New ! Search
Full Menu and site Navigation
A better world through a systems approach
  • Webinars about INCOSE Certification

    by Courtney Wright | Feb 18, 2022
    On February 16, 2022, INCOSE's current intern presented a webinar about the Academic Equivalency Program. This is a great source of information and can be accessed by all INCOSE members and CAB associates at the Webinar library. Webinars relevant to INCOSE certification are:

    156 The Outcomes of Academic Equivalency to INCOSE Certification
    146 Internet-Based Testing for Students and Professionals
    141 Trends in Continuing Education for INCOSE SE Professionals
    139 Fundamentals of INCOSE Certification
    137 Paths to INCOSE Certification
    103 Squaring the Circle: Aligning INCOSE SEP Experience Areas to the INCOSE SE Handbook and INCOSE Competency Framework
    063 How Do You Recognize an Expert Systems Engineering Professional?
    059 INCOSE Certification Program History and Plans for 2014
    041 An Overview of INCOSE Professional Certification
    020 An Update on INCOSE Professional Certification and the New Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) Designation
    002 INCOSE Professional Certification Program

    Note that these webinars are listed in newest-to-oldest order, and content in the older presentations may be outdated.
  • Spokesperson for the Certification Program

    by Courtney Wright | Feb 11, 2022

    Would you like to be an unofficial spokesperson for INCOSE’s Certification Program? We would love to have you. 

    There are several presentations posted on this page. We recommend you choose and pare it down for your audience. You can also pull information from the INCOSE web pages and create your own presentation materials. And, please, send us a copy if you think they’d be useful for others. 

    If you do share information about the Certification Program, please remember that content of exam items and interview questions should NOT be shared. This restriction protects both INCOSE and you. It saves INCOSE from having to create a bigger set of questions such that we can rotate them out enough to keep people on their toes if they’ve already heard some of the questions. And it saves you from the anger of the applicant who studies for the questions you told them, then discovers that we actually do have a big enough question bank that it’s likely he or she will get different questions than you got. 

    You are welcome to share a copy of your application with a colleague so that he or she can see the formatting and level of detail expected. However, do not share if you feel your colleague will be tempted to copy the text directly. This would be an ethical violation and could result in problems for both of you. 

    Finally, if someone shares information about the Certification Program with you, consider the source. If you find a conflict between what someone tells you and the INCOSE website, ask the person how they know. INCOSE does not monitor or endorse training providers, so you’d be doing all parties a favor if you informed the person of the conflict. If confusion remains, contact the Admin Office for clarification.

  • Meet our fourth intern, Morenikeji Araloyin

    by Courtney Wright | Feb 04, 2022
    MAraloyinMorenikeji Araloyin is INCOSE's current intern. He will be delivering a webinar on 16 February 2021 about the outcomes of three years of INCOSE Academic Equivalency programs. He has also been reviewing data about past SEP applications and continued certification, with a goal of identifying underrepresented groups and proposing ways to better connect with them.

    The following questions are from an interview with Morenikeji in January 2022, during his internship:

    Q1: Describe your current position/role.

    I'm currently INCOSE's Certification Program intern. In my role as an intern, I support the Program Manager to identify areas of opportunity for process improvement and potential solutions. This experience is very impactful one for me, and I could not have asked for a better internship experience to build a foundation for my systems engineering career.

    Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

    I am proud to have received a Systems Engineering master's degree this past Fall as SE career has always been my high professional priority. I am most proud to have gained skills to develop and manage large-scale complex systems.

    Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

    The misconception about what is systems engineering is a huge challenge; Many people have their own interpretation of systems engineering. If you tell someone that you are a systems engineer, they most probably think that you are a systems administrator.

    Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

    To not get stuck with their definition of SE. SE is a rewarding career and opportunity to network and build lasting professional connections with systems thinkers. Go the extra mile to reach out and form relationships with experienced systems engineer both within and outside their organization.

    Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

    I have been INCOSE member since 2020, and I think the SE Handbook is an important resource to have at home, even though you've aced the knowledge exam and certified. So, I'm looking forward to the 5th Edition that will be released later this year. I also plan to get more involved with my local INCOSE chapter, North Star.

    Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

    A few of my future goals include becoming an ASEP. I'm also excited about the prospect of working in my first SE role while I work towards my PhD. My longer-term goals are to learn a variety of areas within the systems engineering field and work towards becoming an ESEP one day.

    Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

    I enjoy playing soccer a lot, and because I live in the Arctic Minnesota, outdoor soccer is near impossible during winter. So, I have developed other interest like ice fishing.

    Q8: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

    I decided to get the SEP certification not just because of its growing need in job market, but because of the value of the certification. SEP certification helps increase your knowledge in systems engineering principles and guides you in applying these principles in real world complex projects. In other word, it is all about INCOSE clear definition of systems engineering.

