CPSA Certification FAQ’s

Who should apply to become a CPSA?

The CPSA exam is open to anyone. As the exam is focused on privacy and data security law, lawyers will be in the best position to take the exam as they already have background in various legal terms and concepts. However, with the proper course of study, the exam can certainly be passed by professionals without training in the law

What is a CPSA?

The Certified Member of the Privacy+Security Academy (CPSA) is a certification awarded by Professors Daniel J. Solove and Paul M. Schwartz. To hold a CPSA, you must pass an exam written by Professors Solove and Schwartz and engage in continuing education about privacy and security law.

What does having a CPSA mean?

The CPSA designates fundamental knowledge in privacy and security law and regulation in the view of Professors Daniel Solove and Paul Schwartz. The certification exam is challenging and requires significant knowledge.

How does a CPSA compare to the IAPP’s CIPP?

The CPSA has some overlap with IAPP’s CIPP in terms of the topics covered, but they are different tests and different ways to demonstrate knowledge of the field.

The body of knowledge and the depth of knowledge about certain issues tested on the CPSA differs substantially from the CIPP. The CPSA is focused on knowledge of privacy law and regulation.

The CPSA need not be an alternative to the CIPP. Professionals who have a CIPP can now further distinguish themselves with a CPSA. The CPSA offers professionals an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of privacy and data security law based on what Professors Solove and Schwartz deem to be essential and important. We encourage professionals to take both the CIPP and CPSA exams.

How do I renew my CPSA certification?

  1. Submit an application for renewal with your current contact information.
  2. Submit 10 credits of continuing education (CE) in privacy and security law.
  3. Pay the annual certification renewal fee of $99.

How long is the exam and how many questions does it contain?

The CPSA exam is a 2.5 hour exam with 80 multiple choice questions.

How do I take the CPSA exam?

The CPSA Exam is a computer-based exam that is administered online. It can be taken at any time.

Do you offer a practice exam?

Yes. We offer a practice exam that contains 40 questions.

Can I review question that I answered incorrectly?

Unfortunately we cannot give access to questions scores after the exam to protect the integrity of the exam.

What is the continuing education (CE) requirement?

You need 10 CE credits each year to maintain your CPSA.

How can I obtain CE credits?

CPSE credits may be obtained by attending PSA courses, events, or programs as well as those of other organizations. We maintain a list of pre-approved CPSE events on our website. Non-pre-approved CE courses, events, or program must be submitted to us for approval of eligibility,

How do I submit my CE credits?

Please submit your CLE credits [here]

If you have earned CE credits from a source that is not pre-approved, you must submit information about the course, event, and we will evaluate and determine the eligibility.

How much time does it take to study for the CPSA exam?

We strongly recommend devoting sufficient time to prepare for the CPSA. The CPSA exam is a challenging exam. Even experienced privacy professionals should spend time preparing, as the exam tests on a wide array of laws and covers details about these laws rather than merely broad basic information.

Where can I learn about the topics of the exam?

We recommend reviewing the topic outline in the handbook and finding out information about these topics.

What materials should I use to prepare for the exam?

The following books and courses will be useful to prepare for the CPSA exam.

  1. Daniel J. Solove & Paul M. Schwartz, Information Privacy Law (Aspen 7th ed. 2021)

This is the most comprehensive resource (about 1300 pages) to use to study for the exam, but some of the shorter resources below will be quite effective in lieu of this large textbook.

  1. Daniel J. Solove & Paul M. Schwartz, Privacy Law Fundamentals (IAPP 5th ed. 2019)

This short guide to privacy law covers most of the material on the exam.

  1. Online Information Privacy Law Course Series

A series of 1-hour courses taught by Professors Solove and Schwartz. In preparation of the exam, you can take Professor Solove and Schwartz’s online course series available at the PSA website. These courses will contain a lot of the material on the exam, but not all of it.

  1. Practice Exam

We offer an online practice exam containing 40 sample questions that you can purchase and take in the same manner as you would take the actual CPSA exam.

Where can I download the handbook?

Please download the CPSA handbook.

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