In total, 1,113 students sat the exam, up 15.8 per cent year on year, from 135 member agencies.
Of the 1,079 who passed the exam, 412 received distinctions (up 343.0 per cent from last year), 524 passed with credit (down 40.3 per cent) and 143 were passes (up 93.2 per cent). The number who passed the exam increased by 12.7 per cent.
The qualification is aimed at graduates and practitioners with up to one year’s agency experience. It involves completing an online course and a two hour exam.
Patrick Mills, the director of professional development at the IPA, said: "This year saw a record number of candidates sit the exam and we awarded more distinctions this year than ever before. This provides real evidence that advertising has come of age as a profession."
Agencies whose staff received the most distinctions included Starcom MediaVest Group with 27, ZenithOptimedia with 23, Mindshare with 17 and Grey London with 15. The Dentsu Aegis Network group, which includes agencies such as Carat and Mcgarrybowen, got 29 distinctions combined.
Although for those agencies that entered at least ten students, M&C Saatchi and McCann London got the highest proportion of distinctions at 63.6 per cent and JWT came in third with 52.2 per cent getting distinctions. And 50.0 per cent of Grey London and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's students were awarded a distinction.
Tom Knox, the new president of the IPA, is going to push for the body to achieve chartered status to demonstrate the industry has a professional commitment to raising standards of knowledge, capability and ethical practice.