Levels

The certification comprises 3 levels of qualification from the entry level C (understand) via level B (apply) to level A (master).

  1. Overview
  2. Level C
  3. Level B
  4. Level A

Overview

The SE-ZERT® program enables professionals with a completed technical education to obtain the certificate. TÜV Rheinland admits applicants to the exam after inspecting the submitted documents. Training providers support applicants in preparing the required documentation and for the exam. If necessary, they check issues with TÜV Rheinland. Applicants do not need to become personal member of the GfSE. Though, members receive a discount on the fees.

An examination regulation exists for each level defining further details which are available for download.

Depending on previous knowledge and professional experience, the levels of qualification can be achieved. For admission to the exam, a technical qualification as a foreman, a technician, a technical degree as a Bachelor, Master, Dipl. Ing FH or Dipl. Ing. For each level a minimum of professional experience is required. The certification body may make individual decisions to consider specific career patterns comparable with the above mentioned admittance requirements. A compact overview is depicted in the following graphic.

  "Berufserfahrung_FINAL/  

Applicants have to provide evidence of their professional experience confirmed by their employer. Self-employed applicants have to provide references of their practical experience in systems engineering. The exams for levels B and C differ in the number and difficulties of the questions. For both levels the exam lasts for 120 minutes and comprises multiple choice and open questions. The passing score for both exams is 67 % of possible points. For level A, candidates have to perform a study work with subsequent assessment.

For admittance applicants have to provide evidence of professional experience in at least three functional areas. The required experience in number of month depends on the qualification level. The functional areas are: 

  • Requirements Management
  • Risk and Opportunity Management
  • Baseline Control
  • Technical Planning
  • Technical Effort Assessment
  • Architecture/Design Development
  • Qualification, Verification, and Validation
  • Process Definition
  • Tool Support
  • Systems Engineering Training
  • Systems Integration
  • Quality Assurance
  • Specialty Engineering according to INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook (see chapter 10; reliability, maintainability, supportability, survivability, logistics support, security, safety, electromagnetic environmental effects, environmental engineering, packaging and handling, etc.)

The three core curricula for the SE-ZERT®, level C, B and A have a common basic structure. They include content and process related competency levels that need to be linked to each other. The core curricula of the SE-ZERT® make use of this basic structure based on a domain specific viewpoint. The intended didactic approach relies on the selection and aggregation of the respective competency levels for each of the nine modules.

Each module element is allocated to an appropriate competency level (understand, apply, master) defining the level of knowledge a trainee shall achieve at the conclusion of the training.

Competency Level Interpretation
master Is able to apply, delegate, control, judge and train the procedure
apply Is able to understand and apply the procedure in its entirety.
understand Knows the procedure and can correctly allocate it in the respective SE functional area
N/A not applicable

Level C

In the context of SE-ZERT® Level C the following knowledge will be communicated: 

  • In-depth knowledge of Systems Engineering and Systems Engineering Management
  • knowing, understand and apply symbol or domain specific language
  • understand domain specific methods and procedures to gain knowledge
  • Ability to participate on the task of a Systems Engineer in a project of subproject and take the corresponding technical responsibility.
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary SE-team.

The overall goal of the training for SE-ZERT® level C is to teach trainees to understand methods and procedures of systems engineering in-depth and to enable trainees to apply them within systems tasks on a basic level. Additionally, this training shall leverage the knowledge differences resulting from different career paths.

The primary goal for modules one to nine is „understand“, though the goal for the functional areas Requirements Management, Verification, Validation and Systems Engineering Management and in Implementation Processes is „apply“.

Application Requirements:

Technical Qualification Professional Experience
foreman or technician according to German standard 5 years of which minimum 1 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)
Bachelor Degree 2 years of which minimum 1 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)
Master Degree, Dipl. Ing FH, Dipl. Ing. 1 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)

Anyone who has the above experience and qualification, and has attended a Curriculum Level C training by an approved training provider with a confirmation of 80% attendance will be admitted to the exam.

The exam is structured according to the topics of the nine modules. The weighting and type of questions is according to the following rules:

  • Multiple choice and open questions are only used as knowledge question.
  • The total number of questions is 50 (42 multiple choice and 8 open questions).
  • Each correctly answered multiple choice question gains one point.
  • A completely correct answered open question gains 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 points depending on its difficultness.

The exam duration is 120 minutes and is passed with 67 % of the possible points. In case of failing the exam, the applicant can request a repetition of the exam at next opportunity, earlies one month after receiving the exam result. After failing the third time, the training has to be repeated before getting admittance to a next exam.

The certificate remains valid for a period of 5 years. A re-certification is required to extend the certificate.

