CISSP Qualification Given Cert Status Equivalent to Master’s Degree Level

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification has been granted a qualification level equal to that of a master’s degree across Europe. The qualification was designated as comparable to Level 7 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) by UK NARIC, the UK’s designated national agency responsible for providing information and expert guidance on qualifications from across the world.

The change will enable cybersecurity professionals to use the CISSP certification towards higher education course credit and also open up new opportunities for roles that require or recognize master’s degrees. The new designation will apply both to the UK and across Europe.

The announcement followed the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service’s (ACE CREDIT®) recognition of six (ISC)2 certifications as eligible for college credit.

In making their decision, the UK NARIC undertook an in-depth independent benchmarking study of the CISSP certification. This involved the review of core qualification components as well as a comparative analysis of the skills assessed during a candidate’s computer adaptive test (CAT) examination to the RQF. This analysis concluded that the CISSP qualification assessed candidate’s knowledge and skills comparable to the RQF Level 7 standard. It noted CISSP required skills such as organizational problem solving and decision making and awareness and correct use of industrial standards, policy and best practice.

“Recognizing the CISSP as comparable to master’s level qualifications further underlines the robust educational and operational value of the certification within Europe,” said Deshini Newman, managing director EMEA at (ISC)2. “It will support our members in their career progression as they embark on opportunities both within their own organizations and externally when applying for roles with degree entry criteria.”

The RQF was developed by the UK government to help differentiate the levels of demand in various qualifications according to an eight-point scale. It can also help employers understand and compare cybersecurity qualifications throughout Europe, with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) referencing the eight levels of the RQF.

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