The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

ACRP-CP Certification

The ACRP-CP® credential (ACRP Certified Professional) is awarded to a clinical research professional who has met eligibility requirements, demonstrated proficiency of specific knowledge and skills, and passed the standardized ACRP-CP Certification Exam.


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Exam Dates, Deadlines, Fees

Fall 2022 Exam Dates: July 15, 2022 – October 15, 2022

Early-Bird Application Dates & Fees

  • Application Dates: May 15, 2022 – July 15, 2022
  • Application Fee: $135 Member; $135 Nonmember
  • Exam Fee: $300 Member; $350 Nonmember
  • Total: $435 Member; $485 Nonmember

Regular Application Dates & Fees

  • Application Dates: July 16, 2022 – September 30, 2022
  • Application Fee: $135 Member; $200 Nonmember
  • Exam Fee: $325 Member; $400 Nonmember
  • Total: $460 Member; $600 Nonmember


Apply now

Prepare for the Exam

Exam Content

What is ACRP-CP®?

ACRP-CP® (ACRP Certified Professional) is a new credential formally recognizing professionals involved in all aspects of clinical studies/trials who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform ethical and responsible clinical research by passing the standardized ACRP Certified Professional Certification Exam.

Am I Eligible to Become an ACRP-CP®?

The ACRP-CP® program provides professionals seeking the credibility and prestige of an ACRP credential with an alternative to ACRP’s role-specific, specialized credentials, including CCRC® (Certified Clinical Research Coordinator), CCRA® (Certified Clinical Research Associate), and CPI® (Certified Principal Investigator).

All professionals involved in clinical studies – regardless of their roles, practice settings, or career stages – can earn the ACRP-CP® credential, presuming they meet the eligibility requirements and pass the written ACRP-CP Certification Exam. The applicant should determine his/her own eligibility before submitting an application to the program.

Explore the ‘Eligibility for Your Exam’ tab below to review full eligibility requirements.

Exam Content

The exam content is based on current practice in clinical research and was determined by an international job analysis.

The exam is referenced to the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Guidelines. Other than the ICH Guidelines, no other regulatory framework is tested.

The exam assesses your proficiency of the body of knowledge required and the application of that knowledge in the conduct of your job duties and responsibilities.

To earn ACRP Certification, professionals are expected to have proficiency in a number of core knowledge areas. These specific areas are explained in the Detailed Content Outline (DCO) for this exam and are based on responses to ACRP’s Job Analysis Survey.

Handbook & Detailed Content Outline




The exam is referenced to the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Guidelines. Other than the ICH Guidelines, no other regulatory framework is tested. The exam does not cover country-specific (FDA, EMA, etc.) regulations.

The exam does not test how you or your employer carries out those duties. The exam tests your knowledge and application of that knowledge, which is required to perform in your role safely and effectively. The following are the only references for which the ACRP Certification exam content can be supported:

  1. Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2)
  2. Definitions and Standards for Expedited Reporting E2A
  3. General Considerations for Clinical Trials E8
  4. Statistical Principles for Clinical Trials E9
  5. Clinical Trials in Pediatric Population E11, and
  6. The Declaration of Helsinki (DoH).

Also available at the official webpages for the ICH Guidelines and the Declaration of Helsinki.

Exam Abbreviation List

The Abbreviations List provides the full wording for abbreviations used on the exam. The list is accessible on each screen during the exam.

How Are Exams Developed?

To learn more about how the DCOs and exams are developed, visit How Are Certification Exams Developed? and view the ACRP Certification Handbook.

Exam Format

The exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions (25 of these questions are pre-test items and do not affect a candidate’s score. These items are not identified to candidates).

Candidates are presented with a question and are asked to choose the single best answer from the four options provided. Only one answer is correct.

The questions test knowledge at the recall, application, and analysis level, not just a recitation of facts. Some questions use hypothetical scenarios.

The exam content is based on a process of expert peer review, performed by the Global Certification Exam Committees. There are no “trick” questions on the exam, and there is no penalty for guessing.


The exams are administered at computer terminals at secure testing centers or online via remote proctoring. Each candidate is provided a brief tutorial on navigating the exam prior to the official start time. Each candidate is allowed a maximum of three (3) hours to complete the 125 questions. Questions can be skipped, marked for review, and returned to at any time prior to submitting the exam for scoring. Results are provided upon the conclusion of the exam.


The Exam is provided in English.

