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Fees for Certification and Renewals

ISM provides the International Advancement Certification Program as part of its larger service to private-independent schools. The peer evaluation of portfolios is a volunteer activity carried out by Advancement Professionals in the field. They are not compensated.

As such, there is only an administrative charge to cover the cost of the Registrar and associated actions. Payment can be made either by the individual or by the school on behalf of the individual. At the Professional Level, ISM offers the certification at no cost.

Certification level Application fee Renewal fee
Professional No fee Not renewable
Senior $350 $250
Leader $450 $350

Note: Application and payment of fees is not a guarantee of certification. If ISM, at its sole discretion, does not provide certification to an individual, there will be no refund of fees. A new application will require fee payment again.


Given the emphasis on continuous professional development and to ensure that advancement needs are met in a changing environment, ISM certification requires that Advancement Professionals demonstrate that they are staying in touch with developments in the field on a regular basis. Accordingly, certification is valid for a fixed period (five years) before requiring renewal.

Renewing your certificate assures both you and your school that you are connecting meaningfully with your peers, continuing to upgrade your skills and knowledge, and demonstrating competence at your school.

There is no renewal for the Professional Level. This level is designed to ensure that newcomers to the profession and/or private-independent schools have quickly gained a grounding in the elements of advancement and the context of schools. ISM assumes that you, as an Advancement Professional, will want to progress to higher levels of certification, demonstrating your drive to excel in your profession.

As your career progresses, you may or may not move from Senior to Leader Level. Particularly if you do not report directly to the School Head, you would ordinarily renew at the Senior Level. Renewal is a re-affirmation of the Guiding Principles and a demonstration of your ongoing commitment to growth and renewal. The criteria for renewal are the same as your initial certification.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please email or call Marie Kelly, Manager of International Advancement Certification Program (IACP), at 302-656-4944x152.

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