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Council for Certification of IRB Professionals

PTC Online Testing System

WHAT IS IT A practice test consisting of 75 questions with a testing time of 2 hours taken over the Internet. For optimum performance, use Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or higher to take the online practice test. There is limited support for other browsers.

WHY TAKE IT To experience taking a computerized exam, to review an example of the type of content included in the Certification Examination for IRB Professionals, and to learn more about question format, style, and level of difficulty

See Detail below..
Certification Examination For IRB Professionals 
Recertification Guidelines
CCIP Website
Certification Examination For IRB Professionals
Application Deadline
Examination Date  
1/15/2015 3/7/2015 - 3/21/2015
8/1/2015 9/12/2015 - 9/26/2015

This certification program is for individuals whose primary job responsibilities include substantial participation in overseeing, administering or performing the daily activities of an IRB as part of a human research protection (HRP) program.

Individuals involved in IRB activities who meet the following eligibility requirements are eligible to take the examination:

  1. 1. A Bachelor’s degree plus two (2) years of relevant HRP experience*, completed on or before the first day of your chosen testing period (see front cover);


    Three (3) years of relevant HRP experience*, completed on or before the first day of your chosen testing period (see front cover);


    Currently certified as a CIP.
  2. Adherence to the Code of Ethics for Certified IRB Professionals.
  3. Completion and filing of an Application for the Certification Examination for IRB Professionals. Applicants who have never taken the exam must include a resume showing "relevant HRP experience".
  4. Payment of required fee.

* “Relevant HRP Experience” requires substantial and ongoing performance within the last seven years of IRB administrative functions or duties relevant to an IRB Office within a HRPP , which demonstrates a commitment to human subject protection, such as:

  • Serving as a regulatory/technical resource during IRB meetings;
  • Supporting IRB meetings;
  • Preparing, reviewing and maintaining IRB correspondence and documentation;
  • Providing required ancillary services to the IRB such as COI reporting and tracking consent form changes;
  • Managing and/or supervising the office that provides support for the operation of the IRB;
  • Developing and implementing IRB policies and procedures;
  • Performing IRB directed reviews such as exemption determinations and expedited reviews;
  • Performing monitoring activities (audits) for/directed by the IRB;
  • Ongoing training of, and serving as a resource to staff, investigators, and IRB members on issues pertinent to the protection of human subjects; and
  • Performing oversight activities of IRBs for or on behalf of a Common Rule agency.

Merely interacting with an IRB office on an occasional, or even routine basis (as is common with sponsor personnel and study-site personnel working in study coordinator, study administrator, or investigator positions) does not meet the requirements for relevant HRP experience for the CIP certification program.

Individuals who have questions about their eligibility should contact the CCIP prior to applying to sit for the exam. The CIP designation is not intended to be used as a means of qualification for HRPP related employment for applicants who do not have any prior HRP related work experience.

PRIM&R Members $335.00
Non-PRIM&R Members $435.00


Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are also accepted on line. If applying by mail please ensure you have completed and signed the credit card payment section on the application form.

In order to obtain the special members only registration rate, PRIM&R members must provide proof of their membership. To do so, please follow these instructions: 

Regional Testing Center(s)
It will be offered at PSI testing centers. Click here to search for the site nearest you.

NOTE: You will not be able to select a testing center on the PSI site prior to receiving confirmation that you are registered for a certification exam.
Handbook and Application Request

Certification Examination For IRB Professionals


Now you can submit your online application for Certification Examination for IRB Professionals and pay with a Credit Card. 

Please make sure you have read the Handbook for Candidates and have all the required information ready before starting the online application. 

Proceed to the PTC Online Applications System: 

For any questions related to the online application, please contact

Click here to download the Handbook and Application Now

(If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader,
click here for FREE download.


Receive Handbook and Application via Regular Mail.
      Note:  Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

Recertification Guidelines

Recertification Guidelines for Certified IRB Professionals (CIP)

Effective January 1, 2013

To maintain certification as an IRB professional, a CIP must recertify every three (3) years from the time of most recent certification. Recertification may always be achieved by re-taking and passing the CIP examination. However, CIPs also have the option to recertify by completing a continuing education (CE) requirement twice before being required to recertify by examination. Continuing education may only be used as a basis for recertification twice in a nine-year period.

