 2021

Like any decision with multiple options, choosing which relocation management company to work with can be a tough decision. As an HR professional or manager who is involved in the procurement or decision-making process for relocating employees, you want to make sure you are signing on with the relocation company that is going to make moving your employees as smooth as possible. One assessment that should not be overlooked when choosing talent mobility services are the relocation certifications that the firm’s employees have obtained. 

While you’re reviewing which corporate relocation company to work with, you will probably notice a series of acronyms by their employee’s names. Each of these acronyms represents professional relocation certification earned through Worldwide ERC®, the guiding body of the global workforce mobility industry. 

But what do these certifications mean? And which certifications are important? Two of the more commonly seen certifications include the CRP and GMS. Here we breakdown the details. 

The Top Relocation Certifications

CRP: Certified Relocation Professional

One of the more common relocation certifications is the Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) designation from Worldwide ERC. This shows that the relocation coordinator has the competency and a foundational knowledge of corporate mobility in the United States. CRPs typically have an understanding of the common principles and practices of employee relocations, including how to handle and overcome any obstacles that can get in the way. The knowledge gained by the relocation professional during the certification process greatly benefits the relocating employee, allowing them to get the most out of their experience with the relocation company. 

How Do You Earn It

First off, you must either be a current member of Worldwide ERC for at least 12 months or be sponsored by a current CRP/SCRP holder who attests to your having a minimum of 1 full year of corporate relocation-related experience. In order to earn a CRP designation, obtainers must complete an intensive three-hour exam that tests their knowledge of relocation policies, home sale programs, U.S. tax and real estate compliance, and other trends regarding relocation issues. 

Additionally, CRP-certified personnel must earn at least 30 recertification credit hours every three years. The point of this continuing education is to ensure that CRPs are current with industry trends, issues, and policies. 

SCRP: Senior Certified Relocation Professional

What It Is & Why To Have It

One level above a CRP is Senior Certified Relocation Professional (SCRP) certification. If a relocation specialist has an SCRP designation, it proves that he or she has put forth substantial time and effort into improving their expertise in the mobility industry and has become a leader in their field. 

How Do You Earn It 

To earn their SCRP designation, the relocation professional must first have passed the extensive exam process related to the CRP certification. Additionally, the employee must be recognized for their contributions to the industry by Worldwide ERC, resulting in a  Distinguished Service Award. Contributions include active participation in the industry, serving on various ERC committees, authoring articles in industry publications, or serving as a member on various industry-related committees.

GMS: Global Mobility Specialist

What It Is & Why To Have It

Another important certification to be on the lookout for is the Global Mobility Specialist (GMS) certification. Professionals who have obtained a GMS title prove that they have an in-depth understanding of international relocation policies and procedures. A GMS should be able to handle questions and concerns regarding international assignments, family matters related to spouses/partners and children, visa and immigration compliance issues, the interaction between tax laws, and more.

How Do You Earn It

To complete their GMS, candidates must complete three training modules, then pass an exam that covers fundamentals of international workforce mobility and intercultural management skills. To keep current, GMS holders are required to complete 15 continuing education credits that focus on international management and global workforce mobility every three years.

GMS-T: Global Mobility Specialist-Talent Management

What It Is & Why To Have It

The Global Mobility Specialist-Talent Management (GMS-T) relocation certification allows obtainers the chance to gain extensive knowledge and guidance in all aspects of employee mobility. Gaining this certification allows employees to remain current in global mobility practices and procedures. In order to keep the certification up to date, you must complete 15 continuing education courses within a three-year timeframe. 

How Do You Earn It

To get a GMS-T, you must register online and complete the entire program. There are six modules in total to complete, and testers must score 70% or higher on the quizzes that are given at the end of each module. And of course, you must pass the final exam, also with a score of 70% or higher. This all must be completed with six months of starting and should take an average of about 25 hours total. 

CMC: Certified Moving Consultant

What It Is & Why To Have It

While not typically a certification your transferee-facing relocation counselors may hold, the Certified Moving Consultant (CMC) is an important designation earned by the transportation personnel that is supporting every relocation performed by the relocation company. Gained through the American Moving & Storage Association, the CMC program is designed for personnel who need a firm understanding of the in’s and out’s of the household goods moving industry. This particular certification stands out against the CRP and GMS as it is narrowly focused on the household goods (HHG) industry. 

How Do You Earn It

To become CMC certified, you must be an AMSA member in good standing, purchase the program and complete the eLearning courses. To renew your CMC certification you must pay an annual renewal fee of $150.

Why Choose A Company With Relocation Certifications?

Obviously, it is better to work with a relocation management company that can assure partners that their employees and team members are not only qualified to serve them but certified to do so. Relocation can be a stressful process for everyone involved, from the HR manager hiring the employee, to the employee that is relocating, and the family that is impacted by the move. Including the above described certifications, Global Mobility Solutions’ employees hold and maintain 23 different designations specific to their unique disciplines. These designations represent every facet of the relocation process, including relocation management, household goods, real estate, information security, quality assurance, and more. And we make an effort to keep our coordinators’ relocation certifications current. Many relocation companies don’t urge or reimburse their employees to renew theirs. By working with a relocation management company like Global Mobility Solutions, you will have the peace of mind that you are working with the best in the industry. 

Interested in learning how GMS’ expertise can help you with your corporate mobility objectives? Contact us for a complimentary one-on-one consultation with a GMS mobility professional today!

Executive Vice President John oversees global operations, marketing, business development as well as reporting and analytics. John’s 23 years of mobility experience include excellence in varied positions such as Relocation Counselor, International Assignment Manager, Manager of Latin American Operations, Director of International Operations, Global Account Executive, Vice President of Sales and Vice President of Global Services. The depth of John’s mobility experience also includes multiple assignments and domestic relocations of his own. He has lived and conducted business around the globe and speaks multiple languages.

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