Certification FAQs

General Information

INCOSE maintains a list of the names, geographic areas (city, state, and country), and certification level of those recognized as Expert Systems Engineering Professionals, Certified Systems Engineering Professionals, and Associate Systems Engineering Professionals. That list is posted monthly on the main Certification page. 
INCOSE members can update their information at any time via their account profile at incose.org. Changes may also be e-mailed to info@incose.org. It is important for all Systems Engineering Professionals and applicants to maintain a current email address with INCOSE in order to receive renewal notices and other information.  

Educational Background 

There is no required training or degree to apply for any level of certification. Many candidates apply for ASEP prior to earning a college degree. Candidates for CSEP and ESEP who have a college degree may submit with fewer years of experience than those candidates without a degree. Candidates with qualifying degrees (generally, four-year or graduate degrees in engineering, math, or science) have the lowest experience requirements for CSEP and ESEP. Qualifying degrees are described in CER-PROC-01 Section 2.2.1.2. 

Certification Process Timing 

You have one year from the time your payment or passing exam result is received initially in the INCOSE Certification Office to complete your certification. If the process is not completed within the one-year time period, the applicant will have to pay another application fee or take and pass the exam again (for ASEP and CSEP). Individuals are limited to 3 attempts at the exam per 12-month period. 

Application

The preferred method is to download the application form from our website, here:www.incose.org/systems-engineering-certification/certification-forms If you cannot download the form, please call or email our office at certification@incose.net and we will walk you through this process. The most common solution is for a user to download the form to their computer, then open Adobe Reader, then open the file from within Reader.  

Business Practices 

Yes, you do need to be an individual, senior, or student INCOSE member to apply for certification as an ASEP, CSEP, or ESEP, and you need to maintain your INCOSE membership for the duration of your certification. CSEPs who applied and were certified in 2015 or earlier do not need to be INCOSE members to maintain their certification. All late renewals require INCOSE individual membership, regardless of the date of initial certification.  
Organizations that have joined INCOSE’s Corporate Advisory Board have a benefit that helps their employees get certified: free access to the electronic version of the INCOSE SE Handbook, the body of knowledge upon which the INCOSE knowledge exam is based. CAB employees must still become individual members of INCOSE before they can apply and become certified.  
INCOSE Certification as a Systems Engineering Professional does not authorize an individual to practice systems engineering. Certification is a confirmation that an individual has demonstrated the requisite knowledge, education, and experience associated with the certification. Only legally empowered government organizations, through licenses, authorize individuals to practice a skill or profession. 
\INCOSE Systems Engineering Professional Certification recognizes the systems engineering capabilities of an individual only. It is not granted to a business. 

Equivalency Programs

INCOSE works with several universities and other certifying bodies to recognize equivalencies or create streamlined paths to INCOSE Certification. Please go to https://www.incose.org/systems-engineering-certification/certification-agreements or email certification@incose.net for more information. 
Individuals holding SE-ZERT Level C and Level B should work with GfSE to request INCOSE Certification. 
Certification equivalency is evaluated by INCOSE’s Certification Program Office in response to a request initiated by the other certification’s sponsoring organization. The sponsoring organization should email certification@incose.net to start a conversation about equivalency. 

Training Courses 

The Certification Program does not endorse or oversee any provider, including products of INCOSE chapters and working groups. The Certification Program does maintain a list of known training providers that can be emailed to you. Please visit Training Providers for the most current list. 
Updates about the Certification Program are posted on the less formal website: http://incose.org/certblog and in the INCOSE Certification groups on LinkedIn. You are also welcome to email the Certification Program Manager at certification@incose.net with specific questions. 

Appeals & Complaints 

You may request a phone call with the INCOSE Certification Program Manager (PM) to discuss shortfalls in your application package. The PM can give you more detail about the denial reasons given in your written denial letter. If you feel the review process was not properly followed, and that what you submitted should have been approved, you should appeal the denial. Complete INCOSE Form 11 from the Certification Forms page and submit it to the Certification Program Office. 
The best way to provide feedback to the Certification Program is through an email to certification@incose.net Include the general or specific details of your suggestion. If you would like to discuss the feedback in greater depth with the Certification Program Manager, include your phone number and several times of day (including time zone) when it would be good to contact you. 
Contact the INCOSE Certification Program office to obtain guidance on filling a complaint of unethical practice by a certified systems engineering professional. Investigation of complaints can sometimes be a lengthy process and may take many months to complete. The Board makes every effort to pursue the matter as soon as possible; however, some cases take longer than others due to the technical nature and circumstances of the complaint. All cases are initially reviewed by the Board to decide if additional information is needed. Then the person against whom the allegation is made is interviewed before a decision is made on any action. The commitment of the Board is that you, as the complainant, will be notified when the case is concluded and told the Board's recommendations and actions taken. 
All complaints about being unethical are reviewed by the Certification Office, and if necessary, an investigation is initiated. The person alleged to being unethical is encouraged to present his/her case in defense. 
You can become certified if you meet the minimum requirements. In your case, the minimum requirements for CSEP without a qualifying college degree are at least 15 years of engineering experience of which at least five years must be in performing systems engineering. You must ensure that you have at least 12 months of experience in each of at least 3 of the SE functional areas. You also need verification of your 5 years of SE experience by references who are ether current or former colleagues who have at least 5 years of systems engineering experience, though they are not required to be systems engineers. For the 10 additional years of engineering experience, you need at least 5 years verified by references who are knowledgeable of the same type of experience you are claiming (not necessarily systems engineering experience) and knew you during the time you were performing that work.