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What is an Experience Centred Project (ECP)?

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ECPs are “real-world,” live project activities that are typically designed and designated by practitioners from Government, Industry and Academia. They aim to provide students, graduates and career changers (aspiring cyber professionals) with "work-relevant" experiences. ECPs offer a number of benefits to organisations who designate them, and to aspiring cyber security professionals who complete them successfully.

ECPs aim to provide aspiring cyber professionals with real-world projects to work on, that are delivered in the context of real world constraints (e.g. time, quality, cost etc.). They aim to prepare developing practitioners for future careers and provide them with valuable hands-on experiences.

Organisations who submit ECPs, can preview the competencies of talented and motivated individuals in a manner that cannot be evidenced via CVs. Through early stage engagement, networking and continued monitoring, ECPs can provide organisations with early insights and access to emerging and talented individuals, their problem solving, and communications skills.

Organisations can post ECPs as a series of "micro-projects", where larger problems can be posted as a smaller and discrete series of challenges.

ECPs can help to foster a sense of community and collaboration between organisations and student cohorts across the UK.


The activities of aspiring cyber security professionals who complete ECPs can be validated by CISSE UK. This includes a debrief statement featuring the developing practitioners performance in 20 categories, and a reflective review of opportunities for enhancement and improvement.

What is the typical workflow of an ECP?
  • CISSE UK Practitioner members, designate ECPs by posting them to the ECP listings pages on the website. 

  • ECPs are promoted to aspiring cyber professionals via mailing lists and specialist events.

  • apply and interview to take part in ECP project activities.

  • Successful applicants complete an onboarding process and are given access to a dedicated ECP project space.

  • Students work on ECP activities in accordance with agreed targets, expected outcomes and within a specified time frame.

  • CISSE UK create an evaluation of the student's performance at the end of the ECP, based on observations throughout the ECP.

  • An end of ECP debrief meeting is held to share experiences and opportunities for improvement.

  • Students who complete successful ECPs receive public validation via CISSE UK as client. For example, this may take the form of:

    • LinkedIn endorsements.​

    • Inclusion as a listed contributor on a public facing web page.

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