Frequently Asked Questions
Earning & Maintaining Certification
Holding an ICCP credential shows that you are current and wish to remain current as all certified professionals follow a credential renewal program. That is maintaining the currency of your knowledge once you've passed the examinations.
While the ICCP credential is for life, much like getting a B.Sc., M.Sc. or Ph.D. and differs from the vendor certifications where newer versions of the software/hardware invalidate your hard earned credential. However to stay legally defensible in your work and professional practice you need to stay current with changing best practices.
Additional credentials improve your marketability, significantly. By achieving a ICCP credential you are recognized as holding an equivalent professional status to that held by a Professional Engineer, Doctor or Accountant.
In choosing to get an ICCP credential you also show that you can take initiative and manage your own career, and this is a trait that many employers look for in interviews and resume assessment.
Today, recruiters and hiring managers are looking beyond the alphabet soup of vendor credentials and want to know they are hiring experienced, knowledgeable and initiative driven people, who compare well to the best the industry has ever developed. An ICCP credential raises your resume a great deal higher than the best vendor credential and right onto the "interview" pile.
If a company doesn't select you first, from among its applicants to interview, then as a professional you should feel good about not getting an interview with that company, since that company may not be into "best practices" and "best talent".
No, but you would get additional credits with a degree, which would reduce your work experience requirement. In fact the ICCP examinations count towards your degree credentials since all of the examinations carry credits towards university degrees (as approved by the American Council on Education: ACE). One of our business partners, Excelsior College (www.excelsior.edu), uses the ICCP examinations as criteria towards awarding credits for their computing, Cyber Security and Information Systems degrees. Other organizations such as Western Governors University accept credit by examination from ICCP Examinations.
An increasing number of business, computer and data professionals have advanced degrees (Master's level and beyond) and use the ICCP credential in their professional life as a second business and industry qualification to make themselves more attractive to industry and consulting opportunities. Holding a M.Sc., or Ph.D., doesn't mean that you will pass the ICCP examinations at the professional level, since the tests require substantial practical experience. Also, the half-life of academic degrees is shrinking rapidly, and current certifications assure you remain current with your knowledge and skills. Many (out of subject, e.g., Math, Chemistry or Physics, etc.,) professors teaching computing are required by their college to attain the ICCP professional credential as part of their full requirement to continue teaching. Colleges and Universities requiring re-accreditation of their program by ACBSP (www.acbsp.org) must ensure that their faculty are fully qualified to teach the degree's subject matter and endorse the ICCP credentials as the required qualifying criteria for all of the faculty in these programs.
Most people complete the certification program within 1-2 years. You are allowed up to 3 years to take all of the examinations (except for the CBIP designation which requires exams to be completed in 1 year). This allows an individual the time to take training and educational programs, which will assist in her/him in passing the examinations. Best practice: take the examinations initially to see if you can pass them, with some preparation, and if you don't pass the first time, you will get a precise analysis on the ICCP performance profile, of your strengths and weaknesses and thus where to invest your future training dollars.
Typically, a person should budget a minimum of $1,200 which includes 3 exams and a selection of study materials.
For the Practitioner/Mastery level credentials, the normal cost is $299 x 3 examinations = $897
For an Associate Level that requires 2 examinations, the minimum cost is $250 (ISA, CSA); ACP: $299 (ISCore) + $189 (language) = $488 or $299 (ISCore) + one Specialty = $598.
For the Associate BDMP that requires 3 foundations examinations the cost for Genpact Employees is $750 (3 x $250)
If training is required before taking the examinations:
Training cost at a university or college or private institution will vary from $695 up to $2,500: these vary from a two-day course to a five-day course, up to a full 4-month semester course running one 3-hour evening per week.
The ICCP offers a number of 12-week tutor-led online courses: Information Systems Core; Systems Development; Data Management; Data Warehousing; Data & Information Quality; Business Intelligence & Data Analytics; Data Governance & Stewardship, Information Systems Management & Data Science. These online courses can also be purchased as self-study modules.
For more information on pricing, please visit the ICCP Store.
From time to time many holders get promoted and their new job role is different from the time that they certified, and they lose touch with the requirements, or just too busy to stay current and lose certification. Do not worry, it is possible to be reinstated.
There are many ways in which to become reinstated. One is to continue your professional development via a variety of ways: courses, reading, vendor training, creating new examination questions, developing new courses for teaching, etc.
Finally, if you haven't kept everything up to date and haven't submitted the continuing education / professional development credits, you can always retake the examinations, since the testing subject matter is continually updated by the certification council, and you would be taking a new current knowledge examination. We offer these at substantially reduced rates to previously certified or currently certified professionals.
If you have fees to pay to be reinstated, that should be discussed with the ICCP office - there is usually a penalty payment, plus fulfillment of education or by examination reinstatement.
