Systems Engineering Certification

Demonstrating knowledge and experience in the practice of Systems Engineering

Applying for CSEP

CSEP Steps to Certification

There are 4 basic steps to becoming certified at this level. The exam may be taken before or after the other steps. The application materials are reviewed by trained Certification Application Reviewers. 

  • Be an INCOSE individual member
  • Submit application materials
  • Pay the application fee
    • Payment is valid for 12 months 
    • Fee is non-refundable and not a guarantee that you will be certified 
  • Pass the INCOSE knowledge exam or equivalent
    • Knowledge exam and equivalency results are good for 12 months 
    • There is a separate fee to take the knowledge exam, collected by the exam provider
    • You are allowed to take the exam up to 3 times in a 12-month period 
    • You may take the exam before or after completing the other steps 
    • If you are transitioning from ASEP, you do not need to retake the knowledge exam


Upon Certification

Once you complete all these steps, the INCOSE Certification Office will send you a congratulatory email. Your e-certificate will come from Accredible. You may also check your certification status through your member profile on the INCOSE web page.

The CSEP certification is valid for three years, with a requirement that you maintain your INCOSE individual membership. Before the three years expire, you must submit renewal documentation and fee. Your renewal will also be good for three years.  


How long do I have to complete my certification process? 

You have one year from the time your application or payment is received initially in the INCOSE Certification Office to complete your certification. The one-year period includes the time to schedule and pass (and retake if necessary) the exam. If the process is not completed within the one-year time period, the applicant will have to restart the process from the beginning, including paying another application fee. Individuals are limited to 3 attempts at the exam per 12-month calendar period.

The INCOSE Certification Program Office tracks the certification status of everyone who has taken the knowledge exam, been qualified through an academic equivalency, or started a certification application. We send you emails as new material comes in and to remind you what remains. You can also check your application status in your member profile, which you access after logging in to A typical candidate spends a few hours each week for multiple weeks in preparation for the exam and working on their individual application form. Once they submit their application form, we typically have a few weeks’ wait at INCOSE before we get their references. References are the longest source of delay in starting an application review. It typically takes one week for exam results to be matched with candidate records. There is additional time required for the scoring of paper exams, which may take up to three weeks from delivery until results are reported.

How long does the CSEP review process take? 

Our review and processing typically takes four to six weeks. The review starts once all of an applicant’s materials, including references, are received. If the review team have questions, you may be emailed to provide clarification. In this case the review team waits until the candidate submits an update.

During busy times of year, particularly when our volunteers are unavailable due to holidays, reviews may take more than one month. Candidates concerned about delays in their review should check their member profile at to see if all references have been received.

Do I have to submit my knowledge exam results to INCOSE?

No action is required for you to get exam results to us; those come to us automatically from our exam providers or from your academic equivalency institution.

Where should the reference forms be submitted ?

You have to provide information to your References on where to find the reference form (Form 4B). Once the form is filled, please have your References submit Form 4B directly to [email protected]


If you are located in the UK, please apply directly through the UK site below. For general inquiries regarding Certification in the UK, email [email protected]
INCOSE UK Certification
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