Exam candidates may bring a hard-copy (Electronic dictionaries are not permitted) English-German/ Spanish/ Chinese/ Hindi/ etc. translation only (word-to-word) dictionary to the exam. Dictionaries containing any word definitions or other extraneous markings are strictly prohibited. The dictionary will be inspected by the proctor prior to and after the exam is completed. Any attempt to compromise the exam will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the site, invalidation of the exam score, and possible legal action. No additional time is given to those using a translation dictionary.

ACRP and the Academy shall not discriminate against any member, certificant, or individual applying for membership or certification on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, citizenship status, physical challenge, disability, veteran status or any other status or condition that is protected by applicable law.

Eligibility Requirements

The ACRP-CP® eligibility criteria define the minimum experience required before a professional can apply for the program. It is important to compare the ACRP-CP® Detailed Content Outline with your career and educational experiences to self-determine your eligibility before submitting an application and payment. Applications will be selected at random for audit, a formal review process to determine an applicant’s eligibility to sit for the exam.

ACRP-CP® Certification Eligibility Requirements

In order to be deemed eligible for the ACRP-CP Certification exam, applicants must attest to having earned 3,000 hours of professional experience performing the knowledge and tasks located in the six content areas of the ACRP-CP Detailed Content Outline. Any experience older than ten years will not be considered.

  1. Ethical and Participant Safety Considerations
  2. Investigational Product/Device Regulation
  3. Clinical Trial Operations (GCPs)
  4. Study and Site Management
  5. Scientific Concepts and Research Design
  6. Data Management and Informatics

View the ACRP Certification Handbook for complete information on eligibility requirements.

Substitution for Work Experience Requirements

Applicants may utilize one option below as a valid substitute for hours of work experience. Under no circumstance will an applicant be permitted to use more than one substitution for the same application.

Clinical Research Certifications (Option 1)

ACRP acknowledges that there is a shared knowledge base between CCRA, CCRC, and CPI designation holders and those who seek the ACRP-CP designation. Any candidate for the ACRP-CP designation who has a current CCRA, CCRC, or CPI designation will have achieved a valid substitute for 1,500 hours of the required professional experience for the ACRP-CP exam.

Clinical Research Education Programs (Option 2)

ACRP considers applicants who have completed a clinical research degree program that is accredited by the Council for Higher Education to have achieved a valid substitute for 1,500 hours of professional experience for the ACRP-CP exam. A list of recognized accrediting agencies can be found from the CHEA website:

If an applicant wishes to submit an application using a clinical research degree program as a substitute for 1,500 hours of clinical research work experience, then the following information must be included on the applicant’s CV and the degree must also be submitted:

  • Name of school
  • City and country in which the school is located
  • Program title
  • Name of organization that accredits the institution providing the program
  • Dates attended (e.g., From-To)

Contact to confirm that your program qualifies prior to submitting.

If you have determined that you meet the eligibility criteria, the next step is to submit an application with payment.

Eligibility Review Process

The eligibility review process includes determining completeness of the application and determining whether or not the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for the exam. This process begins within one week of receiving the application and may take up to two weeks to review before any update is emailed.

  1. Apply
    • Receive e-mail confirmation
    • Application enters eligibility review process within seven days
    • Check your e-mail for any reviewer requests
  2. Eligibility Review
    • “Ineligible” outcome: applicant receives up to three levels of automatic review (each can take seven days)
    • Applicant may be asked for more documentation
  3. Eligibility Determined
    • “Eligible” candidates receive Eligibility Notice with ID number and must schedule exam appointment
    • “Ineligible” applicants are refunded

It is not unusual for an applicant to receive a request for additional and/or clarifying information from an Eligibility Reviewer. These requests will come via e-mail. Applicants will have seven (7) calendar days to respond to the request. Applicants who do not respond to the request for additional or clarifying information will automatically have their applications determined incomplete and therefore are ineligible to take the exam. Ineligible applicants will be refunded the exam fee only.

Confirmation of Eligibility and Testing Information

If an applicant is determined to be eligible after the application has been reviewed, the candidate will be e-mailed an Eligibility Notice, with further instructions as to how to schedule his/her exam appointment.

Note: check your SPAM or Junk mail folder if you do not receive any notice within 14 days of applying.

If an applicant is determined to be ineligible during initial review, the application is automatically reviewed by a second reviewer. If the second reviewer also determines the applicant to be ineligible, the applicant is automatically found ineligible and will be refunded the exam fee. Applicants are notified via e-mail at each step of the review with an explanation of the deficiency identified.

