Yeah, I know: What’s the point of keeping a “cert for life” — like CompTIA credentials earned before the end of 2010 — if you opt into a continuing education program? The point is that in some positions or organizations, there may be an internal policy or an external mandate for IT professionals to keep their credentials current to meet various requirements. Though it is optional for such individuals to meet the same continuing education or recertification requirements that those who earn CompTIA certs starting on January 1, 2011, must satisfy, those who work for government agencies or their contractors and fall under DoD Directive 8570 IA must keep up with a strict three-year schedule for the acquisition of continuing education units (CEUs), re-take the exam, publish books or articles, or otherwise demonstrate ongoing learning and activity on the job in their fields of study.
Thus, IT professionals who earned the A+, Network+ or Security+ credentials on or before the end of 2010 have until December 31, 2012 to enroll in the CompTIA Continuing Education program to maintain their certification status. After this enrollment window closes, individuals who hold ”certified for life” versions of A+, Security+, or Network+ must retake the current cert exam for their credentials on a three year cycle to maintain currency. Anyone who’s earned a CompTIA cert in A+, Network+, Storage+, CASP, or Storage+ on or after January 1, 2011, is automatically enrolled in CompTIA’s Continuing Education Program. Act fast or lose your “cert for life” is the way I read this CompTIA information (see Leslie Hague’s 11/29/2012 blog “Deadline for ‘Certified for Life’ Candidates to Enroll in Continuing Education Dec. 31” for more details; thanks to the GoCertify.com twitter feed for bringing this to my attention).