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Feb 21 2010   8:46PM GMT

CompTIA Takes Strategic Position on A+, Network+, Security+ “Freshness Dates”

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

In my blog of 1/13/2010, I applauded CompTIA for its decision to grant its most popular credentials — namely, the ones called out in this blog’s title — only a three year lease on life. After that, they said, individuals must either meet continuing education requirements or re-take the exam to maintain the currency of their credentials. “Fair enough,” I thought when I read this pronouncement, recognizing that most major cert programs include some kind of freshness guarantee for their credentials, so that employers don’t have to check the granting date and then make sure its holder has stayed current independent of a credential’s own inbuilt safeguards.

This decision to change the rules of the game after the fact (or perhaps more cogently, after lots of people paid good money for a credential that was sold to them at least in part on the notion that it “never expires”) caused a huge outcry from the certified community. I took flack for agreeing with this decision on CompTIA’s part, and the organization itself suffered from an enormous backlash from its vast population of certified professionals.

As is often the case when rule changes fail to work for those affected, CompTIA has retreated from its earlier position. The current situation now involves a “watershed date” for A+, Network+, and Security+. Anybody who earns these credentials on or before 12/31/2010 remains certified for life. Starting on 1/1/2011, these credentials have a three year life and must be renewed, either by meeting continuing education requirements or by retaking the latest version of the exam.

To get the complete (revised) story on certification renewals from CompTIA, see the statement entitled “CompTIA Certification Renewal Policy” from Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, of that organization. I can’t find a pub date on this item, but it had to appear some time around 1/26/2010 (the day that a press release from CompTIA entitled CompTIA Certification Renewal Policy Clarified appeared).

As rougly translated from Jean-Baptiste Alphone Karr’s famous epigram (“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”): the more things change, the more they stay the same! If you’ve already got one of these CompTIA certs, you’re good for life; if not, you’ll have to renew if you delay until after the start of next year to earn one. Moral of this story: if you’re thinking about one of these credentials, be sure to earn it before the end of 2010.

2  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Fiwedding
    I like it
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  • Ed Tittel
    Thanks FW, hope it doesn't affect your future cert plans/activities too much. --Ed--
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