FAQs on the course

Ref FAQs Answer
1 How many participants would normally attend? We are used to running classes at a range of sizes. A normal expectation might be somewhere in the range of 6 – 20.
2 Does the course need to be for a duration of 5 days? In CTI’s experience, every single hour of the 5 days is utilized, with occasionally finishing up a very short time before the stipulated conclusion time on the last day of the course. There is extensive material coverage, and we frequently spend time reinforcing the learning with questions and interactive activities.

We typically get very positive feedback, from which indicates that the 5 days were well spent. In fact, it is not uncommon to receive feedback saying that the course should last two weeks!

3 Is the course conducted in a lecture-style? No. We change the style of the course quite frequently, based on adult learning principles. People learn in different ways, and we often receive feedback from delegates saying that they enjoyed the variety of approaches used. There are times when we present the principles, but where possible we prefer a more interactive approach.

We ask delegates to suggest examples relevant to their work in order to make the theory more relevant.

4 Do I need to read the handbook ahead of the course? It would be advantageous to skim-read the handbook prior to attending the course. A broad familiarity with the handbook beforehand will help with the learning curve.

The electronic version of the handbook is available for free from INCOSE when you become an INCOSE member.

By default, a hard copy of the handbook is given to each delegate on the first day of the course. Arrangements can be made to deliver it in advance if required.

5 Do I need to bring anything with me? No, unless you have been provided with the textbook in advance! If you can think of some examples of where systems engineering was done well, and where it was done less well, that will help with some of the dialog.
6 Will I be ready to take the exam immediately after the course? This is unlikely; in our experience, most people put in some revision time before taking the exam. It is difficult to say how much, but 30 hours may be a fair guide. However, one particular delegate passed the exam on the Tuesday following the course. A gap of 3 months might be typical. We would urge you to think about sitting the exam within a few weeks of the course completion.
7 Do you provide any support post course? Yes; we are available to assist with any queries as you prepare for the exam.
8 Can I use the course to improve my in-house systems engineering capability? Yes, particularly if an on-site course was conducted for your organization. We encourage people to keep a living list of improvement ideas as we progress through the course. This means that you can have a mini-improvements plan to take away at the end.

At the same time, the presenters have to be careful not to let discussions dwell on in-house issues, because there is a lot of core course material to get through.

9 Do you teach any tools and methods (e.g. MBSE) on the course? Not extensively. There are some methods mentioned in the handbook referring to supporting tools. There is also material in Chapter 9 on cross-cutting methods (which includes MBSE), but the coverage of each method is at quite a high level.

The majority of the time is spent on the principles and processes of systems engineering.

10 What do I learn in addition to the basic handbook material? This includes:

  • About INCOSE;
  • How to revise for the exam;
  • How to take and pass the exam;
  • How to submit the experience element of a CSEP application;
  • How to engage in Continuing Professional Development, and the expectations for that;
  • Additional elaborations on selected topics that our presenters can provide as time permits.
11 What resources do I take away with me after the course? This includes:

  • The course manual;
  • The handbook;
  • Workshop worksheets;
  • A set of handouts;
  • A set of flash cards for memorizing terms and abbreviations;
  • A minimum of 3 sets of practice questions;
  • A mini-improvements plan if you were able to develop it during the course.