IAOP Certification

“Being a COP to me I think helps others to have more confidence in what I do and bring to the relationship. It says I care enough to study and keep up on my industry as Its changing so I can bring the most current knowledge and best practices to my clients.” ~Jean Hansen, COP, Firstsource Solutions






For the Individual

  • You’ll be instantly recognized for your high standards and Qualifications.
  • Certification is a mark of excellence. It demonstrates that the certified Individual has the knowledge and skill-set to improve outcomes.
  • Certification is an investment in your career and provides increased earning potential.
  • By becoming certified, you are saying to your employer that you have met standards that have been established and verified by a third party organization and are dedicated to maintaining excellence in your work.
  • You’ll have portable certification for ease when relocating or changing jobs.

For Your Employees

  • They will be armed with the skillset to not only deliver better, more consistent outsourcing results but also eliminate costly mistakes.
  • Competitive advantage. If your team is COP certified but your competitor is not, then you already have the upper hand.
  • Common language. Clear communication is a key to success. Your employees need to understand terminology and concepts to properly communicate internally and with partners and clients.
  • On the job professional development leads to a more skilled workforce and better employee retention and morale. Empowering employees will reduce turnover rates.
  • Be one of the greats. The top companies out there make sure professional development is a top priority.



Our industry today is increasingly shaped by complex multi-sourced environments and disruptive technologies such as social, mobile, analytics, the cloud (SMAC) and robotics process automation (RPA).  Professionals are increasingly working across and supporting a wide range of operational models from procurement to vendor management to shared services and global business services. IAOP's training, certification and designation programs are the de facto standard for individuals and organizations looking to improve the outcomes in their collaborative partnerships.

Associate Certified Outsourcing Professional (aCOP)   

The aCOP Certification is a knowledge-based certification which means the COP Master Class and passing the COP Exam is mandatory. This is the ideal certification for those who are new to working in collaborative business models and have not built up their project experience OR can serve as a great stepping stone on the way to COP Certification for those who have taken the course and are working at inputting their experience into the application. 

Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP) 

IAOP's de facto certification is experience- and knowledge-based, meaning the ideal candidate will have enough project experience to map their experience to the 10 standards of the OPBOK, as well the knowledge to be able to pass the COP Exam. The COP Master Class is not mandatory but highly recommended as it is a great preparation for the COP Exam.

Tip: There is one application for both the aCOP and COP Certifications – so get your aCOP and work towards your COP all in one easy application!



  Read the Guide to Becoming a COP

  Make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements (if not, go for your aCOP!)

  Take the COP Master Class (optional for COP, required for aCOP)

  Start your application 

  Document your Knowledge & Experience

  Study the OPBOK® (twice)

  Take and pass the exam

  Recertify! Earn 100 CEHs every 5 years to maintain certification




The COP and aCOP designations distinguish individuals working in collaborative partnerships as leaders. It powerfully demonstrates that they possess the experience and knowledge required to design, implement, and manage initiatives that have a high probability of achieving an organization’s intended outcomes.  The process of becoming a Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP) requires completion of the easy-to-follow online application.  COP candidates may download the Application Guide which gives you step-by-step instructions on completing the COP online application and exam. 

For detailed information and to purchase your COP application go here and complete all required information.  If you are not already a member of IAOP you will be prompted to create an Associate (free) membership in order to capture your required information. Once you open your COP application you can access it by going to you’re my IAOP under the IAOP website. Once your application is open you will have access to:

  • Your exam login information and access to the exam
  • Exam study guide
  • Soft copy of the OPBOK (Outsourcing Professional Body of Knowledge)
  • All required sections of the application for both aCOP and COP Certifications



The COP  Exam tests an individual’s knowledge of outsourcing business management practices in accordance with the OPBOK and the 49 Outsourcing Professional Standards developed by the IAOP Outsourcing Standards Board. These online exam questions are drawn from the Outsourcing Professional Body of Knowledge (OPBOK) and measure an individual’s knowledge of all 10 standards categories as reflected in the Outsourcing Professional Body of Knowledge (OPBOK).  The exam is verification of an individual’s knowledge of outsourcing practices, processes, techniques, and guidelines and required for COP certification.

  • Have OPBOK handy for reference – this is an open book exam!
  • Secure a quiet place with a strong internet connection for the 4.5 allotted hours
  • Answer at least 140 of 200 multiple choice correct
  • Pass and send IAOP completion certificate

To take the exam, you must first start an application (link above) and exam instructions will be emailed to you.  





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