Monday, 13 August 2018

CIPP, CIPM & CIPT - Complete Guide to IAPP Certification

CIPM, CIPT and CIPT Certification Guide

Any information that is stored digitally must be protected; data protection is not just a legal necessity, it’s crucial to protecting and maintaining your business.

Failing to comply with data protection laws can be costly. Affected customers - and even staff – can pursue compensation against your business and you may be subject to new fines under GDPR.

Now more than ever, professionals that understand the risks posed by poor data protection and the need to safeguard data are in demand.

But professionals must be able to prove their skills. Certifications, when combined with proven real-world experience, give professionals the ability to validate their knowledge. One popular route for data protection professionals to build and prove their knowledge is through IAPP’s certification portfolio
IAPP logo

Who are the IAPP?

The IAPP provide information privacy certifications, built for professionals that are responsible for managing, handling and accessing personal data.

“With over 42,000 members worldwide, the IAPP is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to information privacy and those practitioners doing this very important work in the field,” says Alyssa Rosinski, the IAPP’s Director of Global Channel and Partners.

IAPP offers the world’s only accredited certification in information privacy; certifications from IAPP carry the ANSI/ISO standard 17024:2012.

Rosinski notes, “Our commitment to ensuring the highest of standards for our certifications are demonstrated through our ANSI-accreditation to the rigorous ISO standards. This global, gold standard sets us apart with the world’s first and only accredited global certification in information privacy. This is something we take very seriously.”

What certifications do the IAPP provide?

The IAPP currently manages three privacy certifications, CIPP, CIPM and CIPT. Let’s take a closer look at these unique qualifications. 

Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) 
CIPP Certification
The Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) builds knowledge in compliance and risk mitigation practices.

In the vendor’s words, the CIPP encompasses the “what” of privacy, and why it’s required within organisation. Active for more than 10 years, the CIPP is recognised among the top business privacy qualifications.

As privacy laws vary around the world and across the public and private sector, the CIPP is available in five different concentrations:

Achieving the CIPP proves that you understand privacy laws and regulations and how to apply them within your region or sector.

The CIPP will also provide you with a solid understanding of broad privacy and data protection concepts, including jurisdictional laws, regulations and enforcement models; essential privacy concepts and principals; legal requirements for handling and transferring data and more.

Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) 
CIPM certification

The CIPM is the first and only certification in privacy programme management and designates you as your organisation’s go-to privacy professional.

Explained by the IAPP, the CIPM is the “how of privacy operations” and emphasises why businesses require it. This certification covers a wide body of knowledge (BOK) across information privacy – read the BOK here.

Earning a CIPM proves that you not only understand privacy regulations but you know how to make them effective within your organisation.

You’ll learn how to structure a businesses’ privacy team, develop a privacy program framework and how to communicate clearly with stakeholders.

Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) 
CIPT certification

Tech professionals worldwide must factor data privacy and protection into their products and services. If you work in IT, security, engineering, audit or data management and must build knowledge in privacy, the CIPT certification is ideal.

Like other certification’s in IAPP’s portfolio, the CIPT represents a first: it’s the only certification designed to build information privacy skills for technical professionals.

The CIPT certification proves you’ve got the knowledge to build an organisation’s privacy structure. Whether you work in the public or private sectors, data privacy skills are a must-have, and that represents an opportunity for you.

Achieve the CIPT and you’ll learn how to bake privacy into the development stage for applications and services, how to establish privacy practices for data collection and how to properly communicate privacy issues with partners, marketing and legal departments.

For a full look at the skills you’ll learn on your journey to CIPT certification, you can refer to the body of knowledge.

How to get CIPP, CIPT or CIPM certified

There are two routes to gaining your IAPP certification: self-study or classroom-based training. The route you decide on taking will depend largely on your unique situation, and both options come with their own advantages.

Classroom training 

Classroom training provides a hands-on route to achieving your IAPP certification. You’ll be taught by a qualified privacy professional, so you’ll be able to pose your own questions and get the answers you need.

This route is ideal for professionals that want to achieve their certifications fast and progress their careers quickly, without sacrificing evenings and weekends to self-study.

Firebrand’s official and accelerated IAPP courses are residential and include the relevant exam, which you’ll sit at the conclusion of your training. 

Accelerated CIPT, CIPM and CIPP training
 “Partnering with a leader in the training industry, such as Firebrand, was important to expand our reach and introduce their customer base to the IAPP and our training and certification program,” says Alyssa.

Accelerated IAPP training includes course and certification in:


Educate yourself on your IAPP certification and sit the relevant exam at your nearest exam centre. This route may be preferable for students that have plenty of time to study or are already incredibly experienced information privacy professionals.

IAPP recommended every student that chooses this route to study for a minimum of 30 hours. For more advice on self-studying, take a look at these tips from the IAPP.

All IAPP exams can be booked, paid for and sat independently at over 800 testing centres across the globe. Testing is available year round and may be scheduled up to 90 days in advance.

IAPP also provide a number of free resources to help you certify - access them through IAPP’s website.

How to become a Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP)

Take your privacy skills to the next level and become a Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) by leveraging your IAPP certification.

Achieve a CIPP designation and either a CIPM or CIPT alongside three years of relevant work experience in data privacy and you’ll be able to become a FIP fellow.

The FIP credential will elevate your profile as a privacy professional and could open doors to opportunities like advisory board consideration or public speaking requests. More information on the process and benefits of becoming a Fellow of Information Privacy can be found here.