Incentive Professional (IP) Designation


Incentive Professional Designation

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Certification in the incentive field beneficial?

Simply said, certification sets those with the credential apart – or above- those without it.

For some, achieving certification will become a professional goal - a way to test knowledge and to measure it against one’s peers. Others will see certification as an aid to be noticed and recognized as an industry leader and an acknowledged expert in the incentive field.

As the CPIM program becomes more established, the IMA certification will afford individuals a competitive advantage in a competitive marketplace.

Most important, achieving and maintaining the CPIM shows that the individual has accepted the challenge to stay informed of new developments in the field and to ever-increase their knowledge of incentive marketing.

What is the Incentive Professional (IP) Designation?

The IP Designation is the first step to getting your CPIM designation. Individuals may earn their IP by registering for, and successfully passing the IMA's "Principles of Results-Based Incentive Program Design" Examination. The exam consists of 98 multiple-choice and essay questions.

"Principles takes all of the steps critical to designing effective incentive and recognition for employees, channel partners or consumers, and lays it out in a logical non-commercial manner. I would recommend this curriculum to anyone associated with designing, utilizing, or supporting incentives and recognition in any industry."         ---Louise Anderson, CPIM

Passing the principles exam and getting the IP designation is the first of three steps to CPIM status.
More information about the CPIM designation

What do you need to know to pass the Principles of Results-Based Incentive Program Design (IP) exam?

Successful completion of the exam requires the candidate to know the steps in designing, developing, and implementing an incentive program, considerations for sales incentives, employee recognition programs, safety programs, and consumer promotions. In addition, the exam covers use of appropriate award choices, including merchandise, travel, and gift cards, and knowledge of methods to track and measure program effectiveness.

Principles of Result-Based Incentive Program Curriculum and IP Course Video
Please note: The Principles curriculum is available for members at no charge in the members only section. You must be logged in to view these pages. The curriculum is $75 for non-members.

I have a group from my company who would like to get their IP designation. Are there any group discounts?

The proposed Quantity Purchase Discount is as follows, based on the total number of exam seats paid within the same calendar year (1/1-12/31) by a Member Company or Qualified Group at the time that the exam seats are purchased:

1-3 seats: No discount
4-7 seats: 10% off
8-11 seats: 20% off
12-15 seats: 30% off
16-19 seats: 40% off
20 & over seats: 50% off

How do I sign up to take the exam?

The exam is $150 for IMA members and $300 for non-members. The exam is available online year round or in person at the Summit.
Principles exam registration form

What should I do once I successfully pass the IP exam?

IP recipients may use the "IP" designation after their name, and in business promotion and corresponding materials. In addition, the IP designation will be used in IMA print and online directories.

Successfully completing the principles exam is the first of three steps to receiving your CPIM designation.
More information about the CPIM designation

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have additional questions please contact, Emily Johnson at or 952-928-4649.