A Step Closer to ISSP Sustainability Certification

Last Updated:
Fri, 2018-04-20 11:10

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

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) hosted its monthly webinar about the pending ISSP Sustainability Certification program. When we last discussed the program, we were in the midst of the beta testing for the ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP) designations. Now, the beta testing for ISSP-SA has closed. Beta testing for ISSP-CSP kicked off yesterday (Oct. 19) and will continue through November 15. Let's take a look at some of the other items discussed during the October webinar.


Update on the Applications and Exams for ISSP-SA and ISSP-CSP

ISSP Sustainability Associate (first tier)

  • 153 individuals took the ISSP-SA beta test
  • The beta resulted in great changes to the registration process and application system
  • ISSP staff is currently calculating the cut score, or passing grade, for ISSP-SA
  • They will announce the first ISSP-SA cohort by November 20th

ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional

  • 80 registrations have been received - folks must already have been registered for the ISSP-SA beta test
  • Test window is Oct. 19-Nov. 15
  • Results will be announced in December


Hiring Manager Survey

ISSP staff created a survey and distributed to hiring managers to inquire about the types of skills that employers look for when hiring sustainability practitioners.

ISSP Survey of Hiring Managers

Unfortunately I was out of the office on Oct 13 when this ISSP webinar aired live, so I had to catch the recorded video recap. It was at this point in the video that the sound seemed to cut off, but this is what I gathered from the remaining slides...

The results of the hiring manager survey are as follows:

Top 5 "Hard" Skills

  • Strategic planning
  • Project management
  • Sustainability reporting (e.g. using the GRI framework)
  • Systems thinking
  • Financial analysis (including life cycle analysis)

Top 5 "Soft" Skills

  • Communication with stakeholders
  • Influencing change
  • Team building and collaboration
  • Problem solving
  • Tied for 5th place: motivating and inspiring others / networking with internal and external colleagues


Next Steps

ISSP staff will be hard at work determining the cut scores for both the ISSP Sustainability Associate and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional exams. Once the beta testing period is completely over, ISSP will survey all the beta participants and work toward revising/improving the application and test process.

ISSP Next Steps

We can expect that the first cohorts for ISSP-SA and ISSP-CSP will be awarded some time before the end of 2015. After this round is complete, ISSP will initiate its Educational Partners program. Everblue is looking forward to officially joining the program. Our president, Vince DiFrancesco, has been very active in contributing test questions, guidance, and other advice to the ISSP team, so we are excited about the launch of the Educational Partners program. At that point, we plan to officially re-brand our Certified Sustainability Manager training as an ISSP Sustainability Associate Exam Prep course, so stay tuned for that!

The official ISSP Certification exams will launch in early 2016 with rolling applications and testing, and we hope to be an important part of your journey to being named a certified ISSP sustainability professional!