Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)Certification Application Route Recommendation

CIPS is the only professional organization in Canada that offers an Information Technology (IT) designation that is recognized by law* in Canada. Whether you are interested in furthering your IT education, building your IT career or looking to hire an IT professional with the right credentials and mindset, the Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) designation is for you!

It’s about Professionalism – Working towards or achieving the I.S.P. designation sets you apart from other IT practitioners. You are making a commitment to IT professionalism by ensuring you are continuously updating your skills and gaining relevant experience. Your I.S.P. designation confirms your status as an IT practitioner of the highest integrity for potential employers, customers, and clients.

I.S.P. Designation Eligibility and Application Routes

The benchmark for the I.S.P. Designation is an Accredited 4 Year University degree program with at least 2 years of IT professional work experience. Click Here to view the required years of experience based on your education, and other application routes.

I.S.P. Requirements and Application:

  1. Current CIPS Membership and adherence to the CIPS Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct

  2. Certification Application Review Fee Payment 

  3. Pass the CIPS Ethics Exam

  4. At least 1,000 hours of IT work experience in last 12 months

  5. References for last 2 years

  6. I.S.P. Application (pick one of the following application routes):
  • CIPS Certification Application 2022 – Beta Version *NEW
    • CIPS has released a new Certification application that utilizes the CIPS IT Skills Assessment tool for the Experience Review
    • This is a Beta version of the new application and we welcome new applicants to try it out and provide feedback
    • This new application is for all CIPS Designations (AITP, I.S.P., and ITCP), and applicants will be provided with the designation(s) that meet their education and experience
    • Please note that the review time under this new application route may be longer than the existing routes at this time

  • Education Plus Experience Route *Most Popular
    • A University/College IT related degree/diploma is required
    • IT Professional Experience required – See:

  • Established IT Professional Route *Popular
    • A competency based review and assessment methodology that allows applicants to demonstrate mastery of the CIPS Body of Knowledge (BOK)
    • The application defines competency requirements in 11 knowledge areas and applicants are required to demonstrate their knowledge, competency, and skills in these specific knowledge areas

  • Established Academic Route
    • For full-time academics with positions in a Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Systems (IS), or equivalent department at a recognized University or College

  • IT Industry Leader Route
    • For Senior Executives (i.e. CIO, CTO) at large organizations
    • Must have either a non-IT related degree or currently hold a professional designation

  • Exam Route
    • BCS Diploma Level, BCS Professional Graduate Level Exams, or ICCP Exams Leading to the CCP (or equivalent) required
    • IT Professional Experience required – See:

  • Professional Experience Only Route
    • Applicant must have entered the IT field prior to 1976
    • A Minimum of 12 Years of IT Experience is required

  • Upgrade from Candidate Membership (AITP) Route
    • Applicant must be a current CIPS Candidate Member / AITP holder
    • IT Professional Experience required – See:

Experience Requirements

Demonstrated mastery of the CIPS Body of Knowledge (BOK) is required, which is the equivalent to completion of a CIPS Accredited four-year degree program of study plus two years of relevant IT professional experience. This serves as the benchmark for the I.S.P. designation. The I.S.P. designation demonstrates varying degrees of knowledge and competency, provided that overall mastery is maintained.


Once approved for the I.S.P. Certification, Re-Certification is required every 3 years. Click Here to Learn more.

Click Here for the Decision Appeal Process

Don’t have the required IT Experience for the I.S.P.? Apply for the AITP Designation!

If you have the required IT University or College education for the I.S.P. but don’t yet possess the required IT experience, you may qualify for “Candidate Membership” and the AITP designation!

* The I.S.P. is legislated as a self-regulating designation in six provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia).