CompTIA’s Expiration Policy for A+, Network+, and Security+ Explained

November 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Posted in CompTIA | Leave a comment

Over the past year, there has been a lot of discussion over CompTIA’s new expiration policy for the A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. Now while I understand some of the frustration the “certified for life” proponents feel, I also see the value in this new expiration policy, which will bring CompTIA in line with ISO/ANSI 17024 standards. And, truthfully, I can understand the logic behind the change.

Initially, CompTIA declared that all holders of these certifications would be have to regularly re-certify to stay current – including those who paid to earn a “lifetime” certification. Much of the furor stemmed from whether they could, or should, retroactively change the terms for existing certification holders. After listening to community feedback, CompTIA decided that, indeed, they could and should not. Accordingly, they modified their policy to apply going forward only to certifications earned in 2011 – satisfying both previous commitments and future ISO requirements.

Now please understand: this post is NOT about me trying to justify this change. There will always be those out there who are frustrated by the expiration policy. I am just going to take a little time here to explain the policy to all of you.

If you currently hold the A+, Network+, and/or Security+ certification, your certification(s) will NEVER expire. So you can stop reading at this point if you really aren’t interested in how everyone else is affected. However, if you are like me and tend to upgrade your CompTIA certifications whenever a new version is released, read on!

If you plan to take the A+, Network+, and/or Security+ certifications BY DECEMBER 31, 2010, your certification(s) will NEVER expire. That means that your time is slowly running out. You have about 7.5 weeks to prepare for the exam(s), schedule the exam(s), and PASS! If you’re in the market for a practice test, I recommend you start here to find the right product for your needs:

If you plan to take the A+, Network+, and/or Security+ certifications BY JANUARY 1, 2011 or after, your certification(s) will have a 3-year expiration starting from the exam date. . . UNLESS you do one of the following two actions:

  1. Complete the number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) required by the certification.
  2. Take the newest version of the certification exam.

For the CEUs, you will only need to obtain the number of CEUs that are required for the highest level certification you have obtained. For example, if you hold the A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications, you will only need to complete enough CEUs for the Security+ requalification. Completing the CEUs for the Security+ would also requalify your A+ and Network+ for another three years.

CompTIA has set up a really good Web site that addresses many of the questions I have heard out there. They even give examples of possible CEUs you could use, list how many CEUs each certification will require, and explain a bit about how to get credit for the CEUs. Just go to:

I hope this helps a bit! I welcome your feedback.

Keep watch next year for CompTIA updates to the existing A+, Security+, and Network+ certification exams! It’s gonna be another busy year in CompTIA land again….

-Robin Abernathy

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