Canadian Information Processing Society

The Information Systems Professional (ISP) designation tells clients and employers that the holder has achieved and will maintain the highest standards of competency in the planning, analysis, implementation and procurement of information systems. The ISP is an internationally recognized comprehensive competence framework that requires candidates to master the CIPS body of knowledge and adhere to the code of ethics and professional conduct. It is Canada’s only legally recognized IT designation.Designation holders have therefore maintained the most up-to-date skills and are knowledgeable about the latest IT trends and best practices.



There are no prerequisites for selected routes to obtain the ISP designation. However, for those taking the education plus experience route, an accredited 4-year university degree in computer science, software engineering, management of information systems or business technology management is required.

There are a number of established routes to obtain the ISP designation. All of the following routes are viable:

1.    Education plus experience Route
Those who have completed an Information Technology post-secondary education and have accumulated professional experience can apply for this route. The number of years of professional experience may vary.

ISP Education Plus Experience Route
2.    Exam Route
This route is for those who have passed the exams with the Institute for Certification of Computer Professional (ICCP) exams, the diploma level examination by the British Computing Society, or the Professional Graduate Level examination offered by the British Computing Society and obtained the necessary years of professional experience.

3.    Established IT Professionals Route
Candidates who have demonstrated mastery of the Body of Knowledge through a point-based scoring system linked to competency levels are eligible for this route.

4.    Professional Experience Only Route
This route is only for those who entered the field prior to 1976. Records of experience history or a resume and interview process are required.

5.    Established Academic route
This route is for those who have a full time academic position in a Computer Science department at a University in at least an Associate Professor rank or higher and have contributed to their discipline and/or profession. Candidates must have obtained a PhD at least 5 years before the application.

6.    IT Industry Leader Route
This route is only for Information Technology industry leaders and senior IT professionals. Applicants must hold a senior executive level position at a large firm. A review and assessment based on the CIPS Body of knowledge must be demonstrated.

Maintaining Requirements
To maintain the ISP designation, all candidates must be in good standing with the institute and recertify every 3 years. At the 3 year mark, candidates for recertification must demonstrate that they have obtained a minimum of 100 professional development credits and show active practicing in the chosen profession.

Other Information
Candidates must re-confirm their commitment to obtain the ISP designation every year by accumulating a minimum of 30 professional development credits annually and over 1,000 hours of work experience in the prior year in an IT related field.
Professional development credits are accumulated at a rate of 1 learning credit for each 1 hour of learning in relevant continuing education courses, conferences or workshops, online training or training courses. Candidates may also have their experience audited and would then be required to produce registration forms, a letter of attendance or other applicable documentation.