Certified IRB Professional

2021 CIP Program Updates

2021 will bring some exciting changes to the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) exam! The CIP Council has updated program specifications—including refreshed exam eligibility guidelines; a reorganized, streamlined content outline; and a new exam format.

These updates are based on a comprehensive job analysis of the program conducted in 2019. This was a joint undertaking among the CIP Council, PRIM&R, and PSI, the exam administrator. During this systematic process, the CIP Council developed and validated the scope of practice of HRPP/IRB professionals as well as the tasks and knowledge areas that reflect the core functions of an IRB as part of an HRPP. One major component of this process was a large-scale job analysis survey, in which 535 HRPP/IRB professionals rated the frequency and importance of 20 task statements and 31 knowledge areas, as well as their role in executing those functions.

The refreshed exam eligibility guidelines are drawn from these updated task statements, and delineate distinct job functions for which exam candidates must be responsible. The streamlined Body of Knowledge/Content Outline is drawn from the accompanying knowledge areas identified in the recent analysis.

While the scope of the exam content is largely unchanged, the revised content outline more closely aligns with the essential responsibilities of a current HRPP/IRB professional. This means that the CIP exam will now consist of 130 objective multiple-choice questions, and candidates will have a three-hour window in which to complete their exam.

About the CIP Credential

As part of our commitment to helping professionals improve human subject protections, PRIM&R is proud to offer the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®), a certification initiative for individuals working with IRBs. The CIP® credential was developed in 1999 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. More than 3,000 individuals have become certified since it was first introduced.

Those interested in seeking the CIP credential must meet the eligibility requirements and then apply for and pass the CIP exam. CIP credential holders must recertify every three years.

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

Where to Start

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
Email: info@goAMP.com

Other questions may be directed to certification@primr.org.