Certified Interpretive Planner

What are the benefits of being a CIP?

  • Certification helps you cultivate and build a professional self-image.
  • Being recognized by your peers as a professional in the industry.
  • Certification makes you more competitive and may improve your chances of being hired or getting a promotion.
  • The process of becoming certified and maintaining the designation provides incentives to continue your professional development.

What are the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities I need to have to earn a CIP?

You should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of:

  • The history of the interpretive profession
  • The basic principles of interpretation
  • Current literature in the interpretive field
  • Marketing, management, and maintenance of interpretive programs and facilities
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Cost estimating
  • Business and strategic planning
  • Assessment of natural, cultural, and operational resources
  • Development of thematic guidelines
  • Writing measurable objectives
  • Formative and summative evaluation
  • Development of media guidelines and descriptions
  • Market analysis

What are the Prerequisites for earning the CIP?

  • In order to apply for professional certification, the applicant must demonstrate their eligibility either through academic study, work experience or a combination of both. 
  • Academic experience: the completion of a bachelor’s degree in science, business, arts or an area relevant/related to the field of interpretation.
  • Work experience: the completion of a total of four years (8,000 hours) experience in the category for which certification is requested.
  • Combination/hybrid: the completion of an associate’s degree in science, business, arts, or performing arts and 5,000 hours of experience in the category for which certification is requested.

How much does the CIP certification cost?

Please see Fees page for this information.

How do I get certified as a CIP? 

  1. Fill out the online Professional Certification Application and upload your eligibility.
  2. Receive an email with the invoice to pay your certification fee. Please pay within 30 days.
  3. Receive in the mail the packet of materials including a checklist of things to do. You will have up to one year to send in your submission.
  4. Mail in your submission to the NAI office. You will receive a confirmation email that your package was received and sent to your peer reviewers.
  5. You will be notified in 2-3 months with your results.

NAI Courses or Trainings to help prepare you prior to attempting this certification:

For more in-depth information, please see our Certification Handbook & Study Guide’s section on the Certified Interpretive Planner.