For example: If the CIP’s initial certification was in 2007, the CIP may complete the continuing education requirements or take and pass the certification examination prior to the expiration date in 2010. A second recertification by continuing education would also be permitted prior to the expiration date in 2013. After two recertifications by continuing education the CIP must re-take, and pass, the certification examination prior to the expiration date in 2016 to maintain the credential.

Recertification must be accomplished prior to the certification expiration to avoid a lapse in certification. If there is a lapse in certification of greater than six months, the individual must take the examination to renew certification and cannot recertify by continuing education.

A person who holds certification and takes the examination but does not pass, will lose the certification. This is effective on the date that the notification of the results from the examination are received. Those who are eligible to recertify by continuing education, but choose to take the examination instead and do not pass may not subsequently use continuing education to recertify. That is, the examination must be passed before the credential is reissued.

A person who is denied recertification by continuing education due to improper or incomplete documentation may appeal that decision by writing to the CCIP (care of PTC). The appeal must be postmarked no later than 30 days from the postmark date of the original letter sent from PTC or CCIP. The letter must clearly describe the reasons the candidate believes that recertification was improperly denied and include all documentation available to support such claim. The appeal will be considered by CCIP and written notice of the final decision will be provided to the candidate.

Expiration of Certification

Use the following table to determine when certification expires through passing the examination.

Date of Examination

Certification Expires

January through June

 June 30 three years later
July through December December 31 three years later

Example: If an individual passed the certification examination on March 3, 2010, certification expires on June 30, 2013.

For those recertifying by CE, the deadline for your recertification application is the first day of the month when your certification expires. The deadline for applying for the exam is listed on the CIP handbook, which is updated yearly.

Reminder for Recertification

CIPs are responsible for maintaining their certification. However, a reminder including a recertification application and guidelines will be sent to the address on file with PTC as follows:

Reminders will be sent on or about December 1 for certifications expiring on June 30

Reminders will be sent on or about July 1 for certifications expiring on December 31

You must maintain a current certification if you wish to continue using the CIP credential after your name.

Recertification through Continuing Education

If using continuing education for recertification, the credits must be earned after the date the examination was passed.

New for Certifications Expiring in 2013

Sessions from the main conference of the AAHRPP annual conference will also be accepted towards fulfillment of the 15 hours required to carry CE credits issued by a recognized accrediting body regardless of whether those credits have actually been issued. Pre-conference sessions and other AAHRPP CE events are NOT included, although they may still be eligible for non-accredited CE credit hours for CIP recertification purposes. As with other CE events, the topics must be within the CIP Body of Knowledge (Content Outline) and the content must be beyond basic initial education.

Acceptable Continuing Education Activities

For recertification by continuing education, CIPs must complete 30 documented hours of continuing education in topics within the CIP Body of Knowledge (Content Outline) which can be found in the CIP Handbookng. The topics must also be beyond initial, basic or fundamental level education programs (eg., no IRB 101 or similar topics).

At least 15 of the 30 hours must carry credits issued by a recognized accrediting body, e.g., nursing associations, the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE), Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and other professional organizations or universities. OHRP sponsored programs on topics beyond basic initial education will be accepted towards fulfillment of the 15 hours required to carry CE credits issued by a recognized accrediting body regardless of whether those credits have actually been issued.

Acceptable continuing education activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Programs sponsored by the Common Rule signatories including
    • Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP),
    • the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
    • Office of Research Integrity (ORI),
    • Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA),
    • Department of Energy (DOE),
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Programs sponsored by associations including
    • Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R),
    • National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA),
    • Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP),
    • Society of Research Administrators (SRA),
    • Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA),
    • Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRP),
  • Short courses or intensive courses, such as those sponsored by Bioethics centers, institutes, or universities.
  • Local and regional seminars, conferences or presentations.
  • Formal college courses such as bioethics, responsible conduct of research, research design, grant design, research methodology, quantitative and qualitative research methods, field research techniques, and statistics. Each three-credit course or one semester course is equivalent to 10 continuing education hours. Courses must be successfully completed.
  • Web-based courses that are designed for continuing education or have assigned continuing education hours, other than the programs used for initial training.
  • Self-study programs including but not limited to books or journals having documented quizzes, tests, and/or exercises. Note: Functioning as a pre-publication reviewer of journal articles of any type, regardless of whether Continuing Education Credits are issued for the activity, is not considconsidered self-study in this context and, as such, does not qualify for CIP continuing education.

