What is the Endorsement Process in CISSP exam?

Certification: ISC CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional


In order to get Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) certification, one must pass the exam and complete an endorsement process.

After you pass the exam, the (ISC)2 will notify you after which moment you must complete the endorsement process.

To earn any (ISC)2 credential, one has to follow these steps:

  • Acquire the  necessary experience for a particular credential
  • Complete the application form with your personal information and validating experience
  • Study for exam
  • Pass the exam
  • Subscribe to the  (ISC)2 Code of Ethics
  • Complete the Endorsement process

How do you get  the endorsement?

Every person who intends to get any credential or concentration must get the endorsement. Those who already have (ISC)2 certification but want any credential or concentrations must also get the endorsement.

When you pass the CISSP exam and receive a notification, you should download, fill and submit the Applicant Endorsement Form and your curriculum vitae. You should get a certified (ISC)2 professional to sign the form.

Who is a certified (ISC)2 professional?

First, (ISC)2 professional is a person who can confirm that you have professional experience. Secondly, an  (ISC)2 professional holds an active (ISC)2 credential in good standing. An individual in good standing observes the code of ethics, pays the Annual Maintenance Fees (AMF) on receipt of the invoices and gets and submits the necessary Continuing Professional Education (CPE ) credits. In addition to endorsing candidates, an individual of good standing can elect the (ISC)2 directors, participate in (ISC)2 annual meeting, give voluntary services in diverse committees and events and participate in other chief events of the (ISC)2.

The main purpose of the endorsement process is to have a professional attest that your professional experience is true to their knowledge. The endorser also confirms that you have a good reputation within the industry of cyber security.

What happens if you do not have a person who can attest to your professional experience?

If you do not personally know a person who is an (ISC)2 professional who is in good standing to sign your endorsement form, it does not mean that you cannot  proceed to get your certification.

You can get endorsement assistance by downloading Applicant Endorsement Assistance Form appropriate for the credential that you are seeking (the CISSP certification).

After filling the form, you should submit it alongside your resume or curriculum vitae. You can either send it via email or via postal to the (ISC)2 institution. The emails address as well as the postal address where you should send the form is available at the (ISC)2 website.

When the (ISC)2 Endorsement staff receive the filled Applicant Endorsement Assistance Form and your resume, they will send you a confirmation of receipt via email at your primary email within 48 hours. The endorsement process takes place within five to six weeks. When the endorsement staff completes the endorsement process, they send you an email confirming that you have passed the endorsement process, and you can get certification.

Nonetheless, the (ISC)2 staff will randomly select a small portion of endorsement applicants to conduct an audit on them. The small percentage of applicants must submit additional information for verification. If you are among this randomly selected group, you will receive a notification on your email.

What is the time limit for credential endorsement?

Any institution seeks to protect the integrity of its programs and ensure equity of all candidates. To ensure this, the (ISC)2 requires all candidates to complete the endorsement process within 9 months after passing the exam.

When do you stand to lose your right to endorsement?

You can lose your endorsement under four different circumstances.

First, if you do not submit the  form for endorsement within nine months. Secondly, if you fail to resubmit the form that the ISC claims that it lacks some details and requires you to fill additional information. Thirdly, you lose your right to endorsement if you lose your status of the associate of the (ISC)2.

Failure to submit the form in time

If you did pass the  (ISC)2 exam on January 1, 2014 or after this date and have the necessary years of experience, you have to get the endorsement within 9 months since the date you receive the notification that you had passed the exam. If you do not submit your endorsement application form within the required time, you will lose your right to endorsement, and you will have to sit for the exam again.

Furthermore, if the (ISC)2  claims that your endorsement form and resume lack some of the necessary details, you have to add the required details and correct any errors as instructed by the (ISC)2. After providing additional details and amending any errors in the endorsement form, you should resubmit it immediately. If you do not resubmit it promptly, you lose your right to endorsement, and you will eventually have to sit for the exam again.

Loss of status of Associate of the (ISC)2

If you do not hold the necessary years of experience to obtain certification, you can simply take the exam, and if you successfully pass, you have two years for CISSP to acquire the required experience. After you pass the exam and set off to gain experience, you will attain the status of an associate of the (ISC)2. If you lose the status of an associate of the (ISC)2 prior to gaining the required professional experience, you consequently lose your right for endorsement.

How do you maintain the status of associate of the (ISC)2?

  • You must observe the Code of (ISC)2 Code of ethics.
  • You must pay for the Annual Maintenance Fees (AMFs)
  • You must submit Continuing Professional Educational Credits (CPE) every year. For the CISSP, you must earn 20 credits per year.
  • You must maintain status in good standing.

Failure to cooperate in the audit process

In addition, you stand to lose your right for endorsement if you are among the group of applicants selected for audition and you fail to cooperate with the process of audition. If you receive a notification that you will be among those subjected to  (ISC)2 audit, you are required to consent to the audit within 60 days. The whole audit process takes 12 months since the day of notification.

Concisely, the endorsement process is crucial in the attainment of the CISSP certification, and you should not ignore it. If you do take the process lightly, it might take you a long time to get a certification or you might never get the certification in the end.


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