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INCOSE Certification Overview

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1 INCOSE Certification Overview
Senior Level Foundation Level Discipline Extensions Entry Level © 2008 International Council on Systems Engineering Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

2 Topics What is certification and why is it important?
What level of certification is right for me? How do I apply for certification? How do I renew my certification? Where can I find more information? Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

3 Topics What is certification and why is it important?
What level of certification is right for me? How do I apply for certification? How do I renew my certification? Where can I find more information? Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

4 Certification is just one of many INCOSE products and offerings.
What is INCOSE? The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization that was founded in 1990 Its mission to advance the state of the art and practice of Systems Engineering in industry, academia, and government promoting interdisciplinary, scaleable approaches to produce technologically appropriate solutions that meet societal needs Certification is just one of many INCOSE products and offerings. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page 4 4

5 What Is Certification? Certificate License
Certification is an occupational designation Provides confirmation of an individual's competency (demonstrated education, experience, and knowledge) in a specified profession or occupational specialty Certification is a formal process Issued by an organization Certification is voluntary It is neither a barrier nor a gate to entering a job However, it may be used as a qualifier in placement Certificate License INCOSE certifies professionals in the discipline of Systems Engineering. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

6 Certification Change in Focus
From Organization to People Individual First_Last … CSEP CSDP PMP etc. Organization ABC… ISO 9000 ISO 15504 CMMI etc. Certification focuses on your people. It complements your organizational initiatives. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

7 Why is Certification Important?
For organizations… Formally recognizes the Systems Engineering capabilities of your people Certified systems engineers can be a selling point and a discriminator for your proposals Can be used as part of the hiring and promotion process It encourages employee participation in continuing education Provides an independent internal and external assessment It is a tool for promoting professional competence INCOSE Certification sets your organization apart! Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page 7 7

8 Why is Certification Important?
For individuals… Formally recognizes your Systems Engineering capabilities It is a discriminator that can aid in obtaining your next job Can provide a competitive advantage in your career Provides a portable Systems Engineering designation that is recognized across industry Furthers your professional development as a systems engineer Participation in continuing education indicates your commitment to personal development INCOSE Certification sets you apart! Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

9 Why is Certification Important?
For your teams… Allows the team to level-set on Systems Engineering concepts and activities Can help establish a common Systems Engineering language for your team This can… help break down geographic boundaries help break down organizational boundaries help break down cultural boundaries INCOSE Certification is particularly useful for multi-organization, geographically distributed teams. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

10 INCOSE Multi-Level Certification For every stage of your career
Senior Level Foundation Level Discipline Extensions Entry Level ESEP Expert Systems Engineering Professional CSEP-Acq CSEP w/ US DoD Acquisition CSEP Certified Systems Engineering Professional ASEP Associate Systems Engineering Professional Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

11 Applications must be substantiated by 3-5 references
Foundation Level Certified Systems Engineering Professional Targeted towards Systems Engineers with five or more years work experience CSEPs are certified against experience, education, and knowledge requirements Applications must be substantiated by 3-5 references Available since 2004 Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

12 Targeted towards Systems Engineers with limited work experience
Entry Level Associate Systems Engineering Professional Targeted towards Systems Engineers with limited work experience Ideal for junior/emerging Systems Engineers and recent college graduates ASEPs are certified against education and knowledge requirements Available since July 2008 Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

13 Same core CSEPs experience, education, and knowledge requirements
Acquisition CSEP with US DoD Acquisition Extensions Targeted towards Systems Engineers who support or work in a US Department of the Defense acquisition environment Same core CSEPs experience, education, and knowledge requirements Additional acquisition knowledge items tested Available since July 2008 Discipline Extensions Beyond the core knowledge covered in the CSEP, INCOSE certification also allows for extensions to cover specific disciplines in more detail. There is currently one CSEP discipline extension. Other extensions may be added in the future. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

14 Interviews used to validate significant systems accomplishments
Senior Level Expert Systems Engineering Professional Targeted towards Systems Engineers with significant work experience and demonstrated systems accomplishments ESEPs are certified against accomplishment, experience, and education requirements Interviews used to validate significant systems accomplishments Available in 2009 Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

