CIP Exams

Exam Content and Structure

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 130 objective, multiple-choice questions, and takes three hours to complete, and covers human subjects protection topics, IRB responsibilities, and institutional responsibilities.

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 2021 exam will be consistent with federal regulations and guidance that have been released as of October 31, 2020. The 2021 CIP exam will not include questions about pending draft guidance.

2021 CIP Exam Dates and Deadlines

Application deadlines refer to the last day in which applications can be sent. For the spring 2021 testing period, all applications must be uploaded or postmarked by February 19 for the CIP exam.

Remember, exam appointments can be scheduled beyond the application deadline! Please note that the bulk of exam applications are sent the week leading up to the application deadline, which sometimes slows the review process. Please be assured that if your exam application is still under review on the application deadline, and you are found to be eligible, you will still be able to schedule your exam appointment.

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

Exam Application Process

The quickest way to apply for the exam is to fill out the online application form. Go to PSI’s CIP homepage, and click on the Register for this Exam button. You will be prompted to log in/create an account, and then you will be brought to the web application. You will be required to upload your CV/resume and your work experience verification form as part of your application. Payment is required at the time of submission. 

Once your application is uploaded, PSI will immediately email you a receipt confirmation recording payment and will coordinate the eligibility review process. Remember to save the login ID and password that you created and add the domains @psionline.com and @goamp.com to your safe senders list. This receipt confirmation includes your unique candidate ID number, and you should retain this for your records.

PSI’s CIP homepage also includes PDF application forms, which can be sent by postal mail to PSI. Please note that these applications will be processed more slowly. Applications and payment must be sent together.  If you choose to mail a hard copy application, PSI will email you a receipt confirmation recording payment, your unique candidate ID number, and instructions on how to authenticate your PSI account. Please remember to save this information, and to add the domains @psionline.com and @goamp.com to your safe senders list.

The CIP and CPIA Councils aim to turn around complete applications within two weeks. Incomplete applications will result in a slower review time; if a component of your application is missing or incomplete, someone will reach out to you for that additional information.  
 

Tips and FAQs

Apply online! The process is quicker and more efficient using PSI’s candidate portal. The portal is where candidates submit their online applications, schedule their exam appointments, and where candidates who opt for live remote online proctoring access their exams.

Make sure all three components of your application are submitted:

  • Application form
  • Work experience verification form
  • CV/resumé detailing relevant work experience related to HRPP/IRB administration

Keep the following information in a safe space:

  • Username and password for your PSI account
  • Email address you used to create your account
  • Candidate ID number

Since your account contains sensitive information that is confidential between you and PSI, there are some security measures in place for your protection:

  • In order to reset your password, you will be required to input your candidate ID number to verify your identity.
  • Don’t solely rely on a password keeper! You might need to unexpectedly use a different computer to take your exam, or you might be prompted to manually input your password.

Double-check the contact information listed on your account.

  • The email address and phone number will be how PSI will contact you in case of an unexpected closure to your testing center, or an issue with your live remote online proctored exam on the day of your appointment. 
  • The address is where your exam score report will be sent. If you are including your work address, please make sure that all mailstops and building information are correct.
  • Make sure the name listed on your exam application matches that of the identifications you will use to check into your exam. If there is a discrepancy, you will not be able to take your exam, and will forfeit your exam fees.

Application deadlines refer to the last day in which applications can be sent.

Note that for each testing period, the deadline is the date by which all applications must be uploaded or postmarked to be reviewed for that exam cycle.

Remember, exam appointments can be scheduled beyond the application deadline! Please note that most candidates submit their exam applications in the final week leading up to the application deadline, which sometimes slows the review process. Submit early to ensure the quickest review! However, you can be assured that if your exam application is still under review on the application deadline, and you are found to be eligible, you will still be able to schedule your exam appointment within that cycle.

As soon as your application is received, you will receive a confirmation receipt that includes a receipt of payment and your unique candidate ID number. Meanwhile, on the backend, your application is undergoing eligibility review.

PSI emails an eligibility notice to candidates with approved applications. Make sure the @psionline.com and @goamp.com domains are on your safe senders list! The eligibility notice email includes instructions on scheduling your exam appointment, whether it be at a testing center, or an appointment for a live remote online proctored exam. Candidates do not have to schedule their exams immediately, but please remember that appointments are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is highly encouraged that you book your own appointment online. This will increase your familiarity with PSI’s candidate portal, and it will save time. There is an option to schedule appointments by phone, but depending on call volume, you might be on hold for an extended period of time.

While you do not have to schedule your exams immediately upon receiving your eligibility notification, remember that appointments are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Scheduling early will allow you to be sure to get your preferred time slot during the testing period.

Avoid scheduling your exam during the final days of the testing period. Taking the exam at the end of the testing period will severely limit your options in case of problems such as technical difficulties like power outages, or a forgotten ID or password.

PRIM&R staff reach out to candidates with incomplete applications about next steps.

PRIM&R reaches out to candidates with ineligible applications. Candidates have the opportunity to appeal decisions in accordance with the procedures laid out in the CIP and CPIA Handbooks. If you are found to be ineligible to sit for the exam, your application will be withdrawn, and you’ll be refunded your exam fees, less the $6 processing charge.