If a third-level review is necessary, the final determination will be made by the Certification Director. If the application is deemed ineligible, he/she can choose to appeal to the Academy Board of Trustees.

Applicants found to be ineligible who do not initiate the Appeals process within the stipulated timeframe will automatically be refunded the exam fee.

See the ACRP Certification Handbook for complete details of the Eligibility Review Process.

Application Tips

When to Apply

After determining that you meet the eligibility requirements, you must submit together the application, supporting documents, and full payment for a complete application.

Transferring to Next Exam Window

ACRP offers a one-time transfer from the current exam offering to the next for a $50 fee. There are two situations in which candidates may take advantage of this:

  1. If a candidate is determined ineligible for the current exam window, but will have met the eligibility requirements by the next exam window; or
  2. If an eligible candidate withdraws from taking the original exam for any reason (up to five [5] days before a scheduled exam appointment).

Transfers are applied toward the next exam only. Transfer of eligibility and associated fees will be applied only to the original candidate and are not transferable to another person, even if paid for by a third party. Exam fees are transferred toward the next exam only and not toward other products or services.

If you choose to transfer to the next exam window for one of the two reasons above, you must submit a request to transfer before the end of the exam window for which you had originally applied.  To submit a transfer request, you must access your online application and select Request Exam Window Transfer.

If you have an exam appointment scheduled, you must first cancel it directly with Prometric before submitting your online request to transfer to the next exam window. Fees, payable to Prometric directly, apply for appointment cancellations made within thirty (30) to five (5) days prior to an appointment date and do not include transfer fees paid to ACRP. Cancellations are not permitted less than five (5) days prior to an appointment.

If a transfer candidate does not submit the request before the end of the current exam testing window, then all funds originally submitted will be forfeited. Transferring is not an option for re-examination candidates (from the previous exam cycle).

When a transfer request has been approved, all fees (application and exam fees) are applied automatically at the start of the next application period. All eligible transfer candidates will receive an email notice of Eligibility when the Eligibility ID has been reactivated and an exam appointment can be scheduled. Contact if you did not receive your new Eligibility Notice. Candidates who are required to submit documentation for subsequent eligibility review must do so at the start of the next application period.

View full policy on transfers, cancellation, no shows, refunds and re-examination.


If a candidate must cancel an exam, the only portion of the total amount submitted that will be refunded is the exam fee, provided that the request for cancellation is received at least five (5) calendar days prior to a scheduled exam appointment. Application fees are nonrefundable. Cancellation requests received after that time will not be honored. Refunds are not available to candidates who do not schedule or attend the exam. Refund requests will be accepted only if made by the candidate.

Applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements for the exam (i.e., those who are ineligible), or who are ineligible due to an incomplete application, will receive a refund of the exam fee only, within three weeks of the final ineligibility notification.

Refund requests can be made by the candidate only. Employers supporting a candidate’s fees cannot request or receive a refund for fees paid to ACRP. Any refund will be sent to the party who initially paid for the exam. If payment was made by credit card, that card will receive the credit. If the payment was made by check, ACRP will mail a refund check to the original payer.

Contact for any other refund inquiries.

Submitting Your Application and Supporting Documents

Only applications received with required supporting documentation and full payment will be accepted. View the ACRP Certification Handbook for complete details, or view the Application Checklist for helpful tips.

Online Application

Payment Options: Credit Card, Check, or Bank/Wire Transfer

You will receive an automatic email confirmation upon submission of application and the following documents:

  1. CV/resume (signed and dated with date of application submission)
  2. Proof of Employment
  3. Educational program degree (if applicable)

Upload documents as part of the online application.

Applications selected for audit will undergo a thorough eligibility review process. A second email confirms that the application was received by ACRP and is being prepared for the Eligibility Review process. Please allow up to 10 days to receive your eligibility email notification.

Scheduling Your Exam

How to Make Your Exam Appointment

Once you have been determined eligible you must schedule an appointment to take the exam within the exam date range. View testing locations at or by phone.

1. Obtain Eligibility ID Number

2. Make Your Appointment

  • Select location, date, and time

3. Keep Your Appointment Confirmation

  • Review and print your confirmation. Use it if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment

Exams are scheduled through Prometric, ACRP’s testing partner, and may be taken at approximately 600 testing centers internationally. Only candidates determined to be eligible will receive an Eligibility Notice immediately following the Eligibility Review process.

This important notice includes a Prometric ID number, the Prometric Exam Scheduling web address, and instructions for scheduling a personal exam appointment. Candidates select the testing center, exam date, and time on a first-come, first-served basis.

