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Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals records

Identifier: CBI 116

Scope and Content Note

The activities of the ICCP fell into three categories:

  1. 1. evaluation of and applicant response to the certification process including the examination structure and content
  2. 2. promotion of certification
  3. 3. administration of the organization.

As the impetus for the creation of ICCP was to form an independent professional organization to oversee the certification of data processing professionals, Certification materials contains records highlighting the development of the certification process. This process originated with DPMA's Certificate in Data Processing Advisory Council and continued through ICCP's Certification Council and other councils and committees that were created as the certification process grew to include additional certifications. While the Certification Council continued to guide certification after ICCP assumed control of the process, ICCP broke from the tradition of internally developed examinations administered by DPMA and evaluated by the San Diego State College Test Office. ICCP employed professional testing organizations to prepare, administer, and evaluate the certification examinations. The series contains correspondence and reports from the testing organizations. This series also includes general and certificate-specific information and correspondence from applicants related to the certification process, e.g. complaints about the examination.

ICCP would have been a short-lived venture without promotion and publicity to generate a continuous applicant pool. Promotion and Publicity materials reflects how ICCP promoted certification through its presence at national and regional information processing conferences, presentations to information processing professional groups on certification, and press releases on certification and successful applicants as well as print advertising in trade journals and direct mail advertising about the examinations. Other items include records of the Association of the ICCP (AICCP) and the ICCP Education Foundation. Both organizations worked with the ICCP to publicize the value of certification.

Administration materials contains records related to the daily operations of ICCP headquarters and the development of ICCP from the Computer Foundation Organizing Committee as well as oversight and guidance of ICCP activities through the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.


  • 1960-1993


Language of Materials


Use of Materials:

Access is unrestricted to records ten years or older.


The Charles Babbage Institute holds the copyright to all materials in the collection, except for items covered by a prior copyright (such as published materials). Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Historical Note

The Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals (ICCP) was founded in September 1973 by 8 professional computer societies to promote certification and professionalism in the industry. The founding societies were:

  1. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  2. Association of Computer Programmers and Analysts (ACPA)
  3. Association for Educational Data Systems (AEDS)
  4. Automation One Association (A1A)
  5. Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)
  6. Data Processing Management Association (DPMA)
  7. Computer Society of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE-CS)
  8. Society of Certified Data Processors

The certification programs began in 1960 with discussions that led to the development of the Certified Data Processor (CDP) examination by the Data Processing Management Association (DPMA). The first CDP examination was given in 1962 at New York University. In 1970, DPMA introduced the Registered Business Programmer (RBP) examination. Although the concept of a "Computer Foundation," representing various aspects of the data processing industry and engaged solely in the formulation and administration of certification programs had been discussed within DPMA for some time, DPMA took a concrete step in that direction in 1972 when it formed a five-member Certification and Testing Advisory Committee consisting of distinguished EDP practitioners including representatives of other professional associations. Deliberations of this committee led to a recommendation in the fall of 1972 for the formation of a Computer Foundation whose main purpose would be implementation of long-range objectives of professional certification programs. This foundation concept was approved by the ACM Council and DPMA International Board of Directors. Subsequently, the Computer Foundation Organizing Committee was formed and co-chaired by John K. Swearingen of DPMA and Fred H. Harris of ACM. The name "Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals" was adopted and the organization was incorporated. On 15 March 1974, DPMA and ICCP signed an agreement that transferred all rights and interest in the CDP and RBP examination programs from DPMA to ICCP.

With the establishment of ICCP, the program was transferred to the Institute with the intent that certification in general and the CDP in particular would be better supported and more widely received under the auspices of an industry-wide organization. As the industry expanded and more specialized areas emerged, ICCP introduced new examinations to reflect the specialized areas. In 1977, ICCP first offered the Certified Computer Programmer (CCP) examination. The CCP was developed by DPMA as the Registered Business Programmer (RBP) examination. The Certified Systems Professional (CSP) program, developed by the Association of Systems Management (ASM), was transferred to ICCP in 1985.

In 1993, the ICCP included 11 constituent societies and 6 affiliate societies.


11 boxes (11 cubic feet)


Contains information relating to the Certificate in Data Processing (CDP), the Certificate in Computer Processing (CCP), the Registered Business Programmer (RBP), and the Certified Systems Professional (CSP) programs including minutes of certification council meetings (includes those meetings held under the auspices of DPMA before 1973), correspondence about and evaluations of certification examinations, and advertising and press releases, as well as correspondence, memoranda and reports related to ICCP administration. Also included in the collection are minutes, reports, newsletters and a survey of members of the Association of the ICCP (the official organization of certificate holders); minutes, correspondence, and surveys from the ICCP Education Foundation; and minutes and correspondence of the Computer Foundation Organizing Committee (the ad hoc predecessor organization to ICCP).

Arrangement of Collection

The materials in this collection are arranged into the following groups:

  1. Certification
  2. Promotion and Publicity
  3. Administration


Donated by the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals (ICCP) in 1995.

Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals Records, 1960-1993. Finding Aid.
Prepared by Kevin D. Corbitt, September 1995.
September 1995
Language of description
Script of description
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455