15 Certification Citations
INCOSE certification is becoming more recognized every year The following are examples of INCOSE certification citations Please forward any additional citations to the certification Program Manager Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

16 Systems Engineering Guidebook for ITS Web Site Federal Highway Administration and the California Department of Transportation Chapter 7 Capabilities and Best Practices in System Development “Systems Engineering Technical Assistance [SETA] consultants or systems managers may not be currently considering any formal assessment to be performed. An internal assessment using continuous representation would be recommended. As an alternative, staff can demonstrate their expertise through professional certification programs like the INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional [CSEP] and Project Management Institute [PMI] certification.” Source: Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

17 Pre-Milestone A and Early-Phase Systems Engineering: A Retrospective Review and Benefits for Future Air Force Acquisition Committee on Pre-Milestone A Systems Engineering: A Retrospective Review and Benefits for Future Air Force Systems Acquisition, National Research Council Production of Systems Engineers by U.S. Industry “…The committee interviewed representatives from four major U.S. aerospace companies … common themes that emerged from the interviews… Training, not just education, is crucial… All the companies agree that mentoring is essential… Subject matter expertise and/or domain knowledge are more important than is a knowledge of tools… Both internal and external training are valuable; the most successful training approach is usually a hybrid… Certification by and participation in INCOSE are considered essential. All the companies require certification (acquired through the right training and experience), and all participate in and support INCOSE. Investment in SE training is necessary whether or not the return on investment can be directly estimated… A systems engineering culture is essential… Systems engineering organizations vary… The “trigger” for a company’s emphasis on systems engineering is usually failing programs…” ISBN: , 150 pages, 6 x 9, (2008) Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

18 Keynote Speech Given at: June 2008 – Utrecht, The Netherlands by Jean Botti, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of EADS N.V Systems Engineering “In recognition of the essential role played by INCOSE, EADS intends to intensify the existing ties and cooperation by ‘upgrading’ the divisions’ [CAB] memberships to corporate level. Later on today, we will be signing an agreement between EADS and INCOSE to collaborate in the granting of the status of Certified Systems Engineering Professional to appropriately experienced EADS systems engineers. I would like to take this opportunity here to thank the former INCOSE President Heinz Stoewer, acting as Scientific Advisor for EADS, and David Walden, INCOSE Certification Programme Manager, for the successful negotiation of this agreement.” Source: INCOSE IS08 Keynote Speech, 19 June 2008 Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

19 Topics What is certification and why is it important?
What level of certification is right for me? How do I apply for certification? How do I renew my certification? Where can I find more information? Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

20 Multi-Level Certification Concept*
Significant Experience Demonstrated Accomplishments References Education INCOSE Member ESEP 15 yrs SE experience No Exam Oral Presentation/Interviews 20 yrs SE experience Tech Degree Experience References Education Knowledge CSEP-Acq CSEP CSEP requirements plus DAG Chap 4 Exam ASEP requirements plus Tech Degree 5 yrs SE experience or Non-Tech Degree additional 5 yrs experience or No Degree additional 10 yrs experience ASEP Education Knowledge Tech Degree CSEP Exam Certification Candidates * Note: ESEP criteria to be refined Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

21 What are the requirements for Certification?
CSEP Certification has three key components Systems Engineering Experience & Experience Confirmation Education Knowledge Certification is open to all people, it is not restricted to members of INCOSE INCOSE CSEP Certification is much more than just “book knowledge” – substantiated Systems Engineering experience is required Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

22 Certification Experience Requirements
Systems Engineering Experience Minimum 5 years in multiple Systems Engineering competencies Experience Confirmation Recommendations from at least 3 colleagues / peers / managers Must cover the required period needed by the applicant The references must also be knowledgeable in Systems Engineering Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