Level B

In the context of SE-ZERT® Level B the following knowledge will be communicated:

  • Application-safe knowledge about Systems Engineering and Systems Engineering Management
  • knowing, understand and safely apply symbol or domain specific language apply domain specific methods and procedures to gain knowledge
  • Ability to lead a moderately complex project or a subproject of a complex project with all its parameters and to take the corresponding technical responsibility.
  • Ability to accountably lead a small multidisciplinary team

The overall goal of the training for SE-ZERT® level B is to teach trainees to apply methods and procedures of systems engineering in-depth in the context of moderately complex systems tasks, elaborate relationships and apply knowledge to design solutions.

The primary goal for modules one to nine is „apply“, though the goal for the functional areas Requirements Management, Verification, Validation and Systems Engineering Management and in Implementation Processes is „master“.

Application Requirements:

Technical Qualification Professional Experience
foreman or technician according to German standard 9 years of which minimum 3 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)
Bachelor Degree 6 years of which minimum 3 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)
Master Degree, Dipl. Ing FH, Dipl. Ing. 5 years of which minimum 3 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)

Anyone who has a certificate SE-ZERT® level C, and the above experience and qualification, and has attended a Curriculum Level B training by an approved training provider with a confirmation of 80% attendance will be admitted to the exam.

As an alternative to the level C certificate, it is also possible to obtain admission to the training and level B exam by means of an exam at base level C in a one-time trial for lateral-entry into SE-ZERT®. This takes 60 minutes with 20 questions (15 multiple choice and 5 open questions). The test is agreed with the TÜV by the training provider and is similar to the standard tests. The GfSE recommends to book a few days to prepare with the selected training provider, especially preparing for the open questions.

The exam is structured according to the topics of the nine modules. The weighting and type of questions is according to the following rules:

  • Multiple choice and open questions are only used as knowledge question.
  • The total number of questions is 50 (38 multiple choice and 12 open questions).
  • Each correctly answered multiple choice question gains one point.
  • A completely correct answered open question gains 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 points depending on its difficultness.

The exam duration is 120 minutes and is passed with 67 % of the possible points. In case of failing the exam, the applicant can request a repetition of the exam at next opportunity, earlies one month after receiving the exam result. After failing the third time, the training has to be repeated before getting admittance to a next exam.

The certificate remains valid for a period of 3 years. A re-certification is required to extend the certificate.

Level A

In the context of SE-ZERT® Level A the following knowledge will be communicated:

  • Application-safe knowledge about Systems Engineering and Systems Engineering Management
  • knowing, understand and master symbol or domain specific language
  • master domain specific methods and procedures to gain knowledge,
  • Ability to lead a complex project with all its parameters and to take the corresponding technical responsibility.
  • Ability to accountably lead a multidisciplinary team

The primary goal for modules one to nine is „master“

Application Requirements:

Technical Qualification Professional Experience
foreman or technician according to German standard 14 years of which minimum 6 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)
Bachelor Degree 11 years of which minimum 6 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)
Master Degree, Dipl. Ing FH, Dipl. Ing. 10 years of which minimum 6 year allocated to the functional areas (minimum 3 areas)

Anyone who has a certificate SE-ZERT® level B, and the above experience and qualification, and has personally performed a study work including a self-reflection.

The examination to prove knowledge, skills and abilities comprises of a study work which is to be deffended during an assessment. The study work will be judged by experts called by PersCert TÜV.

The assessment criteria are:

  • Gain of knowledge
  • Practical relevance
  • Conclusiveness of thoughts
  • Presentation
  • Conclusiveness of self-reflextion

The study work is about a systems engineering relevant topic selected by the applicant. Characteristics of relevant topics are multidisciplinary and/or thinking in systems and their life cycle. Topic proposals have to be submitted to PersCert TÜV, including a confirmation by the applicant permitting to forward the study work to the experts (GfSE-assessors). The study work shall comprise between 20 to 50 pages DIN A4 including a half page summary. The study work shall include an amendment of 1-2 pages comprising a self-reflexion “Examination of the own personality and the behavior in handling with others“. The amendment serves to judge if the content of module 9 is mastered. The amendment will be considered during the assessment but not made available to public.

The study work will be rated as accepted if each expert rates it with minimum 67 % of the possible points. Additionally, no assessment criterion shall be rated with less than 33 % of the possible points. Study works not reaching the required number of point may be re-worked once.

For the subsequent assessment the certification body calls the examination board. It comprises of minimum two experts (GfSE assessors) and the governor by PersCert TÜV.

The assessment will be rated by the experts. The governor leads the assessment.

The assessment criteria are:

  • Clarity of thoughts and statements linguistically expressiveness
  • Handling of questions and comments
  • General appearance as discussion partner
  • Conclusiveness of the self-reflexion

The assessment is passed if each expert rates it with minimum 67 % of the possible points. Additionally, no assessment criterion shall be rated with less than 33 % of the possible points.

In case of failing the assessment, the applicant can request a repetition of the assessment at next opportunity, earlies one month after receiving the assessment result.

The certificate remains valid for a period of 3 years. A re-certification is required to extend the certificate.