Become an Associate of ISC2

For cybersecurity professionals with the ability to pass an ISC2 exam but who lack the required work experience to earn certification, the Associate of ISC2 designation has you covered.

Passing one of ISC2’s rigorous exams is an outstanding achievement. The Associate of ISC2 badge demonstrates to employers that you have what it takes to add value to their cybersecurity team now as you progress on your journey to certification. It also means you are part of the global ISC2 community, with access to a broad array of professional development opportunities as you obtain the required work experience, advance your career and ultimately earn your certification.

How does it work?

The Associate of ISC2 designation can be earned by anyone who passes an exam for a certification requiring work experience.

After you pass your exam and receive official notice from ISC2 to begin the certification application process, select Associate of ISC2 if you do not yet have the required work experience. You will be prompted to pay your first Annual Maintenance Fee (AMF) of U.S. $50. You will then join our global community of cybersecurity professionals who are working every day to achieve our vision of a safe and secure cyber world.

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Learn More about Becoming an Associate of ISC2

Q: How do I become an Associate of ISC2?

A: To be an Associate of ISC2, you need to pass an ISC2 certification examination. If you do not have the years of work experience required to earn the certification, you can become an Associate of ISC2 until you have the necessary work experience. You can select this pathway to certification during the certification application process after you receive official notice that you have passed your exam.


Q: Does my Associate of ISC2 badge share what exam I passed?

A: No. As an Associate of ISC2, your badge will indicate that you are a member of the ISC2 community and that you have passed one of our rigorous exams.


Q: How long can I stay an Associate of ISC2?

A: The length of time you can maintain your Associate of ISC2 designation depends on which exam you passed. You can hold the Associate of ISC2 for a period of time that is equal to one year more than the years of experience required to earn certification for the exam you passed. For example:

  • CCSP up to six years
  • CGRC up to three years
  • CISSP up to six years
  • CSSLP up to five years
  • SSCP up to two years

Q: What is the process to advance to certification from Associate of ISC2?

A: Once an Associate of ISC2 has gained the necessary work experience for the certification they are pursuing, you must submit the endorsement application. This process must be completed prior to the last day of the last year that you can hold the Associate designation.


Once the application is reviewed and approved, you will receive an email confirmation outlining the next steps towards certification. You will be instructed to log in to your dashboard to pay the upgrade AMF of U.S. $85 before a three-year certification cycle can be started.

A new three-year certification cycle will start once the upgrade payment is received. You will then be fully certified member of ISC2.


Q: How do I maintain my Associate of ISC2 designation?

A: You can maintain your Associate of ISC2 status by paying your AMF (U.S. $50) and earning 15 CPE credits annually.


Q: If I can’t gain a certification, why should I become an Associate of ISC2?

A: Many employers appreciate the difficulty and challenge of passing an ISC2 exam. The Associate of ISC2 designation demonstrates that you are on the pathway to certification and that already possess the knowledge to pass a rigorous exam.