August 12, 2015

Relocation Acronym Definitions you May Be Too Embarrassed to Ask About

Do you ever see a jumble of letters in an email signature and wonder what on earth it means? Every industry has its own catalog of acronyms and abbreviations, and the employee relocation world is no different.

Two main designations (and their acronyms!) for relocation professionals are CRP and GMS – and sometimes there’s an additional “S” tacked on at the beginning or a “-T” at the end.


What do they mean? Is there a difference between them? And are they really that important?

Here’s a brief overview on the organization behind these designations. Worldwide ERC®, as you may already know, is the workforce mobility association for professionals who oversee, manage or support U.S. domestic and international employee transfer. You may even be a member yourself but didn’t realize that they were behind all of those relocation-related designations.

Now for a definition of each designation:

  • CRP stands for Certified Relocation Professional, and it is available to relocation professionals engaged with business mostly within the United States.
  • GMS stands for Global Mobility Specialist, and as the name implies, is a designation for professionals working in international mobility.

To earn the CRP designation, you must have been in the industry for at least a year and prepare for, take and pass a live examination. The exam covers a wide range of mobility-related topics and is designed to ensure that those who earn the CRP designation are knowledgeable on relocation programs and policies, real estate, counseling and much more. Here’s an in depth look at exam content areas.

The GMS designation signifies a specialization in global workforce mobility and a commitment to ongoing industry education. To earn it, you must complete three modules on policy development, policy strategies and tactics, and the intercultural challenge of international assignments. An exam follows that tests your knowledge on those subjects.

But what about the “S”? If you come across someone with the designation of SCRP or SGMS, they have taken further steps in their professional development and have added “senior” to their designation. For both SCRP and SGMS, one must have earned CRP or GMS and then made significant professional contributions of time and expertise to the mobility industry via Worldwide ERC®. These include committees, panels, classes, writing articles and taking additional courses.

As for GMS-T, it’s focused on strategic talent mobility – in other words, the recruitment, development and retaining of talent for employers. If someone already has their GMS designation, they must take the additional Strategic Talent Mobility course to earn the GMS-T.

For even more information about common relocation terminologies check out this post on common relocation terms defined.

Now that we have a grasp on all of these different acronyms, we should examine what they mean to someone working with relocation professionals.

While these don’t need to be a requirement for the people handling your relocation program, they are definitely an extra boost of confidence that they know what they’re doing. Not only have they studied and learned a great amount about mobility, but they are consistently going through classes and training to stay up to date on changes in policy and the industry as a whole.

As the Worldwide ERC® website says, these individuals are “dedicated to the successful mobility of employee transferees and consistently seek to better themselves, and the service they offer, through continuing education in this specialized field.” They are recognized as industry leaders and contributors.

The next time you see CRP or GMS in an email signature or on a business card, you’ll know that person is dedicated to being at the top of their relocation game. At Sterling Lexicon, more than 91% of our client support team members hold one or both designations—it's a key part of our culture to invest in training.

Learn more about what value our experts can bring to your organization by contacting us today.

Kristin White

Kristin White

Kristin brings nearly 30 years of experience in global workforce mobility, PR, marketing, editorial planning and communications to her role as a member of the thought leadership and content development teams. Before joining the company in 2020, she worked for many years at Worldwide ERC® in collaboration with cross-departmental teams and industry stakeholders to develop in-person and virtual event programming, digital and print content, and served as editor of Mobility magazine. Contact Kristin at

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