Software and systems engineering -- Certification of software and systems engineering professionals

This document is part one of the ISO/IEC 24773 series. It contains the requirements which will be common to all other parts of the ISO/IEC 24773 series, for certifications (schemes and bodies) in the domain of software and systems engineering.

Ingénierie du logiciel -- Certification des professionnels de l'ingénierie du logiciel

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Publication Date
14-Mar-2019
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6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
23-Feb-2019
Completion Date
15-Mar-2019
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INTERNATIONAL ISO/IEC
STANDARD 24773-1
First edition
2019-03
Software and systems engineering —
Certification of software and systems
engineering professionals —
Part 1:
General requirements
Ingénierie du logiciel — Certification des professionnels de
l'ingénierie du logiciel —
Partie 1: Exigences·générales
Reference number
ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
ISO/IEC 2019
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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO/IEC 2019

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
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Email: copyright@iso.org
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Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO/IEC 2019 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Conformance ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

5 Concepts relating to certification and qualification ........................................................................................................ 3

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2 Certification and qualification ................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.3 Knowledge, BOK and cognitive level .................................................................................................................................... 4

5.4 Skill and performance level .......................................................................................................................................................... 5

5.5 Competence and proficiency level ......................................................................................................................................... 5

5.6 Assessment methods ......................................................................................................................................................................... 6

6 General requirements ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.2 Conformance to ISO/IEC 17024 ............................................................................................................................................... 7

6.3 Fundamental components ............................................................................................................................................................ 7

6.4 Knowledge and skill ........................................................................................................................................................................... 8

6.4.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

6.4.2 Identification of a BOK ................................................................................................................................................ 8

6.4.3 Cognitive level .................................................................................................................................................................... 8

6.4.4 Skill .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 9

6.5 Competence ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

6.6 Code of ethics and professional practices ........................................................................................................................ 9

6.7 Maintenance of certification.....................................................................................................................................................10

6.7.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................10

6.7.2 Renewal of certification ..........................................................................................................................................10

6.7.3 Continuing professional development .......................................................................................................10

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................11

© ISO/IEC 2019 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical

Commission) form the specialized system for worldwide standardization. National bodies that

are members of ISO or IEC participate in the development of International Standards through

technical committees established by the respective organization to deal with particular fields of

technical activity. ISO and IEC technical committees collaborate in fields of mutual interest. Other

international organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO and IEC, also

take part in the work.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for

the different types of document should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject

of patent rights. ISO and IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent

rights. Details of any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the

Introduction and/or on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/patents) or the IEC

list of patent declarations received (see http: //patents .iec .ch).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see www .iso

.org/iso/foreword .html. This document was prepared by Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1,

Information technology, Subcommittee SC 07, Software and systems engineering.

This first edition cancels and replaces ISO/IEC 24773:2008 which has been technically revised.

The main changes compared to the previous edition are as follows:

— normative reference has been made to ISO/IEC 17024, for general requirements related to

certifications and the certification of persons;

— a statement of general requirements or recommendations applicable to both software and systems

engineering has been added;

— a separation of software-engineering-specific requirements from the generic requirements has

been made;

— additional requirements for certifications in systems engineering have been included;

— additional recommendations concerning bodies of knowledge which form one element of a

certification scheme have been added; and

— additional guidance concerning the description of skills and competencies has been added.

A list of all parts in the ISO/IEC 24773 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/members .html.
iv © ISO/IEC 2019 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
Introduction

Over the past several decades, software systems have become critical components of most aspects of

life. At the same time, these systems have become increasingly complex. One response to this situation

has been the recognition and codification of effective practices for systems and software development

processes and products. This effort has led to the development of systems and software engineering

standards by ISO and IEC, by professional societies, and by national standards bodies. It has also led

[5]

to the definition of an internationally-recognized body of knowledge for software engineering and

[8]
systems engineering .

The increasing globalization of the industry implies that a systems engineering or software engineering

professional is likely to work in different countries over the course of a career. Currently individuals

around the world are working in these domains and they possess varying levels of knowledge and

skill. However, there is no single certification which is recognized for these domains – there are many

certifications and they differ in several respects.

