To be eligible for the IRC certification examination, applicants must meet at least one of the following minimum eligibility requirements by the application deadline:

• OPTION 1: U.S. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with three or more years of qualifying full-time work experience* as an IR corporate practitioner** or IR counselor***.
• OPTION 2: Six years of qualifying full-time work experience* as an IR corporate practitioner** or IR counselor***.
• OPTION 3: Hold a current certification relevant to IR practice with three or more years of qualifying full-time work experience* as an IR corporate practitioner** or IR counselor***.

* Work experience requirements: at least 50% of duties should be directly focused on IR activities. Internships are not considered full-time work experience. Applicants are required to provide evidence of their work experience. NIRI membership is not a prerequisite for certification.

** IR Corporate Practitioner:  An individual who is actively engaged in the practice of investor relations and/or corporate communication as an employee of a corporation listed on a public stock exchange. 

*** IR Counselor:  An individual who is a consultant engaged in assisting public-company clients in the design and implementation of broad-based investor relations and/or corporate communication programs that contribute to the companies' securities achieving fair valuation in the marketplace.


Demonstrated evidence of qualifying work experience must relate to at least seven of the following ten areas of practice with a publicly traded company as an IR practitioner, or IR counselor:

• IR Strategy Formulation
• IR Planning, Implementation and Measurement           
• Corporate Messaging Development
• Investor Marketing and Outreach  
• Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis  
• Business Insight
• Strategic Counsel and Collaboration
• Capital Markets and Capital Structure
• Corporate Regulatory Compliance
• Corporate Governance.


Relevant Certifications to the investor relations practice include:
• Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
• Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
• Other certifications may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Based on the eligibility route selected, one or more of the following documents must be submitted with the completed and signed examination application:

•  Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) with detailed information about the IR qualifying work experience;
•  Copy of official diploma for all collegiate studies*;
•  Verification of work experience form or written statement from human resources department confirming the IR work experience stated in the application;
•  If self-employed, a notarized self-declaration and proof from at least two established clients;
•  Proof of a certification's current status (i.e. certification card or copy of the certificate showing the current expiration date).

* For international applicants official college transcripts must be validated by a credentialing organization (e.g. WES, NAFSA).



Domain Percentage of items Number of items
1. IR Strategy Formulation 14% 29
2. IR Planning, Implementation and Measurement 11% 20
3. Corporate Messaging Development 14% 28
4. Investor Marketing and Outreach 13% 25
5. Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis 11% 24
6. Business Insight 8% 16
7. Strategic Counsel and Collaboration 8% 16
8. Capital Markets and capital Structure 9% 18
9. Corporate Regulatory Compliance 6% 12
10. Corporate Governance 6% 12


The IRC is a U.S.-based program and the examinations are administered in English only worldwide.


The examination is four hours long and consists of 200 multiple choice questions. It is administered at proctored testing centers within a specified one-week testing window in a computer-based testing format (CBT) nationwide and internationally three times a year.


Initial Application Deadline Final Application Deadline Testing Window
January 25, 2020 February 15, 2020
March 14 - 21, 2020
April 25, 2020 May 23, 2020
June 20 - 27, 2020
September 19, 2020 October 17, 2020
November 14 - 21, 2020
 Fees By Initial Application Deadline Fees By Final Application Deadline     
Member Fee: $1,095 Member Fee: $1,295
Non-Member Fee: $1,595 Non-Member Fee: $1,795
Refund/Withdrawal Fee: $200
(Applies to all refund requests if the request is received before the testing window begins)

Transfer/Rescheduling Fee: $100 
(Applies when transferring to the next testing window)
Duplicate Score Report: $25
Score Verification: $25


IRC examination score is based on your total number of correct answers. You should answer all items, as there is no penalty for incorrect responses. However, choose only one response per item. If more than one response per item is selected that item will be scored as an incorrect response.

Your performance on the test will be measured against a predetermined standard of knowledge. This standard is the basic level knowledge that can reasonably be expected of individuals with basic competence in investor relations. The passing score for the IRC test is set by a national panel of experts’ representative of the profession.