For detailed assistance with selecting your test center, view Exam Sites.

Services for People with Disabilities: For questions regarding accommodation, view the Policy on Special Accommodations and Request Form.

Rescheduling or Canceling Your Appointment

Rescheduling or cancelling your exam appointment (test center location, date, or time) is permitted by Prometric up to five (5) days before your scheduled appointment. Appointments may only be rescheduled within the same exam window. Fees are associated with appointment changes. If you need to cancel, and do not plan to reschedule an exam appointment, you may be eligible for a refund. Rescheduling or cancelling is not permitted within five (5) days of an appointment.

To reschedule or cancel an exam appointment, you must contact Prometric at or by phone with your appointment confirmation number.

If you do not plan to take the exam during the current exam window, you must cancel your exam appointment and submit the following request:

  • Application Cancellation Request (for cancellation and requesting a refund only); submit up to 5 days before scheduled appointment. Refer to the Refunds section.

Your request must be received by ACRP at within the time specified or all fees paid will be forfeited.

To reschedule, cancel, or transfer find full details (contact information, deadlines, fees, and requests forms) in the ACRP Certification Handbook.


If a candidate will be unable to keep his/her exam appointment due to an emergency situation that arises within five (5) days prior to his/her exam date, the candidate is required to submit an Emergency Cancellation Form and official documentation to ACRP at This information must be received up to seven (7) calendar days after the candidate’s scheduled exam date. The following situations will be considered with documentation:

  • Emergency room visit or hospitalization
  • Severe medical condition requiring hospitalization
  • Death of an immediate family member (e.g., spouse, child/dependent, parent, grandparent, sibling)
  • Call to active military duty
  • Jury duty

View full Policy on Transfers, Cancellation, No Shows, Refunds and Re-Examination.

Testing Requirements

There are strict requirements for arrival, identification, available resources, exam security, and behavior during the exam. It is the exam candidate’s responsibility to be aware of the test center regulations and required behavior.

For full details, view the ACRP Certification Handbook (Section: Taking the Exam).

Become familiar with the following before you go:

  • Appointment Confirmation: Bring a copy. It contains the address and phone number of the testing center.
  • Proper Identification: To access a secure testing center you, must present proper identification. Also, name changes (due to marriage, for example) are common, but can prevent a candidate access to the exam if not properly presented. Improper Identification is the most common reason our candidates are denied to the exam.
  • Expected Arrival Time: If the candidate is late by 15 minutes or more, the test center will deny a candidate access.
  • Security Screening: The test center is serious about security.
  • Items Permitted/Not Permitted
  • Resources Available at the Test Center: A few resources are provided at the test site.
  • Getting Help during the Exam: Know what you can do to get help when an issue arises.


Contact us if you cannot find an answer in the ACRP Certification Handbook (Section: Taking the Exam).

For more Test Center FAQs, view Prometric’s Test Regulations.

Preparing for Your Exam

Steps to Prepare for the Exam

The best preparation for ACRP Certification exams is understanding the knowledge requirements of your role and their application to clinical research.

ACRP recommends that you first understand the scope of the exam content by carefully reviewing its Detailed Content Outline and becoming familiar with the references (ICH Guidelines and Declaration of Helsinki).

No two candidates come to the exam with the same knowledge base. Since experience and educational backgrounds are unique, these differences must be taken into consideration when determining a study method. Begin to prepare using the following steps:

Step 1: Assess your own professional experience. Read carefully through the Detailed Content Outline description for the exam you wish to take. Each exam (ACRP-CP, CRC, CRA, PI, ACRP-PM, and ACRP-MDP) has a different DCO. Compare the detailed description of knowledge and tasks, plus the proportion of questions, to your own professional experience. Rate your relative skill level and experience on a scale of 0–5 (0 = no experience) as an indicator of how prepared you are for each section and where to invest more of your study focus in preparing for the exam.

While you personally may have limited experience with certain job functions due to your job description with your employer, success on the exam requires you to demonstrate competency in all areas of the exam.

Step 2: Start early and plan ahead. Don’t wait to receive your Eligibility Notice.  You must complete and submit your detailed application at least three (3) weeks before the exam. Don’t leave this until the last minute! Focus some learning time on reading in every content category, but spend extra time reading in those categories where your experience is limited. Match your study efforts in relation to the time you have available and the specific study needs you have identified for yourself. Every exam candidate will answer the same number of questions in every category.

