New GISP Certification Process and Fees Announced

Caitlin Dempsey


The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) which had launched a review of its certification process back in 2011, announced new terms and fees for its certification and recertification processes starting July 1, 2015.

In terms of the process for obtaining a GISP certification, the biggest change is the exam component.  Starting on July 1st, those seeking GISP certification will, in addition to the current portfolio requirement, need to take the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam.  The exam is still being developed (per the press release).

Along with the new exam requirement, the fees for obtain a GISP certification are also increasing.  Those initiating the GISP certification process will pay $450 after July 1st (which GISCI breaks down to a $100 application fee, a $250 exam fee, and a $100 portfolio review fee) as opposed to $250 prior to July 1st.  The recertification cycle and fees have also changed from $115 for a five year period to $95 per year for a three year period.  Those that fail to re-certify within GISCI’s grace period will have to renew as if they were starting the GISP process from scratch and pay the $450 fee.

From GISCI the current and new fee structure:

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GISP StatusFee(s)Renewal Period
Current GISP with expiration prior to July 1, 2015 and completes recertificationbefore July 1, 2015$1155 Years
Current GISP with expiration date prior to July 1, 2015 recertifies aftergrace period*$4503 Years
Current GISP with expiration date after July 1, 2015$95/yr3 Years
New GISP application prior to July 1, 2015$2505 Years
New GISP application after July 1, 2015 (application fee + portfolio review + exam fee)$4503 Years

*GISCI currently offers a 1 year grace period for recertification after expiration. Any GISP that fails to reinstate their credential within the grace period will be required to reapply for certification under the standards in place at the time of recertification.

Mike Carson who runs the blog did the math on the new fee structure:

The cost for certification will change too, from $250 every 5 years to $450 every 3 years.  Let’s say you want to be in this GIS profession for 25 years.  Under the current system without considering the new system, you would have paid $1,250 over your lifetime.  Under the new system, you will have paid $3,750.  That is a 300% increase!  For a comparison, our Engineers only pay $125 every 2 years for certification!


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.