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Viewer II

AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

I signed up for CISSP last year, passed the exam in December and finished the endorsement process in September this year. However ISC2 has updated the requirements for CISSP in the midway (July this year) and added paying AMF fees in advance as a requirement for completion of CISSP. They wouldn't even provide me with the certificate, leave alone the 1 year complementary membership.

 

I am left here wondering if it just unethical or also illegal. Can ISC2 change the requirements, process and fees while I have already paid for the service and am in the process of fulfilling the requirements that I signed up for. If they had to change the policy would it not have been prudent to apply it to the people who sign up in the future rather than applying it retrospectively. I did raise this with the support and hoped that they would see sense in my arguments. But gluttony seems have gotten the best of them.

 

On a side note, since they have increased the AMF fees a lot of my colleagues have decided to not maintain ISC2 certs anymore. The value add is just not proportional to the fees.

9 Replies
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Community Champion

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

@FilterCoffee 

 

This is not a scam and you NEVER got one year free.

 

Back when the certification was first created, the organizations (ISSA, CSI, CIPS, Idaho State, DPMA and IFIP),  involved decided to collect fees one year in arrears so if you got you certification on June 1, 1999 your first AMF was due June 1, 2000.  

 

You may have missed the emails (was mailed in the January 2019 timeframe) and the conversation that happened on this forum.

 

What the organization decided to do was: If you want to carry the mark, you need to pay in advance for that right, NOT carry the mark for a year or so without paying and then cancelling.

 

HMMM for you question on the legality, I suggest you contact the legal folks on this one.  I am confident that the organization has the right to change this (and as I have said before, if you don't like it, vote in the Board elections or better still run for a seat).

 

You are unfortunately only one person our of about 150,000 talking to support.  Imagine how those of us that have been members of the organization for almost 25 years felt when we got a double bill.  

 

Suggest you do some reading on the forum as this subject was talked about quite intensively:

 

https://community.isc2.org/t5/ISC-Updates/Important-Member-Update-AMF-Changes/ba-p/18161

 

Many have chosen to eliminate their certification, while others have chosen to keep them.

 

For now, I have kept my five certs.

 

BTW:  I pay in advance for other certifications that I hold so not sure why you would call this a Scam?

 

Regards

 

 

 

Highlighted
Viewer II

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

Hi @dcontesti

 

Seems like you hurried to jump into protecting the reputation of the organization you have been a member of for 25 years without reading/understanding my post. My issue is not with changing the AMF fees or the timeline thereof. It is about how ISC2 unilaterally decided to change the requirements for CISSP Certification after I signed up and paid the fees for it.

 

Let me break it down to you with an example. Imagine that you pay a builder to build a house for your. You select the house type/size etc. and are provided an estimate of the cost. You pay the whole amount in full in advance. You then have multiple meetings with the builder to decide upon the finer details such as color of the tiles, color of the paint etc while your house is being built. By the time you are done with the finer details the builder says that you need to pay for the maintenance in advance because they have updated their policy. Or else you will not be give access to your house.

 

When you raise it with the support that they should at least provide access to the house (CISSP cert) since you have paid for it as per the agreement you are pounced upon by industry stalwarts who have been building house for their whole lives to explain how maintenance fees are a prerogative of the builder. It is not about the maintenance fees. (It was a SIDE note)

 

Please read the topic of the post again.

 

Regards

Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway


@FilterCoffee wrote:

Hi @dcontesti

 

Seems like you hurried to jump into protecting the reputation of the organization you have been a member of for 25 years without reading/understanding my post. My issue is not with changing the AMF fees or the timeline thereof. It is about how ISC2 unilaterally decided to change the requirements for CISSP Certification after I signed up and paid the fees for it.

 

Hmmm, I read your note, and although I have been a member for 25 years, this changed affected me as well.  I was invoiced double fees (the past year and the future year).  You are not the only person affected by this change.

 


Let me break it down to you with an example. Imagine that you pay a builder to build a house for your. You select the house type/size etc. and are provided an estimate of the cost. You pay the whole amount in full in advance. You then have multiple meetings with the builder to decide upon the finer details such as color of the tiles, color of the paint etc while your house is being built. By the time you are done with the finer details the builder says that you need to pay for the maintenance in advance because they have updated their policy. Or else you will not be give access to your house.

 

So I don't see your comparison between a house and a certification but given that you went there.  I live in a Condo, guess what, my builder decided I had to pay rent until all units in the building were closed and oh by the way, I have to pay maintenance in advance at my Condo.  No other certification that I carry, allows me to pay in arrears, to carry the mark, I must pay up front.  

 


 

When you raise it with the support that they should at least provide access to the house (CISSP cert) since you have paid for it as per the agreement you are pounced upon by industry stalwarts who have been building house for their whole lives to explain how maintenance fees are a prerogative of the builder. It is not about the maintenance fees. (It was a SIDE note)

 

Please read the topic of the post again.

 

Regards


Well your note did talk mostly about the fees and the rights of the organization.

From your original note " They wouldn't even provide me with the certificate, leave alone the 1 year complementary membership."  There is no complimentary one year membership (this is the point I was trying to make}..  You did not get your endorsement until September 2019 (which is when you officially became a CISSP and were allowed to officially use the mark).

