Systems Engineering Certification

Demonstrating knowledge and experience in the practice of Systems Engineering

Becoming Certified

Path to Certification

The INCOSE Certification Path is shown via the diagram below this text and begins with the blue box on the top left labeled “Join INCOSE.” From that step, individuals move down to the next blue box, “Choose Certification Level.” Next, they’ll “Complete Forms, Provide Supporting Documents and Pay Fee” for application processing. The final blue box shows the last step in the application process, “Take and Pass Exam.” Some candidates may complete the exam before starting the rest of the process, and would then complete the other steps in the order described.  A candidate’s application package, exam results, and administrative requirements are reviewed before awarding them certification at the ASEP, CSEP, or ESEP level. 

The lower, green boxes in the diagram show the steps to maintain certification, starting with “Maintain INCOSE Membership.” Next, an individual will “Complete Professional Development Requirements.”  ESEPs are not required to document professional activities, so they go next down the path of “Renewal Not Required for ESEP.” ASEPs and CSEPs continue to the lowest green box, “Renewal Process ASEP 5 year cycle, CSEP 3 year cycle.” They will submit their payment and documentation to renew their certification.


An additional route is shown via purple arrows on the diagram. This route is to “Upgrade Certification.” This is when an ASEP or CSEP moves to a higher certification.  They will follow the same path as someone starting without a certification except they do not need to repeat steps that are duplicated. An ASEP transitioning to CSEP will not retake the knowledge exam. A CSEP transitioning to ESEP will not resubmit educational proof and may be able to reuse references.

The right side of the diagram shows the three certification levels. INCOSE ASEP, at the top, is reached through all paths and has the description: “Knowledgeable individuals with 0-5 years of systems engineering experience.”  INCOSE CSEP, the middle level on the diagram, has the description: “Practicing systems engineers with demonstrated expertise and 5+ years of experience.” ESEPs, listed on the lower right corner of the diagram, are described as: “Chief systems engineers with demonstrated technical expertise (verified by oral review) and leadership with 20+ years of experience.”







None Required

None Required

None Required

Written knowledge exam based on INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook


None Required

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

3 references (cumulative coverage of the required experience) 

Written knowledge exam based on INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook


Accomplished and recognized leader in systems engineer, assessed via application and oral interview

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

3 references (cumulative coverage of at least 10 years of systems engineering experience) participate in phone interview, if required 

Not directly measured