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A better world through a systems approach

Competence-Based CSEP (CBCSEP) is an alternate path to INCOSE Certification. Candidates following this path will still need to pass the knowledge exam or an equivalent, but all other aspects of their application package are modified. The CBCSEP path is accepting applications starting 1 September 2020 through 30 November 2020, or until 20 applications are received, whichever comes first. Please reach out to as soon as you decide to apply to let us know your interest, and so we can tell you if we are close to that 20 application limit.

The individual application form, a Word document, has candidates summarize their education and positions at work. However, they will describe their depth and breadth of work experience in terms of SE competency areas, rather than SE experience areas, and that depth and breadth will be measured by level of competence rather than by number of months. There is a specific distribution of depth and breadth required, and the individual application form leads the candidate through mapping his or her work to fit that.

CBCSEP applicants do not have additional months of experience or references required based on their academic degrees. There is no minimum or required academic degree using this path. Academic coursework may be helpful in demonstrating competency but will not be sufficient on its own.

References for CBCSEP are required to explain their own qualifications to serve as references. They are then asked to note on the application form which claims by the candidate they can confirm. The references do not have to describe the candidate’s work experience in their own words, though they are welcome to do so. All required competence areas must have reference confirmation using the INCOSE forms for CBCSEP references.

Candidates for CBCSEP may be asked to participate in a phone interview with their review team. This will be to ask further questions about the individual application form submissions.

Candidates who are denied CSEP through this process may transfer their application to Associated Systems Engineering Professional (ASEP). They will still need to pass the knowledge exam or an equivalent to become ASEPs. They may also reapply through the standard CSEP path, but they will need to pay a new application fee and use the standard CSEP application and reference paperwork.

All CBCSEP stakeholders are invited to ask questions of the Certification Program Manager, Courtney Wright, and CBCSEP Lead, Ian Presland, during their hour-long open sessions on the following dates and times:
9/14 – 12pm EDT, 1600 UTC
9/21 – 7am EDT, 1100 UTC
9/28 – 12pm EDT, 1600 UTC
10/5 – 12pm EDT, 1600 UTC
10/14 – 12pm EDT, 1600 UTC

Zoom meeting link for all sessions:



2020 Guide for applicants

Competency Guidance

This page was last updated 22 October 2020. The files posted are for submission to INCOSE on or before 30 November. If you wish to submit after that, please email to explain why you need additional time and when you will be able to submit your completed application and references.