Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) Explained

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Fellow of Information Privacy

The Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) may be the easiest designation you can earn as a privacy professional.

Did we just put easy and privacy in the same sentence? Yes, yes we did.

Well, at least the process is easy. The years of hard work you’ve put in to obtain at least two certifications from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and earn practical experience might be another story. If you meet those qualifications and get three people to vouch for you, you’re well on your way to adding Fellow of Information Privacy to your resume.

Read on to learn more about the FIP, what’s required to apply, and if there are any associated costs or maintenance for the designation.

What is the Fellow of Information Privacy Designation?

The Fellow of Information Privacy, or FIP, is a designation the IAPP offers to experienced leaders in the privacy field. An FIP enhances your status as a privacy professional and can open doors to new career opportunities.

Keep in mind, the FIP isn’t its own certification, and there isn’t a separate exam required to earn the FIP. Rather, it’s a designation you can earn if you meet certain requirements set by the IAPP.

These requirements demonstrate your advanced knowledge of privacy laws and program management, and essential data protection practices.

What are the Requirements to Apply for the FIP?

There are four requirements to apply for the Fellow of Information Privacy designation.

First, you must have two IAPP certifications in good standing. One of these certifications must be the Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP). The CIPP can be obtained for four different geographic regions: United States of America (CIPP/US), Europe (CIPP/E), Canada (CIPP/C), or Asia (CIPP/A). Any of these will suffice for purposes of obtaining the FIP designation. The second certification can be either the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) or the Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT).

Second, you need to have on-the-job experience. The IAPP wants to see three years of work experience in which data privacy made up at least half of your job responsibilities. To note, a security certification from associations like ISC2 and ISACA can count as one year of experience.

If you dig through the archives, you’ll find the IAPP at one point required five years of experience. The three-year requirement was reinstated, however, as IAPP acknowledged that three years of significant professional experience in addition to completing two rigorous certification programs are important and meaningful achievements.

The third requirement is providing three referrals, which IAPP will contact. We know your Granny would love to brag about your achievements, but these referrals should be peers familiar with your work.

The fourth and final requirement is writing a personal statement. Let IAPP know how your experience and expertise qualifies you to be a Fellow of Information Privacy.

Pretty simple and straight forward, right? You can submit your application here.

How Much Does the FIP Cost?

You can put that credit card away, as there’s no additional cost for the FIP.

Of course, there are the costs associated with the required IAPP certifications to consider. This includes the cost of the exam and the Certification Maintenance Fee (CMF) or IAPP membership.

How Do I Maintain the FIP?

The FIP is a lifetime recognition with no expiration and no need to reapply, ever.

Once you’re awarded the FIP designation, it will remain active so long as your CIPP and CIPM or CIPT credentials are in good standing. This means meeting the IAPP’s Continuing Privacy Education (CPE) requirements and paying your CMF or IAPP membership.

I’m Ready to Apply. Now What?

Pat yourself on the back. The actual process of getting your Fellow of Information Privacy designation may be easy, but the work you put in to get to this point isn’t.

Your professional accomplishments, packaged up nice and neat in your application, will take time to review. You should allow up to four weeks for the IAPP Certification Team to process your application.

Once they’ve determined your great achievements warrant the FIP designation, you’ll receive a digital badge that you can add to your LinkedIn profile. Display that badge proudly, and add FIP to your resume, too. Hiring managers and recruiters may search for the Fellow of Information Privacy designation as they review candidates’ applications. This will place you among the elite of the privacy profession, as only 30% of global Chief Privacy Officers have the FIP designation.

As icing on the cake, you’ll be recognized for your achievements alongside other new fellows at an IAPP conference. Welcome to the club, Fellow of Information Privacy.

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