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Associate status while holding a certification

I couldn't find this question answered anywhere, so hopefully someone can provide some insight.

 

If you hold an SSCP certification, and later pass the exam for CISSP without meeting the experience requirement, are you both an SSCP *and* an Associate of (ISC)^2? How does the Associate designation work when you fully hold one certification, but don't meet the experience requirement for having another?

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Re: Associate status while holding a certification


@WraithSama wrote:

 

If you hold an SSCP certification, and later pass the exam for CISSP without meeting the experience requirement, are you both an SSCP *and* an Associate of (ISC)^2? How does the Associate designation work when you fully hold one certification, but don't meet the experience requirement for having another?


Christifer,

Your SSCP certification makes you a member of (ISC)2. You cannot be both a certified member and an Associate of (ISC)2, nor would you want to be. One becomes a member of (ISC)2 in one of two ways: achieving full certification for any one of the available certifications OR passing any one of the exams and requesting Associate member status because you do not yet have sufficient experience to seek endorsement. Once you hold any certification from (ISC)2 you are a member of (ISC)2 based on the certification. Associate of (ISC)2 is a membership status in the organization, not a pre-certification status for each certification. 

 

The confusion over this issue is quite understandable and stems from a bit of history. When the Associate of (ISC)2 status was created, (ISC)2 offered only two certifications: CISSP and SSCP. Further, the Associate of (ISC)2 status could only be earned by passing the CISSP exam, not by passing the SSCP exam. That was because (ISC)2 had recognized the brand new CISM from ISACA as a parallel and competitive infosec management certification to the CISSP. The Associate of (ISC)2 program was designed to get infosec professionals to commit to the (ISC)2 option in lieu of the ISACA option before reaching the needed five years of experience. (At the time, a CISSP could become a CISM using a grandfathering program from ISACA, based on holding the CISSP plus documenting five years of infosec management experience.)

 

Some years later (ISC)2 modified the Associate program to take advantage of interest in the then multiple (ISC)2 certifications. It changed from being a pre-CISSP status to simply a general member status for those who wanted eventually to hold one of the certifications, but did not yet have enough experience to qualify. Passing any one exam allowed infosec workers to become members with the status of Associate of (ISC)2. 

 

Once you hold any certificate, that is the basis for membership. You can still seek additional certifications, but there is no reason to or meaning to claim Associate status for them.

 

I hope this helps. This long answer is hinted at in a couple of older threads on the Community, but not obviously so.

 

 

D. Cragin Shelton, DSc
Dr.Cragin@iCloud.com
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