High Participation in Second ISSP-SA Certification Beta

Thu, 2016-03-10 13:49

Update (10/4/16): ISSP Exam Prep is now available! Click here to get started.

Due to the enthusiastic support for the new ISSP Sustainability Certification program, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) introduced a second beta exam for its introductory designation ISSP Sustainability Associate.

ISSP logoSince the opening of the second ISSP-SA Certification beta in mid-January, over 120 ISSP members have registered for the ISSP-SA exam. The first beta, which took place in Oct/Nov 2015, had 153 participants. There’s still time for the second beta to match or exceed these numbers, as registration for the second beta ends at the end of March. The beta exams are closed to ISSP members only. When the ISSP Certification exams debut in the second quarter of 2016, they will be open to anyone, regardless of ISSP membership status.

I recently participated on another ISSP webinar to hear about progress being made toward the official launch. There were a lot of new people participating, which tells me that folks are getting excited about the ISSP Certification program and sharing the news with their colleagues.

Earning an ISSP Certification

It seems there are still questions about the difference between a certification and a certificate. After all, the ISSP program will be the first accredited certification program for sustainability managers. Maureen Hart, ISSP Executive Director, shared the difference between the two designations, as such:

  • Certificate – generally given for completion of a specific training course, like a diploma
  • Certification – requires that you show proof of the skills, knowledge, and abilities that you have in relation to a specific profession (in this case, sustainability professional) and then show, on an on-going basis, that you are participating in continuing education to continually maintain your skills, knowledge, and abilities

In short, a certification carries more weight than a certificate and demonstrates a candidate’s commitment to a profession or body of knowledge.

Diploma image

When it comes to the ISSP program, the first step for all candidates will be to pass the ISSP Sustainability Associate exam. This will be a 75-question exam with all multiple-choice questions. There is no specific software for taking the exam; candidates just need an up-to-date web browser on their PC or Mac.

After passing the ISSP Sustainability Associate exam, candidates can then choose to upgrade to the ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP) level.

Steps to Earning an ISSP Certification

Because the ISSP program hasn’t yet launched, there is no official process for earning the certification. This will be ironed out in the coming months.

One of the ways that ISSP will clarify this process is by introducing Educational Partners. The ISSP Educational Partners program is designed to foster relationships with institutions that provide the highest quality sustainability education and training.

ISSP will pilot partnerships with between 5 and 10 organizations in April, which will be here before you know it! This pilot butts up against the prospective Q2 2016 launch of the ISSP Sustainability Certification as a whole, so more information about how to earn an ISSP Certification will be announced soon!