International Society of Sustainability Professionals and Partners
Ready to Start Testing Certification Process
HARTFORD, CT (July 15, 2015) – Registration is now open for sustainability professionals to participate in the beta test of a globally recognized Sustainability Professional Certification created through a collaborative, industry-wide initiative. Led by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), the initiative has included input from hundreds of sustainability professionals and has the support of dozens of industry organizations, including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
ISSP is allowing a limited number of people to participate in the beta test of the certification processes for the ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP) designations. Those participating will help validate the exam and test the application, scoring and awarding processes. In exchange for helping to streamline the process, participants have the chance to be among the first certified sustainability professionals in the world.
The ISSP Sustainability Professional Certification will be a recognition of achievement and competency for both new and experienced professionals that goes beyond the completion of coursework (i.e. a “certificate”). Certification will require ongoing maintenance and commitment to professional development and learning, similar to other professional certifications. Here's a look at the two levels of ISSP Professional Certification.

  • Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA): For individuals who are relatively new to the field of sustainability but have sufficient education and training to pass a test on core knowledge and understanding of key sustainability concepts.
  • Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP): A designation for experienced sustainability practitioners who demonstrate a combination of sustainability-related work experience and formal education. Obtaining the ISSP-CSP also requires a passing grade on the ISSP-SA test.
  • Both certifications will require ongoing maintenance in the form of CEU’s (Continuing Education Credits) that will be verified every three years, and can be achieved through a number of vehicles, as described in the ISSP Sustainability Professional Beta Test Candidate Handbook.

ISSP is following the internationally recognized ISO 17024 standard in development of the Sustainability Professional Certification program. ISO 17024 sets out globally recognized criteria for creating a certification program for individuals. Adhering to the ISO 17024 standard ensures that the ISSP Certification provides a global benchmark for sustainability professionals and industry-recognized credentials that can be carried across national borders.
How the Beta Test Program Works
Participation in the Beta test program will be limited to 200 seats and available only to ISSP members. The ceiling on the number of registrations and requirement for ISSP membership will be lifted in November, when the ISSP Sustainability Professional Certification will be officially launched and opened to all sustainability professionals, regardless of membership.
Participation in the Beta test of the ISSP-SA certification will require paying a US$100 registration fee, uploading an application, signing a Code of Ethical Practice and Values, and passing the ISSP-SA certification exam.
Experienced sustainability professionals who wish to apply for the Beta test of the ISSP-CSP designation must first apply for the Beta ISSP-SA certification and then apply for the ISSP-CSP certification. The application process includes paying a US$200 registration fee, uploading an application, providing evidence of a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent and a combination of sustainability-related work experience and education, providing three references attesting to their work in sustainability, and passing the ISSP-CSP exam.
Testing for both the Beta ISSP-SA and the ISSP-CSP will done using ProctorFree, an online, on-demand proctoring service that allows candidates to take the exams from anywhere using their computer's webcam and internet connection. The US$100 registration fee for the ISSP-SA and the US$200 registration fee for the ISSP-CSP are discounted prices offered only during the beta test period.
To learn more about and register for ISSP Sustainability Professional Certification, visit
About ISSP Sustainability Professional Certification
Since ISSP was formed in 2007, the field of sustainability has attracted hundreds of thousands of people from a variety of backgrounds who are doing work in this field and claim the title 'sustainability professional'. While the field has been enriched and informed by the diversity of expertise these people bring, it has also created inconsistency in the practice itself and in the definition of what it means to be a sustainability professional. ISSP and its community of supporters believe that, in order for sustainability professionals to be granted due credibility, the time has come for definition and standardization of the profession. This involves defining, testing and verifying core sustainability competencies, assuring those who hire and employ sustainability professionals that they are getting qualified and talented sustainability professionals with skills they can quantify and expect. The ISSP Sustainability Professional Certification program is the result of a multi-year, open, transparent development process involving hundreds of sustainability professionals and partner organizations who have contributed to the content and administrative processes of the program.