It is therefore important to develop certifications for these domains which are more meaningful,

more readily comparable, and which are recognized internationally. An International Standard which

contains minimum requirements for the scope and content of certifications for professionals in these

domains can increase confidence in those certifications which conform to that International Standard.

Because conforming certifications meet the requirements contained in this document, the standard can

improve the recognition and acceptance of those certifications in countries and jurisdictions around the

world. This increased acceptance and recognition in turn can enhance the mobility of the professionals

holding a conforming certification.

This document responds to the needs of organizations that require software or systems engineers

whose skills and competence are attested by a certification that conforms to an International Standard.

At present, different countries have adopted different approaches regarding the required skills and

knowledge for professionals working in these domains – these may be implemented by means of

regulations and laws. The establishment of certifications for professionals in these domains, and the

definition for minimum requirements for such schemes are not intended to interfere with or override

such national regulations and laws. A certification for professionals in these domains, as described in

this document is not a licence to practice in any jurisdiction. However, licensing bodies and regulators

may consider various certifications of individual persons. The intention of this document is to be open

to these national approaches by providing a framework for expressing them in a common scheme that

can lead to understanding between different countries.

This document is part one of ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts), a multi-part standard that revises and replaces

ISO/IEC 24773:2008. The existing version of ISO/IEC 24773:2008 was intended to be used as a

framework for the comparison of certifications for software engineering professionals.

Many qualifications and some certifications exist for systems and software engineering. There is

currently no International Standard that defines the minimum requirements for such schemes. This

new revision of ISO/IEC 24773 addresses the certification of professionals in software engineering and

systems engineering.

ISO/IEC 17024 is a base standard containing general requirements for bodies performing certification

of persons. The revised ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) contains requirements specifically related to

certifications for software and systems engineering professionals. ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) also

contains guidance to certification bodies regarding the definition of knowledge, skill and competence

that are to be incorporated into a certification for such professionals. ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) is

intended to be used in combination with ISO/IEC 17024.

ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) is useful to industry organizations seeking to compare various certifications

for professionals in systems and/or software engineering; to individual professionals seeking to obtain

certification; and to employers who may choose or recognize such certifications. Such comparison is

important for the society and for various types of stakeholders, since many disparate certification

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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)

schemes currently exist in this domain and since each scheme defines its own competence scheme.

A comparison framework facilitates the comparison between certifications and thus encourages

certification providers to engage in continuous improvement of a certification. An engineer or an

organization can also benefit from a comparison framework, because they can choose a certification

which is appropriate for their skill/career development needs and their current level of achievement.

ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) is useful to certification bodies offering schemes in the domain of systems/

software engineering, as it contains minimum requirements for the certification, and conformance to

ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) can help the conforming certification to be globally accepted and recognized.

The document is useful to many stakeholder groups since it can help to promote clear consistent

standards for knowledge, skill and competence that are applicable to professionals in these domains.

ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) is also useful to bodies offering qualifications in the domain of systems/

software engineering. Qualifications, as defined in ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts), cannot claim conformance

to ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) because they do not address one or more of the minimum requirements

defined for certification. However, the various requirements defined in ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) can

be used as a comparison framework for certification and qualification schemes. Thus, it becomes

possible for a user of ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) to examine and clarify the differences between various

certification and qualification schemes. Such comparison is important from the viewpoint of society

in general and from the viewpoint of various types of stakeholders, since many certification and

qualification schemes exist in this domain. In addition, such a comparison framework can facilitate

comparisons by both certification bodies and their customers. So, the existence of a comparison

framework can encourage competition and continuous improvement of a qualification scheme. Using

ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) as a comparison framework, an engineer or an organization can more readily

select certifications or qualifications that are appropriate to their needs.
ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) consists of the following parts:

— ISO/IEC 24773-1, Software and Systems Engineering — Certification of Software and Systems

Engineering Professionals — Part I: General Requirements

— ISO/IEC 24773-1 serves as the basis for the revised multipart 24773 standard. It contains

terminology, concepts and requirements that are common to the remaining parts.

— ISO/IEC 24773-2, Software and Systems Engineering — Certification of Software and Systems

Engineering Professionals — Part II: Guidance Regarding Description of Knowledge, Skill and

Competence in Certification and Qualification Schemes.

