CIPM Study Guide 2024: Obtaining your CIPM Certification

CIPM Study Guide 2024

Explore the Detailed Introduction to the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) Exam for 2024. This comprehensive guide provides a thorough overview of the CIPM certification. The CIPM covers important topics like Privacy Governance, Data Assessments, Policies, Data Subject Rights, Training and Awareness, Data Breach Incident Plans, Auditing Program Performance, and more.

When you have a CIPM certification, it shows you can effectively manage privacy programs. It highlights your leadership skills and knowledge of the right tools. CIPM is for privacy professionals everywhere. It mainly focuses on privacy management, rather than local laws. The certificate is accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Join us on this educational journey as we delve into the route toward a secure and well-regulated digital future in data privacy, guided by the informative contents of the CIPM study guide!

What is CIPM?

The Rise in Demand for Privacy Professionals Highlighted by Data Privacy Jobs Report due to Complex Regulations and Cloud Migration.

Introducing the Certified Information Privacy Manager, the pioneering and sole certification in privacy program management worldwide. Attaining a CIPM signifies your proficiency in orchestrating a functional privacy program within your organization. In essence, you become the authority for day-to-day data protection operations.

Developed by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the CIPM program stands as a beacon of expertise within the expansive global information privacy community and resource landscape. Furthermore, the CIPM certification is accredited under ISO 17024: 2012.

Privacy Program Management training is your guide to executing a privacy program framework, effectively overseeing the operational lifecycle of such programs, and constructing a skilled, high-achieving privacy team. Participants in this course will master the art of privacy management within any organizational setting, irrespective of industry or jurisdiction.

This course enriches your understanding and equips you with comprehensive insights into developing, implementing, overseeing, structuring, and monitoring privacy frameworks. It encompasses crucial topics in privacy program governance and the operational lifecycle.

The course materials encompass a broad spectrum of subjects, including:

  • Crafting a company vision
  • Organizing the privacy team
  • Creating and deploying a privacy program framework
  • Effective communication with stakeholders
  • Performance measurement
  • Navigating the privacy program operational lifecycle

Unlike certain certifications, there are no prerequisites in terms of prior experience or education for the CIPM exam. However, the exam content undergoes annual updates to align with shifts in the privacy landscape. Stay informed about updates and relevant news through our blog.

At present, the exam fee is $550. Successful candidates are obligated to pay a Certification Maintenance Fee of $250 every two years, unless they hold active IAPP memberships, in which case the fee is covered by their annual membership.

The CIPM exam offers flexibility in administration. You can take it online through Pearson VUE or in person at authorized exam centers. The exam is accessible in various languages, and you will receive your results promptly upon completion.

The Advantages of a CIPM Certification

The CIPM certification offers a host of valuable benefits, making it a worthy investment to pursue:

  • Showcases In-Depth Comprehension: This certification demonstrates your comprehensive grasp of data protection laws and practices.
  • Expertise in Privacy Law: Employers, clients, and peers recognize you as a privacy law expert, adept at analyzing, interpreting, and implementing requirements.
  • Competitive Edge: Holding the CIPM certification differentiates you from other job candidates, rendering you more appealing to employers. The hiring process for data privacy experts has significantly expedited over the years, with hiring periods reduced to a single week in some cases.
  • Enhanced Compensation: Data privacy positions command higher salaries in today’s job market. Privacy professionals have experienced a 22% salary increase, typically earning $20,000 to $30,000 more per year compared to similar roles. Similar salary growth is anticipated in the coming year.
  • Dedication to Career Advancement: For newcomers to the field, the certification reflects your commitment to building a successful career in privacy law.
  • Path to Data Protection Officer (DPO) Role: The Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certification can open doors to a DPO career.

These benefits are extensively detailed in a blog post accessible here. To conclude, attaining a CIPM certification undeniably stands as a valuable pursuit, significantly amplifying your career prospects and professional standing in the realm of privacy law.


What Sets Apart CIPM, CIPP/US and CIPP/E?

Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) hones your leadership skills for managing and leading an organization’s privacy program. CIPP/US certification focuses on showcasing your knowledge of data protection laws and regulations in the United States. CIPP/E certification, on the other hand, centers on the same aspects but in the European context. Holding these certifications equips you for the role of Data Protection Officer (DPO).

How Long Should I Prepare for the CIPM Exam?

The IAPP recommends dedicating around 30 hours for exam preparation. However, we suggest allocating at least 40 to 50 hours to ensure thorough readiness. The ideal duration varies based on your prior work experience, study style, and personal commitments.

How Many Questions Are in the CIPM Exam?

The exam comprises 90 multiple-choice questions, of which 75 are scored. One correct answer and three plausible incorrect options are provided. Additionally, scenario questions are included, which can pose a challenge due to the abundance of information provided.

What’s the Time Limit for the CIPM Exam?

You have 2.5 hours to complete the CIPM exam.

Is the CIPM Exam Challenging?

The CIPMexam is indeed demanding. The scoring system’s complexity can make it difficult to gauge the exact passing threshold. The exam assesses both understanding and memorization.

