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Costs of IAPP Certification

Wondering about the upfront and recurring costs of IAPP certifications? Read this.


Your first IAPP certification may cost over $1,000—honestly, they're not cheap.

Why are they so expensive? These costs come from three sources:

  1. IAPP Membership or Certification Maintenance Fee
  2. Certification Exam Fees
  3. Study Materials

The bulk of the upfront cost comes from the Certification Exam Fee. However, you'll pay substantially more overtime to maintain your IAPP certifications.

This post covers the costs of IAPP's major certifications like the AIGP, CIPPs, CIPM, and CIPT. Check out our dedicated posts on the Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) or Privacy Law Specialist (PLS)!

Without further ado, let's break down these costs and save you some money.

IAPP Membership vs. Certification Maintenance Fee

This decision can save (or cost) you a good chunk of change in the long run.

To get and maintain your IAPP certification, you must pay a recurring fee. You pay this through either an IAPP membership or a Certification Maintenance Fee.

An IAPP membership costs $50, $100, $110, or $295 per year, depending on your employment status. Your employer may also already pay for your IAPP membership through a Corporate or Group Membership.

Meanwhile, a Certification Maintenance Fee costs $250 every 2 years.

What are the differences? Which one is better?

If you work for a not-for-profit, a government agency, or are in academia, an IAPP membership is the cheapest and best option to maintain your IAPP certifications. However, if you work for a for-profit company, you have a choice to make.

IAPP membership provides several considerable benefits including discounts on Certification Exam Fees, study materials, training, and conferences.

But are these benefits and discounts worth $300?

Being an IAPP member saves you $100-$150 on IAPP conferences. If you attend at least one conference a year, these discounts already make up the $300 difference. You also save $150 on the AIGP Certification Exam Fee and much smaller amounts (usually $10) on study materials like textbooks and practice exams.

I think an IAPP membership is an excellent investment for most people.

Certification Exam Fees

Previously, IAPP's Certification Exam Fees only cost $550—but this is increasing.

The IAPP's new Artificial Intelligence Governance Professional (AIGP) certification is increasing costs by up to $249 (Ouch). Here are the current costs:

  • CIPPs, CIPM, CIPT: $550
  • AIGP (IAPP members): $649
  • AIGP (non-members): $799

I expect the pricing for the CIPPs, CIPM, and CIPT to change to match the AIGP.

The AIGP brings increased costs for IAPP members and also introduces non-member-based pricing to IAPP certifications. This may be an early attempt to phase out the Certification Maintenance Fee in favor of IAPP membership.

Want some good news? Well, there are some discounts available. Read on!

Discounts for Getting Multiple IAPP Certifications

The IAPP strongly incentivizes privacy practitioners to get multiple certifications.

The IAPP discounts your Certification Exam Fees for subsequent certifications:

  • CIPPs, CIPM, and CIPT: $375 ($175 discount)
  • AIGP (IAPP members): $475 ($174 discount)
  • AIGP (non-members): $625 ($174 discount)

There are also some "fake" savings that you already pay for.

Your IAPP membership or Certification Maintenance Fee applies to all your IAPP certifications. You don't pay separate fees to maintain individual certifications.

Certification Exam Re-Take Fees

What happens if you fail your certification exam? Well, good news and bad news.

Good news: You can re-attempt the exam after 30 days.
Bad news: You must pay the bulk of the certification exam fee again.

These discounts mirror the discounts for getting multiple IAPP certifications. However, these are, of course, added costs:

  • CIPPs, CIPM, and CIPT: $375 ($175 discount)
  • AIGP (IAPP members): $475 ($174 discount)
  • AIGP (non-members): $625 ($174 discount)

Honestly, even the discounted re-take fees are extremely high.

Study Resources

How much should you spend on study materials? Oh, it depends.

I passed all my IAPP certifications using the official textbooks and the IAPP practice exams. This was about $110 in study materials for each certification.

But you also have other options.

I'd recommend reviewing our best study resources for IAPP certifications.

Spoiler alert: our favorite resources are free or low-cost. These include the official textbooks, Body of Knowledge, Exam Blueprint, IAPP glossary, and the Practice Exams.

You don't need to buy every course or training to succeed. Trust the basics.

Wrapping Up

I sincerely hope this post was accessible, useful, and practical. If you have any feedback on this post, please let me know. Cheers.