The IPA Foundation Certificate

CPD Value: 30 Hours

MIPA Accreditation: 2 stars

The 2018/2019 intake begins in late October 2018 with the final exam taking place on Monday 25th February 2019.

Please understand that the online learning that is currently available on the IPA website is only relevant for the 2017/2018 intake and will not be applicable to the 2018/2019 intake and exam.

The 2018/2019 learning will be available in late October. All candidates booked will be notifed via email when the online learning is available.

The IPA Foundation Certificate is an award-winning and internationally-recognised programme aimed at all newcomers to the industry. It provides delegates with an essential overview of all areas of advertising that, without it, could take several years to acquire. All material is original content, developed in conjunction with IPA members and subject specialists, which is annually updated to keep the content fresh and relevant. Since its inception in 2003, over 12,000 people have passed the Foundation Certificate exam.

All training programmes run by the IPA, the professional body for advertising, media and marketing communication agencies based in the UK, including this industry leading qualification, define, set and maintain the highest possible standards of professional practice. The IPA’s qualifications programme has been running for over 13 years and over 17,000 individuals from across the globe have passed an IPA qualification.


In order to gain the official IPA Foundation Certificate, the online curriculum of 30 hours must be completed, with the qualification culminating in a 2-hour offline, written exam held in February of each year. A digital certificate of completion is then awarded to all delegates who successfully pass the exam.

Learning outcomes

The learning fills participants' knowledge gaps by helping to check that their knowledge covers the brand communications process from start to finish and not just their chosen area. It augments the learning already in place for participants at this level; be it agency based on-the-job learning, CPD induction programmes or external training courses.

As well as covering advertising and communication history, this qualification explores the client’s business, the strategic planner’s toolkit, the different types of briefs (good and bad), what media is best to choose for your communication and how to effectively evaluate your campaign.

Upon completion of this course candidates will acquire knowledge of the bigger picture, giving them a better understanding of how their job fits into the overall communications process.

View the full syllabus. This learning is further broken down into various learning activites such as pdf's, e-learning, interactive and expert-opinion videos, quizzes, discussions and more.


The qualification is intended for anyone, regardless of discipline and type of agency: from recent graduates and young professionals in their first years, to people moving into advertising from other industries or professions. 

To find out what a past candidate thought of the Foundation Certificate check this blog piece. Or have a look at what a client had to say, here.


The exam is held in February of each year in multiple lcoations across the UK.

View the full list of exam sittings for the February 2018 here.

Please note each location must have at least 10 delegates for us to proceed with the exam at that location.

Delegates with dyslexia or dyspraxia are entitled to 25% extra time in the exam, please ensure that you register your special requirements by the deadline indicated for your intake.

More information

If you are interested in attending one of our free Foundation Certificate mini-workshops, book now.

For more information or queries about this qualification please email:

If you are from outside the UK and would like more information about this qualification please vist our Global Qualifications page or email:

Ts and Cs

UK - IPA Foundation Certificate Candidate Policies 2018-19

UK Apprentices - IPA Foundation Certificate Candidate Policies 24th September 2018

Please note that due to a server upgrade, the Pathway learning system may be unavailable from 12pm this Saturday, 9th January. We expect the service to resume by 1pm. Thank you.
Location: Online Learning
Qualification Date(s): Available Now

You are currently not authorised to see the associated resource. You may need to make a booking, or become an IPA Member. When you return to this page, your access will be re-evaluated.

2019 Exam Dates and Locations

Date:    25th Feb 2019
Locations:    Various
Time:    TBC
Member fee:    £250 VAT
Non-member fee:  £500 VAT
Member deadline: 21st January 2019
Non-member deadline:    10th December 2018

NOTE - Non-members must make an associated exam booking in order to gain access to the online learning which will be available in late October.

If you’re having a problem logging into the learning, please see our FAQ page. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please email

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