Systems Engineering Certification

Demonstrating knowledge and experience in the practice of Systems Engineering

Documenting Experience

What qualifies as experience?

SE work experience typically comes from paid work. It may come from internships, co-ops, or work done outside of coursework. Research and projects done only by students cannot count toward the experience requirements. An individual who is working and also going to school may count his or her work time. Volunteer or unpaid work may also count toward the experience requirement. 

Engineers on computer

Guidelines on Distribution of the Minimum 5 Years in the SE Experience Areas for CSEPs 

Certification at the foundation level (CSEP) will indicate that the individual has a balance between the depth and breadth of SE experience having performed in some, but not all, of the SE experience areas. To achieve the desired depth and breadth in the minimum 5 years of SE experience, the CSEP candidate must have at least 1 year or greater increments in at least 3 or more of the 14 systems engineering experience areas.

Two engineers on computer
Engineers in seminar

Guidelines on Distribution of the Minimum 25/20 Years in the SE Experience Areas for ESEPs 

Certification at the expert level (ESEP) will indicate that the individual has a balance between the depth and breadth of SE experience having performed in many, but not all, of the SE experience areas. To achieve the desired depth and breadth in the minimum 25/20 years of SE experience, the ESEP candidate must have at least 2 year or greater increments in at least 6 of the 14 systems engineering experience areas listed above.  

Systems Engineering Experience Areas

  • Preparing for or managing a Business or Mission analysis;
  • Defining a Problem or opportunity space;
  • Characterizing a solution space;
  • Evaluating alternative solution classes;
  • Preparing for Stakeholder Needs & Requirements Definition;
  • Defining stakeholder needs;
  • Developing Operational Concept and other Life Cycle concepts;
  • Transforming needs into stakeholder requirements;
  • Analyzing Stakeholder Requirements;
  • Managing Stakeholder needs and requirements definition;
  • Preparing for System Requirements Definition; Defining System Requirements;
  • Analyzing System Requirements; Managing System Requirements. 


  • Preparing, performing and managing a system analysis; 
  • Decision Management, including Preparing for System Engineering Decisions;
  • Analyzing decision information; Making and managing SE decisions. 
  • Preparing for architecture definition;
  • Developing architecture viewpoints;
  • Developing models and views of candidate architectures;
  • Relating architecture to design;
  • Assessing candidate architectures;
  • Managing the selected architecture;
  • Preparing for design definition;
  • Assessing alternatives for obtaining system elements;
  • Establishing design characteristics and design enablers;
  • Managing a system design; 
  • Preparing, performing and managing system element implementation;
  • Identifying, agreeing and managing system-level interfaces;
  • Preparing and performing Integration; Managing integration results. 
  • Preparing and performing Verification;
  • Managing verification results;
  • Preparing and performing Validation;
  • Managing Validation results; 
    Preparing for, and performing System Transition;
  • Managing results of System Transition;
  • Obtaining Qualification, Certification and Acceptance. 
  • Preparing for Operation; Managing results of Operation;
  • Performing and supporting System/ Product Operation;
  • Preparing for and performing Maintenance; Performing Logistics Support;
  • Managing results of maintenance and logistics;
  • Preparing for, performing and finalizing system disposal. 
  • Defining an SE project;
  • Planning an SE project and its technical management;
  • Activating an SE project;
  • Identifying and recording tailoring influences and mandated structures;
  • Obtaining input from parties affected by the tailoring strategy;
  • Making Tailoring decisions and selecting life cycle processes. 
  • Planning for SE project assessment and control;
  • Assessing SE projects;
  • Controlling projects from an SE perspective;
  • Preparing for and performing System Measurement;
  • Preparing for system Quality Assurance;
  • Performing system product or service evaluations; 
  • Acquisition, including: Preparing for system/element acquisition;
  • Advertising the acquisition and selecting the supplier;
  • Establishing, maintaining and monitoring an acquisition agreement;
  • Accepting a product or service from a supplier;
  • Supply, including: Preparing for supply;
  • Responding to a tender;
  • Establishing, maintaining and executing a supply agreement;
  • Delivering and supporting a product or service. 
  • Planning Configuration Management;
  • Performing Configuration Identification;
  • Performing Configuration Change Management;
  • Performing Configuration Status Accounting;
  • Performing Configuration Evaluation; Performing Release Control;
  • Information Management, including Preparing for and performing information management. 
  • Planning technical risk and opportunity management;
  • Managing the technical risk profile;
  • Analyzing, Treating and Monitoring technical risks and opportunities 
  • Establishing Lifecycle Processes including defining and implementing Lifecycle Models;
  • Assessing Lifecycle Processes and Models;
  • Improving Lifecycle Processes and Models. 
  • Performing professional-level systems engineering activities associated with one or more Specialty Engineering area(s). Typical Specialty Engineering areas include but are not limited to those identified in the INCOSE SE Handbook V4.0, namely: Affordability/Cost- Effectiveness/Life Cycle Cost analysis;
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis;
  • Environmental Engineering/Impact Analysis;
  • Interoperability Analysis;
  • Logistics Engineering;
  • Manufacturing and Produceability Analysis;
  • Mass Properties Engineering;
  • Reliability, Availability and Maintainability analysis;
  • Resilience Engineering;
  • System Safety Engineering;
  • System Security Engineering;
  • Training Needs Analysis;
  • Usability Analysis/Human Systems Integration;
  • Value Engineering. 
  • Infrastructure Management, including establishing and maintaining the Infrastructure;
  • HR Management, including identifying and developing SE Skills, acquiring and providing SE skills for projects;
  • Quality Management including planning and assessing Quality Management, Performing Quality Management corrective and preventative actions;
  • Knowledge Management, including Planning Knowledge Management, Sharing Knowledge and skills throughout the organization, Managing Knowledge, skills and knowledge assets;
  • Project Portfolio Management at Organizational level, including defining and authorizing SE projects, evaluating a portfolio of SE projects and terminating SE projects. 
Other functions and activities performed that you can justify as Systems Engineering activities. 
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