CRISC certification: Overview & career path

January 6, 2019 by Mahwish Khan

What is a CRISC certification?

ISACA’s Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control™ certification is an enterprise risk management qualification, favoured by professionals looking to build upon their existing knowledge and experience of IT/Business risk, identification and implementation of information system controls. The certification requires pre-requisite skills such as the ability to manage the ongoing challenges of enterprise risk and to design risk based information system controls. CRISC is one of the foremost certifications which help particularly IT professionals prepare for real world threats, with appropriate tools to both evaluate and manage risk. The CRISC certification is widely seen as the go-to accreditation for experts in the field of risk and information systems controls or those looking to progress their careers in this area.

Who is CRISC for?

This certification is targeted for professionals whose job or associated responsibility it is to manage company risks and controls. This includes the following roles:

  • IT professionals
  • Risk professionals
  • Control professionals
  • Business analysts
  • Project managers
  • Compliance professionals

What are the career benefits of obtaining a CRISC certification?

CRISC, as an ISACA certification is globally recognized and hence provides certification holders with considerable benefits, primarily in evidencing to existing/potential employers and clients, that they have the skills and tools to evaluate and manage enterprise risk. Key benefits of the CRISC certification are the following:

  • A widely recognized certification, as evidence of SME knowledge in enterprise risk and information systems control
  • Provides greater value-add to employers and clients in risk management and assessment
  • Helps to better communicate risk and control topics to diverse groups such as peers and stakeholders e.g. user base, development teams or C-level audience
  • Career advancement with greater competitive advantage over other candidates or peers
  • Fosters continuous improvement and up to date knowledge

Data from Global Knowledge’s 2017 IT Skills & Salary Survey (US sample) revealed that the number one paying IT Certification for 2017 was CRISC, at an average salary of $131,298. Over 20,000 professionals globally have the CRISC certification, with the associated skills in very high demand. This reason alongside the high value knowledge CRISC brings to organisations, accounts for why it is a high paying certification.

What are the possible career paths?

CRISC certification is the most recognized medium to evaluate the enterprise risk management proficiency of potential candidates or employees. Employers frequently seek CRISC credentialswhen recruiting for roles including but not limited to:

  • Risk and Security Managers
  • IS or Business Analysts
  • IS Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • Information Control Managers
  • Chief Information Security or Compliance Officers.

CRISC holders frequently advance their career by securing new jobs, attaining more senior positions and securing higher salaries than their peers. This is directly related to their ability to both perform risk management tasks more efficiently and provide greater value to organizations.

What are the benefits to employers?

Employees with CRISC bring to their organizations up to date knowledge and tools relating to risk, information systems and controls, alongside adherence to ISACA’s standard of ethical conduct. Such employees bring the following additional benefits:

  • Superior risk evaluation skills which can be applied to their particular organization
  • Ability to better communicate complex risk topics to a diverse stakeholder group
  • Assurance of their organization’s risk management and control plans
  • Fostering of common and consistent terminology and language in relation to information systems and controls

How to obtain CRISC Certification?

To obtain CRISC certification, you must:

  • Have a minimum of three years of work experience in at least two of the four areas that the certification covers
  • Pass the CRISC exam
  • Adhere to ISACA professional code of ethics

The work experience must be gained either within five years from the certification application date, or no more than 10 years prior to the application date. All work experience must be verified through the relevant employers. Any candidates who do not meet these requirements will be required to take the exam again.

The exam is made up of 150 questions with a required pass mark of 450. The maximum score thatcan be attained is 800. Once the exam has been taken, candidates can apply for certification if all other requirements have been met.

ISACA members and CRISC holders are required to adhere to a professional code of ethics at all times, it includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Prohibited from disclosing information acquired during the course of their duties unless legally required to do so.
  • Perform duties in a professional manner, due diligence and objectivity in accordance with best practices and professional standards.
  • Maintain a high conduct of character and standards at all time.

A failure to comply with the code of ethics may lead to an investigation of the certification holders or members. If misconduct is found, disciplinary measures may be administered.


The CRISC certification is a globally recognized enterprise risk and controls accreditation, providing significant value to its holders and their employers or clients. CRISC certification holders are able to directly evidence their expert skills as a major differentiator, gaining competitive advantage over peers, to ultimate secure more prominent positions and higher salaries. Employers frequently prefer certified skill sets in this field, with a high demand for these employees who are in relatively short supply. The CRISC certification will therefore continue to be a gold standard in the field of risk and information systems control, enhancing the careers from Security Analysts up to Chief Information Security Officers.

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Posted: January 6, 2019
Articles Author
Mahwish Khan
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Mahwish Khan is a Pharm-D graduate from The University of Faisalabad. She is experienced in technical writing. She currently works for a university as a technical trainer and documentation specialist. In the past, she has taught university writing courses and worked in two university writing centers, both as a consultant and administrator.

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