CompTIA: Commonly asked continuing education questions

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CompTIA: Commonly asked continuing education questions

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We often get questions from our CompTIA Security+ students asking about their continuing education requirements. CompTIA produced a “Top 10 Questions about CompTIA’s Continuing Education Policy” just over a year ago now which is still very relevant – hence our decision to resurrect it.

We have summarized the ten questions here.

(This applies to all past IT students for the following courses and designations: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CASP certifications )

1. I hold a CompTIA certification as part of DoD 8570. How does this affect me?
Short answer: every DoD (Department of Defense) employee will be required to obtain a CompTIA Continuing Education.

2. Why has the DoD enrollment date changed?
Short answer: This was changed by the DoD so that it falls inline with CompTIA’s program guideline which allows “certified for life” (i.e. individuals the option to enrol by December 31, 2012)

3. Does the “Defence Workforce Certification Application” track my participation?
Short answer: Yes. Enrollment in the continuing education program is tracked and updated within DWCA (Defense Manpower Data Center) application.

4. I work for DoD. How can I pay for my continuing education maintenance fee?
Short answer: CompTIA has developed a process to purchase bulk tokens that can be used by individuals to pay yearly maintenance fees. More info within the PDF – top of this post.

5. Can I keep my certification current without taking a new exam?
Short answer: Yes. CompTIA certification renewal policy includes a continuing education component that permits eligible individuals to renew their certifications by earning credits. There are many ways that a CompTIA Certification holders can renew their designation.

6. CompTIA has always said its certifications are good for life. Why has it changed?
Short answer: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CASP are accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This organization accredites the policies used by personnel certification bodies. Owing to ISO procedures, CompTIA certification holders might renew their certification on a regular basis (mostly over a three year period).

7. What are the guidelines for continuing education program participation?
Short answer: Candidates certified on or after January 1st, 2011 will have a certificate expiration date of three years from the date certified.

8. Is there a cost associated with the certification renewal program?
Short answer: Yes. There will be an annual fee of $25 for CompTIA A+ and $49 for CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+ or CompTIA CASP.

9. I hold multiple CompTIA certifications. Am I required to renew each of them?
Short answer: No. Individuals that have multiple CompTIA certifications are allowed to renew at their highest level of certification held.

10. What types of activities are eligible for continuing education units?
Short answer: There are many ways to gain credits for CompTIA continuing education, for example, passing the most current version of the exam. Other possibilities include attending relevant industry conferences and events; participating in a CompTIA exam development workshop; publishing articles, whitepapers, blogs or books on relevant topics; obtaining other industry certifications; or completing industry-related college courses from degree-
granting institutions.

  • Ulysses

    this is just another example of what is wrong today, when millions of us study hard, work harder to get this and many other certs that never say anything about an annual fee or recertifying to keep it current, now they want more money. I feel that everyone that was grandfathered in this program should receive a waiver of some sort and not have to pay anything. What if all of us decided to change our career field? What if all of us decided to band together and form our own company that does not lie cheat or steal. I think that you guys should honor the policy of good for life, stand up!!!!!!!

    • Henry Dalziel

      That’s a great post.

      Couple of things!

      Firstly – when did you pass your Security+ or CompTIA cert? If you received if BEFORE January 1, 2011 then you do NOT have to ‘renew’ your cert through a fixed amount of continuing education hours. Does that apply to you?

      Secondlywe offer 100% free coninuing education courses. Yes, you do have to pay a renewal fee to CompTIA and I guess that is your main concern but still – at least the education bit is, well, free! Take a course and let us know how you get on.

      Thanks again for the post.

  • Rick

    If you received if BEFORE January 1, 2011 then you do NOT have to ‘renew’ your cert through a fixed amount of continuing education hours.

    Not if you work for the DoD

  • Adam

    How may CEU can you submit per year? Thank you!

  • Larry

    I see there are 3 100% free classes that might be for Security+ but I don’t see where these classes are approved by CompTIA per the info on their web site for Concise. And even if the free classes where all approved, there are only 3 – worth prob 3 CE credits. I need 50 CEs!

  • Larry

    My company’s management has thrown up their hands on this and just told us to sit for the test again. It might be the cheaper option for them but they aren’t sitting aside any time for me to study for the new test. Last time it took me weeks of studying and memorizing answers to pass the test and I am not sure I learned anything. This time I’d like to learn something with the time spent getting recertified. Maybe I should just sit for the test, then prepare my resume and find a good recruiter! What are other companies saying to their IT staff about this?

    • Henry Rogers

      I work as a contactor for DoD and fall into the Certified for Life category however DoD mandated that we enroll in the CE program. Rather than go for another certification to meet my CEU requirement, I am just going to sit for the exam again and this time, get proactively involved in Continuing Ed so I can meet the 50 hour minimum. I think it is ridiculous to require us CFL’rs to maintain the same amount of CEU’s. I think it is cheaper and easier just to re-take the damn test every 3 years and call it a day!

  • Marvin

    I currently have A+, Network+, and Security+ that were all taken in 2010. I did not enroll for CE. Now, I’m taking the Security+ test again to re certify with the CE option. Will this renew my A+ and Network+ as well?

  • michael

    How do we get the CE tokens if we’re DOD, so we don’t have to pay the maintenance fees?

  • Ron

    Can I get an explanation about the CE testing for Security+? I’m told it is open book, does this include notes and/or the use of a personal Tablet?


  • Dave

    Hi Henry. Are you guys still an approved continuing education content provider? If so I would like to purchase take some of your courses, as I still need 10 ce credits. Is there an official list of approved content providers?

    • Henry Dalziel

      Hi Dave – yes we are indeed offering Continuing Education. We are approved by CompTIA and ICS2, EC Council etc often refer validation to us regardings students/ members so feel secure in taking a course to satisfy your CEU/ CPD requirements. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Tamira Myles

    Hi Dave

    How do I take security plus CE classes if I was grandfathered in?

  • curtis

    Just passed is! can one get all their CEU’s right away then add 3 more year to the 2 1/2 already left. is there a limit on how many you can do in a timeframe to make your 50

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