Become a CIAO


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

All courses are 15 hours in length and cover two days (7.5 hours each day) in the classroom, with an exam given the morning of day three. The core required courses are offered individually at various conferences throughout the state, or in a month long series during our Chicago Qualifying Series and Normal Qualifying Series.

You can choose two paths to qualify for the Certified Illinois Assessing Officer designation: the Standard Option and the Certified Appraiser Option.

Standard Option  

Core Required Courses (must complete all four):
-Introduction to Assessment in Illinois, IPAI course, 15 hours           (Previously Basic Assessment Practices)
-Property Valuation, IPAI course, 15 hours                                
-The Basics of Mass Appraisal, IPAI course, 15 hours                        (Previously Introduction to Mass Appraisal Techniques) 
-Ethics for Illinois Assessment Professionals, IPAI course, 15 hours 

Elective Courses (choose two):    

-Office Management, IPAI course, 15 hours  
-Communication for the Assessment Professionals, IPAI course, 15 hours
-Practical Math for Assessment Officials, IPAI course, 15 hours

-Introduction to Property Tax, IDOR, 15 hours  
-Introduction to Residential Assessment Practice, IDOR, 15 hours  
-Introduction to Commercial Assessment Practice, IDOR, 15 hours
-Introduction to Sales Ratio Studies, IDOR, 15 hours
-Introduction to Farmland Assessments, IDOR, 15 hours   
-Introduction to Mapping for Assessors, IDOR, 15 hours

Note: Each course is two days with the exam taken the morning of the third day. If a student cannot take an exam on the third day of class, they must schedule to take it at a later date at the IPAI office or at conference location.

Certified Appraiser Option

This option is currently on hold until the second half 2019. Please check back later.

Required Courses:

-Introduction to Assessment in Illinois, IPAI course, 15 hours           (Previously Basic Assessment Practices) 
-CIAO,Certified Appraiser Home Study, IPAI & IDOR Home Study

Additional Requirement: You must possess an Illinois Certified Real Estate Appraiser License in good standing.

Applying for your CIAO

Beginning in 2018, IPAI policy requires that students working towards their CIAO must complete all coursework and receive their CIAO in four years. All students who began CIAO Qualifying coursework prior to 2018 will have four years to complete the CIAO Qualifying series requirements beginning January 1, 2018. This means that these students will have until December 31, 2021 to get their CIAO.

Once you have completed the necessary courses, complete the CIAO application form and turn in to the IPAI office. Designations are dated the year in which you complete your final course. You need to begin taking courses for designation maintenance in the first full cycle after you are awarded your CIAO. For example, if your CIAO is dated June 1, 2017, your designation maintenance cycle begins January 1, 2019. 

CIAO Application Form
(Adobe PDF File)