Network technologies and trends

Jun 8 2017   9:10AM GMT

Recertifying Cisco expert exams a new twist is here

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Being a CCIE/CCDE its self is a huge step one would take in his/her life, it’s an informed decision one needs to take as maintaining a CCIE/CCDE  is not an easy task. Every two year one needs to recertify his or her CCIE/CCDE either by passing any CCIE written / CCDE written exam or by passing CCIE/CCDE lab exam. Apart from extensive preparations, one needs to also has to bear the pain of exam costs as Cisco CCIE written exams not quite easy to pass and its cost one a good amount of money.

The recent CCDE practical lab exam cancellation has raised the reputation of expert level exams conducted by Cisco. These days often its been observed people with no experience in networking domain were CCIEs / CCDEs, where as it took over decades of hard earn experience to plan the CCIE journey.

With the announcement of Cisco Continuing Education Program Cisco added a new twist for recertification process of their expert level certifications. Cisco believes that principles like Flexibility, Diversity, and Integrity will be the driving force for this program.

According to Cisco CLN post:

Flexibility is achieved by offering existing Cisco certified individuals an alternative option for recertification, in addition to the already existing option of recertifying by passing the relevant exam(s). Diversity is achieved by allowing individuals a wide range of preapproved items, such as online courses, instructor-led training, authoring of content, and Cisco Live training offerings (collectively called “Continuing Education items”), which can be pursued to earn credits toward recertification. Integrity is achieved by having Cisco authorized content providers, who deliver the content to the individual seeking recertification, validate the credits submitted by that individual.”

The Continuing Education Program is governed by the Cisco Continuing Education Advisory Board. Candidates who choose to recertify through the Continuing Education Program will be required to earn a certain number of credits by completing the required Continuing Education item(s) as delivered by a content provider and paying the Continuing Education administrative fee before their current certification becomes inactive.

Once candidates have earned the designated number of credits and paid their Continued Education administrative fee, they will be recertified as per the existing recertification policies.

The Cisco Continuing Education Program is valid only for the people who are holding a valid Cisco expert level certifications like CCIE and CCDE in either active or suspended status, also those who hold Emeritus status are eligible for this program with few exceptions

  • Candidates in Emeritus status who are required to pass both a written exam and a lab to become active again
  • Candidates who achieved Emeritus status by earning Business Transformation Certifications as described on the CCIE website

In order recertify Cisco Expert level certifications like CCIE and CCDE, one must abide by the following three steps

  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions associated with the Continuing Education Program as part of the enrollment process
  • Earn 100 credits required by completing any of the preapproved Continuing Education offerings
  • Pay the Continuing Education administrative fee

One can enroll by visiting the Continuing Education Program portal using their CCO login details and agree to the terms and conditions. Once logged in the portal shows the active status of their certifications and when they are expiring


Cisco had provided multiple options to earn credits, one way of earning credits is to attend Cisco Live training sessions and one can earn maximum of 70 credits from the required 100 credits. The below table gives one a brief idea about how the credits are earned for different sessions.

Cisco Live
Session Type Level Credits per Session
Technical Breakout 1000 Level 1
2000 Level 2
3000 Level 3
4-Hour Technical Seminar 1000 Level 3
2000 Level 4
3000 Level 5
8-Hour Technical Seminar 1000 Level 6
2000 Level 8
3000 Level 10
4-Hour Instructor-Led Lab 1000 Level 3
2000 Level 4
3000 Level 5
8-Hour Instructor-Led Lab 1000 Level 6
2000 Level 8
3000 Level 10

Cisco charges $300 US as administrative fees to recertify ones CCIE and CCDE through continuous education program. Cisco has listed all the rules and criteria at Continuing Education Program portal about this programs its recommend to read the post in details to know what are those criteria, some of the rules governed by Continuing Education Program are as follows

  • For Expert-level certifications, new recertification dates will be issued as per existing Cisco CCIE policies and  procedures; therefore, there may be a time lag between completion of  requirements and issuing of the recertification date.
  • Credits, once earned, will be valid for three years from the date they were earned, as long as they do not meet either of the  criteria described here:
  • Credits will expire if a new recertification cycle starts, either by passing an exam or recertifying some other credential.
  • Credits will expire if your certification becomes inactive before completing the Continuing Education requirements.
  • Credits earned for a given course can only be counted once within the recertification cycle. Repeating the same course will not count towards recertification credits.
  • Credits, once used, cannot be reused for any other certification track or level.
  • Credits must be used (1) before they expire, or (2) during the certification cycle in which they were earned, whichever occurs earlier.
  • Students who are approved to use printed student kits per the exception process can still log into the digital kit using the credentials provided in order to register within the digital kit platform that is linked to the Continuing Education database.

One can view the full catalog of the Continuing Education offerings that have been approved by the Cisco Continuing Education Advisory Board logon to the Continuing Education Program portal. Also one could access the complete program catalog by visiting this link

Well, Cisco has taken some concrete methods to maintain the credibility, integrity, and diversity of their expert level exams. However, the question arises here is it worth to spend this amount of money and time for recertification?

The brighter side of this program is, it offers enormous options to recertify Cisco Expert level exams, personally, I am convinced to adopt the new path as I am free to choose the path/technologies to earn required credits to recertify my CCIE.

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