23 Systems Engineering Competencies Recognized for Experience
SE Technical Competencies Requirements Engineering Design Development System Integration Qualification, Verification, and Validation SE Management Competencies Technical Planning Technical Effort Assessment Risk and Opportunity Management Baseline Control SE Support Competencies Specialty Engineering Process Definition Training Tool Support Quality Assurance Other SE Competencies To allow for the variety of SE across domains Successful candidates must have balanced experience across multiple areas Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

24 Certification Education Requirements
Minimum Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) in technical field Additional Experience Can be Substituted 5 more years of engineering experience for non-technical Bachelor’s (total 10 years) 10 more years of engineering experience if no Bachelor’s degree (total 15 years) Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

25 Certification Knowledge Requirements
CSEP/ASEP Exam Basis INCOSE SE Handbook Version 3.1 Free download available to INCOSE members Exam is 2 hours in length 120 questions Administered electronically at world-wide Prometric locations - Pass/Fail results provided immediately upon exam completion Candidates are eligible for two re-tests within one year of application submittal The INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook is the basis for the CSEP & ASEP exams. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

26 CSEP-Acq Knowledge Requirements
CSEP-Acq Exam Basis Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) Chapter 4 “Systems Engineering” https://akss.dau.mil/dag/Guidebook/IG_c4.0.asp CSEP-Acq Extension Exam is 1 hour in length 60 questions If taken concurrently with the Core CSEP exam, combination is 3 hours, 180 questions You must pass the core CSEP exam before taking the Acq extension Administered electronically at world-wide Prometric locations - Pass/Fail results provided immediately upon exam completion Candidates are eligible for two re-tests within one year of application submittal The DAG Chapter 4 is the basis for the CSEP-Acq exam. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

27 Representative Exam Questions
Which three of the following are methods to express functional behavior? (Choose three) Network Tree (NT) Behavior Diagram (BD) Allocated Requirement Diagram (ARD) Functional Flow Block Diagram (FFBD) Integrated Definition for Functional Modeling (IDEF) Diagram Which are three justifications for Configuration Management? (Choose three) facilitates communication forces change evaluations prevents requirements changes controls requirements changes encourages requirements changes Note: These questions ARE NOT from the INCOSE Certification Exam. The format and content are similar (based on SEH v2A). They were created by CSM and Prometric and are used with permission. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

28 Representative Exam Questions
Which three of the following are methods to express functional behavior? (Choose three) Network Tree (NT) Behavior Diagram (BD) Allocated Requirement Diagram (ARD) Functional Flow Block Diagram (FFBD) Integrated Definition for Functional Modeling (IDEF) Diagram Which are three justifications for Configuration Management? (Choose three) facilitates communication forces change evaluations prevents requirements changes controls requirements changes encourages requirements changes Note: These questions ARE NOT from the INCOSE Certification Exam. The format and content are similar (based on SEH v2A). They were created by CSM and Prometric and are used with permission. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

29 ASEP Comparison to CSEP
Requirement CSEP ASEP Experience Minimum 5 yrs SE experience, substantiated by references None Education Minimum BS (or equivalent) in Technical Field (can substitute additional experience if non-tech/no degree) Knowledge Basis INCOSE SE Handbook v3.1 Same Exam 120 Questions 2 hours Take at Prometric Renewal 120 PDUs Every Three Years Every Five Years Must Maintain INCOSE Membership Maximum Transition Time 10 yrs Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

30 CSEP-Acq Comparison to CSEP
Requirement CSEP CSEP-Acq Experience Minimum 5 yrs SE experience, substantiated by references Same Education Minimum BS (or equivalent) in Technical Field (can substitute additional experience if non-tech/no degree) Knowledge Basis INCOSE SE Handbook v3.1 INCOSE SE Handbook v3.1 & DAG Chapter 4 Exam 120 Questions 2 hours Take at Prometric 180 Questions 3 hours Renewal 120 PDUs Every Three Years Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

31 So What Level of Certification is Right for You?
If you have recently graduated from college or have just started (or want to start) performing systems engineering If you are a practicing Systems Engineer with more than five years of systems engineering experience If you support or are working in a Us DoD acquisition environment If you have many years of systems engineering experience and have recognized systems accomplishments Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

