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Thursday, May 22, 2008

What are the phases of the EnCE® exam?

What are the phases of the EnCE® exam?
The EnCE® exam has two phases:

  • Phase I of the EnCE® exam is a computer-based test administered by Prometric. Students must obtain a grade of 80% or higher to pass and proceed to Phase II.
  • Phase II is a practical test requiring students to examines computer evidence that is sent to them via CD-Rom. Students must submit their findings report to the certification coordinator within 60 days and receive a grade of 85% of higher to pass. A 30-day extension may be granted in certain circumstances. Candidates successfully passing Phase I and II of the process are awarded the EnCE® designation.

How much does the EnCE® program cost?
The total cost for the EnCE® program is $200.00(USD) in the USA and $225.00(USD) internationally . This fee is paid to Prometric to take the Phase I computer-based test. When you register for Phase I of your EnCE® test with Prometric, you will notice the price is listed from $750.00 to $1000.00 (USD). After you enter in your voucher number provided by the Guidance Software certification coordinator, the test price will change to the discounted price. EnCE® certification is inexpensive compared to other professional and IT certifications. The cost was intentionally kept low, as Guidance Software understands many users, especially in the public sector, will not be reimbursed for the fee.

What materials can I use to study for the EnCE® computer-based test?
Guidance Software offering free EnCase® Certified Examiner Study Guides for the computer-based test administered by Prometric. All EnCE® candidates whose applications are approved by the Certification Coordinator will receive a free EnCE® Study Guide by mail. The study guide covers the four parts of the test administered by Prometric including: Examining Computer Based Evidence With Encase®, Computer Knowledge, Good Forensic Practices, and Legal.

If your application for the EnCE® program has been approved and you have received a Prometric voucher number, but have not received you EnCE® Study Guide, please fill out our online Study Guide Request or contact the Guidance Software Certification Coordinator at (626) 229-9191, ext. 513, or email us at

We recommend candidates familiarize themselves with information contained in the following publications:

The EnCase® Forensic Methodology Training manuals also serve as helpful study material. The EnCase® Legal Journal can be downloaded in Adobe Acrobat Reader from Guidance Software's Web site. The EnCase® User's Manual can also be downloaded from Guidance Software's Web site (EnCase® software user name and password required). Some suggested resources for the Computer Knowledge and Good Forensic Practices sections are:

  • How Computers Work by Ron White
  • Handbook of Computer Crime by Eoghan Casey

What topic areas does the EnCE® computer-based test cover?

  • Examining computer based evidence with EnCase®
  • The EnCase® Evidence File
  • EnCase® Concepts
  • The EnCase® Environment
  • Searching
  • File Signature and Hash Analysis
  • Computer Knowledge
  • Understanding Data and Binary
  • The BIOS
  • Computer Boot Sequence
  • File Allocation Table Systems
  • Computer Hardware Concepts
  • Good Forensic Practices
  • First Response
  • Acquisition of Digital Evidence
  • Operating System Artifacts
  • Legal (North American EnCE® candidates only)

How do I renew my EnCE®?
The EnCE® designation is valid for two years from the date it is earned. EnCase® Certified Examiners are required to earn sixty-four (64) credit hours of documented continuing education in Computer Forensics or Incident Response every two years to maintain their certification. The training should either be from Guidance, your agency, or an accredited source. You can earn one credit hour for each classroom hour of training and 1/2 credit hour for each one hour of instruction as a Computer Forensics or Incident Response curriculum instructor. Your expiration date is listed on your wallet card. In order for training to qualify for renewal it needs within the two year time period. (Example: If you were certified on 1/1/2005, only training taken between 1/1/2005 and 1/1/2007 would qualify for renewal credits.)

If you were not given certificates, please put the following information in a letter.

Date of the Class
Number of hours
Name of the class
Who provided the training
Short description of the class

When you are ready to submit your renewal credit, please fill out the EnCE® Renewal Form, attach renewal documentation and either mail, fax, or scan/email to:

Certification Coordinator
Guidance Software, Inc.
215 N. Marengo Ave. 2nd floor
Pasadena, CA 91101
Fax: (626) 432-9558

What if my voucher expires or did not finish my Phase II test before the due date?
- If the Phase I voucher expires, simply contact the Certification Coordinator to obtain a new voucher.
- If anyone does not turn in the Phase II practical with in the time allotted them, they will be required to wait 2 month from the date that the test would have been due and then start the EnCE® process over starting at Phase I.

What if I fail the test?
- Anyone who does not obtain a grade of 80% to pass the Phase I test will be required to wait 2 months before a new voucher will be issued.
- Anyone who does not obtain a grade of 85% to pass the Phase II Practical will be required to wait 2 months before they will be allowed to retest. Those who fail the Phase II will be required to start over at Phase I .
- A new application will be needed if organization of personal information has changed during the 2-month wait period.

Contact Guidance Software's EnCE® certification coordinator at:
Guidance Software
Certification Coordinator
215 North Marengo Avenue
Second Floor
Pasadena, CA 91101
Tel: (626) 229-9191 x 513


Anonymous said...

In addition to the above mentioned study materials, I strongly recommend the following text:

I studied it (plus the above materials) and scored a 93% on my EnCE Phase I. I am currently working on Phase II (3 weeks into my 60 day test period). I am finding that the book is also useful for Phase II.

Kellep A. Charles, CISA, CISSP, NSA-IAM said...

Thanks for the tip on the EnCE book recommendation. I actually have it and will be sharing some information from the book on this blog.