Preparing for the Exam
ICCP runs a one-day ExamCram online web-conference once every month or two.
Additionally, a 3 day examination-review courses are customized for on-site client companies and for groups of individuals who may desire such a course. Costs for these courses include course fees plus travel in addition to examination fees.
Your local university or college is being encouraged to put on a training course. If enough of you call the continuing education division/faculty of extension with your requests and let them know that the ICCP will help/partner with them develop and deliver a standard course, we would be happy to do that, including providing the instructor, course outline and relevant training materials.
We provide a number of review courses around North America, and these are done in concert with our partners: DAMA Chapters, The Canadian Information Processing Society, TDWI and regional and local professional groups, The Intelligent Data Conference - Canada and USA.
In addition, 12 week online paced-group tutor-led; and self-study courses are available.
You can purchase a number of different sets of learning materials.
We have specified independent textbooks for the various examinations. Most of these can be purchased from the publishers or online bookstores such as amazon.com.
The ICCP's Official Examinations Guide is the best textbook, which can be used to prepare for the examinations or to help colleges and universities set up training programs.
Self study modules of online courses are also available for purchase from the ICCP Store.
The CBIP Examinations Guide is available through TDWI.
The BDMP and CDP Official Examinations Guides are available from the ICCP Store.
Longer versions of Sample Examinations are also available for purchase.
ICCP has a strict confidentiality focus and relationship with the test taker. We will only inform those persons or companies you decide to authorize us to tell. Otherwise, be assured your scores, information and performance statistics are safe with us for our existence.
The ICCP office works with the examination taker, in a totally confidential manner. Each exam taker is provided a detailed printed analysis of performance including strengths and weaknesses, to their preferred or home address.
If you get 50% or more you qualify at the Associate (ACP) or Practitioner (BDMP, CDP or CBIP) level and if you achieve 70% or more you qualify at the Mastery (CCP) level. Regardless, you receive a detailed assessment in written form for your own personal use.
The ICCP holds all your information in a highly confidential and secure manner. You may choose to receive your results at home or anywhere else you feel secure. The ICCP never reveals any information about any holder or exam taker, not even if they ever took an examination with us, unless she/he approves the release, first.
Even if the employer is paying for you to take the examinations, we insist on receiving a signed release from the examination taker before considering the release. Even then our preference is to mail all information to the holder, and she/he can share it with whomever they please.
Taking the Exam
It is very difficult to pass the ICCP examinations at the professional level (70% or more) without significant and diverse practical experience.
The test items are developed by a highly divergent and broadly experienced group of subject matter experts made up of published authors, professors, practitioners and high performers on the ICCP examinations.
Test items are classified according to 6 levels of difficulty, which match Bloom's Taxonomy of learning objectives quite closely. Without experience, most new entrants into the I.T. field pass between 50-69%. Various experienced individuals sometimes perform not quite as well as they expected: This may be due to their narrowly focused experiences in industry, lack of preparation, language issues or examination stress.
Self Study programs and in-person review courses are critical to assisting individual to get prepared to take the examinations.
The ICCP tests provide performance profiles which allows individuals and human resources personnel to figure out which areas of knowledge and skill need improvement.
So in that sense the ICCP examinations can be used to perform a skills gap analysis for individuals. That is, the gap between what the job requires and the skills those individuals possess, so that a sound professional development program can be created for that individual.
This is particularly useful for human resource departments and departmental managers who have to perform annual performance appraisals.
You can get yourself tested remotely or in person. It can be done at home, almost any location at work, or university or community college, or training location in the world. If you do not pass the first time, then you should wait 30 days before attempting the examination again. This is to give you adequate time to prepare properly for the next time you take the examination. Custom training in your workplace often allows you to retake an examination to improve your score during the course itself.
Contact the office to set up online proctored testing. If you wish to be tested at a physical location and facility: All you have to do is to provide The Office in Illinois, USA the name of an acceptable, reliable college, university, community college or ICCP Certified Professional who can act as your test proctor. ICCP will contact this person and verify if she/he is acceptable to the ICCP and then arrange to transmit the test to that person at a specific time and place, including appropriate procedures to administer that test.
The ICCP recommends selecting any person from the following list: A university professor, a person from your Human Resources or Training department, a CCP, CBIP, or CDMP holder, a doctor, lawyer, accountant, professional engineer, or other similarly attributed person.
This is a similar list to those people who may attest your official documents for your passport.
Tests are administered via computer, over the internet. The preference is to provide testing using computer based assessment, so you may know your unofficial mark immediately at the end of each test.
A formal verified and validated paper watermarked communication from the ICCP office confirms the informal/unofficial mark that you received at the end of each test. You may also receive a digital certificate.
If you have difficulty finding a suitable location and time for a proctor, contact the office we conduct proctored remote testing with ID verification. You will need fast reliable internet access, a web camera and open internet access to facilitate a web-conference.