Digital Sales Media Certification Eligibility

Candidates are eligible to take the Digital Media Sales Certification exam if they meet any of the following four criteria below.

During the certification application process, eligible candidates will also be required to submit a signed Code of Ethics that all certified individuals must abide by and uphold.

Option 1:

Two (2)-years of work experience in Digital Media Sales.
Digital Media Sales is defined as the selling of digital media inventory. It can also include the selling of services that enable agencies and marketers to optimize the planning and buying of digital audiences.

Option 2:

One (1)-year of work experience in Digital Media Sales- or –
Two (2)-years of work experience in Digital Media Non-Sales

– and –
A minimum of 15* hours of continuing education or professional training in digital media.

Option 3:

Two (2)-years of work experience in Traditional Media Sales

– or –
Five (5)-years years of work experience in General Non-Media Sales – and –
A minimum of 30 hours* of continuing education in digital media from an institute of higher education or professional training program

Option 4:

Undergraduate or Graduate Degree in Digital Marketing (or Digital Advertising or Integrated Marketing Communications, with a significant number of classes in digital advertising/marketing) from an institute of higher education, plus one year work experience in General Sales or Media.
Digital Media, as defined by Wikipedia, is any media encoded in a machine-readable format. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified and preserved on computers. Computer programs and software; digital video; web pages and websites, including social media; data and databases; digital audio, such as mp3s; and e-books are examples of digital media. Digital media are frequently contrasted with print media, such as printed books, newspapers and magazines, and other traditional or analog media, such as film or audio tape. *Note: 50 minutes equals one hour of continuing education/training



1. Why do I need Certification?

Advertising buyers and agencies told us that they wanted an industry benchmark for digital sales professionals, to ensure a deeper level of trust in the process of creating digital media packages.

The Digital Media Sales Certification was created to fulfill this demand. It provides a standard for advertising salespeople to demonstrate their general knowledge and commitment towards their trade and provides a higher credibility for buyers. Candidates achieve credentials, knowledge, and confidence in how they do their job. Certification enhances their marketability in the industry.

2. Who can become certified?

The exam is designed for media and sales professionals with at least 2-5 years of relevant experience. See eligibility requirements here.

Digital Media Salespeople
Traditional Media Salespeople
Other Digital Advertising Professionals
3. What is the difference between ‘Certification’ and a ‘Certificate’?

This is the first industry-led, professional certification program for the digital media industry. While many training companies say they offer ‘Certification’, they often really mean a ‘Certificate’. ‘Certification’ is different than ‘Certificate’ programs in the following ways:

  • Certification
  • Certificate
  • Results from an assessment process
  • Results from an educational process
  • Awarded by a standard-setting organization
  • Awarded by institutions
  • Indicates mastery/competency as measured against a set of standards by an exam
  • Indicates completion of a course or series of courses other than a degree program
  • Standards set through industry-wide process (job analysis/task analysis) that results in an outline of required knowledge and skills
  • Course content set by trainers
  • Has on-going requirements in order to maintain; holder must demonstrate he/she continues to meet requirements

Is the end result; demonstrates knowledge of course content at the end of a set period in time

4. How do I apply for Certification?

Start your application here. If you meet our eligibility requirements, your application will be approved in 2-3 business days and you will receive a notification from [email protected] authorizing you to schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.

5. How much does it cost?
IAB Members: $500
Non-Members: $600
Exam Fee Effective January 1, 2015 (includes a $50 non-refundable application fee)

Retake Fee (if candidate does not pass the first time)
IAB Members: $125
IAB Non-Members: $175
Cancellation fee
(with > 24 hours n
Additional Certificates
$25.00 each
If you are interested in corporate rates for sales teams please email [email protected] with:

Your name and title
Company name
Number of sales people to be certified

6. What will be on the exam?

The two-hour exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions covering four basic areas:

Comprehending the Digital Advertising Ecosystem
Selling Digital Media
Managing Digital Advertising Campaigns
Analyzing Campaign Performances
We recommend you download our Study Guide and Candidate Handbook for more information here. Once your application is approved you can download a Practice Exam with a full answer key.

7. How do I schedule my exam?

The certification exam is offered at Pearson VUE testing centers throughout the United States and select global sites. The exam is offered on a quarterly basis; registration is open year-around. Find a Pearson VUE testing center near you.

Once your application is approved, you will have up to six months (two testing windows) to schedule and take your exam. All scheduling needs, including rescheduling or cancellation, are completed with Pearson VUE via phone or online.

We recommend scheduling your exam as soon as possible to assure the best selection of testing locations and times.

2015 Testing Window
February 1, 2015
February 28, 2015
May 1, 2015
May 31, 2015
August 1, 2015
August 31, 2015
November 1, 2015
November 30, 2015
American with Disabilities (ADA) Accommodations:

IAB complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). To request special testing accommodations, please submit the ADA Accommodations Request Form along with supporting documentation to [email protected]

8. How can I prepare for the exam?

Preparation Materials
We recommend you download the Study Guide, Candidate Handbook and Exam Blueprint here. A 25-question Practice Test is available to all candidates after their application has been approved, and will be included in your acceptance email.
In most cases training is not a pre-requisite for taking the Certification exam. However many candidates have found that a class helps them prepare. We have gathered list of professional trainers here if you are interested.
9. When do I get my exam results?

Exam results are given immediately at the testing site along with a brief diagnostic report on each of the four exam categories, which can be printed for you at the testing site. The Commission on Certification will send you an official notification of pass/fail status by email within four weeks after the testing window closes.

10. How long is my Certification valid?

Once you pass the exam, your certification will be valid for two years. A specific amount of continuing education and/or training is required to recertify. See Recertification Guidelines for more information. For questions, email [email protected]

11. How was the Certification developed?

IAB developed the program in partnership with Professional Testing Inc., a leader in certification program development in a number of industries and professions. Many IAB member companies also participated in developing the certification:


BBC Worldwide
Break Media
Buzz Media
CBS Interactive
CNN Money
Comcast Spotlight
Condé Nast Media Group
Disney Interactive Media Group
Everyday Health
Gannett Company Inc.
Goodway Group
Hearst Digital Media
Liberty Advertising
Live Intent
NBC Universal
Real Media Group
The 614 Group
Time Inc.
Tremor Video
Triad Retail Media
Undertone Networks
Univision Media Networks
Viacom Media Networks
12. How is the Certification administered?

The IAB Digital Media Sales Certification is governed and administered by the Commission on Certification. The Commission on Certification is responsible for all decisions related to certification. The certification program operates separately from other IAB programs, products and services.

13. How do I contact IAB Certification?

You can email our Certification team at [email protected]

14. How do members of International IABs participate?

IAB works alongside International IABs to offer the Certification program for their members. Please reach out to your local IAB about participation and information on registering.

15. How do I verify that a person is an existing Certificant?

The Certification Department of IAB shall release the name and certification status of certificants who have successfully completed the Digital Certification examinations and who have met all certification requirements, upon request. Please email Certification Department of IAB at [email protected] with the candidates full name, company and title.

16. How do I request a duplicate copy of my Certificate?

Certificants can request a duplicate certificate or request a new certificate due to name change by emailing the Certification Department of IAB at [email protected]

17. How are Certification Decisions made?

The Certification Commission Policies guide all decisions on certification and are disclosed in the IAB Certification Program Policy Manual.  Certification personnel are required to follow the procedures in administering and operating the certification program. See IAB Certification Policies.

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