How To Page

Professional Development Portal (PDP)

Overall Background

The main PDP features currently available provide the ability to

  • Conduct a competency self-assessment based on INCOSE’s System Engineering Competency Framework (ISECF) to help the user determine which learning resources to browse and search for.  Click the PDP Competency Self-Assessment page.
  • Browse and search the PDP Content Catalog to find needed learning resources.  Content will be added regularly.  However, about 700 learning resources are currently available, which includes INCOSE products, SE Handbook, some textbooks, and SE mini-courses.  Click the PDP Browsing the Content Catalog page.
  • Save browse/search results on their “bookshelf.”  Each user will have the opportunity to save the learning resource results from the browse / save to their own “bookshelf” to review later.  Click the PDP My Bookshelf page.
  • Provide feedback on broken links, “bugs” on the site, identify learning resources that are classified incorrectly, recommend additional learning resources to be included in the PDP Catalog, and provide general comments. View the Feedback Overview video at the bottom of this page for details.  

User Value Statements

  • New Engineer


    As a new engineer, the PDP provides me an appreciation of the totality of Systems Engineering, an understanding of Systems Engineering terminology, sufficient awareness to ask questions about Systems Engineering topics, and some tools / appreciation to be able to get started as a Systems Engineer.

  • New Systems Engineer


    I’ve been an engineer for a while, but just learning to be a systems engineer. The PDP helps me integrate my existing engineering knowledge with additional Systems Engineering concepts. It introduces me to the terminology, topics and tools of Systems Engineering, and helps me identify the area's most relevant and valuable for me to work and investigate further.

  • Experienced System Engineer


    I have been doing systems engineering for quite a while. The PDP allows continuous development; helps my development by filling-in and providing new knowledge, tools, concepts, theories, and perspectives on SE to keep current in a rapidly changing world; and in the future, will offer me the opportunity to act as a mentor / coach to less experienced Systems Engineers.

  • Volunteer Contributor


    As a volunteer contributor, I can be recognized and validated for my work, and I can give back to the Systems Engineering community.  In the future, the PDP will help me gain and develop a professional network within the Systems Engineering community and conduct discussion / validation / development of my Systems Engineering approach through discussions questions.

  • Training Provider Contributor


    As a training provider, the PDP provides a linkage to potential students / clients and helps me promote my course / business. Feedback from the PDP gives me validation of my material, and engagement gives me an indicator of what areas of Systems Engineering there is an unmet demand for education and training.

  • Corporation Contributor


    As a corporate training provider, I get value from having our material made available on the PDP by: (1) enhancing our company’s reputation as practitioner of Systems Engineering, (2) benchmarking and validating our material by feedback from users and comparison with related material from other sources, (3) promoting our company’s "take" or style of Systems Engineering, and (4) identifying / encouraging / preparing our potential employees.

  • Corporate Official


    As a corporate official for my company, I can see that the PDP provides worthwhile assistance to help our employees achieve their development goals, in combination with training and experience for our company. We can see that each of our employees can develop an individual development plan with access to innovative Systems Engineering ideas, and that our employees learn from an international range of Systems Engineering experts and expertise.

Competency Self-Assessment


The Competency Self-Assessment results will be based on how the user completes the assessment. The user can use their results to browse or search the PDP Catalog to find material at their assessed proficiency level, or perhaps one level above.  There are 5 proficiency levels described in the ISECF.  In the PDP’s Competency Self-Assessment, there are 7 proficiency levels to assess your competence:

  • Unassessed (The user has not selected a proficiency level for this competency, the default)
  • Unaware (The user has no knowledge about this competency)
  • 5 Proficiency Levels from the ISECF (Awareness, Supervised Practitioner, Practitioner, Lead Practitioner, and Expert)

NOTE:  There is no save or submit button on the Competency Self-Assessment page. When you select a proficiency level for your competencies, it is automatically saved.


Browsing the Content Catalog


For each filter, there are drop-down lists, and within each filter, the user can select a single item or multiple items.  For each item within a filter, an “OR” search is used, while for between filters, an “AND” search is used.  For example, if the following filters were selected:

  • Competency Group: “1-Core”
  • Competency Topics: “1-Critical Thinking,” “1-Systems Thinking”
  • Proficiency Levels: “Awareness,” “Practitioner”

Then the browsing would look for the following learning resources in the PDP Catalog:  Core Competency Group, AND Critical Thinking OR Systems Thinking Competencies, AND Awareness OR Practitioner Proficiency Levels. 

As soon as filters are applied, the number of learning resources changes at the top of the learning resource results cards.  When there are no learning resources for the filtering requested, items of interest will be added over time – keep checking back. 

The filtering will stay the same until you change it or click the “Clear Filters.” Button.  When the “Learn More” button is clicked in a learning resource results card, a new tab will open in your browser to keep the user’s current filtering on the PDP “Browsing the Content Catalog” page.  When the learning resource tab is closed, the original filtering remains on the PDP “Browsing the Content Catalog” page.  If you are done with the current filter and you want to use a different filter to find learning resources, just click the “Clear Filter” button all the way to the right of the filters. 

If you want to add the learning resource results card to your My bookshelf, click the “Add to Bookshelf” button and the learning resource is added to the “In Progress” page of your My Bookshelf.  The button changes to “Remove from Bookshelf.”  When the “Remove from Bookshelf” button is clicked again, the learning resource is removed from your My Bookshelf and the button changes back to “Add to Bookshelf.”

If you want to add personal notes to the learning resource, click the notes icon on the right-hand side of the Learn More page, enter your comments, click save, and click the notes icon again to close the notes capability.  If you want to provide feedback, click the feedback icon on bottom left-hand side of the page, enter your name and email address, select the type of feedback you want to submit, type in your feedback, click the submit button, and click the feedback icon again to close it. 


My Bookshelf


Currently there is 1 page associated with the My Bookshelf.  When you add the learning resource results card to your My bookshelf while browsing the PDP Content Catalog, you click the “Add to Bookshelf” button and the learning resource is added to the your My Bookshelf page.  The button on the learning resource results card changes to “Remove from Bookshelf.”  When the “Remove from Bookshelf” button is clicked again, the learning resource is removed from your My Bookshelf and the button changes back to “Add to Bookshelf.”  

If you have time to browse the PDP Content Catalog but not review the learning resources, you can browse the PDP Content Catalog filtering for the learning resources you need using the PDP Taxonomy.  When the learning resource results card(s) are available, click the “Add to Bookshelf” button for the learning resources you want to review later.  When you return to the PDP later, go to the PDP My Bookshelf “In Progress” page and the learning resource results cards you added will be available.  You can now review those learning resources.   

When you have reviewed your learning resource results card, there are a couple of options available.  First, you can click the “Remove from Bookshelf” button and it will be removed from your My Bookshelf with any notes you took gone.  Second, you can do nothing and the learning resource results card will be saved on your My Bookshelf page.  In the future, there will be a capability to select the applicable completed learning resources and send to the INCOSE Certification pages as Professional Development Units (PDUs).  

For answers to My Bookshelf-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), click the My Bookshelf FAQs link. 

Contact Us