32 Topics What is certification and why is it important?
What level of certification is right for me? How do I apply for certification? How do I renew my certification? Where can I find more information? Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

33 Certification Process Diagram
INCOSE SE Handbook Version 3.1 Study Application Development 1. Verifiable Education 2. Verifiable Experience 3. Applicant’s Advocates (three references knowledgeable about SE) Applicant’s own pace Timeline Notify Applicant Two weeks $ Submit Completed Application And Fee INCOSE Center Evaluation Four to six weeks Pass 3 year Certification Notify Applicant Pay test fee Schedule & Take Exam (Prometric Test Center) Applicant’s own pace Walk the Class through the certification process – Talk to one Process Section at a time Develop Application Documented Systems Engineering experience (Specialize resume for SE experience) Applicants Education (Transcript of degree) Applicants’ Advocates recommendation (Choose carefully, and wisely, and find people who can communication your experience and qualifications) Payment to INCOSE Submit application and application fee to Certification Program Office. submittal and online payment preferred. INCOSE reviews Application and notifies applicant of its status Application approval Provides applicant with test authorization Provides test web site information Application disapproval What if the application is not accepted? – There is an appeal process! (Briefly describe) The applicant will be notified as to what areas need additional information, proof or may result in finding additional advocates. Study current INCOSE Handbook and ISO for the exam. Hopefully your study began before you prepared application. (Confirm correct version of Handbook) Schedule and take exam. Schedule appointment with the Prometric test centers, pay, and take the exam (Approximately 2 hours) Pass/Fail Notification of the Exam will be immediate Certification Awarded. INCOSE will send the successful candidate a certificate and CSEP card – good for 3 years Renewal. Once the candidate has been awarded CSEP status – he/she must start accumulating PDUs for certification renewal within the 3-year period. Applicant has up to one year to pass the test (three tries 3 months apart). Test is scheduled directly with Prometric. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

34 How Long Will It Take to Get Certified?
There is no one answer. Much depends on the applicant. Time Applicant Downloads information from INCOSE web page Collects information Fills out and submits forms via Pays fee on-line A. ?????? Applicant Schedules exam with test organization Takes exam at test site Receives results immediately Schedules another exam if needed E. Averaging 62 days References submit recommendations via to INCOSE. Applicant submits missing material. C. Averaging 50 days INCOSE Receives application & fee Checks completeness of submittal Notifies applicant by that application was received and is complete or has missing material B. < 2 weeks INCOSE Receives recommendations from references and missing information Evaluates education and experience Notifies applicant of evaluation results. If minimum requirements are met, authorizes exam D. Averaging 21 days INCOSE sends CSEP certificate via postal mail to applicant F. < 2 weeks Go through this slide very slowly. Emphasize that the applicant is the main pacer for most parts of the certification process, and thus the length of the process. INCOSE involvement for processing is restricted by procedure to approximately 2 months. Note: We will collect metrics to establish a better historical estimate. Time for Steps B-F: Shortest is 37 days, Average is 147 days Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

35 Topics What is certification and why is it important?
What level of certification is right for me? How do I apply for certification? How do I renew my certification? Where can I find more information? Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

36 Certification Renewal Requirements
Certification is Valid for 3 Years for CSEP 5 Years for ASEP Extensions (e.g., CSEP-Acq) are renewed concurrent with the base certification, regardless of when earned Certification renewal requires Minimum of 120 Professional Development Units (PDUs) Renewal application Continuing education log submittal Must be submitted before current certification period ends Up to 30 “excess” PDUs can be “carried forward” INCOSE Certified professionals have an ongoing growth and learning obligation Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

