CIP Exams

The CIP® exam was developed by the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals (CCIP) with substantial input from leading members of the IRB/HRPP community. The exam is administered Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), and is offered at least twice yearly at testing sites around the world. CIP® certification is valid for three years, and can always be renewed via re-examination or can be renewed with continuing education credits twice in a nine year period. 

The CIP exam covers information determined by the CCIP to demonstrate a standard level of knowledge about human subjects research review under the rules and regulations of the United States. Candidates are tested on the common body of knowledge relevant to all IRBs, including behavioral and medical research, to ensure that certificate holders are trained to use their skills in a variety of IRB environments. Download the CIP body of knowledge, outlining content covered in the CIP exam.

The CIP examination consists of a maximum of 250 objective, multiple-choice questions, takes four hours to complete, and covers:

  • Foundations and concepts of IRB practice
  • Organizational and personnel knowledge
  • IRB functions and operations
  • Records and reports

The examination is based on federal requirements and interpretations of guidelines, not the policies and procedures developed by individual institutions. Download the CIP® Handbook.

Scheduling Your Exam

The CIP exam is administered daily during an established two week testing period from Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays. Scheduling is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Apply to take the exam today.


2017 Spring Examination
Exam application deadline: February 10
Exam window: March 6-18

2017 Fall Examination Period
Exam application deadline: August 18
Exam window: September 11-23


Application fees for the CIP exam are:

PRIM&R Member – $335
Nonmember – $450

To obtain the reduced registration rate, PRIM&R members must provide proof of their membership. To do so, please follow these instructions.

Learn more about the benefits of PRIM&R membership.

PRIM&R has established the Felix Gyi Memorial CIP® Scholarship to assist IRB professionals interested in seeking the accomplishment that comes from earning the CIP credential. This initiative provides scholarships to cover the fees associated with both sitting for the exam and applying for recertification of the credential. Learn more.

Preparing for the Exam

If you would like to network with other professionals who are studying to take the exam, join the CIP study group on Facebook or the CIP group on LinkedIn.

The CIP handbook is available to help you prepare for the examination. The handbook lists the topics covered in the examination and provides suggested reference materials that are commonly found and used in IRB offices. 

A CIP practice exam is available for purchase. It is a 75-question pretest designed that reviews examples of the type of content included in the CIP exam and allows you to learn more about question format, style, and level of difficulty.

You can find additional information and strategies for preparing for the exam by downloading and reviewing slides developed and presented by Susan Delano at the 2011 Advancing Ethical Research Conference. PRIM&R members can watch the Earning the CIP Credential: Is It Right for You, Right Now? webinar which was broadcast on May 6, 2015, to learn more about exam preparation strategies.

Getting the Results

You will be notified of your exam results within six weeks of taking it. Test scores are released to the individual candidate only.

Any questions?

Please contact us.