CIP Exams

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.

The CIP® exam was developed by the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals (CCIP) with substantial input from leading members of the HRPP/IRB community. The exam is administered by PSI/AMP and is offered twice yearly at testing sites around the world.

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 those overseeing behavioral and biomedical research, to ensure that credential holders are trained to use their skills in a variety of IRB environments. Download the CIP Body of Knowledge/Content Outline, detailing the content covered in the CIP exam, as well as the CIP Exam Resources and References.

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 regulations and guidance, not the policies and procedures developed by individual institutions. Download the CIP Handbook.


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 The 2020 CIP exam will not include questions about pending draft guidance related to the revised Common Rule.

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.


2020 Spring Examination
Exam application deadline: February 7
Exam window: March 2-14
2020 Fall Examination
Exam application deadline: August 14
Exam window: September 7-October 7


Application fees for the 2020 CIP exam are:

PRIM&R Member $350
Nonmember $475

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

Watch the CIP Info Session webinar to learn about exam eligibility and exam preparation strategies.

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.

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.