FITSI Announces Next Generation Federal IT Security Professional (FITSP) Certification Program

FITSI is proud to announce the evolution of the FITSP certification program. As of today, 3/3/2020, FITSI members and certification candidates can earn a FITSP Next Generation credential designated with an NG extension after the standard FITSP-Auditor, FITSP-Designer, FITSP-Manager or FITSP-Operator title. The new certification designation will be available to exam candidates as soon as this month (March 2020). All new FITSP candidates will earn a Next Generation certification starting in September 2020. The current FITSP certification that has been available since 2011 will be available during the next two exam cycles, March and June. After the June exam dates, only the Next Generation certification exams and credentials will be administered and issued to new exam candidates.

Please see below for a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for what this means to FITSI certification holders and members:

1. What is the FITSP Next Generation certification program?

FITSP Next Generation encompasses updates to all four FITSP certifications. It adds a designation of "NG" to the end of a given certification name; i.e., FITSP-Manager will now be referred to as FITSP-Manager-NG.

2. Why did FITSI create the Next Generation FITSP certification program?

The cyber industry is changing rapidly. Federal regulations, standards, and guidance are changing all the time. To maintain knowledge currency, FITSI is releasing a new version of the FITSP certification that requires retesting every six years.

3. What is the main difference between the FITSP Next Generation certification and the current FITSP certification?

The primary difference is that the Next Generation certification requires retesting every six years to maintain currency. The Next Generation certification does not require certification holders to collect and register CPEs during the six-year certification lifecycle. In contrast, the current FITSP certification can be renewed every three years by submitting 20 CPE hours per year for the three-year renewal cycle.

4. How does this affect my current FITSP certification?

There is no impact on your current FITSP certification. The current FITSP certification you have can be maintained "as-is." You will still need to log your CPEs and meet all certification requirements. If you meet these conditions, your current FITSP certification will continue to renew every three years.

5. If I have a current FITSP certification, and want to earn the FITSP Next Generation credential, what do I need to do?

To earn the FITSP Next Generation credential you will need to take the new FITSP Next Generation exam for the certification role you are seeking. Also, you will need to meet the eligibility requirement of 5 years of information security experience by submitting a FITSI certification application demonstrating this experience. Finally, you will need to agree to abide by the FITSI Code of Ethics.

6. Can my current FITSP certification be replaced with a FITSP-NG certification at the next renewal cycle?

To earn the FITSP Next Generation credential, you will need to take a FITSP Next Generation exam. The FITSP Next Generation certification will expire every six years, and you will need to retest to maintain its currency. You cannot replace a current FITSP certification with a FITSP Next Generation certification without taking a FITSP Next Generation exam and submitting a corresponding application.

7. What are the requirements to maintain a Next Generation FITSP credential during the six-year cycle?

To keep a FITSP Next Generation certification current during the six-year lifecycle, you will need to abide by the FITSI Code of Ethics and pay the Annual Maintenance Fee (AMF).

8. How much longer will the current FITSP certification exam be available?

The current FITSP certification exams will be available until the end of the June testing cycle. After June 2020, only the FITSP Next Generation exam and certification will be administered and issued to new candidates.

9. I don't want to retest every six years. If I've taken the current FITSP certification exam before June 2020, can I still submit a FITSI application after June 2020 and be awarded the current FITSP certification?

All candidates have up to five years from the date of passing the exam to submit a FITSI Certification application. So, yes, you can still apply for the current FITSP certification after June 2020 if you have taken and passed the exam before then.

10. If I earn a Next Generation FITSP certification, will I need to pay for retesting every six years?

FITSP Next Generation certification holders that abide by the FITSI Code of Ethics and maintain their Annual Maintenance Fees (AMF) during the 6-year cycle will be allowed one free retest in the last six months of their certification free of charge. Certification holders that allow their certification to lapse and retest after the six years will need to register and pay for the exam fee as if they are a new candidate.

11. I have a current FITSP certification. If I want to upgrade my certification to the Next Generation version, do I have to pay the full price?

Within the next 12 months (until 3/3/2021), any current FITSP Certification Holders are allowed to take the exam for the Next Generation certification for the same role at a 50% discount. Certification holders who would like to take advantage of this special program should email and request a promo code to register for the exam at this discounted price.

12. How can I prepare for the FITSP Next Generation certification exam?

FITSI's authorized courseware partner, 30 Bird Media, has committed to having FITSP Next Generation courseware for the Auditor and Manager roles available by the end of March 2020. Courseware for the Operator and Designer roles will be available by the end of May 2020. Interested candidates can order FITSI-authorized courseware for the FITSP Next Generation certification for each role at the following site:

13. How is the content between the current FITSP certification and the FITSP Next Generation certification different?

The Federal Body of Knowledge between the two is very similar. The six domains covered by the current FITSP certifications are the same as those covered by the FITSP Next Generation certifications. The main difference is that the Body of Knowledge used in the FITSP Next Generation is completely current as of this notice (March 2020), while the current FITSP certification uses a Body of Knowledge that is 4-6 years old.

14. Can I hold a FITSP and a FITSP-NG certification for a certification role?

You can hold both a FITSP and a FITSP-NG certification for a role. The one AMF you pay covers all FITSI certifications you hold.