IABC Certification Program

IABC professional certification gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your strategic communication knowledge and expertise, and provide evidence of your outstanding abilities. Through certification, you engage in a process of lifelong learning that elevates your career and provides a structure for keeping your skills fresh and applicable.

IABC has launched a new certification program that will offer four levels of certification to professional communicators. The first certification being offered is the Communication Management Professional (CMP).

IABC plans to offer four levels of certification:
1. Foundational for people who have recently joined the profession (expected to be available in 2018)
2. Communication Management Professional for people established in their careers as communication managers and looking to demonstrate their competence (available now)
3. Strategic Advisor for highly skilled professionals practiced in providing strategic communication advice and counseling to an organization’s leadership (expected in 2017)
4. Business Leader for highly experienced professionals who wish to demonstrate their mastery and leadership (expected in 2018)

Communication Management Professional Certification

Are you ready to take on the next challenge in your career? Consider the Communication Management Professional certification.

The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC), a team of communication professionals assembled by IABC’s international executive board, launched the new certification program in 2015. The first level – Communication Management Professional – is now available, with other levels to follow.

Why become certified? Professional certification gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, and provide evidence of your outstanding abilities. It will help you stand out to employers so you can elevate your career and keep your skills fresh and applicable. Achieving certification shows that a candidate has professional competence in six core principles that are the building blocks of their work, including ethics, strategy, analysis, context, engagement and consistency.

Is this the right level for you? The Communication Management Professional certification is aimed at the generalist/specialist level—a mid-level stage in a communication professional’s development. It’s geared toward those who are established in their careers and currently manage communications in their organizations. Typically, candidates have six to 10 years’ experience.

Where do I start?
Here’s a brief summary of the process:
1. Apply for certification. The application asks applicants to describe their education, training and experience, along with supporting documentation. The GCCC will assess and verify applicants’ skills, knowledge and experience. Candidates will be notified within 30 days if they are approved to proceed with the exam. If the application isn’t approved, the candidate will be notified and asked to provide the required information. See the Communication Management Professional Candidate Handbook for more detailed information.
2. Prepare for the exam. The exam is in multiple-choice format and is conducted in English only. Exam questions are based on the following key areas and the associated knowledge that’s required for effective performance as a communication professional.

Domain                                                  Percentage of score                      
Communication ethics   6%
Communication research and analysis   24%
Communication strategy and engagement   34%
Consistency and strategy implementation   17%
 Communication measurement   19%

3. Write the exam. Approved candidates have two years from the date of their application to write and pass the exam. If the candidate is not successful, he/she can retake the exam within the two years.
4. Maintain certification. Individuals maintain their certification through annual continuing education (e.g. professional reading, attending recognized training or courses related to communication, mentoring, etc.).

The application fee is US $500 for IABC members and US $800 for non-members. The exam fee is US $100 and the annual certification maintenance fee is US $100.

Learn more about the Communication Management Professional Certification and download the Candidate Handbook.