The Certified Illinois Assessing Officer (CIAO) designation is the premier designation for property assessment professionals in Illinois. The CIAO designation not only instills industry best practices but shows an understanding of the laws and statutes governing property assessment within the state of Illinois.


Obtaining a CIAO is done in four steps:


To become a CIAO, the IPAI offers two paths: CIAO Standard Option (99% will use this) and CIAO Certified Appraiser Option (for licensed Illinois residential and commercial appraisers).


CIAO Standard Option

To obtain a CIAO with the "standard option," you must take six courses (four core courses and two electives). Each of the six courses are 15 hours in length in the classroom or online, with an exam. A complete list of required core courses and electives can be found in "Step 3: Take the Required Courses."

The four core courses are offered back-toback in a month-long series at our in-person Spring Qualifying Series (in Bloomington/Normal) or online during one of our Virtual Qualifying Series held via Zoom (typically in the winter, summer, and fall).

Electives are offered in-person at various times throughout the year and through home study.


CIAO Certified Appraiser Option

The IPAI offers this expedited path exclusively for those possessing an Illinois “Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser” or “Certified General Real Estate Appraiser” license in good standing.  (Associate Real Estate Trainee Appraiser does not qualify). Please note you are required to provide a copy of your license in good standing as part of the application process.

CIAO Candidates using the Certified Appraiser Option must take two of the "core" courses, "Introduction to Assessment in Illinois" and "Basics of Mass Appraisal" as well as pass a comprehensive exam made up of questions from other CIAO Candidate core and elective courses. More information can be found in "Step 3: Take the Required Courses."



Go to Step 1

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