The architecture for the SE Certification Program consists of five categories – a foundation level and four equal but unique advanced levels that may be achieved after the foundation level has been attained. Here are descriptions of the four advanced levels.
Systems Engineering Management
Systems Engineering Management is a certification level that extrapolates the breadth of the Certified Systems Engineering Professional into job roles with increased responsibility and demand for leadership abilities, personnel and resource management skills, and systems engineering process expertise. Qualification is based strongly on the quality of professional management experience demonstrated by the candidate and additional specific systems engineering knowledge above that demonstrated by the foundation level of SEP certification. On the basis of the career ambitions of systems engineers, it is probable that this area will be the next level targeted to become an active element in the INCOSE professional certification program. Criteria for this certification level remain to be developed.
Systems Engineering Specialist
Systems Engineering Specialist is a certification level that recognizes in-depth knowledge and focused experience in engineering specialty areas. Actual subjects for speciality certifications will be allowed to emerge based on developments in the discipline and the INCOSE organization. Some possible subjects are:
- Requirements Engineering
- Systems Analysis
- Modelling and Simulation
- Verification & Validation
- Reliability Engineering
- Systems Integration
- Architectural Framework
Criteria for speciality certifications remain to be developed but may include specific training and knowledge in the practices of the speciality. Criteria will need to address the importance of maintaining technical currency in the specialty area as well as in overall systems engineering foundations.
It may be appropriate to distinguish between specialists in applying speciality practices and those who develop new practices; however, less demand is foreseen for a certification of the latter. Similarly, the case can be made for distinction between practitioners of specialist's work and leadership of such work. The number of candidates for the latter certification would probably be much lower.
Systems Engineering Enterprise Processes
Systems Engineering Enterprise Processes is a certification level that recognizes the unique capabilities of those whose job role is dedicated to developing systems engineering processes for an enterprise to use in product development. This certification level acknowledges that some systems engineering knowledge areas, such as data and configuration management and life cycle cost engineering, encompass the whole system life cycle rather than a specific development phase, and require supporting processes at the enterprise level. A possible variant, or subset, of this area considers those systems engineering practitioners who focus on process analysis and improvement, or process compliance. Criteria remain to be developed for this certification level.
Systems Engineering Fellow
The Systems Engineering Fellow certification level recognizes senior systems engineers who have the added responsibility of directing the technical effort on a program, providing guidance on setting up and executing all program systems engineering processes, or acting as a systems engineering advisor to multiple programs. This certification level acknowledges the individual has an extensive level of systems engineering knowledge and experience, strong leadership credentials, ability to work with people, and an understanding of the organizations culture to promote smooth execution of the program's details. Criteria remain to be developed for this certification level. However, this certification will probably require an extended period of successful work experience and several of the following: a detailed understanding of the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBOK), a Masters Degree in a technical subject, publication of books and/or papers in professional journals, experience speaking in front of an audience of peers, and passage of a more advanced Certification exam.