Course Description

Secure a Competitive Edge Among Media Buyers & Planners With the Industry’s Only Globally Recognized Credential

When creating digital advertising campaign recommendations today, there is a vast multitude of channels, ad units, technology platforms and partnerships available to select from which makes planning and strategy more complicated than ever before. Taking the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification demonstrates that you, as a media professional, have the base-line knowledge needed to perform in your role while meeting your client’s or brand’s needs in an effective and intelligent manner.

The program provides a deeper trust for clients who place their brand investment in the hands of their media agency representatives. This credential is also for marketers looking to showcase their understanding of the digital ecosystem to peers and employers.

The IAB Digital Media Buying & Planning Certification was created for media and marketing professionals of all career levels across media buying, media planning, strategy and analytics. This includes coordinators, managers, directors and executives.

Need some help preparing for the exam? IAB Canada now offers a full-day course on Digital Media Buying and Planning!

Get Started


How Does it Work?

IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification raises your professional stature by demonstrating your knowledge of the most important concepts, guidelines and best practices in digital media planning strategy allowing you to serve you clients’ needs to the best of your ability.

The program requires that you meet the professional standards set by the leaders in the digital advertising industry by taking an administered exam and then maintaining your credentials through re-certification.

Getting Started

  1. 1. Review the eligibility requirements to ensure you will be approved to write the exam
  2. 2. Email IAB Canada at to obtain a discount code to reduce your exam fee
  3. 3. Register for an account with IAB (or login if you already have an account). This will be a separate login than the one you have for the IAB Canada website
  4. 4. Start the 15-minute application process. You will enter the provided code and pay for your exam at the end of the application.
  5. 5. If you are eligible, we’ll email you within 3-5 business days, with an approval of your application and instructions to on how to schedule your exam.
  6. 6. Schedule your exam with Pearson VUE. Look up a local testing center here.
  7. 7. Study! You can review the study guides here or sign up for our in-person prep course.

Who is Eligible?

There are no eligibility requirements for certification for those looking to write the exam.

If you have any questions please contact us at

How do you get certified? - the process

1) Contact IAB Canada – Before you start your application you must contact IAB Canada to pay for your exam. Paying with IAB Canada will reduce the exam fee from US dollars to Canadian (i.e. instead of paying $500 USD you would pay $500 CDN).

2) Apply on the IAB US Website – To apply for the exam you will first need to set up an account (if you don’t already have one) with the IAB US website. Please note these are not the same as your logins for IAB Canada website.

The online application form will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and you will be required to include details of your past experience so please have these ready. At the end of the application process there will be a payment page, here you will enter discount code which will reduce your fee to $0 since you would have already paid. (contact IAB Canada to obtain a code).

3) Application Approval – Once you have been approved (this can take up to 15 days), you will receive an email confirming your approval with details on how to schedule the exam at one of your local test centres. Please note you cannot schedule the exam until you receive this email and your unique candidate ID. For any questions on the application process from Canada, please don’t hesitate contact us

4) Schedule your Exam – The certification exams are available during quarterly test windows; however, the application can be submitted at any time. The exam can be taken at the many Pearson test centres throughout Canada. You can find your nearest test centre here.

5) Study! – Review for the exam with the IAB Study Guide (Click on Study Resources) and Practice Exam (approved applicants only). You may also be interested in attending one of our Digital Media Buying and Planning in-person training courses which covers all of the topics that appear in the exam.

6) Taking the exam – The 2-hour computer-based exam is offered in a controlled test centre (Pearson VUE) with various locations in major cities throughout Canada. You will be given a pass/no pass mark immediate at the centre with the certification mailed to you a few weeks after.

Dates & Locations

Once your application has been approved, you can book a date and time that is convenient for you during one of the testing windows. Most of the Pearson testing centres have good availability options. Applications can be submitted at any time, however please note that it may take up to 15 days to be approved so please start the application process well in advance of the test window you are looking to attend.

Taking the Exam

The 2-hour computer-based exam is offered in a controlled test centre (Pearson VUE). When you arrive at the testing facility you will need to provide two (2) IDs that match your application name.

The exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions covering six (6) basic areas:

  • Collaborating on Campaign Briefs
  • Executing Campaigns
  • Managing Campaigns
  • Creating Media Strategies
  • Developing Digital Media Plans
  • Educating Stakeholders

You will be given a pass/no pass mark immediately at the centre with the certification mailed to you a few weeks after.

Exam Costs

IAB Canada is offering its members and Canada-based non-members preferential rates compared to the standard IAB US rates. IAB Members benefit from additional discounts. You can see the pricing below. If you are not yet an IAB Canada member but would like to join, please click here.

IAB Members Non-Members

Exam Fee (includes a $50 non-refundable application fee)
$500 + HST/GST $600 + HST/GST

Retake Fee (if candidate does not pass the first time)
$125 + HST/GST $175 + HST/GST

Cancellation fee (with > 24 hours notice)
$0 (exam fee refunded)

Cancellation fee (with 24 hour notice, i.e. "no show")

*Please note that the Certification fees are in Canadian dollars. Please contact us to retake any of the exams.

*Group rates are available, contact us for more information

Verifying A Certification

The Certification Department of IAB shall release the name and certification status of those who have successfully completed the Digital Certification examinations and who have met all certification requirements upon request. Please email Certification Department of IAB at with the candidate’s full name, company and title.


The IAB Digital Ad Operations Certificate expires after two years. To maintain your certification, all candidates must first demonstrate continued work in Digital Ad Operations, as defined as a minimum of 12 months total employment out of the previous 24 months in addition to one of the below options.

1) Accumulate 24 continuing education credits via conferences, learning sessions, webinars, training, etc. It’s easy to earn credits. Credits must be related to the competency requirements of the Digital Ad Operations certification examination. See what qualifies.


2) Retake the exam. You should apply at least three months before their certification is due to expire in order to have sufficient time to schedule and take the exam in a test window.

To apply for re-certification please contact IAB at