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CompTIA Certification Renewal

You have earned a CompTIA Certification.  Congratulations.  Like most other modern-day certifications you are now required to renew your certification every few years to keep it relevant.  This article is written to help you easily understand your CompTIA re-certification options.  The information in this blog is summarized and consolidated from the official CompTIA site

Renewal Basics. Five things You Need to Know First.

  1. Three Years.  You have three years to renew your certification from the date you earned it.  If you need to find your expiration date, you can do so on the CompTIA website.
  2. One Cert to Rule them All.  Renewing a CompTIA certification will automatically renew all the lower-level CompTIA certifications.  So you should plan on only renewing your highest-level certification.  The renewal date for all lesser certifications will now align to the renewal date for the highest certification.  The chart in the next section shows the most popular CompTIA cert hierarchy.
  3. Document and submit.  You will be required to submit documentation for all of the CEUs.  So keep copies of your training certificates, URLs of blogs you have written, etc.  Best rule of thumb is to submit your activities as you complete them.  CompTIA has a guide on submitting your CEUs which can be viewed here.  
  4. Plan it out. You can earn CEUs for things you are doing anyways–working, training, attending conferences, training/mentoring others, writing blogs, etc.  Become familiar with these and make a simple plan on what CEUs you will achieve during each year.
  5. Fees. Renewal fees range from $25 to $50/year depending on your certification.  You can avoid fees by achieving a higher-level certification or by earning a new version of your certification.  Ask your employer to help out with the fee; many employers will cover this for you. 

Option 1: Earn or Renew a Higher-Level CompTIA Cert

Earn a higher-level CompTIA certification.  The chart below shows the most popular CompTIA certifications.  Earning or renewing any of the certifications on the chart below will automatically renew all the certifications below it.  Starting at the top and moving down the chart: CASP, CySA, Security+, Network+, A+. 

 

comptiacertpyramid

One benefit to earning a higher level cert is you will not be required to pay the CE Renewal fee.

Option 2: Pass an Updated Exam for Your CompTIA Cert

If a new version of your CompTIA exam has been released, you can pass that exam to renew your cert.  Example: You originally passed Security+ 401.  You can pass Security+ 501 to successfully renew your exam.

 

You can renew your CompTIA cert by earning a certain number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  Below is a chart containing the required number of CEUs that need to be earned during the three-year renewal period.

 

comptiaceus

Option 3: Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

There are a variety of activities you can complete to earn CEUs.  Click any of the links below to learn more about that option.  Each section will have a table listing the max number of CEUs that can be earned for that activity.

1. Earn a Non CompTIA Industry Certification

You can take a number of exams that qualify for CEUs.  The links below will take you to a list of Certifications that will earn CEUs for your specific CompTIA Cert.  Keep in mind this list is constantly updated by CompTIA so be sure to check back periodically. 

2. Training and Higher Education

You can earn CEUs by completing various training and educational activities.  See the chart below for the maximum number of CEUs you can earn for each activity.  For full details on restrictions and guidelines for training and education visit the CompTIA site.  Unless otherwise, stated at least 50% of the training must relate to one or more of the exam objectives for the cert you’re renewing.

Activity A+ Net+ Sec+ Cloud+ CySA+ CASP
20
30
50
50
60
75
4
6
10
10
15
20
4
6
10
10
15
20
10
20
40
40
50
60

Complete a Training Course.  CompTIA has preapproved some of the most popular training courses.  Other training must follow the 50% rule as stated above.  Click any of the links to the right to see pre-approved courses.   For each course you will be required to submit:

  1. Detailed description/outline of the training content
  2. Completion certificate containing your name, course name, training provider, date, # of hours

If you are a DOD civilian, government contractor or Government employee, CompTIA has pre-approved several DOD courses

Attend a Live Webinar.  Earn 1 CEU for each hour you attend a live webinar.  For each webinar you will need to provide:

  1. Detailed description/outline of the webinar content
  2. Certificate of completion or registration email containing your name, name of webinar, date, hours

Attend a Conference.  Earn 1 CEU for each hour you attend a live conference. 

