Professional certification is the recognition, by an independent body, of individual competencies in a specific discipline. Certification is earned by demonstrating, to a board of examiners, following specific procedures, the possession of adequate levels of theoretical knowledge, professional abilities and work experiencein the field. 

For this reason, the AICE certification guarantees that the person has the necessary qualifications to work to to the highest international standards in the Total Cost Management sector. In the presently changing work environment, this recognition is becoming more and more important since it provides businesses with an objective recruiting standard and offers an opportunity to impose contractual obbligations.

AICE certification provides those certified with better career opportunities and gives credibility to their professional abilities.

In 1990 AICE, in collaboration with ICEC instituted an internationally accredited certification procedure in Italy which has been renewed since then and today the current procedure is accredited by the ICEC up to 2023.

Here below a summary of the AICE certification programs accredited by the ICEC. Other information and a detailed guide on the Certification in TCM promoted by the AICE is also available on the website of the Italian Association for Total Cost Management.

Short history

The AICEAssociazione Italiana di Ingegneria Economica, holds the accreditation by the ICEC of the following:

  • the full certificate of Certified Cost Engineer CCE/ICECA (Esperto in Ingegneria Economica) that has been granted for the first time in 1993,
  • the lower level certificate of Cost Engineering Practitioner CEP/ICECA (Praticante in Ingegneria Economica) that has been granted for the first time in year 2001, and
  • the accreditation of the Course in Total Cost Management, that has been granted for the first time in year 2003.

All the above accreditations have expired by the end of 2018.

AICE has requested and obtained by the ICEC the accreditation of the above certificates until 31st of December 2023.

Comparison with previous Certification programs: what’s new?

AICE requested to have an accreditation for an additional entry level certificate to allow new professionals, with limited or no experience at all but having the necessary knowledge, to obtain a certification that they can use to start their professional activity in Total Cost Management, waiting to acquire the necessary experience to apply for higher level certification.

If we refer to the previously accredited certification programs, we note the following modification:

  1. An entry level has been added;
  2. The names associated with previous certification levels has been changed;
  3. The body of knowledge has been updated and extended to competences;
  4. The formative course has been updated accordingly;
  5. Examination criteria have been updated.

The TCM Certifications released by AICE

The main focus of the certification are the competences. Furthermore, the certification aims at covering the different levels of expertise in all sectors of industry and services.

Up to now, certification criteria were defined with a reference to engineering and construction, albeit without exclusion of people with different background, while now they are extended to any economic sector, taking into consideration only competences in Total Cost Management as per the body of competences.

Certification are provided in three different levels:

  1. TCM Certificate Level A: this is the full certification in Total Cost Management as well as in cost engineering, corresponding to the former Esperto in Ingegneria Economica, postnominals TCM A/ICEC.A or CCE/ICEC.A
  2. TCM Certificate Level B: an intermediate certificate that corresponds to the certification level previously accredited as Praticante in Ingegneria Economica, postnominals TCM B/ICEC.A with the double purpose of:
    • being an intermediate level certificate for graduate people, who aims at becoming full CCE in the future, as well as
    • being the certificate for highly experienced undergraduate people working in Total Cost Management.
  3. TCM Certificate Level C: a new certification junior level, postnominals TCM C/ICEC.A, that has been introduced to allow an entry level to younger people that, after graduation, have been participating to some accredited courses but without specific working experience.

The certified people in all the above grades have the right to use the ICEC logo according to the ICEC regulations and the postnominals as specified above.

The procedure at a glance

The procedure is started by the candidate, who presents a request of being certified together with the documents certifying the requirements as specified under the following item:

  1. Self-assessment form
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Original paper - thesis or report on work experience that is used as framework for the oral discussion

The procedure for accreditation is based on assessment and exam:

  • The assessment, based on self-evaluation by the candidate and revised by the certification committee, will allow to apply for the exam with a different score for each level. The score is based on academic background, TCM knowledge and competence, professional experience in TCM or related fields. The committee decides whether the candidate can be admitted to the exam and to which level.
  • The exam is based on an original paper or professional thesis that shall be discussed in front of the examination committee. The committee can make any question to verify the knowledge and competence of the candidate on TCM matter. The committee will also evaluate the soft skills of the candidate.

Assessment

  1. Academic background, up to a maximum of 50 points taking into consideration University courses and degrees, post-graduate degrees as well as seminars and other cultural activities, in proportion to the total duration of the academic or other courses.
  2. Formative background in Total Cost Management, up to a maximum of 300 points: the full course in Total Cost Management, accredited by the ICEC will grant 200 points while other courses will grant a number of points calculated on the basis of the duration as well as of the level of the course.
  3. Professional background and other experience, up to a maximum of 350 points for levels A and B and 150 points for level C:
    1. full time work in Total Cost Management, contract management, cost engineering, project management, project controls and related matter: 50 points per year;
    2. full time work in TCM oriented organisations: 25 points per year;
    3. other full time work: up to 20 points per year;
    4. teaching and lecturing: 20 points per year; up to 50 points per year if related to Total Cost Management, contract management, cost engineering, project management, project controls and related matter;
    5. papers: up to 150 points total, up to 25 points for each paper;
    6. other activities: up to 100 points;

The score required for being admitted to the exam are 500 for level A, 300 for level B and 200 for level C. The self–assessment made by the candidate is revised by the examination committee, that can either accept without any comment or ask clarifications. In case of those clarifications be not satisfactory, the candidate could not be admitted to the exam, unless there is an agreement with the committee for admission at a level lower than requested.