    Q9: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

    I am preparing for the knowledge exam; however, SEP certification add knowledge and skills to your experience. And in the current world of competition, SEP certification can be a game changer for career growth. More hiring managers these days prefer a systems engineer with INCOSE certification than those without.

    Q10: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

    The growing need for systems engineering principles across all domains, in particular the healthcare and public policy. People are starting to appreciate systems approach as our society become increasingly complex.

    Q11: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

    Quality Assurance Engineer

  • Ace the class, skip the exam

    by Courtney Wright | Jan 28, 2022
    Why should you care if your university has an Academic Equivalency program? It may allow you to bypass the INCOSE knowledge exam on the path to certification as an Associate Systems Engineering Professional (ASEP) or Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP). 

    At the end of each academic term, universities with Academic Equivalency programs send us a list of the students who did well in the required courses. Those students then have 12 months to apply for ASEP and CSEP using that knowledge equivalency. INCOSE counts the university assessments as sufficient verification of knowledge to replace the multiple-choice test that we offer. 

    Even if you're not a full-time university student, an Academic Equivalency program might help you out. If you're nervous about taking the INCOSE knowledge exam, you might prefer taking a university course that teaches you more about systems engineering and assesses you in lower-pressure ways than INCOSE's exam. Some universities offer Academic Equivalency through just a single, online course. You also might find a course offered in a language other than English. The INCOSE knowledge exam is only offered in English, but Academic Equivalency courses may be offered in any language. 
  • 2022: The Year of the Student

    by Courtney Wright | Jan 14, 2022
    INCOSE has a few special opportunities for students. Our next post will be about the most exciting one - Academic Equivalency - but this week we'll note other ways INCOSE helps students. 

    1. Student membership - full-time or nearly-full-time students are eligible for a discounted rate on INCOSE membership. 
    2. Student divisions - in addition to joining INCOSE chapters and working groups, university students may form their own clubs that have a special relationship with INCOSE.
    3. Systems Engineering honor society, Sigma Theta Mu - here's a way to distinguish yourself if you know during your student days that you want to be a superstar systems engineer.
    4. Student rates for event registration 
    5. Take the INCOSE knowledge exam for free at your university or a chapter-hosted in-person exam.
    7. CAB Associate access to INCOSE materials if your university is a part of the INCOSE Corporate Advisory Board's Academic Council
  • Ordering SEP Logo Items

    by Courtney Wright | Jan 07, 2022
    INCOSE has shared the SEP logos with Lands End, a US-based provider of clothing and home goods. If you would like an ESEP polo, a CSEP fleece jacket, or an ASEP backpack, you are likely to find something you like at the Lands End Store. 
  • Using the SEP logos

    by Courtney Wright | Dec 31, 2021
    INCOSE SEPs are allowed to use the logo for their certification - ASEP, CSEP, or ESEP - while they are actively certified. They may use this logo on business cards, in their email signature, or in other ways that recognize them as a certified individual. The INCOSE SEP logos may not be used in advertising a business. Training provider companies that prepare individuals for the INCOSE knowledge exam may not use the SEP logo in their advertising or training materials, except for things like a screenshot of the INCOSE website or listing the credentials of individual employees. Organizational use of the SEP logos requires INCOSE pre-approval, and has been granted for things like custom mugs given to new SEPs.

    Here is the INCOSE SEP logo policy, CRT-100.
  • Providing a Reference for a SEP

    by Courtney Wright | Dec 17, 2021
    One of the characteristics of a good requirement is that it be verifiable. References provide the verification of experience claims from systems engineering professional applicants.

    The characteristics to look for in a reference are:
    * They have at least five years of work experience.
    * They knew the applicant when the systems engineering work was being done, and were aware of the work.
    * They understand systems engineering well enough to recognize and describe it.
    * They will fill out and submit paperwork in the INCOSE format, during the required timeframe.

    If you have been asked to provide a reference for a candidate for CSEP or ESEP, your first step is to get a copy of the Reference Form 4B. This is the only document INCOSE will accept from references. 

    Your next step is to ask the candidate to give you their contact information for the form. They may also give you a copy of their application form, though that is not required. It can be helpful to you to see what they wrote about the time you worked together. You are allowed to copy that text into your submission. You must also use some of your own words. 

    You will submit your reference directly to INCOSE. You are not required to give a copy to the candidate, but you may do that if you choose. 
  • What is INCOSE Certification's relationship with SESA?

    by Courtney Wright | Dec 17, 2021
    The Systems Engineering Society of Australia (SESA) is a technical society within Engineers Australia and is also the INCOSE chapter within Australia. Candidates for CSEP and ESEP in Australia may apply through SESA and have their applications reviewed by Certification Application Reviewers within Australia. 