Step 3: Schedule your study time. If you decide to set up a study group, you should hold weekly meetings that will take about two hours on one day/evening every week. Schedule flexible blocks of time into your personal schedule. The key is not to memorize what you read, but to understand concepts behind ICH/GCP and best practices in each knowledge category area to supplement your experience.  Be sure you understand how your SOPs differ in relation to ICH/GCP.

Step 4: Organize your study notes. It may help you to organize your study notes, articles, summaries, etc. in a binder using either the five (5) exam categories, or your own index. Let your experience guide you in the content areas you are most comfortable with and focus more time in your weaker areas or on those areas with which you are least familiar.  Create flashcards to use as study aids.

Step 5: Choose the methods that are right for your study plan. Choose a mentor or colleague who has more experience in the areas in which you are less familiar and ask him/her to review concepts with you. As you perform your daily responsibilities, think about the underlying principles that lead you to take a particular course of action. This will help you connect ICH/GCP to your daily work.

Step 6: Stick to your study group’s plan. Pick a regular night and show up on time. Each of you has the same goal, and everyone has something to offer. Sharing reading and exchanging notes is a great way to lighten the load. Study groups foster friendships and provide an incentive to stay focused on your collective goal. Complete; don’t compete.

Step 7: Don’t panic. Follow the excellent pre-exam advice that ACRP provides, and come to the exam well-rested and prepared.

Study Tips

In addition to reviewing the ICH Guidelines, one way to review is to select texts and training materials you used when first taking on the role of a clinical research professional. You can select a publication that you may already have on your bookshelf, or one that you can borrow from a colleague. You should select books or publications that cover topics found on the Detailed Content Outline, the ICH Guidelines, or the tenets of GCP, but do not focus on specific (i.e., FDA) regulations.

If you have time, take a workshop or attend a conference session on topics in which you need to become more familiar. Any professional development courses that cover clinical research topics will add to your knowledge base and therefore will help you prepare for the exam.

NOTE: ACRP does not sponsor or endorse any specific educational courses—even if the course is advertised as a “prep” or “review” course for the ACRP Certification Exams. Courses titled this way are at the discretion of the organization offering the course. Those creating the course have not had any inside information about the exam. The same information that is included in the handbook to help you prepare is publicly available to those creating educational content. Participation in these courses may help you learn or review topics covered on the exam, but you should not expect them to directly cover exam content.

Test Taking Strategies

Most adults haven’t taken a standardized exam recently. It can be helpful to be reminded of some key strategies for how to approach a multiple-choice exam:

  • Read the entire question before you look at the possible answers.
  • Come up with the correct answer in your head before looking at the possible answers; this way, the choices given on the test won’t distract you from focusing on the question.
  • Read all the choices before choosing your answer so that you select the best one.
  • Eliminate answers you know are not correct.
  • There is no guessing penalty, so it’s always best to take an educated guess and select an answer if you are uncertain of the answer.
  • Don’t keep on changing your answer; usually your first choice is the right one, unless you misread the question.
  • Go through the exam and answer the questions you know first. Mark the others for review and then go back to those you skipped over. This will ensure that you don’t lose time by focusing on one question you aren’t sure about.

Optional Exam Prep Resources

ACRP offers a variety of resources to help you study and prepare for your ACRP Certification exam, including practice exercises, eLearning programs, apps, and more.

View ACRP Certification Exam Prep Resources

Understanding Your Exam Results

Upon completion of your computer-based examination, you will receive your test results via email. A pass/fail score is generated based on your overall performance on the examination.

The passing score is set by a panel of subject matter experts representative of the professional. These experts review each test question, evaluate the difficulty of the questions, and make a judgement as to how a candidate with basic proficiency would perform on the question. The judgements are analyzed statistically to determine the passing score.

The passing scaled score for the exam is 600. A candidate scoring below 600 has not been successful on the exam and cannot be certified.

The number of questions answered correctly (or total points) is a candidate’s “raw score”. Prometric then converts a candidate’s raw score to a scaled score. The “Total Scaled Score” will determine whether a candidate has passed the exam. The exam is not scored on a curve and there is no predetermined number of candidates permitted to pass.

ACRP-CP® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as service marks of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, Inc.

Why ACRP Certification?

ACRP Certification is the premier mark of excellence in the clinical research field. View the benefits of certification to see what it can do for you and your organization.


Certification Resources

Browse our index of important resources, including Certification forms, web pages, references, policies, and other helpful materials for earning your ACRP Certification.