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Experience Applicable to Certification

Applicants for certification as a Systems Engineering Professional are required to submit evidence of a minimum of five years of systems engineering experience in addition to having a technical Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent. Applicants who have the minimum five years of SE experience but who lack a technical degree may submit an additional five years of engineering experience with a non-technical degree, or an additional ten years of engineering experience in lieu of no degree. (The additional years of engineering experience may, but are not required to, be in systems engineering.) Systems engineering experience to satisfy the minimum requirements for initial certification includes performing systems engineering functions, but does not include time spent in receiving a technical education or teaching full time.

Systems engineering functions include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Requirements Engineering: analyze customer and stakeholder needs, generate/develop requirements, perform functional analyses, derive requirements, ensure requirements quality, allocate requirements, control requirements, maintain requirements database, develop and implement Requirements Management Plans, develop measures of effectiveness and performance
  2. Risk and Opportunity Management: develop and implement Risk and Opportunity Management Plans, identify risk issues and opportunities, assess risk issues and opportunities, prioritize risks and opportunities, develop and implement risk mitigation and opportunity achievement plans, track risk reduction and opportunity achievement activities
  3. Baseline Control: develop and implement Configuration Management Plans, establish and update baselines for requirements and evolving configurations/products, establish and implement change control processes, maintain traceability of configurations, participate in Configuration Control Boards, participate in configuration item identification and status accounting, participate in functional and physical configuration audits
  4. Technical Planning: identify program objectives and technical development strategy; prepare Systems Engineering Management Plans, Product Breakdown Structures, program Work Breakdown Structures, Integrated Master Plans, and Integrated Master Schedules; identify program metrics including product technical performance measures and key performance parameters, identify program resource needs in terms of equipment, facilities, and personnel capabilities
  5. Technical Effort Assessment: collect, analyze, track, and report program metrics including product technical performance measures and key performance parameters; conduct audits and reviews; assess process and tool usage compliance; conduct capability assessments; recommend and implement process and product improvements
  6. Architecture/Design Development: identify baseline and alternate candidate concepts and architectures, prepare Trade Study Plans, conduct and document trade studies, evaluate and optimize candidate concepts and architectures, prepare system/solution description documents
  7. Qualification, Verification, and Validation: develop and implement Qualification, Verification, and Validation Plans; develop verification requirements and pass/fail criteria; conduct and record results of qualification, verification, and validation efforts, and corrective actions; prepare requirements verification matrix and qualification certificates
  8. Process Definition: define enterprise processes and best practices, tailor enterprise processes for program/project applications
  9. Tool Support: specify requirements for, evaluate, select, acquire, and install SE computer programs/tools
  10. Training: develop and implement Training Plans, develop and give training courses on processes and tools
  11. Systems Integration: define technical integration strategy, develop Integration Plans, develop integration test scripts, develop and implement integration test scenarios, conduct and document integration tests, track integration test results and retest status
  12. Quality Assurance: develop and implement a Quality Assurance Plan, perform quality audits, report quality audits, define and track quality corrective actions
  13. Specialty Engineering: develop and implement Specialty Plans as part of, or an addendum to, the Systems Engineering Management Plan to cover such specialties as reliability, maintainability, supportability, survivability, logistics support, security, safety, electromagnetic environmental effects, environmental engineering, packaging and handling, etc.
  14. Other: describe other functions that you have performed and can justify as system engineering activities

Certification at the foundation level will indicate that the individual has a balance between the depth and breadth of systems engineering experience in performing some, but not all, systems engineering functions. The following table provides guidelines on what constitutes balanced SE experience considering the 14 systems engineering functional areas listed above. The acceptability of experience distributions outside the above guidelines is subject to the decision of the Certification Program Office. When describing your systems engineering experience, please link it to the 14 areas defined above.


Distribution of Experience in SE Functional Areas

Maximum Depth

Maximum Width


Amount of Experience Required


5 years with Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in technical field

3 years in any 1 area and 2 years in other areas

1 year in each of 3 areas and 2 years in other areas

Any combination between maximum depth and maximum width

Certification Program Detail
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Content Owner: SE Certification Advisory Group (SECAG) | Last Updated: 11 Aug 2005
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