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CompTIA Certification Renewal Policy: FAQs

What does the "CE" mean on my certificate?

CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, or CompTIA Security+ certifications earned on or after January 1, 2011, receive the "CE" designation to indicate that the new continuing education requirement applies to your credential. The certification expires three years from the certification date, and you must participate in the continuing education program to keep your credential current.

Certifications earned prior to 2011 do not have the "CE" designation, because they are valid for the lifetime of the certification holder. Participation in the continuing education program is not necessary if you have a lifetime certification, although it is permitted and may be required by your employer. (Important: If your certification is mandated by the Department of Defense, please read the section near the end of this document to learn how the CompTIA certification renewal policy affects you.)

How do I renew my credential?

Renewal can be achieved two ways:

  1. You can take the most current version of the certification exam for your credential (i.e., if you need to renew your CompTIA Network+ certification that was based on the 2009 objectives, you will take the CompTIA Network+ certification that is based on the most recent objectives).
  2. Instead of taking an exam, you can earn continuing education units (CEUs) by participating in qualified activities listed below.

What activities qualify for CEUs?

To earn CEUs toward your CompTIA certification renewal, you can:

  • Publish a relevant industry article, blog post, white paper, or book
  • Earn a certification relevant to the highest-level CompTIA certification held
  • Take part in a CompTIA exam development workshop
  • Attend a relevant industry event or seminar
  • Lecture or present on topics relevant to the highest-level CompTIA certification held
  • Complete a training course from a non degree-granting institution that is relevant to the highest-level CompTIA certification held or to be updated

Visit CompTIA's Certification Renewal Policy to learn more about each activity and its CEU value.

How many CEUs do I need to earn?

You must earn the following number of CEUs during the three-year renewal period (based on the certification being renewed):

  • CompTIA A+ / 20 CEUs in three years
  • CompTIA Network+ / 30 CEUs in three years
  • CompTIA Security+ / 50 CEUs in three years

What if I hold more than one CompTIA certification?

Then you must be an expert! If you have more than one certification, it is only necessary to renew the one at the highest level. For example, if you hold CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ certifications, completing the continuing education requirements for only the CompTIA Network+ certification will automatically renew your credential for both certifications.

As a reference, CompTIA A+ is an introductory credential and CompTIA Security+ is the more advanced credential.

You are not required to renew all of your credentials. The continuing education program will allow you to select which certification you wish to update.

What if I want or need to enroll in the continuing education program, even though my certification is good for life?

You have three years from the date of enrollment to complete the appropriate level of CEUs needed for your credential. However, if you enroll in the continuing education program and do not complete the requirements within the three-year period, the only way to re-enroll is to take the updated certification exam for your credential.

How do I submit my CEUs?

CompTIA will use a web-based system that works with the database currently used by CompTIA certification holders. Continuing education units can be logged through the new system when it is implemented.

My certification is mandated by DoD Directive 8570.1. How does the certification policy change affect me?

On January 1, 2011, CompTIA launched the Continuing Education (CE) program. The DoD requires that CompTIA-certified Information Assurance (IA) workforce members obtain a CompTIA CE designation or enroll in the CompTIA CE program by January 1, 2012. After that, the only way to enroll in the CE program will be to pass a CE version of the exam. Taking a CompTIA exam after January 1, 2011 automatically enrolls you in the CE program.

Before December 31, 2010 

  • Enroll in the CE program by December 31, 2011.
  • If you have not enrolled in the program by January 1, 2012, you must pass a CE version of the exam to enroll.
  • To keep your certification current, obtain CE units for activities and training relevant to your certification every three years.

After January 1, 2011 

  • Enrollment in the CompTIA continuing education program is automatic.
  • Keep your certifications current by obtaining CE units for activities and training relevant to your certification every three years.

DoD personnel who hold a baseline IA certification in fulfillment of 8570 requirements must register and release certification information in the Defense Workforce Certification Application (DWCA) at

If you have logged into the DMDC site and authorized CompTIA to validate prior to enrolling in the CE program you must go back into the DMDC site and click the Release Additional Certifications button. This will update the DMDC site with the CompTIA enrollment information.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: When you register on the DMDC website the name you enter on this site MUST match 100% to your name in your CompTIA record. If it does not match 100% your record will be in an "unknown" status until the information is correctly entered and resubmitted.

How can Global Knowledge help me earn my certification for the first time?

Our robust schedule of exam prep courses for the CompTIA Security+, CompTIA A+, and CompTIA Network+ certifications makes it easy for you to prepare for and take each certification exam. Plus, our courses include:

  • CompTIA-authorized curriculum (CAQC)
  • Study guides
  • Practice questions
  • Exam vouchers


CompTIA Exam Prep Courses

Still have questions? 

Please visit CompTIA's Certification Renewal Policy Page for further details.

Pre-approved Training for Satisfying CEUs