Knowledge, Skills, and
Attitude (KSA)


KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude) is a reference to identify skills, knowledge and attitude required for professionals in the Cyber Security field.

KSA Descriptors core function as:

  • A reference for training providers to facilitate development of suitable training courses relevant to the identified roles and functions;
  • A reference for the development of examination questions to effectively assess the identified job roles and functions;
  • A reference for developing professional trainers able to effectively deliver training in line with the requirements of the identified job roles and functions.

KSA Descriptors prescribe a particular set of skills that a cyber security professional must possess to fulfill their role. Global ACE Certification defines competency as a skill equipped with relevant knowledge associated with it. KSA Descriptors are written in a manner that enables “transferability of skills” between job functions. It is flexible to encourage lifelong learning and to easily accommodate career change in the cyber security field.

The number of descriptors in the framework is extendable. This will be done by addressing industry requirement as and when they arise. The framework also refers to Bloom’s taxonomy to ensure the levelling complies with international norms and maintains consistency across descriptors.

Each KSA descriptor will have a common structure as described next. First, there is a short introduction about the job role and prerequisite knowledge. Next, the domain, level, learning method and recommended learning time are given. This is followed by the learning pathway, capacity building strategy, proposed equivalent MQA level, recommended credit hours (for academic programs) and Global ACE Certification continuing professional development (CPD) hours.

Next the descriptor lists competency area for the job role. After that, the assessment method is stated. The next major sections of the descriptor are the Knowledge, Skills and Attitude (KSA) and the tasks typically performed by a person in the job role. After that is a section that maps the tasks mentioned to the Knowledge, Skills and Attitude. Finally, the descriptor lists all the references used, including the various standards, guides and curricula.

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