Description

Level A

Level B

Level C

Academic background

Up to 50

Up to 50

Up to 50

Formative background

Up to 300

Up to 300

Up to 300

Professional background

Up to 350

Up to 350

Up to 150

Exam admission score, minimum

500

300

200

Exam

The examinations are set up to ensure that the successful candidate has an adequate knowledge and competences in TCM applied to the required fields. The exam consists in the discussion in front of the examination committee of some arguments relevant to the TCM and in the presentation of the thesis (or original paper). The exam grants up to 300 additional points for levels A and B and up to additional 200 points for level C, according to the following table:

Description

Level A

Level B

Level C

Thesis or original paper

Up to 100

Up to 100

Up to 50

Discussion in front of the committee

Up to 100

Up to 100

Up to 80

Evaluation of competence and knowledge

Up to 50

Up to 50

Up to 50

Evaluation of soft skills

Up to 50

Up to 50

Up to 20

Score to pass the Exam, minimum

200

200

150

Max. score reachable for the Exam

300

300

200

Passing the exam is required in order to be certified. The minimum score for passing the exam is 200 points for levels A and B and 150 points for level C. The total score is sum of the points of the assessment and the exam. The score requested for each level are:

  • 700 points for level A
  • 500 points for level B
  • 350 points for level C

The committee can decide whether to limit the exam only to the oral discussion or to add a preliminary written test.

In exceptional cases, should the certification be requested by person that are clearly and universally known has having full competence and wide experience in Total Cost Management, the committee can issue a level A certificate without passing through the exam.

The Courses in Total Cost Management organized by AICE

The course in Total Cost Management is organized in different Italian towns as per actual requirements, in cooperation with local Universities, Orders and National Council of Engineers as well as other formative Institutions.

Duration of the full course is not less than 144 hours: the course covers the whole body of knowledge and competences and is divided in modules. The full course grants 200 points for the certification, while the various modules grant points in proportion to the ratio of their actual duration to the duration of the full course.

Besides the full course, the AICE organizes seminars on specific matters relevant to TCM.

The ICEC accreditation is relevant to the full course as well as to separate modules and seminars that cover specific topics of the BOC. 

The Certifying Body

The certifying body, as per the bylaws of the AICE, is appointed by the Board of Directors in accordance with the requirement for the ICEC accreditation.

The certifying body reserves the right to deputise one or two members for interviews and admission session. 

Validity of the Certifications

All certifications are valid for 5 years. Recertification is allowed under simplified procedure, based on information and documents submitted by the candidate (evidence can be required) or continuing professional development.

For the escalation to an higher level, the complete procedure is applied.

To persons whose age is more than 60 years, holding the TCM level A certificate renewed for at least 5 times, the validity of the 6th certification is automatically extended for lifetime.

Other general terms

All examination procedures, as well as the minutes of the oral exams, are subject to the privacy requirements according to the Italian law.

In detail:

  • the program of certification is free from any discrimination relevant to age, sex, race, religion, nationality, disability or marital status;

  • the application and testing procedures are subject to review to ensure that they are fair and equitable;

  • the exams are scheduled at least once a year, in Milan; the AICE reserves to make more sessions, in Milan or elsewhere, according to the actual number of candidates;

  • the test results are notified to the candidates within one week from the last test;

  • the failing persons are notified, under their request, about their areas of deficiency: this notification is oral and subject to the privacy requirement of the Italian law;

  • all the examination results are kept confidential as required by the Italian law;

  • the results of the examination are subject to appeal to the Association itself, as well as to the administrative or judiciary appeal to the proper courts as provided for in the Italian laws and regulations.

The certificate professionals are listed in a detailed register, updated at least twice a year. The names and main information regarding the certified people are published on the AICE website, in strict consideration the laws and regulations on privacy matter. Eventually, the certified professional can require his names be kept confidential and not disclosed in the public register as per UE Regulation 2016/679.

The whole procedure is in accordance with UNI regulation 17024 for certification of persons.

The Code of Ethics

Besides the Body of Knowledge and relevant competencies, the candidate has to demonstrate to be properly informed about business and professional ethics, with reference to the code of ethics of the ICEC as well as to the corresponding code included in the memorandum of incorporation of the AICE.

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AICE
Associazione Italiana di Ingegneria Economica

P.le R. Morandi, 2
20121 MILANO
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tel. +39 328 7725970