  1. Detailed description/outline of the conference content
  2. Certificate of completion or registration email containing your name, name of conference session, date, hours

Complete a College Course.  Earn 10 CEUs for each 3-4 credit-hour class.  For each class you will need to submit:

  1. Detailed description/outline of the course outline
  2. Transcript containing your name, name of college, name of course, date and semester,  credit hours

3. Teach, Mentor, Create Instructional Material

You can earn 1 CEU for each hour of teaching and mentoring and 2 CEUs for each hour of materials creation. 

  • Teaching.  You will submit the lesson plan, description, and date. 
  • Mentoring.  You sill submit content objectives, description, dates, signed document from mentor and mentee.
  • Instructional material.  You will submit your lesson plan or sylabus with your name as author, copy of the materials, date created. 

The chart below shows the maximum number of CEUs that can be earned for this type of activity during  the 3-year renewal period.

Activity A+ Net+ Sec+ Cloud+ CySA+ CASP
Teach or Mentor
10
15
20
20
30
40
Create Instructional Material
10
15
20
20
30
40

4. Publish an Article

Publish an Article or White Paper
You can earn 4 CEUs for each article or white paper of at least four pages in length.  You will need to submit the URL or copy of the published work with your name, date published, and a description of the content covered.
 
Publish a Blog Post
You can earn 1 CEU for each blog post of at least 500 words.  You will need to submit the URL and a description of the content covered. 
 
Publish a Book
If you write a book, you will earn the credits listed in the table below.  Submit a link to the website where your book is featured or can be purchased.
 
The chart below has the maximum number of CEUs you can earn for each activity in the 3-year renewal period.
Activity A+ Net+ Sec+ Cloud+ CySA+ CASP
Publish an article or white paper
8
12
16
16
18
20
Publish a book
15
20
40
40
50
60
Publish a blog
8
12
16
16
18
20

Gain Work-Related Experience

You can earn 3 CEUs per year (9 per renewal cycle) for work experience related to your certification.  You will need to submit a letter from your employer on company letterhead containing the following info: name, job title, date, tasks you performed, and signature of supervisor. 

Sample Re-certification Paths for Security+

In the section below we will explore some sample re-certification (based on our options above) paths for renewing the Security+.    In each option below we are achieving 50 CEU points which is the required amount to renew our Security+.

Attend a live training course…..50
There are over 100 security-related courses which will earn 50 CEUs.  Examples include Sec+, CySA, CASP, CEH. 

Take an online training course…50
Same list of courses (as the live ones) applies.  A great option here is to take the Security Fundamentals course from Microsoft.  It’s free!

Pass an Exam…………………….50
A candidate could take the Sec+ 501 or try for a higher-level exam CySA or CASP. 

Work experience………………9
       3 CEUs per year
Attend a conference…………10
Create training materials…..20
Write some articles………….11

Publish a book…………………..40
Publish a blog……………………10

Work experience…………9
       3 CEUs per year
Attend  webinars…………10
       Attend 1 every 3-4 months
Mentor  a coworker…….20
Publish a blog…………….11
     
Write a blog every 3 months

Summary

There are essentially two routes to renewing the certification:

  1. Training or Certifying
  2. Misc IT-related Activities

Career IT Professionals should be training and certifying at least once a year to keep their skills relevant and to progress up the IT career ladder; so the renewal process should be fairly simple for them.  Employers will most likely pick up the tab for the training and the exam voucher.  Non IT workers who need to maintain certification can consider either a training class every three years or a mix of various IT-related activities.  If you are going this route, then it is wise to plan your activities in advance.

Good luck and feel free to reach out with any questions you have.

Scott Galloway
Certification Director
LeapFox Learning
Boise, Idaho

 

Putting Together the Pieces

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