Canceling Lifetime Certifications

Earlier this year, CompTIA announced it would start requiring certificants — even those already holding CompTIA certifications that had been billed as lifelong — to renew their certifications.

Two weeks later, the association reversed this decision somewhat, saying that previous CompTIA certification holders and those studying for its exams this year would be certified for life. Effective Jan. 1, 2011, all new CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications will be valid for three years from the date the candidate becomes certified.

According to Terry Erdle, senior vice president of skills certification for CompTIA, the decision was originally brought about by advice from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). “The way they explained it to us is: ‘We really should start to push you guys into line with everybody else, which is a three-year or least some kind of recertification process. Your IT certifications can’t go on forever; lifetime certification is just not something that we’re going to stand behind anymore,’” Erdle said.

So CompTIA developed a continuing education process and a policy of requiring recertification. One of ANSI’s requirements was that such a policy be applied evenly across the association’s entire database.

“Well, the announcement went out, and we certainly heard from a number of people,” Erdle said. “I wouldn’t say it was a majority, but a vociferous number of them who said, ‘You know, this really isn’t fair.’”

IT pro Walter Byrd was one such protestor. When Byrd first heard he’d be required to recertify, he was…


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