Time Limit For Credential Endorsement 

The endorsement of a candidate by another (ISC)² certified professional in good standing is a required step in the process to obtain an (ISC)² certification. The endorser attests to the candidate’s professional experience. In order to protect the integrity of its certification programs and to ensure the certification process is equitable for all candidates, (ISC)² has implemented a time limit for candidates to complete this endorsement process within a prescribed timeframe. 

Earning an (ISC)² credential involves several steps:

  • Obtaining the required experience – possessing the required number of years of experience for the appropriate credential is essential
  • Completing an application form – providing personal information and validating education and/or experience
  • Studying for the exam – taking advantage of the Exam Outline and other educational materials (ISC)² makes available to candidates to review and refresh their knowledge before taking the credential examination
  • Passing the examination –writing and passing the appropriate examination
  • Subscribing to the (ISC)² Code of Ethics – committing to and abiding by principles and guidelines set forth by (ISC)²
  • Completing the endorsement process – attesting to a candidate’s background and qualifications by an (ISC)² certified member in good standing


Those candidates who take and pass an (ISC)² examination on or after January 1, 2012 and possess the sufficient number of years of professional experience to be certified must receive their endorsement within nine (9) months from the date they receive their examination pass notice. If a candidate does not submit the endorsement application within the allotted time, the candidate will forgo the right to endorsement and will have to re-take the exam. If (ISC)² deems the endorsement application, including a CV/resume submitted by a candidate, incomplete, the candidate must make the necessary corrections as requested by (ISC)², provide the additional information/documents, and resubmit their application promptly. Candidates who cannot complete their endorsement process within this period will forgo the right for endorsement and will have to re-take the exam.

Professionals who do not currently hold the years of required experience to be certified are welcome to take the exam, and upon obtaining a passing score, have six years for CISSP and two years for SSCP to achieve the required experience. During this period, they carry the status of Associate of (ISC)². If Associates of (ISC)² lose their Associate status anytime before they meet their experience requirements, they will forgo their right for endorsement. For more information on who is eligible to be an Associate and how Associates may lose their status, please visit: how to become an associate. Once they meet their professional experience requirement, Associates have 9 months to submit an endorsement. If they fail to do so within this timeframe, they will forgo their right to endorsement. In such case, they will have to re-take the exam.

(ISC)² conducts endorsement audits. Those candidates who are selected for endorsement audit are required to send their consent forms back to (ISC)² within 60 days of the notification of the audit by (ISC)². The entire audit process must be completed within 12 months of the notification process. If the audit process cannot be completed within 12-months due to non-cooperation of the candidate, the candidate will forgo the right to endorsement and will have to re-take the exam.

As of January 1, 2012, candidates who successfully pass an (ISC)² credential examination must be endorsed within nine (9) months from the date they receive their examination pass notice and Associates must maintain their status until they are endorsed; otherwise, under the new policy, they have to re-take the certification examination.

If you have any questions about this new post-exam endorsement policy, feel free to contact us at membersupport@isc2.org