    Candidates who already have their Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) have a streamlined path to CSEP through the Chartered Australian Systems Engineering (CASE) path. These individuals have reduced application documentation and references compared to those who apply directly for CSEP.
  • What is it like for a student who qualifies for academic equivalency?

    by Courtney Wright | Dec 10, 2021
    Once a set of university courses is approved for academic equivalency, students who do well in that coursework may apply for ASEP and CSEP certification without having to take the INCOSE knowledge exam. Academic equivalency is an alternate way to meet the knowledge requirement for these two certification levels.

    A student whose name is submitted to INCOSE as having qualified via academic equivalency is recorded in the INCOSE certification database. That student has 12 months to apply for ASEP or CSEP certification and use their knowledge equivalent. This application process starts with joining INCOSE as an individual or student member, then paying the application fee. These are the only steps required for ASEP. CSEP applicants will also submit individual application forms, proof of education, and references.
  • What is the INCOSE UK path to Certification?

    by Courtney Wright | Dec 03, 2021
    Members of INCOSE's UK chapter may apply for INCOSE Certification through the INCOSE UK chapter or through INCOSE Central. When they apply through the INCOSE UK chapter, they complete their individual application and references through an online form. The review of their application is also completed by Certification Application Reviewers from the INCOSE UK chapter. Notification of certification approval is delivered from the INCOSE UK chapter. 

    Individuals certified through the INCOSE UK path renew their certification through the standard earning of Professional Development Units (PDUs).  

    More about INCOSE UK Certification 
  • What is INCOSE Certification's relationship with OMG?

    by Courtney Wright | Nov 26, 2021
    The Object Management Group (OMG) created its OCSMP certifications in coordination with INCOSE. To encourage individuals to get both certifications, the programs offer a discount. Applicants who already have one certification should notify the other organization of that status when they apply. They will then get a 10% on the application fee (INCOSE) or exam fee (OMG) for the second certification.
  • What is INCOSE Certification's relationship with SEZERT?

    by Courtney Wright | Nov 19, 2021
    INCOSE's German chapter, Gesellschaft für Systems Engineering (GfSE), developed the SE-ZERT Certification. SE-ZERT has three levels, each of which roughly corresponds to a level of INCOSE's Certification Program.

    Individuals who earn an SE-ZERT Level C Certification from GfSE may apply for INCOSE ASEP certification without having to retake the INCOSE knowledge exam. They will have to meet the other requirements for ASEP, being individual members of INCOSE and paying the ASEP application fee. 

    Individuals who earn an SE-ZERT Level B Certification from GfSE may apply for INCOSE CSEP certification without having to retake the INCOSE knowledge exam or submit education, experience or reference materials. They will have to meet the administrative requirements for CSEP, being individual members of INCOSE and paying the CSEP application fee.

    Once they become ASEPs or CSEPs, all individuals will have to renew their certification through standard methods. 

    The relationship between INCOSE's Certification Program and SEZERT extends back to 2013, when it was INCOSE's first equivalency. 
  • What is INCOSE Certification's relationship with DAU, and will it continue?

    by Courtney Wright | Nov 12, 2021
    If you have a SPRDE or Engineering certification from the US Defense Acquisition University (DAU), you may be able to bypass some of the steps in the path to ASEP or CSEP certification with INCOSE. It does not matter what date you earned your DAU certification, but it does have to be in the SPRDE or Engineering category.

    Those with a Level II or Level III DAU Engineering or SPRDE Certification may bypass the INCOSE knowledge exam with proof of certification. Qualifying individuals can simply become INCOSE individual members and complete the ASEP application and payment to become ASEPs. They may also apply knowledge exam results toward earning their CSEP.

    Those with Level III DAU Engineering or SPRDE Certification get a streamlined path to CSEP and do not need to take the knowledge exam. They also do not need to document their qualifying degree, as DAU has already confirmed that. The remaining technical requirements – for experience documentation and references – will be addressed in a short application form. Qualifying individuals will write a single narrative description of their work experience that is signed by their current supervisor, with no additional references required. This application, proof of DAU certification and the CSEP application fee will qualify INCOSE members to become CSEPs.

    The DAU has recently announced a transition to a new certification in Engineering and Technical Management (ETM). This certification is significantly different from the prior certifications. There are no plans to provide a streamlined path from ETM certification to INCOSE certifications. DAU is currently developing a system engineering credential that will likely map to INCOSE certification. Learn more about the DAU changes in their Back to Basics materials here: 
  • How can I check on my certification status without having to communicate with a human?

    by Courtney Wright | Nov 05, 2021

    INCOSE notifies candidates of their progress toward certification by sending them emails. You may also check the status of your application, references, and exam results through your member profile on the INCOSE website. 

