As many of our members now know from recent notifications, (ISC)² is conducting Job Task Analysis (JTA) surveys for the CISSP and SSCP certifications during the month of March. Recently, some members have questioned the need to reward members with five CPE credits for completing the survey. Let me explain.
The (ISC)² Job Task Analysis surveys provide the essential foundation for all of our certifications. They are the single most important activity that shapes our certifications. They map the actual current job tasks performed by our certified members to the content of our credentialing exams. This ensures that the content of our exams remains relevant to professionals immersed in this dynamic, demanding and fast-moving industry and that our certifications continue to be the “gold standard.”
The JTA process is also a valuable service to the information security workforce, as it feeds real-world expertise back into the examination process and ensures our members’ credentials remain a relevant and reliable measure of their task, knowledge and skills.
The data collected from these surveys contribute to updating the existing Detailed Content Outline (DCO) of our exams. Psychometricians, who are experts in measuring the knowledge, skills, and abilities of professionals, analyze the data and use the survey results for developing DCOs for the certification exams.
Even though the time to complete a survey may take about 30 minutes to one hour, historically, we have granted five CPEs to encourage participation and show members how much we value their time for their participation. We award these CPEs because you are helping develop and improve the certification which, in turn, helps us to professionalize the information security industry and improve its participants. In addition, in the overall scheme of CPE requirement, five CPE hours members earn by completing the survey, which is administered in a three-year cycle, is not a significant amount. I should note that claiming the CPE credits for completing the survey is entirely optional. If members feel that they should not receive CPE credits for completing the survey, they are welcome to refrain from entering them. If they feel that they need to claim less than five CPEs, they are also free to do so. There is no requirement whatsoever to claim CPE credits for completing the survey, and participation in the survey is voluntary.
An additional note: some survey participants will receive an audit warning when they enter their CPEs. This is because (ISC)² audits all CPEs of our members who are randomly selected.
We cannot overstate the impact our members who participate in the JTA surveys will have, not only on the future of their credentials, but also on the information security profession itself.
If you have any further questions regarding the Job Task Analysis survey, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at 2011_CISSP_JA@isc2.org or by phone at +1.866.331.ISC2 (4722) or +1.727.785.0189.
Dr. Vehbi Tasar, CISSP, CSSLP
Director, Professional Programs Development, (ISC)2