CPIA Exams

Exam Content

The CPIA® exam is developed by the CPIA Council and covers the body of knowledge on IACUC administrative practices under the rules and regulations of the United States. Download the CPIA Body of Knowledge/Content Outline, detailing the content covered in the CPIA exam. Download the CPIA Body of Knowledge/Content Outline, which details the content covered in the CPIA exam.

2021 CPIA Exam Dates and Deadlines


2021 Spring Examination
Exam application deadline: February 26
Exam window: April 12-May 12
2021 Fall Examination Period
Exam application deadline: September 3
Exam window: October 4-November 4
Locate a testing center.

Exam Application Process

The quickest way to apply for the exam is to fill out the online application form. Go to PSI’s CPIA 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/assigned ID number, and you should retain this for your records.

PSI’s CPIA 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/assigned 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 CPIA Council aims 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/assigned 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/assigned 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/assigned 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.

Candidates are able to request special accommodations once their applications are approved. If you are requesting testing accommodations, please complete this form, and make sure that the ticket category Test Accommodations Request is selected. You will then receive an email from PSI that contains a ticket number, which will be referenced throughout the examination process. Please retain this email. PSI staff will contact you upon reviewing your request for any additional information, and to proceed with exam appointment booking.

For additional information, you may reference this document. Please note that PSI approves all accommodations for PRIM&R’s exams.

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 CPIA Handbook. 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/assigned 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. 

PSI has instituted a strict corporate masking requirement for all test center employees and candidates. Information about this policy can be found here. If you observe that masking policies are not being followed at your testing center, please leave the premises and report the issue to PSI within 48 hours by email. Please send an email to  examschedule@psionline.com, and copy mluthin@primr.org, or call 833-333-4755, and be sure to include your candidate ID/assigned ID number. If this procedure is promptly reported, we will be able to arrange an alternative exam appointment.

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.

Any candidate who encounters an issue on exam day should notify PSI either by sending an email to examschedule@psionline.com, or calling 833-333-4755. Please be sure to reference your candidate ID/assigned ID number in your communications. If you would like to inform PRIM&R staff about an issue you experienced on exam day, please do so by sending a detailed email to certification@primr.org, and we will do what we can to assist.

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

You will be notified of your exam results by postal mail within four weeks. The report will indicate your overall score as well as your scores on the major areas of the examination. If successful, you will also receive a certificate and pin from the CPIA Council.

Preparing for the Exam

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

Online Groups

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

Downloadable Resources

Download the CPIA Handbook, the CPIA Body of Knowledge/Content Outline, and the CPIA Exam References and Resources. This IACUC20 presentation outlines exam eligibility and exam prep strategies.

Info Session

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

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.


The CPIA Exam may be taken as often as desired upon filing of a new application and exam fee payment. There is no limit to the number of times the examination may be repeated.


The CPIA 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.

CPIA Exam Dates

2021 Spring Testing Period
Application deadline: February 26
Exam window: April 12-May 12

2021 Fall Testing Period
Application deadline: September 3
Exam window: October 4-November 4

CPIA Exam Portal

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

CPIA 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.