The IAOIP Certification Program and its Benefits

The International Association of Innovation Professionals (IAOIP) acts as an expert third party to certify individuals as knowledgeable professionals in the science of innovation. As a non-profit organization, IAOIP’s goals are to grow the formal recognition of a profession, enrich the knowledge and practice of the science of innovation, and to support career development for professional innovators throughout world.

As with other professions, certifying bodies assist in codifying knowledge and documenting that individuals meet requirements by providing rigorous examinations that confirm the individual’s competency in a subject area. The IAOIP certification is a public and visible endorsement of an individual’s ability to apply the science of innovation to the many challenges facing businesses, non-profits, governments and NGOs today.

Any IAOIP member can take the certification exams and each certification is valid for three years from the date you pass the exam.

The following groups of individuals will find certification highly beneficial.

  • Working professionals have a lot to gain from a professional certification. Some individuals may be tasked with creating innovative products or services. Other individuals may be placed in a position where they must guide innovation across their organization (e.g., innovation manager or innovation directors). For these individuals, certification in the science of innovation will substantially aid them in their daily tasks, assisting them to achieve more successful and innovative outcomes.
  • Career Seekers, Students, and Veterans will find that having innovation skills and knowledge provides an advantage over others candidates. Organizations are seeking individuals who can deliver top line innovation outcomes. Certification is one way to stand out from the crowd and bring attention to your abilities and knowledge.
  • Executives, Managers, Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs who are tasked with creating or growing a business or non-profit would benefit from finding innovations and embedding the capability to innovate inside their organization. There are many different ways innovation can be used. Learning which way to apply innovation is a critical first step during the certification process.
  • Employers who need to bring to their workforce a higher capability in applying the science of innovation and to help reduce the risk in the hiring process by making a certification part of their decision process.

Benefits of Becoming Certified by IAOIP

Gain knowledge and skills in the science of innovation. Certified members develop a base knowledge of 10+ areas of innovation through their exam preparation, and having an impending examination is a motivating and clear way to learn a subject in a comprehensive manner.

Public and visible endorsement of your skills. All certified IAOIP members’ in good standing have their names listed on the IAOIP website. IAOIP is internationally recognized, and currently has members in 80+ nations. IAOIP is also the only ISO compliant Innovation certification body.

Increased success rate. Innovating success rates vary greatly from company to company. The best way to increase innovation success rates is to have practitioners educated in the science of innovation and implement the most current innovation practices and strategies.

Support and backing of the IAOIP. This association has significant resources for its members and certified professionals. Our hundreds of articles on innovation, authoritative Global Innovation Science Handbook (1st Ed), and our large network of innovation professionals are all accessible to support and continue to grow member’s knowledge and skills.

Certified Professional Innovator

This CPI Certification will show that you have the broad range of knowledge to be able to understand the science of innovation, to function as a knowledgeable professional in the practice of innovation, and to be able to support efforts of more senior professionals in completing projects with a focus on innovation content.

Certified Manager of Innovation

The CMI Certification will show your knowledge about management principles as they relate to the science of innovation, and your ability to manage any specific innovative effort. This certification will prove that you are best able to promote and complete innovation projects if you start with a broad range of knowledge about the field, its tools, methodologies, and main challenges. Managers and executives from all levels are encouraged to obtain other appropriate certifications to help them focus on specific areas in more depth and be more directed toward their specific circumstances.

Design Thinking Certification


The Design Thinking Certification is designed to verify your knowledge in Design Thinking. Design thinking, sometimes called human centered design, is best when the methods chosen represent the often unique combination that works best for the individual, team, organization, business, and, above all, the customer, who is the ultimate judge and user of any design thinking output. It is now generally acknowledged that this subject has developed sufficiently to represent a subset of the innovation process that can be documented, taught, and routinely expressed. This certification is one way to gain the professional recognition of your level of knowledge in this field.

View Available Certifications

Validity of the IAOIP Certification

The IAOIP certification program was created by a group of recognized science of innovation leaders from around the world through a permanent IAOIP committee. Committee members range from working professional innovators, university professors in the science of innovation, consultants, and globally recognized authorities on innovation. Exams are developed first from the Global Innovation Science Handbook, 1st Ed and supplemented with peer review journal articles, well recognized books and other sources as determined by the committee. A large database of questions is created and vetted by the committee insuring each exam developed is rigorous and focused on the subject matter of the specific certification topic. Exams are administered via online proctoring and can be taken by IAOIP members around the world insuring that professionals who pass are authenticated and proven to meet IAOIP standards.

Certification Framework

The Certification Framework is based on the framework of recognizing both increasing levels of knowledge and accomplishment as well as to accommodate the two career track system prevalent is many companies where there is a technical or individual contributor track and separate management track. The individual contributor track has multiple specialized areas of knowledge where certification can be obtained. The management track has the both manager and executive level in its framework. Many certification programs employ both levels, and fields or categories, to more accurately reflect the differing areas of specialization and to reflect the progressive nature of professional development. The IAOIP program offers complete flexibility for any individual to customize their particular certification profile to best suit their specific needs career needs.

The individual contributor track offers three levels of recognition. The first level is the Certified Innovation Professional level and is required before taking the next level exams. The next level is the Practitioner Level of which there will be multiple certifications. The goal is to have Practitioner Level exams for all critical areas of the science of innovation. Each professional choosing to advance beyond this level can pick and choose which of the available Certified Innovation Professional-Practitioner Exams they wish to take to create their own customized certification profile. The top level will be the Advanced Certified Innovation Professional which will require significant accomplish in addition to a broad certification background and will be awarded by a special IAOIP Committee only after significant review.

On the management track the professional starts with the Management of Innovation Level exam. This exam is design for people in project, department or enterprise management who are early in their career or now in a situation where they need to develop their knowledge of the science of innovation to better able themselves to meet the innovation demands of today and tomorrow. The Certified Chief Innovation Officer is to help those who have more strategic roles in bringing, developing, growing and maintaining a culture of innovation within their firms or businesses.

Code of Professional Conduct

All IAOIP certified individuals must agree to comply with the Certificant Code of Professional Conduct as outlined below:

  • I will conduct my business and/or professional activities with honesty and integrity.

  • I will represent my certifications and qualifications honestly and provide only those services for which I am qualified to perform.

  • l will strive to maintain and improve my professional knowledge and competence through regular self-assessments and continuing education or training.

  • I will act in a manner free of bias and discrimination against peers, clients or customers.

  • l will maintain the privacy of individuals and confidentiality of information obtained in the course of my duties unless disclosure is required by legal authority.

  • I will follow all certification policies, procedures, guidelines and requirements of IAOIP.

Get Certified

Certification is open to members of the IAOIP who are in good standing with the association. Interested non-member individuals are required to sign up for an IAOIP membership prior to registering for the examination. Then, with the registration complete, individuals download the appropriate Study Guide to prepare themselves. They then contact Darrel Sandall, Ph.D. to set up the exam.

If you have any questions regarding the IAOIP Certification process, please contact the Certification Committee Chairman, Darrel Sandall, at darrel@IAOIP.org.

If you would like to register for a certification exam now please click on the appropriate exam. Note that you must pass the CPI or CMI to be eligible for the others. Remember that if you are a member, you MUST sign in to get the accurate pricing.