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SE Experience Areas  /  Education  /  References  /  Exam 

  • If you have just started (or want to start) practicing systems engineering or have recently graduated and are interested in if you have recently graduated from college or have just started (or want to start) practicing systems engineering, then ASEP is for you.
  • If you are a practicing Systems Engineer with more than five years of systems engineering professional work experience, then CSEP is for you.
  • If you are a systems engineering leader with recognized systems accomplishments and have many years of systems engineering professional work experience, then ESEP is for you
  • If you are a current ASEP, you can transition to CSEP by completing the CSEP application process, minus the knowledge exam. The transition fee is discounted to $200.
  • If you are a Current CSEP, you can transition to ESEP by providing only 20 years of experience (instead of 25). The ESEP rest of the ESEP process remains the same.

Level

Leadership

Experience

Education

References

Exam

 ASEP

None Required

None Required

None Required

None Required

Same Exam as CSEP

 CSEP

None Required

Minimum 5 years SE experience
(see SE Experience area list below)

Qualifying Degree
(can be augmented with additional years of experience without a qualifying degree)

3 references
(cumulative coverage of the years of experience)

CSEP exam based on INCOSE SE Handbook

ESEP 

Accomplished and recognized leader in systems engineering

Minimum 25 years (20 if CSEP) SE experience
(see SE Experience area list below)
Minimum 5 years of professional development credit

Qualifying Degree
(can be augmented with additional years of experience without a qualifying degree)

3 references
(cumulative coverage of at least the most recent 10 years of experience)
Support panel review, if required

No examination,
panel review

* All applicants and certification recipients must maintain individual, senior, or student INCOSE membership. CAB Limited Access accounts do not qualify as a membership. INCOSE CSEPs who applied in 2015 or earlier do not need to maintain INCOSE membership.*

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SE Experience Areas

The following is the list of SE experience areas recognized in the context of the required Systems Engineering experience:

Systems Engineering Experience Area:

Principle SE Activities associated with the SE experience area

Requirements Engineering

Preparing for or managing a Business or Mission analysis; Defining a Problem or opportunity space; Characterizing a solution space; Evaluating alternative solution classes; Preparing for Stakeholder Needs & Requirements Definition; Defining stakeholder needs; Developing Operational Concept and other Life Cycle concepts; Transforming needs into stakeholder requirements; Analyzing Stakeholder Requirements; Managing Stakeholder needs and requirements definition; Preparing for System Requirements Definition; Defining System Requirements; Analyzing System Requirements; Managing System Requirements.

System and Decision Analysis

Preparing, performing and managing a system analysis;

Decision Management, including Preparing for System Engineering Decisions; Analyzing decision information; Making and managing SE decisions.

Architecture/ Design Development

Preparing for architecture definition; Developing architecture viewpoints; Developing models and views of candidate architectures; Relating architecture to design; Assessing candidate architectures; Managing the selected architecture; Preparing for design definition; Assessing alternatives for obtaining system elements; Establishing design characteristics and design enablers; Managing a system design;

Systems Integration

Preparing, performing and managing system element implementation; Identifying, agreeing and managing system-level interfaces; Preparing and performing Integration; Managing integration results.

Verification and Validation

Preparing and performing Verification; Managing verification results; Preparing and performing Validation; Managing Validation results;

Preparing for, and performing System Transition; Managing results of System Transition; Obtaining Qualification, Certification and Acceptance.

System Operation and Maintenance

Preparing for Operation; Managing results of Operation; Performing and supporting System/ Product Operation; Preparing for and performing Maintenance; Performing Logistics Support; Managing results of maintenance and logistics; Preparing for, performing and finalizing system disposal.

Technical Planning

Defining an SE project; Planning an SE project and its technical management; Activating an SE project; Identifying and recording tailoring influences and mandated structures; Obtaining input from parties affected by the tailoring strategy; Making Tailoring decisions and selecting life cycle processes.

Technical Monitoring and Control

Planning for SE project assessment and control; Assessing SE projects; Controlling projects from an SE perspective; Preparing for and performing System Measurement; Preparing for system Quality Assurance; Performing system product or service evaluations;

Acquisition and Supply

Acquisition, including: Preparing for system/element acquisition; Advertising the acquisition and selecting the supplier; Establishing, maintaining and monitoring an acquisition agreement; Accepting a product or service from a supplier; Supply, including: Preparing for supply; Responding to a tender; Establishing, maintaining and executing a supply agreement; Delivering and supporting a product or service.

