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How Do I Apply for Certification?

The following table lists the steps you typically go through to apply for certification:



Link or Material


Determine what type of certification you wish to apply for.

You may enter at the ASEP, CSEP, or ESEP level or you can transition from an existing certification to either CSEP or ESEP. 

See Which Certification Level is Right for Me? for additional guidance.


Complete the certification application form.

ASEP/CSEP Application Form
MS Word
ASEP/CSEP Application Instructions

Adobe PDF

ESEP Application Form
MS Word

ESEP Application Instructions
Adobe PDF

Sample Application
Adobe PDF


Pay the application fee - You will have one year to complete the process upon receipt of payment.

How much does certification cost?
Secure Online Payment Form


Email or mail the signed form and copy of transcript/diploma.

Contact: Certification Program Office INCOSE
7670 Opportunity Rd #220
San Diego CA 92111


If CSEP or ESEP contact your references and request they submit forms to .

CSEP Instructions to References
MS Word
CSEP Reference Comments

MS Word

ESEP Instructions to References
MS Word
ESEP Reference Comments


For ASEP or CSEP wait for INCOSE acknowledgement and instructions to take the exam

For ESEP, wait for INCOSE acknowledgement and instructions to support the oral interview.


For ASEP or CSEP prepare for the exam.

NOTE: Verion 4 of the Systems Engineering Handbook will be the basix of the exam starting on 13 July 2015.  Until then, version 3.2.1 or 3.2.2 of the handbook should be used to prepare for the INCOSE CSEP/ASEP exam.

For ASEP and CSEP:
INCOSE SE Handbook



For ASEP and CSEP, schedule and take the appropriate exam(s) at a convenient Prometric test facility. The exam fee is paid directly to Prometric. Note that no materials can be brought with you to the test station. You will be notified of your test status (pass/fail) immediately upon completion of the exam.


For ASEP or CSEP, if necessary, retake the appropriate exam(s) at a Prometric test facility. The re-exam fee is paid directly to Prometric. Note that you are allowed at most two re-examinations over the one year application period.


INCOSE will mail you your certification credentials if the above steps are successfully completed within one year of application submittal.


If not approved, consider appealing the INCOSE decision.

To appeal for reconsideration


Leverage your certification for the benefit of yourself, your organization, and the systems engineering community. Begin your professional development for renewal.

Renewal Information


Resources for SEPs

REMEMBER, you only have one (1) year to complete all the steps, starting from the date you submit your payment.

The certification examination is administered by an independent test organization. Information on how to schedule an examination is sent to an applicant after the application package and payment have been received by the INCOSE Certification Program Office.

You will have the opportunity to take the exam at any one of the designated Prometric locations in nearly 100 countries. You will make an appointment to take the exam at a time convenient to you. There are no prescheduled group examinations at events such as the International Symposium or International Workshop. To see if a testing center near you has already been already been authorized to administer the CSEP exam, visit: To request that a new testing site be activated, please contact the Certification Office.

The ASEP/CSEP examination is two hours long. It consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. Typically, each question will have about five possible answers of which multiple choices are correct. All correct answers to a question must be selected to receive credit for a successful response; no credit is given for a partially correct answer to a question.

Note that the application fee is non-refundable, even if you do not pass the examination. Even if you pass the examination, you are not certified by INCOSE until you complete the entire application process.

The INCOSE Certification knowledge exam will transition on 13 July 2015.  From that date forward, the exam will be based on SE Handbook version 4.  This date has been selected to follow the release of the INCOSE SE Handbook version 4.  The exact date of release for the handbook is not yet finalized due to external dependencies, but it is currently projected to be in March or April 2015.


There will no longer be an exam blackout for INCOSE Certification candidates between 16 April 2015 and 30 April 2015.  Instead, there will be an exam blackout from 1 July 2015 through 12 July 2015. During that time period, INCOSE and its testing provider will be updating candidate records to re-assign them to the new exam.  Only individuals whose testing eligibility period ends during the blackout period will be allowed to take the exam during that blackout period. 


In addition to the exam blackout period, INCOSE’s Certification Program Office will be processing certification applications as follows:

·       Applications received during June 2015 will be given an eligibility ID starting on 13 July 2015 and expiring on 12 July 2016. This is the standard duration but with a deferred start time to avoid the blackout window.

·       Applications received during July 2015 will be processed during August 2015.  They will be assigned eligibility IDs no later than 15 August 2015, with the standard one year duration to the eligibility window.

·       Applicants whose exam eligibility expires in July or August 2015 will be contacted in Spring 2015 about their options.

·       Few exceptions will be allowed, all requiring coordination with the Certification Program Office prior to 30 June 2015.


The Certification Program Office can be reached at or through the main INCOSE phone line.

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Content Owner: Communications Committee | Last Updated: 16 Mar 2006
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