What is the Open-Source Certification (OSC)?

The OSC is a professional certification offered by the OSMOSIS Association and is designed to recognize the skills and knowledge of professionals in gathering and analyzing data from Open-Source information to support objectives like market research, security analysis, and law enforcement.

What topic areas does the OSC cover?

  1. Laws & Ethics: General coverage of most common and international practices.
  2. Tradecraft: Do you have a fundamental grasp on how to research on the internet?
  3. Reporting: What fundamental elements are required to convey your research to a customer? 
  4. Critical Thinking: How do you break down your topics and begin your research? 

Who should consider obtaining the OSC?

The OSC is ideal for professionals in cybersecurity, private investigation, law enforcement, journalism, market research, and anyone interested in mastering the use of publicly available information for structured investigations.

What are the prerequisites for the OSC?

  • At least 75-hours of practical application time in the year before taking the exam. This can be achieved through part-time, full-time, volunteer, apprenticeship, or classroom time. Once you register for the exam, you’ll be sent a spreadsheet to document your hours.
  • Agree to and sign the OSMOSIS ethics statement. This ensures that we’re all held accountable for practicing ethical OSINT for good.
  • Pass a 100-question exam in under 90 minutes with a score of 70% or higher in all subject areas.

What does the certification exam entail?

The OSC exam consists of a 100-question exam with a 90 min time constraint. Questions are a combination of multiple-choice and true/false formats designed to assess the candidate’s ability to effectively gather and report open-source information.

Is there any training recommended before taking the OSC exam?

It is recommended that you attend at least a 40-hour foundations training course (several are offered by our partners). We also have a published reading list which the exam is cited from.

  • Baker, Rae L. Deep Dive: Exploring the Real-world Value of Open Source Intelligence. Indianapolis: John Wiley and Sons, 2023. ISBN: 1119933243
  • Bazzell, Michael. OSINT Techniques: Resources for Uncovering Online Information (10th Ed.). Independently published. 2023. ISBN: 8366360401
  • Hailey, Kitty. Code of Professional Conduct: Standards and Ethics for the Investigative Profession (4th). Self-Published. 2022. ISBN: 8218120313

How long is the certification valid?

The OSC is valid for three years. To maintain certification, holders must either retake and pass the exam or report 16 hours annually of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits related to OSINT.

How much does the OSC exam cost?

The cost of the OSC exam is $200. This fee includes one year of access to the OSMOSIS Member’s website and all of its content. There is a maintenance fee of $150 due annually to maintain your certification.

Where can I take the exam?

The OSC must be proctored to be valid. There are two options for taking the OSC.

  1. In-person: OSMOSIS is partnering with multiple OSINT training academies and sponsors to offer the OSC as part of their training curriculum. Review the OSMOSIS Events page to see upcoming opportunities.
  2. Virtual On-Demand: OSMOSIS has partnered with Proctor 360 to provide virtual proctoring opportunities. These can be scheduled at your convenience throughout the year. Upon purchase of this option, testing instructions will be sent to your email.

What is the passing score for the OSC exam?

The passing score for the OSC exam is 70%.

Is the exam proctored?

Yes. The exam requires an instructor registered through the OSMOSIS Association or an approved proctoring service to be valid.

What if I have special testing requirements?

If you require any unique testing requirements (i.e. hearing/visual assistance, translation services, additional peripheral devices), these can be coordinated with Proctor 360 or your in-person instructor.

Can the exam be retaken if I do not pass?

Yes, candidates can retake the exam after a waiting period of 30-days. However, a new voucher code will have to be purchased at the examinee’s expense.

What are the benefits of holding an OSC?

Holders of the OSC are recognized as experts in open-source intelligence. This certification can enhance career opportunities, credibility in professional circles, and expertise in a rapidly growing field.

How do I maintain my OSC certification?

Certification holders must earn a minimum of 16 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits per year or retake the certification exam every three years to maintain their certification status.

Who recognizes the OSC?

The OSC is recognized by major law enforcement agencies, private security firms, investigative journalism bodies, and multinational corporations worldwide.

For further inquiries, please contact the OSMOSIS Association certification support team.

Assistance and Support

Should you have any questions or require support, please contact OSMOSIS at [email protected] or +1 (973) 706-7525.