CIRI, in partnership with top-ranking business school – Rotman School of Management, has enhanced the Investor Relations (IR) Certification Program. The Program, which covers all relevant areas of this multi-disciplinary role including capital markets, corporate governance, securities law, finance and communications, has been refreshed to meet the evolving demands on today’s IR professionals. As of 2019, over 17% of CIRI members have earned the CPIR designation.

We have compiled answers to the top questions we get asked about the Program. If your question doesn’t appear below or you would like to discuss the Program, please feel free to contact Kaitlin Davis at [email protected].

1. How will the IR Certification Program benefit me?

The Program was developed to provide IROs formal education in IR while the CPIR designation elevates the stature of the IR profession. By participating in this Program and earning the CPIR designation, you will enhance your knowledge of IR through thought-provoking classes, learning not only from the faculty but from your peers; be recognized by your peers and others in the capital markets for having earned this credential; and improve your opportunities for career advancement and greater compensation. Here are some of the comments CPIRs have made about the Program:

“The CPIR designation is the most relevant certification available for those currently in, or looking to enter, the fields of investor relations and corporate communications. The program covers every aspect needed to excel in the profession today and the content is delivered in a mix of face-to-face lectures and practical on-line team-based assignments by world class faculty. A truly stimulating experience and a worthwhile investment in personal and professional development.” - Berk Sumen, CPIR, Head, TMX Company Services, TMX Group - Former Manager, Investor Relations, Bonavista Energy Corp.

“Every IRO role is not the same. We work in different industries, for different businesses and have different core responsibilities. What’s been great about the Program is that it brings together what is core about being an IRO, regardless of where one works. I have gained a broader understanding of what can and should be done by an IR team to help create and communicate shareholder value. The insights from the professors and the network of IR professionals I have met will be invaluable as I more forward in my career.” - Mary Lou Frazer, CPIR, Senior Public Affairs Specialist, Ontario Securities Commission - Former Senior Director, Investor & Financial Communications, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

“I highly recommend the CPIR program to IROs looking to strengthen their skills and advance their career. The program covers a wide range of topics that are relevant and based on the discipline's best practices. The course is delivered by high quality instructors who equip their students with the latest thinking and meaningful insight to help them excel when engaging with the C-Suite, the board and the market. The CPIR helped me to think differently; to be more analytical and strategic. The professional designation enhances credibility and provides a competitive advantage. As someone who has dedicated her career to professional development, I believe the CPIR program delivers a comprehensive learning set that is difficult to match.” - Nathalie Megann, CPIR, Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Affairs, Chorus Aviation Inc.


2. What are the prerequisites needed to participate in the IR Certification Program?

To participate in the Program you must have following:

  • At least three (3) years investor relations experience*, OR
  • Four (4) years of related experience** and have participated in CIRI’s Essentials of Investor Relations program within the past five years, OR
  • Four (4) years of combined experience in investor relations and a related field** and have participated in CIRI’s Essentials of Investor Relations program within the past five years; AND
  • Submit one professional reference letter, preferably from your current employer.

*Where 50% or more of your time was spend on investor relations
**Related experience can be from any of the disciplines that make up the role of IR including capital markets, corporate governance, securities law, finance and communications.

3. What is the format of the IR Certification Program?

The 10-month Program starts with three days of in-person classes at the Rotman School of Business in Toronto. This is followed by eight months of online classes to provide flexibility and accommodate travel schedules of IROs. Each online class consists of a three-hour tutorial to be watched at leisure and a one-hour online class to discuss the lesson with faculty and fellow students, approximately every three weeks. The program concludes with two days of in-person classes (location may vary). 

The face-to-face classes at the beginning (3 days) and the end (2 days) of the Program are mandatory.  We recognize that travel schedules may not make participation in the online classes possible. As such, the one-hour online classes are therefore archived so that students may access them at a more convenient time.

4. I'm not familiar with the online class format. What can I expect from these classes?

Each online class consists of a three-hour tutorial to be watched at leisure and a one-hour online class to discuss the lesson with faculty and fellow students, approximately every three weeks. 

5. I travel for work. What happens if I miss an online session?

We strongly encourage you to participate in all online classes; however, should you be unable to, they are archived for students to listen to at their leisure.

6. What time commitment should I expect to make as a student in this Program?

Students who have been successful in this Program generally commit between 4-10 hours a month to complete readings and assignments.

7. How do I earn the CPIR designation? 

After completing the Program, you are eligible to write the certification examination for a fee of $250 (plus taxes). Upon passing the exam, you will earn the Certified Professional in Investor Relations (CPIR) designation.

8. What happens if I fail the exam?

You may write the exam up to two times/year over a two-year period following completion of the Program. After the two-year period, you would be required to retake the Program in order to have further attempts at the exam.

9. What are the requirements for maintaining my CPIR designation? 

In order to maintain your CPIR designation, you must maintain your membership in CIRI, agree to comply with CIRI's code of ethics and complete a minimum of 14 continuing education units (CEU) annually. More information can be found here. Below are some ways to earn your CEUs.

  • Participate in continuing education programs and events;
  • Speak at CIRI National and Chapter events;
  • Serve as a mentor; or
  • Volunteer on a CIRI National or Chapter Board or Committee.

10. Is the CPIR designation gaining recognition?

While the CPIR designation is still quite new, we are seeing signs that it is gaining recognition in the industry. We are seeing job postings with the designation as a preferred prerequisite. We have also heard that IROs with the designation could expect up to 10% higher compensation than those without the designation when looking at new opportunities. We expect this recognition to continue to grow, but as with any new designation, it will take time.

11. What is the cost of this Program?

CIRI members pay $10,500 while non members pay $12,500 (plus applicable taxes). This fee includes the in-person and online classes, all course materials as well as meals (breakfast, lunch and breaks) for the in-person classes.

12. When does the next IR Certification Program start?

The 2021 class will begin September 22-24, 2021.

12. What is the deadline to apply for this year’s program?

The deadline to apply for the September 2021 Program is June 30, 2021. Click here for more information on the application process or click here to apply today.


Key Dates

  • Application deadline: July 19, 2021
  • Program start date: September 22-24, 2021
  • Information session: May 4, 2021

Click here to register for the information session.


If you have questions that are not answered by our FAQs, please contact: Kaitlin Davis at [email protected].

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