The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has established a multi-level Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) Certification Program to provide a formal method for recognizing the knowledge and experience of systems engineers, regardless of where they may be in their career. The INCOSE International Certification Program felt with the potentially looming government shutdown, there was an opportunity for companies and individuals to spend a little time on personal development, training, and INCOSE Certification. This would be a high leverage activity for all organizations and staffs that are looking to improve their Systems Engineering credentials. So for a limited time the Certification Program Office offered INCOSE Chapters, who provide a testing location and a proctor, the opportunity to host a free INCOSE knowledge exam to all who are interested in gaining an ASEP or CSEP Certification.
Spearheaded by Karl Geist (Pictured) Chapter Treasurer, the INCOSE SoMD Chapter took advantage of the opportunity and hosted a Beta Exam on Saturday, 10 February 2018 at 9 am at KBRwyle in Lexington Park, MD. The INCOSE SE Handbook version 4 was the basis used for all questions on the exam. No studying was required prior to taking this free exam, but some preparation was encouraged and recommended. The event was a free 150-item (2.5-hr) paper exam, and candidates who passed would also have their $150 application fee waived, if they apply within 3 months of receiving successful exam results. The SoMD Chapter advertised the event for two weeks on the SoMD Chapter Website, INCOSE International’s Website, the Americas Chapters Website, and additionally sent flyers to the surrounding INCOSE Sister Chapters soliciting participation. The Chapter received over a dozen inquiries about the exam, and had seven people register to take the test with representation from both the SoMD Chapter (Lyndsay Daniels pictured) and the Central VA Chapter (Laurence Thayer pictured). Karl served as Proctor and Exam Coordinator with over 40 years of Acquisition experience developing Tactical Systems for the Navy. Karl is also one of the original founders of INCOSE Certification Program, and has been certified since 2004. Karl also served 6 years on INCOSE Certification Advisory Group (CAG), and helped write and stage a number of the INCOSE Certification Beta Exams.
Overall, the exam went very well. The SoMD Chapter provided the candidates a free continental and snacks. They were served danish, homemade chocolate chocolate-chip muffins, breakfast fruit bars, fresh fruit salad (Grapes, Cantaloupe, Strawberries and Blackberries), coffee, orange juice, soda, and water. The Chapter also incorporated a 15-minute bathroom for the Candidates, so as to not interfere with their exam time. Currently our SoMD Chapter has 49 members, with 20 members holding some level of INCOSE Certification. That’s 40.8% of our members. We’re hoping to increase that percentage with the exam results. (The accompanying pictures were taken at exam for publicity.)