The certification comprises 4 levels of qualification from the entry level D and C (understand) via level B (apply) to level A (master).

  1. Level A details
  2. Level B details
  3. Level C details
  4. Level D details


The SE-ZERT® program enables professionals with a completed technical education to obtain the certificate. The SE-TREC GmbH 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 the SE-TREC GmbH. Applicants do not need to become personal member of the GfSE. Though, members receive a discount on the fees.

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 the level C, B and A a minimum of professional experience is required. The level D is exceptional for students from a qualified university.

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.


Practical experience


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 time from the day of application until the exam shall not exceed 6 months. In case of violation the applicant shall contact the SE-TREC GmbH early enough to find an agreement with the certification body. Activities as a working student are part of an apprenticeship and therefore cannot be credited.

The exams for levels B, C and D differ in the number and difficulties of the questions. For all three levels the exam lasts for 120 minutes and comprises multiple choice and open questions. The passing score for the exam 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 (e.g. 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/D, 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

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

Overview about the applicant documentation

Overview about valid documentation (XXX = under development; available in German)

The general documents describe the requirements, process steps and aim of each level.

  • Curriculum: Content and aim with the to be achieved competency level
  • Exam regulation and guideline: The requirements and the way to the certificate
  • Collecting the PDU: Guideline for the categories, process and the content for renewal
  • Code of Ethics: Is valid for all levels and to be confirmed/accepted
  • Trademark Usage codex: Is valid for all levels and to be confirmed/accepted as the title “Certified Systems Engineer (GfSE)” and the seal are registered trademarks

The forms are documents for personal details. Every applicant has to fill in the personal data.

  • Exam registration: Application data and professional evidence
  • Application for the title
  • Application for the equivalent INCOSE SEP certificate (Optional with additional costs)
  • Renewal table: Upkeeping of individual data and for renewal
  • Renewal and cost reimbursement form