 

Guidelines on Distribution of the Minimum 5 Years in the SE Experience Areas for CSEPs

Certification at the foundation level (CSEP) will indicate that the individual has a balance between the depth and breadth of SE experience having performed in some, but not all, of the SE experience areas. To achieve the desired depth and breadth in the minimum 5 years of SE experience, the CSEP candidate must have at least 1 year or greater increments in at least 3 or more of the 14 systems engineering experience areas listed above. The acceptability of experience distributions outside this guideline is subject to the decision of the Certification Program Office.

Guidelines on Distribution of the Minimum 25/20 Years in the SE Experience Areas for ESEPs

Certification at the expert level (ESEP) will indicate that the individual has a balance between the depth and breadth of SE experience having performed in many, but not all, of the SE experience areas. To achieve the desired depth and breadth in the minimum 25/20 years of SE experience, the ESEP candidate must have at least 2 year or greater increments in at least 6 of the 14 systems engineering experience areas listed above. The acceptability of experience distributions outside this guideline is subject to the decision of the Certification Program Office.

Education

Guidelines for Qualifying Degrees for CSEPs and ESEPs

Technical degrees at the graduate and undergraduate level are expected for Systems Engineering Professionals.  Those candidates who do not have a degree that meets the INCOSE Certification Program’s expectation (as outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions) may substitute additional engineering experience as follows:

  • minimum of 5 more years of additional engineering experience with Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, in a non-technical field; or
  • minimum of 10 more years of additional engineering experience with no degree.

For CSEP, this would equate to a total of 10 or 15 years of experience, respectively, with at least 5 of those years SE experience. For ESEP who is already a CSEP, this would equate to a total of 25 or 30 years of experience, respectively, with at least 20 of those years SE experience. For ESEP who is not already a CSEP, this would equate to a total of 30 or 35 years of experience, respectively, with at least 25 of those years SE experience.

Applying for Certification Level Professional-level experience required with a qualifying degree Professional-level experience required with a non-qualifying degree Professional-level experience required with no degree
CSEP 5 years
(including 5 years of SE)
(references for 5 years of SE)
10 years
(including 5 years of SE)
(references for 5 years of SE plus 5 years)
15 years
(including 5 years of SE)
(references for 5 years of SE plus 5 years)
ESEP who is already a CSEP 20 years
(20 years of SE)
(references for 10 years of SE)
25 years
(including 20 years of SE)
(references for 10 years of SE)
30 years
(including 20 years of SE)
(references for 10 years of SE)
ESEP who is not already a CSEP 25 years
(25 years of SE)
(references for 10 years of SE)
30 years
(25 years of SE)
(references for 10 years of SE)
35 years
(25 years of SE)
(references for 10 years of SE)

References

Every candidate for CSEP or ESEP must submit at least three references, unless he or she is part of a Memorandum of Agreement that reduces that requirement.

Every candidate for CSEP or ESEP must submit references to confirm the candidate’s systems engineering experience.  CSEP candidates without a technical degree must submit additional references to cover at least five years of professional-level engineering experience.

References must be both knowledgeable about systems engineering and knowledgeable about the candidate’s work experience.  It is desired but not required that at least one candidate have been in a supervisory position over the candidate.  Peers and clients who understand systems engineering may also serve as references.

References must write their own reference forms.  References that are too similar to the application or to other references for the same candidate will be rejected.

References for ESEP candidates may be asked to participate in a phone interview with the Certification Application Review team. 

Exam

The INCOSE knowledge exam for ASEPs and CSEPs is a two-hour, 120-item, multiple-choice test based on the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook.  ESEP candidates do not take a computer exam but are examined through a one-hour phone interview. 

INCOSE uses Prometric as our computer testing provider, and scheduling exam opportunities is done through their website or phone number.  The test is offered year-round.  INCOSE also offers the knowledge exam as a pencil-and-paper test hosted by universities, INCOSE chapters, and at conferences worldwide. A list of paper exam opportunities can be found here:http://www.incose.org/certification/CertExams.