CIP Exams

Detailed information regarding the 2021 exam, including the handbook and application, will be available in November.

Exam Content

The CIP® exam is developed by the CIP Council and it covers the body of knowledge about human subjects research review under the rules and regulations of the United States. 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
Note: 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 The 2020 CIP exam will not include questions about pending draft guidance related to the revised Common Rule.

Applying For and Scheduling Your Exam

The exam is administered by PSI and offered twice yearly during established two week testing periods (daily, Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays) through live remote online proctoring and at physical testing sites around the world.

Those wishing to sit for the exam during a given exam window should ensure they meet the eligibility requirements and submit an exam application by the application deadline listed for that exam window.

Candidates may complete the online application located here, and click on the Register for This Exam button. This will prompt the candidate to create an account with the testing vendor, which will give them access to the online application. If they prefer to mail a hard copy application, they can print the PDF forms on that webpage and mail them to the address listed.

PSI sends approved candidates an eligibility notice that contains instructions on how to schedule an appointment, either at a testing or center or through live remote online proctoring. Candidates do not have to schedule their exams immediately, but please remember that appointments are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

PSI’s testing centers are open according to local ordinances, and strict social distancing and cleaning protocols are in place. This affects the number of exams administered each day, and the number of seats for each timeslot.

If necessary, PRIM&R reaches out to candidates for additional information. PRIM&R also contacts candidates with ineligible applications.

2021 Spring Examination
Exam application deadline: February 19
Exam window: March 29-April 29
2021 Fall Examination Period
Exam application deadline: August 13
Exam window: September 6-October 6
2021 Exam Application Fees
PRIM&R Member: $350
Nonmember: $475

To obtain a reduced registration rate, PRIM&R members can provide proof of their membership following these instructions.

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

The following resources are available to help you study for the CIP Exam.

Info Session

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

View the webinar

Online Groups

Join the CIP study group on Facebook and/or the CIP group on LinkedIn to network with other professionals studying to take the exam.

Downloadable Resources

Download the CIP Handbook, the CIP Body of Knowledge/Content Outline, and the CIP Exam Resources and References. This AER19 presentation outlines exam eligibility and exam prep strategies.

Practice Test

A CIP practice exam is available for purchase—75-questions designed like the type of content included in the CIP exam to help you learn more about question format, style, and difficulty.

CIP Practice Exam

Study Buddies

PRIM&R can help you pair up with someone to study for the exam. Send us an email and let us know whether you'd like to collaborate with someone virtually or in-person. Although we can’t guarantee a match, increased participation will enhance the chances of finding a connection.

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.


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.

CIP Exam Dates

2021 Spring Testing Period
Application deadline: February 19
Exam window: March 29- April 29

2021 Fall Testing Period
Application deadline: August 13
Exam window: September 6-October 6

CIP Exam Portal

The CIP Exam is administered by PSI. Visit the CIP portal on their website to download the CIP Handbook and submit your application.

CIP Exam Portal


Questions about exam administration or testing centers may be directed to the testing vendor, PSI.
Phone: 833.333.4755

Other questions may be directed to