I cannot make sense on how they think they can double their annual membership fees and think this will not affect their current memberships and new ones. How they justify this when you compare them to COMPTIA membership fees.
So I have read all the comments here and on the CISSPforum.
From an organizational point of view, I do understand the increase and the change in when you pay. I am NOT going to go into the benefits that I get from the organization. I think that has been hashed out sufficiently.
First, changing the fees to be paid in the current year as a number of people have historically been confused on when their AMFs are due. In my day to day life, I pay things like AAA or COSTCO memberships in advance, I typically only pay the items that I use (Gas, Hydro, etc) in arrears. Keep in mind, if someone chooses not to pay their fees, they have been able to use the designation for a year without paying. Paying in advance, says, I am interested, and I am legally using the designation. Other organizations require me to pay my AMFs ahead of time, so why shouldn't (ISC)2.
As to the increase, while I am personally going to have an issue paying the increase, I will. Yes it seems like a large increase, but I remember that my fees have not increased in about ten years. What has happened, in those years? HMMMMM...first the membership has grown to be 150,000 and we all want the same support levels as we had when we had 25,000. What does this mean to the AMFs? so the increase in members means an increase in the resources (People and Technology) needed to support them. Both of these cost money.
The increase is only an increase if you only have one certification but if you are like me it is a good thing. I currently carry five certifications from (ISC)2, which currently cost me $320 a year.....so going down to $125 is amazing. So before anyone jumps on me and says, "it's their way of making CISSPs pay double or forcing us to get other certification". I don't believe that is the case but then I am NOT a board member NOR am I privy to the strategy behind this but I would have to say their was a strong business case for doing this......oh by the way, CISSPs, fees for you are going from $85 a year to $125.....imagine how the SSCP feels, they only pay $65 a year........
Folks will say but look at the 990s, the organization has money in the bank. So here I say, yep that's true, however the organization has in its employ a hundred or so people (I don't know the exact count) but the original plan for holding about twelve months surplus in the banks was 1) to try to ensure the certifications would last and 2) that the employees could be protected in the short term. Imagine, that you are an employee of the organization and there is a downturn and you are suddenly going without pay.....oh wait that just happened with the Federal government in the US.
So again, I am not a Board Member, but I do value my certifications as I am able to stand up and say, I may not be an expert but I do have knowledge and here is my proof.
...imagine how the SSCP feels, they only pay $65 a year........
Let me respond and relay what I wrote on LinkedIn today under an article about this:
"...one thing that you and many other people discussing the AMF change, proponets and criticisers alike, seem to forget, is that after May 2019, the AMFs for all certs are levelled. I am at an entry-level state in cybersecurity, I basically work for a company where I am helping build up their security infrastructure from scratch after facing a few incidents. While formaly a CISO, I am just a guy who has a penchant for InfoSec and needed to prove to my employer that even without sufficient years served, I still can become a member of trusted organisation and know my way around. SSCP was THE certification to go for that case. While still being difficult enough to be meritable, the one-year worth of practice requirement in the CBK areas, combined with the CBK overlaping with system administration and practical hands-on security ment that I could have became endorsed just fine. The humble fee of $65 was great for me in this regard, because while being sort of 'token fee', it reflected the fact that the credential itself is not as rigorous, nor is it as demanding as CISSP and felt well in line with 'yes, I am still a beginner, not a InfoSec matador, please don't yell at me' kind of message. Also, to be fair, it more or less were the kind of 'I can pay this anytime' fee that I didn't feel like having to prepare for in advance. Now, with the new AMF structure, not only has my fee doubled, while keeping the same 'entry-level' feel about the certification, it has also become TMF (three-year maintenance fee) as oposed to AMF, meaning that I will have to try to use the window given as of now to prepare for the cost of another maintenance cycle. This also means that the total cost of SSCP certification in my country has doubled, as I paid the equivalent of 375$ + VAT to take it and now anyone who takes the exam will have to pay this immediately and once again once they pass for the maintenance fee. While I certainly can understand how the AMFs from 2001 are no longer enough twenty years after, I think a simple increase in AMFs would be way more understandable than this whole system rework that basically discourages people from entering the field unless they already have someone to back them up financialy…"
So there you have it. One example of how SSCPs feel. Especialy since I don't hold my SSCP for one year and it - obviously - is my first ISC cert. And while I might be alone in this - mind you, there's not many SSCP holders when compared to higher tier certifications - I doubt that it will differ much for others. Basically, this step is considered worrysome by some people, because it indirectly changes the perception of our certification. Chances are that since every designation now has the same AMF, there will be more "Associate of ISC" level members, as the benefits of SSCP will become even lower than before for new people in the field.
I am in Singapore this week, so not a great of time to respond. However, from my perspective this is perfectly fair, some will benefit especially, if they have multiple certificates, which is all good. However, some will feel it is not fair, if their renewal comes up before or after the period - I presume there will be a cross over period, which we have to grin and bear it in some cases.
There is good value, but not comparing against vendor certifications, which are ongoing and ongoing ad infinitely as things change rapidly at the pace of light.
I was just echoing some of the comments, on justification from a democratic perspective.
Yes, I can see the costs are rising, hence the drive for automation and removal of repetitive manual functions, which is inevitable etc.
ISC(2) does provide good value, and I will continue to contribute as best I can to the best of my abilities and developing skills going forward.
I agree with you.
It's turning out to be all for the money and I feel it will cause the CIISP and the other programs to loose credebility.
$85 was already high compared to any of the existing benefits.
Note I have been memeber since 2003.