What’s the Passing Score for CIPM?

You need a score of 300 out of 500 points, equivalent to approximately 75-80% correct answers. The calculation method for this score remains a well-guarded secret of the IAPP. Achieving this threshold signifies a high level of expertise and understanding in privacy and data protection.

This highlights how important the exam is and the need for thorough preparation, while also keeping the IAPP’s evaluation methods somewhat mysterious. Reaching this level clearly demonstrates a significant understanding of privacy and data protection, showing deep expertise in this intricate and ever-changing field.


Ensure you secure your exam date and time promptly.

The exam schedule is flexible, allowing you to purchase the exam through the IAPP. You can then search for nearby exam centers and select a suitable date and time slot from available options. Alternatively, explore the option of online proctored sessions, with over 6,000 test centers globally.

We recommend conducting a test run beforehand to ensure smooth functioning. Issues during proctored sessions have been reported by some students.

Once you’ve chosen your exam date and time, you can reschedule up to 48 hours before a physical exam or up to 15 minutes past the appointment time for an online exam. Multiple rescheduling adjustments are possible.

Review your confirmation email to ensure accuracy of the date and time.

How to Prepare for Your CIPM Exam?

For individuals with limited time or experience, here’s a recommended approach to prepare effectively for the CIPM exam:

  • Enroll in Our CIPM Training Program: Participate in our comprehensive CIPM Training Course. This course offers thorough coverage and quality content. Experience our content quality through a free demo before making a purchase decision.
  • Assess Your Knowledge with Practice Exams and Sample Questions: Evaluate your understanding using practice exams or sample question resources to identify areas needing further attention. You can find a preview of our CIPM practice questions here.
  • Utilize IAPP Resources: Leverage IAPP resources such as the Body of Knowledge and Exam Blueprint. These provide essential concepts and question distribution insights.

CIPM Exam book

The main resource you need for the CIPM exam is the recommended book “Privacy Program Management Third Edition Digital,” written by Russell Densmore. You can get this book digitally in various languages like English, German, French, Chinese, and Brazilian Portuguese from the IAPP store.

If you’re studying on your own, this book is crucial. If you’re taking our training course, you don’t have to buy the book, but it’s a good idea if you want to explore specific topics more deeply.

Keep in mind that the IAPP updates their textbooks about every two years, while the CIPM exam and its content get updated yearly. This means that the topics in the Body of Knowledge might not always match the book’s chapters exactly. The latest edition of the book came out in early 2023, and the next exam update was set for October 2023. Check our blog for the latest updates.

Important topics

​​Below is a list of the topics and sections that receive the most questions on the exam. Source: IAPP Body of Knowledge 4.0.0

We would recommend focusing more on the topics that get the most questions. You can check the most recent updates here

Domain I

Domain II

Domain III

Domain IV

Domain V

Domain VI

Privacy Program Framework and Privacy Operational Life Cycle

The exam of the CIPM focuses on the Privacy Program Framework and the Privacy Operational Life Cycle. All the chapters are focused around these two topics. We have added the definitions of the IAPP here:

Privacy Program Framework:

“An implementation roadmap that provides the structure or checklists (documented privacy procedures and processes) to guide the privacy professional through privacy management and prompts them for the details to determine all privacy-relevant decisions for the organization.”

Privacy Operational Life Cycle:

“Focused on refining and improving privacy processes, this model continuously monitors and improves the privacy program, with the added benefits of a life cycle approach to measure (assess), improve (protect), evaluate (sustain) and support (respond), and then start again.”

Taking the CIPM Exam

Reaching the CIPM exam is a thrilling achievement following a thorough exploration of the CIPM Study Guide. At present, candidates are presented with the choice to undergo the exam remotely via Pearson Vue, IAPP’s partner, or in person at an approved testing center.

However, a few students have shared their encounters with remote proctoring, which can bring forth certain challenges. Technical glitches like navigating the exam or webcam connectivity issues have been reported by some individuals. Delays before commencing the exam have also been brought up.

If you’ve already locked in an exam date and don’t feel adequately prepared, you have the option to reschedule the exam at no cost, provided it’s done within 48 hours before the originally scheduled time.

Tips for the CIPM Exam

The scenario questions can be tricky. If you want to be better prepared for the scenario questions: try to take a good look at the themes that weigh heavily in the blueprint. Those are:

2 – Privacy Program Framework: Privacy Governance
3 – Privacy Program Framework: Applicable Privacy Laws and Regulations
6 – Privacy Operational Life Cycle: Protect: Policies

Additionally, these two chapters hold significance:

4 – Privacy Operational Life Cycle: Assess: Data Assessments
5 – Privacy Operational Life Cycle: Protect: Protecting Personal Information

Ask yourself questions about these topics. For example: what should I do when I receive an information request from a data subject, do I have to respond to it at a certain time, etc. Or, when is a PIA mandatory? When should I execute a DPIA or PIA? Or how do I communicate a Privacy Program? What should I pay attention to? Et cetera.

