Certified IRB Professional (CIP)

Due to the unprecedented challenges associated with the current coronavirus outbreak, processing of exam and recertification applications may be delayed. Deadlines (including certification periods) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, including the possibility of extending these deadlines and certification periods, as needed.
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Download the CIP® Body of Knowledge/Content Outline, which details the content covered in the CIP exam, as well as the CIP Exam Resources and References.

Learn more about CIP program eligibility and exam prep strategies by viewing this free CIP Info Session


Prior to each testing year, the CIP exam is reviewed and updated to ensure it reflects current regulations and guidance. Therefore, all questions on the 2020 exam will be consistent with the 2018 Common Rule and any final guidance that has been released as of October 15, 2019. The 2020 CIP exam will not include questions about pending draft guidance related to the revised Common Rule.

As part of our commitment to helping concerned professionals improve human subject protections, PRIM&R is proud to offer its Certified IRB Professional (CIP) program, a certification initiative for individuals working with IRBs. The CIP credential was developed to promote ethical research practices and programs by ensuring that professionals charged with their administration have demonstrated an advanced level of knowledge, understanding, and experience.

Why Become Certified?

The CIP credential:

  • Promotes the ethical conduct of research by strengthening the administration of human research protection programs (HRPPs).
  • Validates an individual’s professional experience and mastery of the body of knowledge determined by national experts to be essential to competent HRPP and IRB administrative practices
  • Encourages personal growth and professional development
  • Provides an expanded array of career advancement opportunities
  • Strengthens the quality of HRPPs by certifying a cadre of committed and educated individuals

Learn more about the benefits of certification. You can also download the CIP Handbook to start the certification process.


The CIP program was created in 1999 after many years of discussion and planning by organizational members and leaders. The program was the result of a broadly based, grassroots effort by IRB professionals and policy makers committed to improving the quality of HRPPs. More than 3,000 individuals have become certified since the credential was introduced. PRIM&R is proud that this voluntary program has been so widely embraced by the HRPP community as a means to advance and demonstrate competence in such an important field.


The CIP program is administered under contract with PSI. The validity of individual test questions is authenticated by certified professionals, while PSI provides professional testing and management services. These services include assistance with test development, administration, scoring and statistical analysis, and processing candidate applications and fees. Questions regarding examination administration or testing centers may be directed to PSI by telephone (833.333.4755) or by email.