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GIS Professional Certification

URISA is the founding member of the GIS Certification Institute, the organization that administers professional certification for the field and is dedicated to advancing the industry.

In 1998, URISA created a Certification Committee. Following several years of discussion and thousands of hours of work, the Committee finalized its portfolio-based certification program for GIS professionals (GISPs) in the summer of 2003. Along with a GIS Code of Ethics (adopted by the URISA Board of Directors, April 2003) , the program was adopted by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) and is the basis for GIS professional certification. GISCI is the independent certifying body that was created to manage the program. 

The purpose of the GIS Certification Institute is to provide GIS professionals with a formal process that will:

  • Allow them to be recognized by their colleagues and peers as having demonstrated professional competence and integrity in the field
  • Establish and maintain high standards of both professional practice and ethical conduct
  • Encourage aspiring GIS professionals to work towards certification for the purpose of professional development and advancement
  • Encourage established GIS professionals to continue to sharpen their professional skills and ethical performance even as GIS technology changes

Solely a portfolio-based program for more than a decade, GISCI announced a major change to the program in 2015. Those professionals applying for their initial GISP certification would be required to take and pass the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam  in addition to meeting the current standards for certification via a portfolio based review based on ethics agreement, education, experience, and professional contributions. 

URISA is committed to providing its members with ample educational resources and opportunities for contribution to help its members achieve and retain their GIS Professional Certification. Presenting papers at or attending URISA conferences; teaching or attending URISA workshops; volunteering on a URISA committee; and simply being a member of URISA earns education and contribution points towards GISCI Certification. 

URISA's Professional Education Committee is continuously working on resources to support individuals with their exam preparation efforts. From workshops and presentations to a full focused program track at the GIS-Pro conference, URISA is here for you.

Visit www.gisci.org for complete program details.

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