IPA Foundation Certificate (formerly the European Advertising Certificate)

The IPA Foundation Certificate, formerly the European Advertising Certificate, is an online foundation course offered by the IPA in association with the EACA. This course aims to enhance the knowledge of young professionals in the commercial communications industry. Successful participants will be rewarded with this certificate.

Written for the industry, by the industry, using live webinars, online forums, expert videos and podcasts, this is the definitive programme for newcomers who are ambitious to move to the next level. It’s a super-concentrated opportunity to gain an overview of the whole industry with just 30 hours of flexible online learning.


Key dates:

  • 27 January 2020: The online learning platform will be launched.
  • 10 March 2020: Bookings close.
  • 27 April 2020: Online Exam.
  • TBD: Announcement of results.

In a nutshell

Learn about the certificate in this two-page guide you can download

Click here to access the guide


EACA members: €450 (+VAT as appropriate)

Non-members: €700 (+VAT as appropriate)

Am I an EACA member?

Exam guidelines

The exam will take place on 27 April 2020 across Europe

Advices for New Starters in the Industry


Read all FAQs here

Contact inspire@eaca.eu for any questions or concerns

The Foundation Certificate in a nutshell

Who is this qualificiation for?

Individuals based outside of the UK with less than a year's experience in an advertising, marketing or communications role. From recent graduates in their first year to young professionals just starting out or people entering the industry from another profession.

What are the benefits?

  • Instead of taking years to gain an essential overview of all areas of advertising – this course will take you on a journey through the entire brand communication process in just 30 hours.
  • Gain an appreciation of the creative process, from fostering creativity in your everyday environment to understanding the invaluable role of media.
  • Discover the importance of effectiveness to the industry and the development of theories such as those from Les Binet and Peter Field.
  • Build on your knowledge of the client and agency roles and the marketing tools available to today’s marketers and agencies while understanding how to perform your role with confidence and expertise
  • Join the 12,000 people who have taken the qualification since 2003

How the learning is delivered and assessed:

This qualification is delivered via 30 hours of online learning, delivered in 7 modules which can be accessed and downloaded when it suits you on any device or via the IPA app. Gwyn March is the dedicated tutor for this qualification, available to answer candidate’s queries right up until their exam date.

This qualification is assessed via a formal 2-hour online exam, 3-hours in non-English speaking countries.

Candidates will need to answer five short-form essay questions. The pass grade for the final exam is 50%. Candidates who pass will be awarded a digital certificate of completion and 2 MIPA stars towards personal accreditation.

Online and offline exam dates:

The exam will take place on 27 April 2020. Depending on the country you're taking the exam from, the exam can be organised both online and offline. Closer to date, we'll publish an overview of the exam processes per country.

Read more FAQs here

Cancellation policy

Not exactly what you had in mind or no longer able to take the exam? You can cancel your booking free of charge within 14 days if you have not accessed the material yet. Please contact inspire@eaca.eu with the below cancellation form if you wish to cancel.

MODEL CANCELLATION FORM (Complete and return this form only if you wish to withdraw from the contract in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the Sale of IPA Professional Development Courses)


European Association of Communications Agencies
Avenue Louise 120, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
0032 2 740 18

I hereby give notice that I cancel my contract for the sale of the following IPA professional development course(s): IPA Foundation Certificate, ordered on [insert date that EACA accepted your order],

Name of consumer:

Address of consumer:

Signature of consumer (only if this form is notified on paper),


Click here to download the model cancellation form

Distinction awarded participants in 2018


Ryan Reid, Account Executive at Carat Ireland

I would highly recommend The European Advertising Certificate to anyone new to the world of advertising. The course is easy to follow and engaging and provides you with great theoretical and practical foundations for which you can begin to build a successful career in advertising upon. Not only was it relevant for my own field of media planning but has also given me a great insight into the advertising industry as a whole, where our industry has come from, how it has evolved and where it is potentially going.