37 PDUs for Certification Renewal
Professional Development Activity Credit 1 Professional Development Hour (PDH) relevant to the practice of systems engineering 1 PDU 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) relevant to the practice of systems engineering 10 PDU 1 College quarter hour  or equivalent relevant to the practice of systems engineering 30 PDU 1 College semester hour or equivalent relevant to the practice of systems engineering 45 PDU 1 hour of participation in professional and technical society working groups/management relevant to the practice of systems engineering 1 hour of professional development in coursework, seminars, or professional or technical presentation made at meetings, conventions, conferences, or exam preparation relevant to the practice of systems engineering 1 hour of teaching of professional development coursework relevant to the practice of systems engineering (Note: teaching credit is awarded for teaching a course/seminar for the first time only --not applicable to full-time faculty) 2 PDU Authoring published papers, articles or books in any area relevant to the practice of systems engineering Patents in any area relevant to the practice of systems engineering Learning Highlight that this table identifies ways for earning continuing education credits. Point out that these credits may be earned over a three year time period, and that as many as 30 PDUs may be carried forward. Contributing Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

38 Topics What is certification and why is it important?
What level of certification is right for me? How do I apply for certification? How do I renew my certification? Where can I find more information? Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

39 Where Do I Find More Information?
INCOSE Certification web site at Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

40 INCOSE Certification Advisory Group (CAG)
Dr. Kevin Forsberg, CSEP (CAG Chair) Ms. Eileen Arnold, CSEP Mr. Terje Fossnes, CSEP Mr. Karl Geist, CSEP Mr. Ken Kepchar, CSEP Mr. Mike Krueger, CSEP Dr. John Muehlbauer, CSEP Dr. Dan Surber, CSEP Mr. Mark A. Wilson, CSEP The INCOSE Certification Advisory Group is responsible for the certification policies & procedures and the examination content. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

41 Any Questions? Email Contacts Certification Office: secert@ incose.org
Dave Walden, CSEP Certification Program Manager: For more information visit: Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page

42 INCOSE Copyright Notice
Copyright (c) 2008 by INCOSE, subject to the following restrictions: Author Use. Authors have full rights to use their contributions in a totally unfettered way. Abstraction is permitted with credit to the source. INCOSE Use. Permission to reproduce and use this document or parts thereof by members of INCOSE and to prepare derivative works from this document for INCOSE use is granted, with attribution to INCOSE and the original author(s) where practical, provided this copyright notice is included with all reproductions and derivative works. External Use. This document may be shared or distributed to non-INCOSE third parties. Requests for permission to reproduce this document in whole are granted, provided it is not altered in any way. Requests for permission to prepare derivative works of this document for external and/or commercial use will be denied unless covered by other formal agreements with INCOSE. Copying, scanning, retyping, or any other form of reproduction of the content of whole pages or source documents is prohibited except as approved by the INCOSE Central Office, 2150 N.107th St., Suite 205, Seattle, WA Electronic Version Use. Any electronic version of this document is to be used for personal use only and is not to be placed on a non-INCOSE sponsored server for general use. Any additional use of these materials must have written approval from INCOSE Central. Permissions. INCOSE has granted permission to member companies of the INCOSE Corporate Advisory Board to post and use this document internally, subject to the external use restriction. Technical Data. This data was prepared by INCOSE for information only. It has been released by INCOSE as Technical Data. It is subject to change without notice and may not be referred to as an INCOSE Technical Product. Send comments to This briefing was created from information from various INCOSE sources as indicated in the Notes section of this slide. This presentation was extracted and updated from The INCOSE Certification web site: INCOSE Certification of Systems Engineers, Certification Program Briefing for Chapters, CB0104, Karl C. Geist, CSEP, 9 November 2005 and CB0607, Karl C. Geist, CSEP, 6 Jun 2007 Presentation to INCOSE IW06, Kenneth J. Kepchar, 28 Jan 2006 Certification Status Report, INCOSE IS, July 2006 New Member Introduction & Orientation, INCOSE IS 2006, Bruce Shelton, 10 July 2006 INCOSE Certification of Systems Engineers Program, Program Status Report, John Muehlbauer, January 2007 Certification of Systems Engineers, INCOSE-TD , John Clark and Karl Geist, August 2007. Use of any trademarks in this material is not intended in any way to infringe on the rights of the trademark holder. Certification Overview Subject to the restrictions on Copyright Page


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