 

Also from your original note:  "I signed up for CISSP last year, passed the exam in December and finished the endorsement process in September this year. "   Based on this, you were not a CISSP until September, 2019.  I would suggest that once you pay your fees, you will get your certificate (remember you are not a CISSP or SSCP or CAP or CSSLP or whatever until the endorsement process is complete).

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Community Champion

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway


@FilterCoffee wrote:

 

Seems like you hurried to jump...

More likely, @dcontesti recalls the community discussions in the first half of this year, so she already has months of reflection on the various scenarios that you are just starting to contemplate.  

 

Imagine that you pay a builder to build a house ... pay the whole amount in full in advance.


Like @dcontesti, I don't understand your analogy given that the imagined house would be a one-time transaction, whereas the AMF is more like a subscription (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, the local news paper).  Rate increases are a normal part of subscriptions, generally affecting only unpaid future periods, which is exactly how (ISC)² handled it.

 

@dcontesti does a good job of explaining the likely reason why the AMF was switched from arrears to advance.   Could they have done a better job of implementation?  Absolutely!  Should they have rolled it out gradually?  Perhaps.  Should they grandfather arrears and required new people pay in advance?  No.  That would create support complications that persist for years to come.

 

I am left here wondering if it just unethical or also illegal.

Generally speaking, changing the deal after one has paid or signed a contract has ethical and perhaps legal issues, but as far as I can tell you have neither of those, so I would suspect neither ethical nor legal concerns, but IANAL.  If you have a serious legal question, my advise is always to contact your lawyer, rather than depend upon somebody else's lawyer or upon advise you find on a public forum.

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Community Champion

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

 

 

@FilterCoffee, first of all, welcome to the club of those who aren't happy with the new AMF policy. There have been other posts related to this, so do a search on the community to see what members' opinions were, how the decision might have been taken my (ISC)2, the pros & cons, and so on.

 

I don't see how this is a scam,; as for the complementary membership of 1 year, I wasn't aware of that.

 

About the legality of the change, in my view, what we pay for is akin to subscribing to a service --- should the provider change terms, we're at liberty to cancel it. (Then again, you should consult a legal expert & get their opinion on this)

 

Finally, the example you provided isn't really analogous to this --- you could look at it as renting an apartment rather than getting a house built.

 

 

 

 

@Kaity, would you please clarify whether there's any such kind of complimentary membership? 

 

 

 

Shannon D'Cruz,
CISM, CISSP

www.linkedin.com/in/shannondcruz
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Community Manager

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

Hello everyone! Thanks for tagging me @Shannon. No, there has never been one year of "complimentary membership" at (ISC)2. When the organization began, members paid for their first year of membership after it was over, and continued to pay for each year of membership after it was over until we made the change in 2019 (which was approved by the board several years earlier). It took some time to implement that policy change, which coincided with a data migration, so we announced it in January - and sent many, many reminders in the months after that - even though the change didn't actually "start" until July 1. By announcing it in January, we gave members who had years left in their current cycle the opportunity to pay ahead at the old rate ($85 for CISSPs).

 

Yes, the change left members paying essentially for two years of membership in one year, in order to "get right" with the new policy. Some members, though, ended up paying for more since they had not kept up with their AMFs - something that is possible only in a system in which you pay for membership in arrears. It has been a difficult change, for sure, and we have learned from the process. However, we are now in line with industry standards and we have no current plans to make any changes to AMFs in the future. 

 

We have a page up with AMF info, if it's helpful - https://www.isc2.org/AMFs-Overview Also if you see anything there that might need clarification, or if there's something NOT there that you think should be, let me know. I know the lady who manages the content there. (Hint: it's me)

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Community Champion

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

 

 

Thanks for that, @Kaity@FilterCoffee, hope that clarifies it. The picture might not look good, but it's important that the view isn't blurred.

 

 

Shannon D'Cruz,
CISM, CISSP

www.linkedin.com/in/shannondcruz
Newcomer III

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

> I signed up for CISSP last year, passed the exam in December and finished the endorsement process in September this year. However ISC2 has updated the requirements for CISSP in the midway (July this year) and added paying AMF fees in advance as a requirement for completion of CISSP.

To be fair to (ISC)2 management, my understanding is that they had for some period of time highlighted the fact that the AMF requirements were going to change this year and that some people would be negatively affected by the change (certainly I've heard David Shearer mention this in public previous to Dec 2018) .
It seems like you wouldn't have been affected if you hadn't sat for your exam until November this year, or you would have got greater benefit if you had endorsed earlier, but because of those choices it hasn't worked out to your advantage.

In terms of the change from paying in arrears to up-front, (ISC)2 management use the analogy of insurance. Would your insurance company consider payment in arrears?
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Newcomer III

Re: AMF Scam: CISSP Cert Requirement Changed Midway

I think we were all surprised and no one wants to spend more money.  Calling it a "scam" makes your argument seem a little suspect, though.  This makes two different threads on a settled issue. 

 

I guess, if you don't like it and you pay your own fees (like many of us do), then consider the cost per month versus the obvious employment advantages?   

 

I don't understand what you ultimately want.  No one is really required by law to get this cert and keep it, I guess.  I am required to keep mine for employment, I like to eat and have a bed, so I think that it is my choice to pay the extra fees.  You make your own choice.