What Happens After the CISSP Examination

By Lawrence C. Miller, Peter H. Gregory

In most cases, you’ll receive your unofficial test results at the testing center as soon as you complete your Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam, followed by an official email from (ISC)2.

In some rare instances, your unofficial results may not be immediately available. (ISC)2 analyzes score data during each testing cycle; if they don’t have enough test results early in the testing cycle, your results could be delayed up to eight weeks.

If, for some reason, you don’t pass the CISSP examination, you’ll have to wait 30 days to try again. f you fail a second time, you’ll have to wait 90 days to try again. Finally, if you fail on your third attempt, you’ll have to wait 180 days!

After you earn your CISSP certification, you must remain an (ISC)2 member in good standing and renew your certification every three years. You can renew the CISSP certification by accumulating 120 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits or by retaking the CISSP examination. You must earn a minimum of 40 CPE credits during each year of your three-year recertification cycle.

You earn CPE credits for various activities, including taking educational courses or attending seminars and security conferences, belonging to association chapters and attending meetings, viewing vendor presentations, completing university or college courses, providing security training, publishing security articles or books, serving on relevant industry boards, taking part in self-study, and doing related volunteer work.

You must document your annual CPE activities on the secure (ISC)2 website to receive proper credit. You also have to pay a U.S. $85 annual maintenance fee, payable to (ISC)2. Maintenance fees are billed in arrears for the preceding year, and you can pay them online, also in the secure area of the (ISC)2 website.

Be sure to be absolutely truthful on your CPE reporting. (ISC)2 audits some CPE submissions.

As soon as you receive your certification, register on the (ISC)2 website and provide your contact information. (ISC)2 reminds you of your annual maintenance fee, Board of Directors elections, annual meetings, and events, but only if you maintain your contact info — particularly your email address.