    We have a partner, Accredible, that will email you a link to view your certificate once you complete the certification process. When your certification expires, that will be noted on your certificate at the link Accredible sends you. 

    All SEPs are also listed on the INCOSE website.  The current SEP list is updated twice monthly and uploaded to the Certification page on the INCOSE website.

  • Did someone say "intern?"

    by Courtney Wright | Oct 29, 2021
    INCOSE's Certification Program hires two student interns each year. The ideal candidates have completed at least two years of engineering school, have strong written communication skills, and have experience living or working in more than one country. Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply for this paid internship. There are no residency or citizenship requirements and all work will be performed remotely. 

    Past intern work has included:
    * analysis of large data set
    * gathering content to populate change request log
    * writing paper that was submitted to INCOSE International Symposium
    * presenting INCOSE webinar, virtual chapter meeting, and at SE cafe
    * creating INCOSE certification videos, illustrations, and power point presentations
    * emailing with INCOSE members to get contact for the Certification Blog
    * performing trade study of tools
    * creating Google Forms

    Interested candidates should apply for this paid internship through the INCOSE Volunteer Opportunity Board:

    Applications are due on 5 November for the internship from December 2021 through February 2022. The next deadline will be early April 2021, for internships from May through August 2022. 
  • Can I know my score and a report of each question after taking the exam?

    by Courtney Wright | Oct 22, 2021

    INCOSE shares with candidates whether they passed or failed an exam but not their score nor what the required score was to pass.  Standard e-mails are used to notify candidates of their results on paper exams. Candidates who test on the computer are shown their exam results immediately after they finish the exam.

    For both paper and computer exams, INCOSE collects but does not share individual scores and answers to each question. Information about what wrong answers were chosen is useful to us in improving the exam in the future. At the advice of our psychometricians, we do not share this detailed information with candidates. 

  • How many questions are on the INCOSE knowledge exam?

    by Courtney Wright | Oct 15, 2021
    The INCOSE knowledge exam is a multiple choice test based on the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook.

    The exam contains 100 scored questions. It may have 0, 20, or 50 additional questions that do not count toward the candidate’s score. These are beta questions, which are being evaluated for the future. The exam duration is 1 minute per question, including both scored and unscored questions. If you qualify for special accommodations - most commonly due to a native language other than English - you will be given additional time. 

    A 120-question exam is the standard version offered online, and lasts 120 minutes. A candidate who qualifies for extra time will be given 30 minutes extra, for a total of 150 minutes. 

    Most in-person, paper exams contain 100 questions. The standard time for these exams is 100 minutes. Those candidates who qualify for extra time will be given 30 minutes extra, for a total of 130 minutes.

    The least common exam format is 150 questions. This exam has a standard duration of 150 minutes and a special accommodations duration of 190 minutes. 

    Unless you are told to expect otherwise, your in-person exam will contain 100 questions and your online exam will contain 120 questions.
  • Where can I get a CSEP polo shirt or jacket?

    by Courtney Wright | Oct 08, 2021

    If you attend an INCOSE International Workshop or International Symposium, you may be lucky enough to win a SEP polo shirt at the Certification Reception, to which all SEPs are invited.  Otherwise, you can buy it from Lands End

    At the Lands End store, you’ll find men’s and women’s polos, button-ups, and jackets, as well as blankets, towels, and bags.  All clothes come in multiple sizes and colors.  You can get an ASEP, CSEP, or ESEP logo embroidered on these items, or you can get the standard INCOSE logo.  The SEP logos are for current SEPs only, not just fans of the Certification Program.

    INCOSE does not make a profit off these but rather offers them as a way for SEPs to advertise their own status and affiliation. If you would like to use the SEP logo for items from a local vendor, please contact to discuss this with the Certification Program Manager. It will probably be approved, we just want to understand the products and make sure the branding follows INCOSE branding guidelines
  • Be the Blog

    by Courtney Wright | Oct 01, 2021
    We would love to include you in our SEPtember 2022 blog posts. If you are a SEP who wants to participate, please answer our interview questions in this form: In June or July 2022, our intern will reach out to everyone who has submitted a form response. 

    Are you a student who would like to be our next paid intern? Look at the INCOSE Volunteer Opportunity Board to see the listing for position CER-007. We hire interns twice per year, with the resume submission date listed at the Volunteer Opportunity Board site. 

    The Volunteer Opportunity Board is where we list other volunteer opportunities, too, including creating exam questions and volunteering as an application reviewer.