Wednesday, November 5, 2014

An ISACA volunteer

Twice a year, I disappear for about 3 days to participate in a question writing and proofing exercise for ISACA, a non-profit organization charged with leading the information security, risk and assurance certification as well as education.  They are most notable for their CISA and CISM certifications.

I earned my CISM a number of years ago and over the course of time, I've always had a little bit of a challenge obtaining CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credits. A minimum number of credits is required to maintain the certification.  I was working for a failing financial institution, and it was nearly impossible for me to get funds to take courses or attend events that would allow me to obtain credits.

Luckily, there are a number of other ways to obtain CPE credits: 
 - Answer questions in the back of the monthly journal
 - Write articles for the journal
 - Write test questions for a certification pool
 - Mentor others toward a certification

I always thought it would be fun to try to attempt writing test questions for the CISM exam, so one day I did!

Shortly after submitting my attempt at creating about 15 questions, ISACA and I launched a fantastic relationship, to which I am thankful to have with this organization to this day.

My involvement in writing test questions lasted only one year when I was then asked to be part of a committee called the Test Enhancement Subcommittee, which not only writes questions for the exams, but is in charge of proofing all of the questions that get submitted.  Better yet, I get all of my CPE for the year just by participating!

In the beginning, I was more excited about being able to obtain all of my CPE easily, but as I continued to get involved in the TES with ISACA, it was clear to me that I was part of something amazing - a continually refining exercise that produces relevant questions to test an applicant's base of knowledge!

Working on creating and modifying questions for the CISM certification is a rewarding experience, but it is the relationships with the other volunteers and the wonderful staff at ISACA that make me proud to be a volunteer and to be part of the process.

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