Tara Kenaan, Communications Executive at Wavemaker Global, Ireland

I took the EAC exam after being in the industry for less than a year. I’ve learned so much through experience and from my colleagues as an account executive but the EAC exam put many of these learnings into context. It gave me a greater insight into the theories and fundamentals behind media planning and why we do what we do.  The case studies brought these theories to life and gave me a better understanding of implementing these practises and achieving highly effective campaigns

Joanna Mouradian, Client Service Executive at Telia & Pavla BBDO, Cyprus

Being a part of the advertising world for only 6 months, I believe the EAC/IPA Foundation Certificate is the perfect starting tool for a young professional just like myself, and I definitely recommend this program. The learning programme is very user-friendly and offers a variety of learning tools. In my opinion, the web videos and podcasts were the most effective and the fact that I had the opportunity to learn from professionals within the industry was very aspiring. Learning about the future and evolution of our industry was the most fascinating part for me.

Jamie Rowe, Search and Social Account Manager, Ireland

I work on the Search and Social team in PHD but as an agency we pride ourselves on being integrated across all disciplines, so management encourage every team member to have a wider understanding of the media and marketing landscape, which is why I signed up to the course in the first place. Being a specialist can make the areas you *don’t* specialise in a little scary, but the EAC offers an extensive foundation of knowledge across all of the different areas you run into while working in advertising. In an industry that is becoming more and more segmented and specialised, integration and a holistic approach are more important than ever. Having an opinion and perspective on each aspect of advertising and how it relates to your own field is invaluable to clients, no matter what your role is. The EAC to is a fantastic starting point to gaining such an understanding and there is no better place to start building your knowledge and understanding.

Dorien Draps, Account Executive, Kunstmaan, Belgium

Once you’ve left the life as a student behind, it takes a lot of motivation to dive back into your books. It’s even more difficult if you have to combine it with your job. Luckily, taking this course is more than worth it. And thanks to the interactive e-learning tool, the thought of books was far gone. Having a background in the events industry, the advertising world was completely new to me. The course gave me an introduction to the history, the present and the future of agencies and advertising. It also helped me to gain insight in my daily job as an account and offered tips and tricks to better understand my agency colleagues working in other disciplines. I’d recommend it to everyone new in the industry!

Bébhinn O’Byrne, Programmatic Manager, Core, Ireland

The EAC exam is hugely beneficial in bringing all strands of advertising together in one place. As this industry is fast paced and ever changing, I would highly recommend this course as a good base to anyone who is at the beginning of their advertising career. The course itself includes relevant case studies and day-to-day practical examples which are easily applied to one’s own role within the industry. Each module gives you an in-depth view of how the whole business works together. It is a good way keep you up to date with advertising, as there is always something new to learn.

Konstantina Georgouli, Assistant Media Planner, Initiative, Greece

If you are looking to leave your mark and make a difference, grab any chance you get on your way to succeed and make people believe in you. The EAC certificate was definitely  a chance on my way. I’ve learned a lot about all pillars in the Marketing Industry and I had the chance to enhance my academic background around all aspects of my work in advertising and media planning. Whatever happens around you, do your best and make people proud of you.


Anna Lovatt, Account Manager, Carat, Ireland

I would definitely recommend the European Advertising Certificate course to any new starters in the industry. The course content is wide-ranging and  gives a 360 perspective of the industry including the theories and fundamentals that underpin it which is essential for any one setting out on their career in advertising. Being able to access all of the course content on mobile was really beneficial.

Alenna Schneider, Media Associate, Core, Ireland

While I have taken other Marketing courses, I have never taken one quite like the EAC. It is a foundational course that provides an insightful overview of both the theories and practices that underpin our industry. The EAC’s focus on effectiveness has altered how I approach my client work, and the overviews of the different processes that help us function as marketers, no matter what role we take on, has helped me to work, communicate, and collaborate better with my peers.  As marketers, no matter, what aspect of the industry we specialise in, we should never stop learning – and the EAC is a great place to start!

Celebrating success across Europe

BE 2


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Czech Republic

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Watch these videos to get some inspiration!