— ISO/IEC 24773-2 (under preparation) provides guidance and recommendations that may be

used by certification or qualification bodies regarding the description of knowledge, skill and

competence within their particular schemes.

— ISO/IEC 24773-3, Software and Systems Engineering — Certification of Software and Systems

Engineering Professionals — Part III: Systems Engineering

— ISO/IEC 24773-3 (under preparation) provides specific requirements for certification schemes

and certification bodies in systems engineering.

— ISO/IEC 24773-4, Software and Systems Engineering — Certification of Software and Systems

Engineering Professionals — Part IV: Software Engineering

— ISO/IEC 24773-4 (under preparation) provides specific requirements for certification schemes

and certification bodies in software engineering.

ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) is applicable across all organizations and is useful to certification or

qualification bodies and consumers (potential certificants, employers and IT service users) who are

comparing or evaluating various certification or qualification schemes.

ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) references and uses as a normative base the general concepts and basic

requirements related to the certification and qualification of persons. ISO/IEC 17024 is used and

referenced by ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) with respect to the general requirements of establishing

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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)

and managing a certification or a qualification scheme. ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) is intended to

provide additional requirements and guidance that are specific to schemes in the domains of systems

engineering and software engineering.

When published, ISO/IEC 24773-3 and ISO/IEC 24773-4 will incorporate by reference the requirements

defined in ISO/IEC 24773-1. This relationship is depicted in Figure 1.

NOTE When published, conformance of a certification scheme in systems engineering will be claimed with

respect to the requirements contained in ISO/IEC 24773-3, and by reference, the general requirements contained

in ISO/IEC 24773-1. Similarly, when published, conformance of a certification scheme in software engineering will

be claimed with respect to the requirements contained in ISO/IEC 24773-4 and ISO/IEC 24773-1. A certification

scheme can only claim conformance to ISO/IEC 24773 (all parts) if it satisfies all requirements contained in ISO/

IEC 24773-1 and either of ISO/IEC 24773-3 or ISO/IEC 24773-4.
Figure 1 — ISO/IEC 24773 Structure and normative references
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
Software and systems engineering — Certification of
software and systems engineering professionals —
Part 1:
General requirements
1 Scope

This document is part one of the ISO/IEC 24773 series. It contains the requirements which will be

common to all other parts of the ISO/IEC 24773 series, for certifications (schemes and bodies) in the

domain of software and systems engineering.
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO/IEC 17024, Conformity assessment — General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons

ISO/IEC TS 17027, Conformity assessment — Vocabulary related to competence of persons used for

certification of persons
3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in ISO/IEC 17024, ISO/IEC TS 17027

and the following apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https: //www .iso .org/obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http: //www .electropedia .org/
3.1
applicant

person who has submitted an application to be admitted into the certification process (3.6)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.13]
3.2
assessment

process that evaluates a person's fulfilment of the requirements of the certification scheme (3.8)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.8]
3.3
candidate

applicant (3.1) who has fulfilled specified prerequisites and has been admitted to the certification

process (3.6)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.14]
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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
3.4
certificant
recipient or holder of a certification
3.5
certificate

document issued by a certification body under the provisions of this document, indicating that the

named person has fulfilled the certification requirements (3.7)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.5, modified — The NOTE has been removed.]
3.6
certification process

activities by which a certification body determines that a person fulfils certification requirements (3.7),

including application, assessment, decision on certification, recertification and use of certificates (3.5)

and logos/marks
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.1]
3.7
certification requirements

set of specified requirements, including requirements of the scheme to be fulfilled in order to establish

or maintain certification

Note 1 to entry: This definition refers to requirements which apply to the candidate.

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.3, modified — Note 1 to entry has been added.]
3.8
certification scheme

competence (3.9) and other requirements related to specific occupational or skilled categories of persons

Note 1 to entry: A certification scheme addresses a candidate’s knowledge, skill, competence or proficiency,

but it also includes requirements for certified person’s ongoing maintenance of proficiency. A specific scheme

also contains declarations concerning scope and title; the criteria for assessment of the certified person; and

declarations regarding validation of the scheme. The scheme is documented.

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.2, modified — The original NOTE has been removed; Note 1 to entry

has been added.]
3.9
competence
competency
ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results

Note 1 to entry: Results are defined with respect to tasks, functions or responsibilities which in turn are job/

role/title-related.

