Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) Qualification
The Qualified Security Assessor course will teach you how to perform assessments of merchants and service providers who must comply with the PCI Data Security Standard. The course focuses on the 12 high level control objectives and corresponding sub-requirements that are required for compliance. Split into two parts, the course consists of an online component and a two-day instructor-led session.
Those who attend the training and pass the exam will be authorized to perform assessments and prepare appropriate compliance reports (such as Reports on Compliance (RoC)) required by payment card brands and acquiring banks.
Upon completion of the course, you’ll be able to define the processes involved in payment card processing, understand the PCI DSS requirements and testing procedures, conduct PCI DSS assessments, validate compliance, and generate reports.
Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) training is a two-part program. The first is a seven-hour prerequisite course and exam on PCI Fundamentals. It’s followed by an in-depth, two-day instructor-led course and exam.
PCI Fundamentals assures that all candidates attending the QSA training course have the same baseline understanding. The PCI Fundamentals course must be completed within thirty days of initial access and a minimum of one week prior to the start of an on-site training class.
Candidates who successfully complete the prerequisite PCI Fundamentals course may move on to the QSA qualification course. This course builds on the knowledge gained in PCI Fundamentals and delves into the actual PCI DSS requirements, testing procedures, compliance reports and more. The Qualified Security Assessor course covers:
- Payment card industry overview.
- Terminology, transaction data flow.
- Relationships between various organizations in the process.
- Payment card brand validation and reporting requirements.
- PCI Data Security Standard (DSS).
- Overview of each requirement and testing procedures.
- PCI Hardware and Communications Infrastructure.
- Overview of compliance issues and mitigation strategies.
- Compensating controls.
- PCI Reporting.
Right for You?
You are an experienced security professional who wishes to be certified as a QSA, and currently work full time for a validated QSA company. The QSA course requires prior certifications (CISSP, CISA or CISM – see registration page for full list). Typical job descriptions include:
- Information Security Consultant.
- Information Security Auditor.
- Information Security Analyst.
Please contact your organization’s QSA Primary Contact to enroll in the QSA program.
29-30 Nov 2022
1 Dec 2022 Closed
Become an QSA when you take this class and become qualified.
New QSA training (In person or eLearning)
Requalification QSA training
Requalification QSA training (Japanese Language)
Please note: Unless otherwise specified the training and exam will be delivered in English.
Price does not include any applicable VAT/HST/GST which will appear on your invoice.
* Not including VAT
Your organization must be an QSA company to register candidates for QSA training.
How to Prepare for the Exam
Prior to beginning the PCI Fundamentals training, you should familiarize yourself with these publications on the PCI website:
- PCI Glossary
- PCI DSS
- PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)
- Attestation of Compliance (AOC)
- ROC Reporting for PCI DSS
- PCI SSC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The PCI Fundamentals online course must be completed prior to the start of your training class.
The online prerequisite course concludes with a 60 question multiple-choice exam. Once the candidate has completed the PCI Fundamentals training and exam, the Primary Contact will be notified of either a passing or failing grade. If the candidate failed the exam, he or she will be allowed one additional attempt to take and pass without being charged an additional fee.*
*If the candidate receives a failing grade for the PCI Fundamentals course after the second attempt, his or her seat at the instructor-led session will be forfeited. If he or she wishes to try again, the candidate will be required to pay the full course fee for a second time and receive a passing grade in the PCI Fundamentals course to be allowed to attend the two-day instructor-led session. There will be no exceptions made and by paying the invoice, you agree to these terms.
Instructor-led QSA Qualification Course
This two-day classroom instruction provides:
- In-person engagement and collaboration as well as networking opportunities
- Ability to focus on curriculum in classroom setting
- Learn directly from an expert PCI SSC trainer with hands-on experience assessing merchants and/or service providers
Attendance during the entire two day course is mandatory. Missing more than 30 minutes of the class will automatically result in forfeiture of the PCI SSC QSA exam and removal from the class.
Taking the exam – The certification exam is given immediately following the instructor-led course. The only document you will be allowed to reference during the testing is a translation dictionary, if needed. No electronic devices may be used during the exam. This is a closed book exam. The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions and you will have 90 minutes to complete it.
The Primary Contact at the QSA Company will be notified of results within two weeks after the candidate attends the instructor-led PCI QSA training and exam. Employees who do not meet the minimum passing score set by the PCI SSC may retake New QSA training and exam, upon registration and payment of a new invoice. For each attendee that passes the exam, the QSA Company will receive a certificate that validates the employee for the next 12 months. There will be no exceptions made and by paying the invoice, you agree to these terms.
Note: Hiring or employing a QSA does not assume the Company has met all of the PCI SSC validation requirements.
In order to attend a QSA training class, your company must already be a validated QSA Company and you must be a full time employee. Please see the Qualification Requirements for Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs) for more details.
To start the registration process, your Primary Contact must enroll you for QSA training via the online Portal. If you have any questions about the registration process, please contact QSA@pcisecuritystandards.org.
- Name of candidate.
- Location and Date of desired QSA training.
- Candidate’s company email address, country of residence, and native language.
- QSA candidate’s resume must be able to show:
- One or more professional certification*
- Minimum of one year of experience in EACH of the following security disciplines:
- Application security.
- Information systems security.
- Network security.
- IT security auditing.
- Information security risk assessment or risk management.
- *Acceptable certifications include:
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP).
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
- GIAC Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA).
- Certified ISO 27001, Lead Auditor, Internal Auditor.
- International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA).
- Information Security Management System (ISMS) Auditor.
- Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).
- All QSA program training attendees must accept and sign the PCI SSC Code of Professional Responsibility and submit at the training session.
- An invoice will be issued upon completion of registration and will include instructions to pay by check, credit card or wire transfer.
- Training registration will close 14-days prior to the instructor-led training.
Note: In 2019, the PCI SSC will increase the industry-recognized professional certifications requirement for QSAs from one industry certification to a minimum of two: one information security and one IT audit certification.
The new industry certifications requirement will be effective 1 January 2019 for new QSA employees. For QSA employees qualified and added to the PCI SSC website prior to 1 January 2019, this requirement will be effective upon the assessor’s requalification date after 30 June 2019.
In order to maintain the high standards set for this qualification, all QSA employees must re-qualify every 12 months in order to continue as a Qualified Security Assessor. All QSA Program training attendees will be required to sign and accept the terms of the PCI SSC Code of Professional Responsibility at the time they begin the online training.
All training inquiries and assignments must be submitted through the QSA Company’s Primary Contact. PCI SSC requires all training attendees to be full time employees of the QSA Company that is submitting them for requalification training.
Assessors must complete registration for requalification training (and be approved, where applicable) prior to their qualification expiration date. An Assessor who is not registered prior to that expiration date must re-enroll as a new candidate. A two-week grace period is provided beyond the expiration date in order to complete requalification training after the Assessor is successfully registered. However candidates are not qualified by PCI SSC during this time and will not be requalified until the requalification exam is successfully completed. The grace period only applies if the candidate has been enrolled for requalification by their expiration date and cannot be used for registration after the QSA expiration date. For further details regarding Requalification please review section 6.1.1 of the Qualified Security Assessors Program Guide.
Please log into the PCI Portal to start the requalification process.
I thought the instructor was excellent and his insights and experience greatly helped towards the overall understanding.
It was very useful to see the QSA role from the perspective of the assessor rather than from the customer's viewpoint.
The way that the instructor was able to cover a vast amount of material in a relatively short time and make us remember it - without the training it would have taken weeks and weeks to get the same level of understanding.