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Volunteer to Write Test Items for (ISC)² Examinations

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Volunteer to Write Test Items for (ISC)² Examinations

Re: Volunteer to Write Test Items for (ISC)² Examinations

ISC2 Team


Consider how you can help inspire a safe and secure cyber world by contributing your expertise to the development of the gold standard in information security credentials.  Opportunities to help create and improve (ISC)² examinations are plentiful. (ISC)² holds exam development workshops several times throughout the year in order to update and refresh its item banks and create new exam forms for all the credentialing exams it offers. Workshops are open to all (ISC)² members holding relevant credentials in the subject matter of a workshop.


  • Even though workshops are voluntary activities, and (ISC)² does not compensate its members for attending. 
  • (ISC)² pays all travel, lodging and out-of-pocket expenses of the attendees.
  • Members earn 1 CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credit per hour worked when attending a workshop, typically this amounts to 21 CPEs per workshop.
  • Workshops are usually planned for two and a half days.


(ISC) ² workshops are conducted as face-to-face meetings in a conference room setting where physical security can be closely monitored. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Conflict of Interest (COI) must be signed before every workshop.


Our volunteer Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) represent some of the most highly regarded experts in their respective fields, and we consider ourselves lucky to be able to know and work with.


That’s enough of us telling you about the workshops, hear what (ISC)² Member Volunteers have to say about their Exam Development experience…



“Wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and ISC2 for an outstanding experience in my first go at an ISC2 item writing workshop.  I very much enjoyed myself and think I gained as much as I hopefully provided.  It was a very professionally run process from the beginning to end and I could not be happier with it, even to the point that in the future if my employer does not approve of my attendance on company time I will take PTO to attend”. 


Hope to work with you again soon!



Thank you so much.   I truly enjoyed the (ISC)² Exam Writing Workshop.  Although I had MAC and other issues that impacted my exam question and reference productivity, I found the process very interesting.   I enjoy critical thinking and research, so this was an idea project for me.   The people I met and the exam question review process was such a wonderful experience.   It was fulfilling to utilize my skills in such a unique manner.   It was also wonderful to hear that we were a very productive team. 


Thank you for the opportunity.   




Now we want to hear from you!

Have you participated in one of our (ISC)2 Exam Development workshops?  Tell us about your experience and feedback below. We would love to know what went well and where we have opportunities to make the workshops even better.


If you haven’t participated in one of our workshops yet – feel free to ask questions and pose any concerns, we’re happy to help!



Newcomer II

Cannot recommend this enough. Have participated twice since October of last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that if work will not support it with time off I will take PTO and participate. ISC2 takes very good care of you and it is very professionally run.  In October it was the CCSP item writing workshop and February it was a CISSP item rework workshop.  The only reason I hesitate to recommend it is that if too many people take interest in participating it might be harder for me to get in on the next workshop 🙂


EDIT:  Ooops, fully read the post again and see my feedback is featured........

Newcomer I

I've participated before and hope to again. Great experience and networking opportunity. 

Influencer II

I've done a couple on the Ed side (years back) when we were doing sample question sets.


Would love to do a real one, but haven't been asked yet ...

Contributor I

I would love to be involved with this.  Just waiting to get the invite....

Community Champion

I volunteered for the (ISC)² CISSP Development workshop two years ago and I have no news about it...

How do you develop the French Exam?


Best regards,







Newcomer I

I would like to volunteer for the CISSP Development workshop in English or Spanish version.






Influencer II

> Deirdre ((ISC)² Team) edited a article in (ISC)² Updates on 05-02-2019 05:17


>   Opportunities to help create and improve
> (ISC)² examinations are plentiful.


Yeah, we've been told that, and a bunch of us have volunteered, and I've even been told I'm on a list, but, to be honest, I haven't heard anything for quite some time now ...

Newcomer II

I would like to volunteer in the Exam Development Workshops. I received an email last year indicating that I am on a roaster for future workshops. Hopefully this year.





Newcomer III

I can volunteer!!

Newcomer II


I attended a workshop last year, but I am unable to attend this year due to scheduling conflicts, but I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone considering it.  I was a great experience and propelled me to seek my CISSP certification, which I recently obtained.  I enjoyed giving back to our profession, having a contributing role in impacting future exams and sustaining the level of education required for our community.  I also had the chance to meet some really great people who share a passion for information security and can't wait to have another opportunity to attend next time it is offered to me.

I would like to volunteer for the Exam development workshops.

Newcomer II



I would be more than happy to attend the workshop and work in the exam development.




Newcomer I

Sitting at the Tampa airport waiting for my flights home. Just wrapped up a CCSP exam item writing workshop.


ISC2 treated us very well and the Pearson Facilitators were both rock stars as well.


I would volunteer again in a flash for either CISSP or CCSP sessions as this was a very special experience. The chance to be in a room with so many other cloud professionals was truly inspiring. I feel smarter and better prepared to do my day job for having attended.


The fact that ISC2 wants certification holders themselves to help write the questions is a testament to the value ISC2 is placing in us. WE are ISC2.


That was the best possible combination of hard, intellectually challenging work and fun!


Highly recommend to volunteer for the experience and take them up on it when asked.


As others have stated, if my current employer didn't see the value in my attending without having to take PTO, I would have taken the time myself just to be able to experience this.


Thank you ISC2!




Contributor II

I was a regular volunteer on test development until I was elected to the Board.  Board members are not permitted to engage in activities that open volunteer opportunities (test development, Chapter leadership, advisory committees, etc) for other members, so I was no longer eligible. 

While I immediately re-registered my interest on stepping down from my board duties, unfortunately I haven't heard anything back in the past 2.5 years. I fully appreciate that there may be way too many volunteers registered than (ISC)2 can accommodate, and it is fair to give as many members CPE opportunities as they can.

Unfortunately, there's a cost element to bringing on new test development volunteers. It's been my experience that it may take 2-3 workshops for a good test writer to come up to a standard where they can write consistently good items. The learning that they experience in working with other writers (and doing item analysis and review), is fundamental to them writing better questions. When I was involved, we always tried to achieve a 50/50 split of experienced/new item writers. Otherwise, the quality of new items really suffered. 


So back to my question - with very small numbers of members with credentials like ISSMP (1200), I would have thought the likelihood of a call-up was pretty good (especially for an experienced item writer). This means one of two things:

  1. There is no development / refreshment of certifications attracting a low number of candidates / passes, and effectively the certifications are "retired" from new development (I hope this is not the case, as the credentials will become less and less relevant without being actively refreshed and updated). I appreciate there's a difficult cost decision here for management - do they spend as much refreshing exams for 1,200 credential holders as they do for 130,000 credential holders? I hope Management and the Board see things from my viewpoint - that the differentiation provided by the concentration exams is the same differentiating factor that having CISSP was 25 years ago. I just wish that some of the marketing spend would go towards the "non-performing" credentials rather than letting them wither. 
  2. I'm flagged as "difficult". Again I hope this is not the case, but if it is, then I'd really appreciate some open feedback, and I'll gracefully bow out.  

I can honestly say that Test Development was one of my most fulfilling learning experiences, and have remained good friends with many of the people that I've met through it.

ISC2 Team

Recently our volunteer member pool increased to over 12,000 volunteers, and we try to give all our volunteers an opportunity to attend.  Concentrations and other smaller credentials have so few test takers they do not need massive amounts of volunteer SMEs.  However it also depends on the number workshops we hold during the year for those credentials too.  Every workshop we invite new member volunteers as well as existing ones, and try to have a good mix of both.  We strive to have as much diversity (demographically) as possible in every workshop... newly credentialed, international voice, years of experience, etc.