For candidates taking the exam via online proctoring, view this video.

For candidates taking the exam at a testing facility, view this video.

Please be sure to answer your phone on exam day! PSI might be trying to get in touch with you regarding your appointment.

Remember to have your:

  • Username and password for your PSI account
  • Email address that you used to create your account
  • Candidate ID number

Log onto your PSI account, and double-check your contact information:

  • The email address and phone number will be how PSI will contact you in case of an unexpected closure to your testing center, or an issue with your live remote online proctored exam on the day of your appointment. 
  • The address is where your exam score report will be sent. If you are including your work address, please make sure that all mailstops and building information are correct.
  • Make sure the name listed on your exam application matches that of the identifications you will use to check into your exam. If there is a discrepancy, you will not be able to take your exam, and will forfeit your exam fees.

If you plan to use an employer-issued computer, or take your exam on a personal computer on your workplace network, be sure to share these requirements with your IT department. There might be firewalls in place, or system updates that need to be disabled in order for you to connect to your exam. Please also remember to:

  • Conduct a system compatibility check 24 hours prior to the exam
  • Review the requirements for setting up your space
  • Use a hardline internet connection (avoid Wi-Fi when at all possible)

 

In order to run the remote proctoring software, computers must have a working webcam, microphone functionalities.

  • Operating system supported: Windows 7 and later; 32bit (x86) and 64bit (x64); MacOS 10.x and later
  • Browsers supported: PSI Secure Lock-Down Browser Google Chrome Extension
  • Browser settings: The browser must accept third-party cookies for the duration of the exam ONLY
  • Webcam/microphone: Minimum VGA 640 x 480 resolution, enabled built-in or external microphone (Candidates will be asked to scan the room using their webcams during check-in)
  • Google Chrome Extension: To be installed
  • Bandwidth: Minimum 400 kb/s download and upload
  • Hardware requirements: 2GB RAM Memory; 1 GB Free Disk Space, minimum 1368x768 screen resolution

It is highly recommended that candidates use a hardline (ethernet) internet connection when taking the exam. Candidates taking the exam at home should request that other members of the household refrain from using devices that require a lot of bandwidth, such as streaming and gaming services.

If you are using an employer-issued computer, or plan to use your personal computer on a network outside your home, please share this information and seek assistance from your IT department. It is possible that your network’s security and firewall settings will prevent you from downloading the exam package.

Candidates should check computer compatibility by clicking here. A compatibility test can be run before or after registering for an exam appointment.

You should run the system compatibility test using the same computer that you’ll use for the exam, in the same space and under the same conditions (such as time of day, household bandwidth use) that you anticipate for your exam.

Please note that if your computer performs any system update (i.e. software, server, firewall, webcam, etc.) between the time you schedule  your exam and the day of your appointment, you should conduct another system compatibility check to ensure there are no issues.

It is best to conduct a final system compatibility check on the computer with which you will be taking your exam at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled exam. Software and security updates downloaded between your initial system compatibility test and your exam appointment might require you to readjust your computer settings.

All candidates must present two forms of identification.

The primary form must be government issued and current, and must include your name, signature, and photograph. No form of temporary identification will be accepted. Examples of valid primary forms of identification are:

  • Driver’s license with photograph
  • State identification card with photograph
  • Passport

A military identification card with photograph is acceptable for in-person appointments at testing centers; however, it is not accepted for remote online exams. Those taking their exams at testing centers will be required to sign a roster for verification of identity.

The secondary form of identification must display your name and signature for signature verification (e.g., credit card with signature, social security card with signature, employment/student ID card with signature).

If the name on your exam application is different than it appears on your identification, you must bring proof of your name change (e.g., marriage license, divorce decree, or court order).

If your state-issued driver’s license/identification card contains a hologram, you might want to bring an alternative primary form of identification, as the lighting could prevent the proctor from seeing your ID.

Failure to provide appropriate identification upon check-in is considered a missed appointment, and there will be no refund of exam fees.

During the check-in process, your proctor will issue instructions on how to handle problems you might encounter during your exam. Please follow their instructions.

For remote proctored exams, if you encounter an issue that disconnects you from your exam, you will be issued a case number, and the issue will be put in queue for resolution. PSI will reach out to you to reschedule your appointment, and this is generally resolved in 24 hours.

For in-person exams, candidates should report any issues they experience during their exam to PSI within two days of taking their exam. Issues may be reported by phone or email; you will receive a case number, and the issue will be put in queue for resolution.

Please be sure to answer your phone (the number may be unfamiliar) when you are expecting a callback. Client services do most of their work by phone, which means that you will probably be put on hold when you return their call, but you will be on the line for assistance. 

Once you are issued a case number, please do not call or email PSI for an update that same day. These actions simply clog the phone lines and lengthen the queue, slowing down client services’ work and potentially delaying your scheduled callback.

Exams are scored after the conclusion of the testing period.

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

An updated CIP practice exam will be available for purchase in early February. Place email us at certification@primr.org to be notified once it its live.

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.

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

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.