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Top 5 tips for CESG Certified Professional applicants


The process to becoming a CESG Certified Professional (CCP) with APMG is managed online via a secure administrative system. Not only does having an online application keep the process simple, it gives you control over how quickly your application is processed. In fact, the fastest time in which an applicant has gone from starting the process to being awarded certification – has been a mere 12 days.

Below are our top 5 tips for processing your CCP application quickly and successfully.

  1. CCP Role
  • Selecting the right role and level to apply for is key. Currently there are 7 roles in the scheme, available at 3 different levels. There are four levels for the Penetration tester role. Generally, for the purpose of this certification a Practitioner works as part of a team, under supervision.A Senior Practitioner manages a team of practitioners, and a Lead Practitioner is operating at the corporate/board level, making strategic decisions. The roles are not cumulative so, for example, you could make your application at the Senior Practitioner level, without needing to achieve Practitioner first. You may also apply for more than one role with any combination of levels.
  • The best way to ensure you are applying for the right role at the right level is to review the role definitions in the CESG framework In the Guidance to CESG Certification for IA Professionals, page 12 has a table that lists the roles in the scheme and briefly describes the purpose of each role.The CESG Certification for IA Professionals framework describes in greater detail the requirements for each role and at each level. Then from page 52 onwards it gives examples of activities, behaviours or responsibilities expected for each of the 25 skills.

  1. Evidence
  • This is probably the most intensive part of the process. All applicants are required to provide two pieces of evidence against each of the 25 skills within the framework and if you are applying for the IA Architect role there are an additional 7 skills that must be evidenced in your application.As part of the assessment, you need to demonstrate that you meet the headline statement for the role(s) being applied for and possess the core skills for the role(s).

    Additionally, aside from the core skills you’ll need to demonstrate that you possess at least75% of the non-core skills. Please also note that you will be assessed against the 4 SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) attributes: autonomy, business skills, complexity and influence.

  • Your application should provide evidence of your own capabilities. For example – if you worked as part of a team you should provide details of your role within the team, opposed to what the team collectively delivered.   It is recommended that candidates write their evidence using the ‘STAR’ method, explaining the Situation, Task, Action and Response.
  1. Referee Selection
  • You will be asked to provide a minimum of 2 referees in your application. Referees are people you have worked with in the last 5 years. You may select referees who have been colleagues or managers, and where possible at least one should be a client referee.
  1. Referee Availability

Referee feedback is provided to us online, so please ensure that your nominated referees are aware that APMG will be emailing them. Some of our past applicants’ referees have deleted our referee feedback request as they had not been expecting it via email. We appreciate that the referees are often very busy people so by giving them a ‘heads up’ it can potentially reduce any unnecessary delays.

Through your online application you will be able to see whether your referees have or have not submitted their feedback – giving you control over who to chase up.

  1. Telephone Interview
  • We interview all applicants, regardless of the level applied for. Our preferred method for interviewing is via telephone, and as a result we are able to offer interview slots 7 days a week, from 7am to 7pm. Our assessors are your peers, and therefore have experience of working in similar environments, meaning that you should have no problem discussing your skills and experience over the phone. If at any point during the call you feel that you need to have a face-to-face interview in order to discuss your evidence, then the call can be terminated and a face-to-face interview scheduled to complete the process.
  • If you know immediately that you will not be able to be assessed via telephone interview, a face-to-face interview can be selected. However please note that this may slow down the process as a mutually agreeable date and time, and location, will need to be sought for you and two assessors.

If you follow this advice your application process should run smoothly, however from the moment you apply for CCP certification we will be there to support you, every step of the way.

For further information on the scheme, please visit or contact us on +44 (0) 1494 452450

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