Our information supports and is informed by the UK Cyber Security Council.
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Application Guidance for Professional Registration - Security Testing Specialism
There are three professional registration titles aligned to the Council’s professional standard. Click on the tabs below for information. Please note applications at Associate Level are not yet open and are subject to further research.
An Associate title is awarded to a cyber professional who understands the fundamentals of cyber security and can evidence applying these fundamentals in their career to date.
The Associate Level of security testing is the first grade of membership in the cyber security chartership scheme.
An Associate Cyber Security Professional has practical experience in cyber security and will be a practitioner operating at a level at which their professional expertise is being used effectively in their role.
An Associate cyber security tester would not be expected to have more than a passing knowledge of any of the additional technical knowledge areas.
An ACSP must be able to demonstrate that they are working at the associate level by meeting the following criteria:
- Be able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and experience relating to their role, some understanding of cyber security in its wider sense, and should be able to demonstrate practical experience within their career.
- Be able to demonstrate that they have reasonable communication and interpersonal skills.
- Be able to demonstrate that they understand the need to develop management skills and have carried out some supervisory activity within a cyber security environment.
- Be able to demonstrate that they understand and apply integrity, morals, and ethical values.
- Be able to demonstrate that they carry out and plan for continued development of themselves and the cyber security profession.
More information on the requirements expected of candidates for each Registered Title can be found in the documents below; please ensure you have read these prior to applying.
Requirements & Expected Equivalencies
SFIA Level 3
SFIA Level 5
SFIA Level 6
CiiSEC Skills Framework Level 3
CiiSEC Skills Framework Level 5
CiiSEC Skills Framework Level 6
NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework - Entry
NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework – Intermediate
NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework – Advanced
The Pathway to Chartered Status
There are three stages to becoming chartered: the application form, exam, and interview.
The route to chartership is not a tick box exercise; it is a rigorous process to recognise achievement and excellence within the industry.
The application form is the initial stage of your route to chartership. The form is detailed; please see below advice and guidance on filling it in to give you the best chance of success.
We recommend following the STAR technique, a proven method of answering tricky situational questions systematically while providing all the essential details.
The STAR technique is a method of answering questions that is comprised of four steps:
Situation: Describe the situation and when it took place.
Task: Explain the task and what was the goal.
Action: Provide details about the action you took to attain this.
Result: Conclude with the result of your action.
We have provided some examples of what we are looking for as evidence that candidates have relevant experience mapped to the competencies in the standard – these are contextualised for the Security Testing specialism. This is not a definitive list, but may be helpful in determining whether you are ready to apply.
Please click below to be taken to the examples, and the evidence required.
You are expected to cover your complete professional history as well as your current work in industry. Start with your most recent post and work backwards over a 10-year period. Mention your individual achievements, tasks, and actions, talk about yourself rather than team efforts.
- Indicate the size and complexity of any projects or tasks you describe
- Give an extended description of your current role
- Explain any acronyms or abbreviations the first time you use them.
The application form also asks for your education history, such as professional qualifications, apprenticeships, and degrees.
Additional information required
You will be given the opportunity to detail any papers you have contributed to; this can include articles published in recognised journals, in-house publications, conference and seminar presentations, and any other contribution to industry, national and international bodies.
You are then asked to provide evidence of your competence mapped to the Standard of Professional Competence & Commitment (UK CSC SPCC). Using the STAR model will also prove beneficial here.
Finally, you will also be asked to provide at least two referees; professionals who are familiar with your technical knowledge and work-based experience.
Once your application has been approved your pathway will follow one of two routes:
- Exam and interview (viva) or
- Interview only (if you have completed an appropriate exam within the last three years).
Depending on which category of chartership you are applying for, different exams map to the required skill level. The CHECK Scheme examination standard has been mapped against the UK Cyber Security Council Standard for Professional Competence and Commitment (UKCSC SPCC) and approved as a means of testing technical knowledge requirements.
For registrants applying through The Cyber Scheme, this means:
- For Chartered Title, applicants are required to pass or hold The Cyber Scheme’s CSTL exam (App or Inf), CCT, CSSAM or CSASS to proceed with their application. Certification must be valid for a minimum of 12 months from application date.
- For Principal Title applications, registrants are required to pass or hold The Cyber Scheme’s CSTM exam or CRT. Certification must be valid for a minimum of 12 months from application date.
- The Associate Title will most likely map to The Cyber Scheme’s Foundation exam (CSFL), however this is still in development so please get in touch if you’d like to know more about applying at this level.
Existing CTM or CTL certificate holders
If you hold current Team Member or Team Leader qualifications (valid for at least 12 months at time of application) and wish to obtain professional recognition, you will only be required to completed the application form and attend a remote interview.
You won’t need to re-sit your existing certification in order to apply for a professional title.
The interview will be conducted by Chartered Assessors at or above the level of Chartership being assessed. The 90 minute interview is your opportunity to give evidence that you meet the expected level of competence against the 18 criteria in the standard, based on your application form.
Interviews will take place remotely.
Following the application, examination and interview, a Final Assessment review will take place before Professional Registration can be awarded. The Final Assessment Assessors are responsible for holistically reviewing all the evidence from each stage and will take recommendations from assessors and interviewers as necessary.
The cost of application, assessment and inclusion on the Professional Register is £700+VAT.
You will be invoiced for £250+VAT upon upload of your application form, as a non-refundable processing fee which includes a £99 application fee for The Council.
The balance of £450+VAT will become due when your interview is arranged and includes your first year’s inclusion on the Professional Register. If you are unsuccessful at gaining an interview this will not be charged.
Thereafter it is £99 per annum to remain on the Register.
Ready to apply? Please click below for the step-by-step process and a downloadable application form.