NOT Acceptable continuing education activities

  • Topics that are outside the CIP Body of Knowledge
  • Education that is at an initial, basic or fundamental level (eg., IRB 101 type courses, CITI training)
  • PrograPrograPrograms that an individual develops and/or instructs DO NOT count towards that individual’s continuing education. An individual who organizes and then attends training presented by others may count that training towards their continuing education.

Individuals are responsible for maintaining the source documentation that supports their claim of continuing education. In order to be acceptable for credit all continuing education documentation must include, at a minimum:

  • date,
  • program title,
  • sponsosponsor name,
  • number of hours attended, and
  • the individual’s name printed on the document or certificate.

If the continuing education is met through a college course, the formal transcript must be available for verification.

For CE events where accredited credits are being claimed, it is the responsibility of the applicant to verify that the events are eligible for accredited CE hours. Individuals should not assume that a CE event continues to carry accredited CE hours just because it was eligible for accredited CE hours in the past.

A suggested format for submitting summary information of continuing education activities is included on the last page of this document. The CIP Council appreciates the efforts of all candidates who take the time to review their own CE records and submit only relevant and legible information that clearly demonstrates how the candidate has met the CIP CE requirements on the application.

Please note that individuals are responsible for retaining source documentation (certificates, letters of attendance) for at least three (3) years following recertification by continuing education. Individuals should be prepared to submit copies of source material, when requested, for auditing and continuing quality improvement purposes.

Audits of recertification by continuing education may be conducted for verification and continuous quality improvement purposes by the CCIP. If an audit reveals insufficient credits, denial of certification is possible.

Has your contact information changed since your last certification? If YES, you need to notify PTC so that future communications regarding recertifications and the CIP Program reach you in a timely manner.
The fee for either type of recertification is: 

PRIM&R members…$335.00
(Proof of PRIM&R membership must be sent with your application).

Non-PRIM&R members…$435.00


There are no refunds of the fee if an audit reveals a problem.

Application Procedure

Prior to the expiration of certification submit the appropriate recertification application form and fees to:

CIP Recertification
Professional Testing Corporation
1350 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Phone: 212-356-0660
Fax: 212-356-0678


Application for Recertification by Continuing Education
Click here to Download Recertification by Continuing Education

(If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader,
click here for FREE download.


Online Practice Test for IRB Professionals
Application Deadline
Examination Date  
N/A Effective November 9, 2009
Online Testing Details
A practice test consisting of 75 questions with a testing time of 2 hours taken over the Internet

To experience taking a computerized exam, to review content included in Certification Examination for IRB Professionals, and to learn more about question format, style, and level of difficulty

After completing the online practice test, you will receive an instant score report showing test performance in each of the content areas. The score report does not provide correct answers or indicate which questions were answered correctly and incorrectly.

NOTE: Performance on the online practice test may differ from actual performance on the Certification Examinations. Thus, there is no guarantee that taking this practice test will help you pass the Certification Examinations. Participants may, however, find it helpful to review content in any areas of weakness indicated on the score reports prior to taking the Certification Examinations.

  1. Foundations and Concepts of IRB Practice
  2. Organizational and Personnel Knowledge
  3. IRB Functions and Operations
  4. Records and Reports
PLEASE NOTE: The Online Practice Test for IRB Professionals provides candidates with a sampling of the types of questions that appear on the Certification Examination for IRB Professionals. This practice test software includes unique practice test features and has a similar, but not identical, layout and functionality as the computerized Certification Examination, which is administered on different testing software at designated testing centers. To take a demonstration of the Certification Examination software, candidates should access This demonstration acquaints candidates with the computer testing system used for the Certification Examination but does not include questions specific to IRB practice. Candidates should review the content outline in the Handbook for Candidates for the list of topics covered in the Certification Examination.

Fee (by Credit card) $50.00
How to Apply

Online Practice Test for IRB Professionals

  Go to to learn how to apply, pay, and take the practice test online  

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