CWISE: IoT Expert Certification from CWNP

The global IoT and communications market is expected to reach USD21.3 billion by the year 2022, according to Gartner.  Not surprisingly, a market expectation that large has captured the attention of IT professionals.  Additionally, it has attracted those outside traditional IT roles who may be tasked with the design and deployment of IoT solutions to support building automation and smart cities.  Naturally, this attraction has evolved into a desire to deliver successful IoT solutions and fuelled demand for training on best practices for design, deployment, and diagnosis of wireless IoT solutions.  Recognizing this trend, the folks over at CWNP have been hard at work developing a training program targeted at wireless IoT solutions.

CWNP is recognized for providing vendor-neutral wireless LAN certification programs, originally focusing on WLAN technologies.  With certified professionals in over 150 countries, CWNP now has a full training and certification program focused on wireless IoT solutions — covering design, connectivity, and integration.  Training options are available at the entry (associate), professional, and expert level.  This new program parallels the existing WLAN program offering a new path for WLAN professionals to expand their current Wi-Fi skillsets.  Alternatively, the new program also provides a starting point for people new to IoT and wireless technology to begin their own journeys. 

Diagrams below identify the progression of training and certifications that make up WLAN and wireless IoT tracks.  

Recently, the first six (6) CWISE (Certified Wireless IoT Solutions Expert) designations were issued to industry professionals who now make up the IoT advisory board for the CWISE program.  Going forward, the advisory board will review future CWISE applications.  The first six (6) CWISE’s are are:

Beginning with the associate level, the Wireless IoT Solutions track consists of the following five (5) certifications:

CWISA – The “Certified Wireless IoT Solutions Administrator” forms a solid foundation for the rest of the wireless world.  While no certification can cover every wireless technology in use today, it is important for wireless professionals to grasp the most frequently used wireless solutions in organizations. 

CWICP – The “Certified Wireless IoT Connectivity Professional” understands IoT connectivity standards and operation in business and industrial networks. This knowledge can be applied to deploy and troubleshoot the most common wireless IoT protocols with an in-depth understanding of their operations. A CWICP should be able to identify the technology and security requirements for a given IoT solution.


CWIIP – The “Certified Wireless IoT Integration Professional” develops and implements solutions that integrate multiple wireless-sourced management, monitoring, and control data through programming. This professional can identify and use the appropriate tools to extract, transform, and load data to and from wireless IoT systems. The CWIIP plays a crucial role in planning and delivering scalable solutions to automate the transport of and response to data throughout a heterogeneous network.


CWIDP – The “Certified Wireless IoT Design Professional” has the knowledge and skill set required to define, design, validate, and assess wireless IoT solutions. This professional gathers and defines requirements in collaboration with the appropriate stakeholders in order to design wireless IoT networks and related infrastructure with appropriate security considerations. The CWIDP creates design documentation to support the deployment of the required system components and future operations.

CWISE – The “Certified Wireless IoT Solutions Expert” certification assures that you have mastered all relevant skills to administer, install, configure, secure, troubleshoot, and design wireless IoT solutions. In addition, aspiring CWISE candidates will need to demonstrate deep understanding of protocol operations, device configuration (including sensors, actuators, IoT end devices, controllers, gateways, coordinators, etc.), performance and QoS analysis, spectrum analysis, management, and advanced design.


Candidates applying to become a CWISE must meet the following five (5) requirements:

  1. CWNP Certifications: Candidate must pass the certification exams for CWNA, CWISA, CWICP, CWIDP and CWIIP. Each required certification must be valid at the time you submit your CWISE application.

Candidates must pass all 4 wireless IoT exams and must additionally pass the associate level CWNA exam in the WLAN track.  The idea behind this is that many IoT solutions leverage, or are compared against, WLAN based solutions.  Therefore, an expert level IoT professional should be familiar with the basics of Wi-Fi and the 802.11 standard.


  1. Non-CWNP Certification: Candidate must possess one (1) current and valid proctored (defined as having a person or system that monitors a candidate during an examination) IoT, networking, or security certification from a non-CWNP certification provider.

This requirement validates complimentary knowledge which may be beneficial during design, deployment, and diagnosis of IoT solutions.  The exam shall be a professionally proctored exam – meaning candidates are monitored during the exam and complete the exam independently.


  1. Possess 3 Years Experience with Wireless IoT solutions: Document three years of experience working with wireless IoT and solutions through a resume or CV. This experience includes any wireless IoT protocols (those explicitly covered in the CWNP exams or those not explicitly covered), the application solutions used (like cloud services for IoT, IoT Data protocols like MQTT, DDS, AMQP, etc.), and other IoT solution components

There is a difference between knowledge gained from theory alone and that from practical experience.  It takes approximately 3 years to acquire enough experience with IoT solutions to meet the rigour expected at the expert level.  As such, candidate CVs should reflect three (3) or more years of IoT related experience.  To quote Einstein, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”  To be clear, 3 years of experience is not required across ALL topics covered by CWISE.  For example, the 3 years experience could be focused solely on WirelessHART deployments with HTTP based integration.  Additionally, IoT solution experience could be based on using Wi-Fi as a connectivity technology.  This is to say, just because you don’t have 3 years of IoT experience with Zigbee enabled sensors, your experience deploying Wi-Fi based IoT sensors would still qualify to meet the requirements.


  1. Endorsements (not required for CWNEs): Solicit three people to endorse your experience and ethics in working with wireless technologies.

There should be people who have witnessed your work and expertise.  Endorsements are expected from people within the industry vouching for your experience and skillset in the design, deployment, and diagnosis of IoT solutions.  Those possessing valid CWNEs are not required to provide three references, but it does no harm to include three references along with the application.


  1. Question Video Interview Exam: This is a detailed, self-proctored (by CWNP) video interview live exam that CWNP provides to CWISE candidates. It consists of 5 questions that are scenario-based in the areas of security, design, troubleshooting, and integration for wireless IoT. Each question will be answered in video format live. The purpose of the interview exam is to illustrate well-rounded, expert-level knowledge of wireless IoT solutions. The candidate must have a webcam available and quality Internet access to participate in the video interview exam.

This requirement is a significant deviation from the requirements of those familiar with the CWNE certification. The CWNE requires three essays to be submitted whereas the CWISE leverages video interviews to demonstrate a candidate’s mastery of concepts relevant to IoT solutions. The video interview presents candidates with five (5) questions to be answered or explained in a “live” format using their own words.  Questions are not provided ahead of time and each question is not expected to take more than five minutes to answer.   Live interviews prevent candidates from “calling a friend” or searching for answers online.  Presently, video interviews are conducted in English – just as all the exams leading up to the CWISE application are conducted in English.  This is certainly not as inclusive as it could be, and some candidates may struggle during their interviews if English is not their first language.  Acknowledging all standards referenced throughout the IoT track are written in English, candidates should become familiar with all terms or concepts in English.  The key takeaway is that candidates are expected demonstrate their knowledge and experience directly to the advisory board in video format.


The CWISE is an admiral goal and one worthy of pursuit to those interested in IoT and wanting to expand their knowledge.


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