INCOSE’s Certification Program has a place for all individuals working in or close to the discipline of systems engineering (SE), regardless of their job title, degree, or domain.
The Certification Program offers the Associate Systems Engineering Professional (ASEP) that recognizes individuals who wish to be recognized as knowledgeable but without demonstrated SE experience. The qualification for the ASEP is possession of SE knowledge typical of a junior systems engineer, as evidenced by passing the knowledge exam.
The Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) recognizes systems engineering practitioners who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in many aspects of the discipline. The qualifications for this level include education, SE knowledge, and SE experience that serve various job profiles of an experienced, all-round systems engineer.
A CSEP should be capable of carrying out systems engineering tasks in many work situations based on the certified knowledge basis, which includes the insight to recognize domain and role specific practices within the overall context of the systems engineering discipline. Thus, the certified practitioner should be capable of practicing in a broad range of domains including military systems acquisition and development, commercial product engineering, and public infrastructure engineering.
The experience level recognized by the CSEP status is that of a self-sufficient individual who is capable of “finding his or her own way” to make a productive contribution in most work situations. The prevalent profile to which the CSEP is targeted is that of engineering or equivalent discipline graduates with several years of discipline experience (i.e. electrical, mechanical, software etc.) included within a minimum of five years of SE experience.
The Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) certification is for those system engineers who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating both substantial experience and technical leadership. The ESEP has a broader and deeper experience in performing and leading systems engineering than the CSEP. The ESEP has at least twenty years of systems engineering experience and is the person others seek with specific, challenging, technical questions. He or she is not an expert in all aspects of systems engineering but is the expert for some aspects of SE and could perform adequately in many.
Most CSEPs do not become ESEPs, rather they maintain at the CSEP individual-contributor level or they transition toward a non-technical, managerial role. Though some program managers qualify as ESEPs, this title is more commonly a fit for those with the job title of chief systems engineer. All three levels of INCOSE Certification are valuable in their own and there is no limit to how long someone may renew their certification at any level.