Note 2 to entry: The word competency and competencies can be used as synonyms of competence and

competences. Competence can be used to refer to general ability (e.g. overall competence), while competency

can be used to refer to a specific ability (e.g. competency in design of user interfaces). The word competence is

used in this document to refer to a general ability; and the word competency is used in this document to refer to

a specific ability.

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3., modified — The alternative term "competency" has been added; Note

1 and Note 2 to entry have been added.]
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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
3.10
examination

mechanism that is part of the assessment (3.2), which measures a candidate's (3.3) competence (3.9)

by one or more means such as written, oral, practical and observational, as defined in the certification

scheme (3.8)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.9]
3.11
body of knowledge
BOK

collection of knowledge items or areas generally agreed to be essential to understanding a

particular subject
3.12
reference body of knowledge

body of knowledge (3.11) that is used for the comparison of a particular body of knowledge associated

with a certification scheme (3.8)
3.13
qualification
demonstrated education, training and work experience, where applicable
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 17024:2012, 3.7]
3.14
qualification

specific recognition, title or token, which may indicate proficiency, skill or

knowledge in a given domain, but which is done on a one-time basis only

Note 1 to entry: A qualification of this meaning is similar to a certification but satisfying fewer requirements

specified for certifications. See 5.2 for more explanations.
3.15
qualification scheme

requirements which, when satisfied, results in the issuance of a qualification (3.14)

4 Conformance

This document contains general requirements that apply to all certifications within the scope of the

ISO/IEC 24773 series. The general requirements in this document are referenced and incorporated

by subsequent parts of the ISO/IEC 24773 series. Therefore, conformance cannot be claimed to this

document alone.

One of the requirements contained in this document is that of conformance to ISO/IEC 17024. This

means that conformance to ISO/IEC 17024 is a prerequisite of any claim of conformance to this

document. However, this document does not address conformance to ISO/IEC 17024, nor does it address

conformity assessment under ISO/IEC 17024. These issues are addressed directly by ISO/IEC 17024.

5 Concepts relating to certification and qualification
5.1 General

This clause introduces major concepts related to the certification and qualification of professionals in

systems and software engineering.
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ISO/IEC 24773-1:2019(E)
5.2 Certification and qualification

This document distinguishes certification and qualification. Figure 2 represents a simplified view of the

relationship among certification, knowledge, skill and competency. Detailed explanation of knowledge,

skill and competence can be found in 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 respectively.

A conformant certification scheme is a scheme that satisfies all requirements defined in this document.

An issued certificate/certification provides a proof of ability of an individual over a certain period

of time. A certification scheme contains a re-certification mechanism for this purpose. The ability

addressed by the certification includes knowledge, skill and competence at adequate levels. Competence

involves the ability to apply knowledge and skills as illustrated in Figure 2.

A qualification scheme is a scheme which is similar in some respects to certification schemes, but

which does not incorporate a re-qualification requirement or a requirement for the maintenance of

proficiency. The focus of a qualification is to assure an ability at a certain point in time. In comparison,

a certification is to assure an ability ongoing over a certain period of time and remains valid as long as

the certificant complies with requirements for renewal and maintains proficiency.

A qualification may be labelled by its provider as a “certificate”. Many qualification schemes address

requirements related to knowledge, skill or competence, but they do not incorporate a re-qualification

requirement or a requirement for the maintenance of proficiency. For this reason, such a qualification

scheme cannot be conformant with respect to this document.

Although this document does not address conformance for qualifications, the requirements defined

within this document can be used for the purpose of comparison. Users of this document can evaluate a

qualification scheme against the requirements. The requirements can also be used to compare multiple

certifications and qualifications to clarify relationships among them.
Figure 2 — Major concepts related to certification
5.3 Knowledge, BOK and cognitive level

A body of knowledge (BOK) associated with a certification scheme is a set of knowledge areas

documented to describe the depth and breadth of knowledge required for a certified professional of the

scheme.
A BOK may also contain other technical knowledge, for example:

1. detailed knowledge of parameter setting of a particular tool is also required for an administrator

of the tool;
4 © ISO/IEC 2019 – All rights reserved
...

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