If you can reasonably answer those kinds of questions by heart, this will give you a lot of trust and you will score better. Also don’t panic if the scenarios seem difficult. You don’t have to have everything right and you can review them afterwards. There are plenty of simple multiple choice questions that you can answer correctly by only learning the material. Also know that some of the questions are experimental and do not count in the result at all.

Please also check out our blog post about the 2023 updates.

CIPM training course

If you’re in search of a streamlined learning approach, aiming to tap into the expertise of seasoned professionals, access comprehensive course materials in one convenient location, and significantly boost your chances of success, look no further than our CIPM training course. This all-encompassing program has been skillfully crafted not only to save you time but also to provide valuable insights drawn from the experiences of others. Enrolling in this course will provide you with a deeper grasp of essential concepts. Come along on this journey to unlock your full potential in the realms of data protection and privacy.

We highly recommend our online CIPM training course, which grants you lifelong access upon purchase. Our courses are thoughtfully designed for self-paced learning, allowing you to seamlessly integrate your study sessions with your other commitments, whether it’s work or other activities. Balancing our online CIPP and CIPM courses with your full-time job and other engagements is entirely feasible. Each course can be completed within one or two full days, and we suggest allocating some study time for our summaries and relevant laws.

Our course layout aligns seamlessly with the chapters of the knowledge book. Each chapter kicks off with an instructive video introduction (a sample is provided below). Following the video are concise narratives and quizzes. Specific elements of the curriculum are further explored within the online environment. We place significant emphasis on the chapters that carry the highest weight (score) within our comprehensive course.

This course offers a harmonious blend of videos, a summary of the official textbook, three full-length practice exams (each consisting of 90 questions), additional questions, invaluable insights, and helpful tips to bolster your preparation. To dive deeper into our course content, we invite you to register for our free demo and also explore our practice questions. Rest assured that our course materials amply equip you to tackle the CIPP/E exam in a single attempt. Alongside this, you’ll receive the study outline in PDF format to steer your learning journey. As an extra resource, we’ve appended 30 sample questions to this guide; they can be found in the attachments.

For firsthand insights from our students’ experiences, you can visit Trustpilot and browse through our YouTube channel for video testimonials.

Begin your journey towards certification success by enrolling in our CIPM training course. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be sure to get back to you within 24 hours.

After completing the exam

If you successfully navigate the exam, congratulations are in order! Your test results will immediately appear on the screen upon test completion. Moreover, the outcome will be dispatched to your registered IAPP email address. Furthermore, a link will be provided, granting you access to your PR toolkit via your IAPP website profile. This toolkit encompasses a customizable news release template, tip sheets for engaging with the media, and recommendations for effectively showcasing your certification to your professional network, utilizing the features of your freshly acquired electronic certificate.

In the event that you do not achieve a passing score on the exam, please don’t be disheartened; you’re not alone in this situation! The CIPM exam is indeed challenging, but with suitable preparation, success remains attainable. Following an unsuccessful attempt, a mandatory waiting period of 30 days is in place before you can schedule a retake. Additionally, a retake fee of $375 is payable to the IAPP, which is lower than the initial exam fee. A valuable piece of advice is to concentrate your efforts on diving deeper into the areas where your scores were lower.

Is there an expiration date for my certificate?

Your CIPM certification holds its validity for a duration of two years, commencing from the day you successfully complete the exam. To retain your certified status within this timeframe, you’re required to amass 20 Continuing Privacy Education (CPE) credits and remit the $250 maintenance fee every two years.

The IAPP website serves as a valuable platform for accruing CPE credits. You can easily sift through the content to uncover resources that align with your specific interests and needs.

Understanding that CPE credits extend beyond materials exclusive to IAPP is essential. Opportunities to accumulate credits encompass participation in industry conferences, involvement in privacy-focused training, and engagement in various activities outlined in the IAPP CPE policy. Additionally, numerous no-cost activities also qualify for credit accumulation.

Should you possess an annual IAPP membership, the maintenance fee is already encompassed by your membership benefits. Non-members can make a direct payment for the fee. The positive aspect is that there’s no requirement to retake the exam at the conclusion of the two-year cycle. Your certification’s active status can be sustained by fulfilling the mandated CPE credit criteria, meeting the fee obligation, and ensuring continuous certification engagement.

The end

Well done on successfully navigating through our comprehensive guide to securing success in the CIPM exam. Your dedicated efforts and dedication to your studies are bound to lead to positive outcomes. If you found this guide helpful, we kindly request you to consider sharing your preparation journey with us. You’re welcome to discuss the strategies that worked effectively for you, the challenges you faced, and your overall experience throughout the certification process.

If you’re contemplating the pursuit of another IAPP certification, such as the CIPP/US or CIPP/E, we encourage you to explore our tailored study guides for these certifications. To stay up-to-date with new guidelines, recommended resources, exam updates, and more, we recommend a visit to our blog. Moreover, don’t overlook our assortment of free practice questions, accessible right here.

We wholeheartedly extend our best wishes for your ongoing success in your educational pursuits!

Flashcards added to our CIPP/E and CIPP/US training courses!