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A better world through a systems approach


May I submit a generic letter of recommendation instead of having my reference complete the INCOSE reference form? 

No. The references must use standard INCOSE reference forms

When selecting references, should I choose supervisors or co-workers? 

If possible, select one or more current or former supervisors as references because their inputs are given much greater credibility by the review committee than are inputs from your co-workers. Subordinates are never appropriate as references. References must provide their assessments in their own words, and they must describe their knowledge of Systems Engineering that qualifies them to serve as references. 

Do each of the references that I select need to be able to confirm my experience for the full number of years that I need to qualify for certification? 

No. Each individual reference does not have to verify your experience for the entire minimum number of years of experience that you need to qualify for certification, BUT your collective set of references does need to be able to confirm your experience for the entire minimum number of years claimed by you on your application, including any additional years of experience required due to your educational status. If the collective inputs from your references do not cover the entire minimum number of years of experience needed to qualify for certification, the review committee may either turn down your application because you do not meet the minimum qualifications on verified experience or may ask you to identify and contact additional references for inputs to confirm your unverified years of experience. The latter will delay the processing of your application. For example, if your three references all confirm the same three years of your experience, you do not have the minimum number of years of verified experience. If the review committee does not turn down your application, it may request that you identify and contact at least one additional reference who can verify your experience for the additional unverified years that you have reported. Your references should provide their assessments in their own words, instead of or in addition to any "copy-paste" of information from your application.  


Are the interview questions for ESEP similar to the exam questions for ASEP and CSEP? 

No, the interview is about an individual’s technical leadership experience, not a knowledge check of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook.  

Will all of my references be interviewed? 

The number of references interviewed varies. The ESEP review team gathers information until they have enough to make a decision, either for approval or denial. This may include zero, one, or two reference interviews. 

What should I do if I’m worried about the interview? 

If English is not your first language, or if you are deaf or hard of hearing, or for some other reason need special accommodations, please let INCOSE know before scheduling your interview. You may be eligible for extra time or visual access to the interview questions. It is a good idea for all ESEP candidates to review their individual application and have a copy of it on hand during the interview.  

Equivalency Programs 

Does a systems engineering certification or degree count toward getting an INCOSE certification?

INCOSE works with several universities and other certifying bodies to recognize equivalencies or create streamlined paths to INCOSE Certification. These are only available at the ASEP and CSEP level. There are no current equivalencies for ESEP.  

What can I do to get my non-INCOSE certification recognized as equivalent by INCOSE’s Certification Program? 

Certification equivalency is evaluated by INCOSE’s Certification Program Office in response to a request initiated by the other certification’s sponsoring organization. The sponsoring organization should email to start a conversation about equivalency.