How do I become a Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP)?

Meet the Eligibility Requirements

To establish a much-needed, industry-recognized standard of knowledge and competency for IRA professionals, ABA Professional Certifications and Ascensus developed the Certified IRA Specialist Professional (CISP) designation. To take the CISP certification examination, you must meet the following prerequisites.

  • A minimum of two years of dedicated IRA operational and technical experience, and the completion of an
    approved educational program, such as the Ascensus IRA Institute Online or IRA Institute


  • Four years of dedicated IRA operational and technical experience

Register for an Ascensus IRA Institute

IRA Institute Online
Session 1: February 22 – May 16, 2021
Session 2: September 6 – November 28, 2021
Registration Fee: $1,695

IRA Institute

Details on how to make a room reservation will be emailed once your IRA Institute registration is received. Attendees will pay for their own room and will need to guarantee the room with a credit card.

Virtual IRA Institute

May 3-7, 2021 AND May 10-14, 2021
11:00 – 4:00 ET daily

Registration Fee: $1,695

IRA Institute San Diego, CA – September 20-24, 2021 

Optional CISP Exam: The CISP exam will not be offered onsite at the IRA Institute. Visit the ABA website for exam location.
Location: Embassy Suites
San Diego Bay Downtown

Registration Fee: $1,795

Apply for CISP Examination

CISP Examination
If you would like additional information regarding the CISP examination, please visit

Application and exam fee: $550
Annual membership fee: $249

Study Materials
IRA Institute Online

  • All study materials are contained within the IRA Institute Online learning management system.
  • If a student would like to purchase any reference materials, additional manuals (listed below) are available at a 10% discount.

IRA Institute

  • Required reading and study materials will be available for use at the IRA Institute.
  • If a student would like to purchase any reference materials, additional manuals (listed below) are available at a 10% discount.

Reference Materials Available For Purchase

eResource Center
Ascensus offers a comprehensive online library of technical reference manuals and government source documents. Updated regularly, the eResource Center provides retirement and savings plan professionals easy access to current rules, compliance regulations, reporting requirements, and the latest industry information.

Additional Manuals

Note: IRA Institute attendees are not required to buy study materials.