Cisco Announces New CCNP Recertification Policy

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Hot on the heels of Cisco’s announcement of the content revamp for its Certified Networking Professional credential suite comes news that the company also will alter its recertification policy. What’s especially different about this new procedure is that it allows certificants to renew their credentials via any certification at the CCNP or CCIE level, regardless of the subject it covers.

“Our previous policy required that you recertify in the same discipline in which your certification was received,” said Cindy Hoffman, learning and development manager for Cisco certification. “In other words, if you’d gotten a voice professional certification, in order to recertify you would’ve had to go in and take one of those courses from the same curriculum.

“Now, you can continue to do that, or you can diversify by going off and taking an exam for any of the other professional-level certifications. So instead of just being someone who knows voice, by going out and recertifying in BSCI, you would acquire some expertise in switching that you didn’t previously have and, in so doing, recertify your CCVP.”

Hoffman said that Cisco decided this after listening to customers’ thoughts on the matter. “We got a lot of feedback from people who told us they felt it was not a good use of their time to go back and recertify in exactly the same discipline in which their certification was received,” she said. “They told us that would be a highly motivating factor in their decision to certify or recertify, and it would help them on the job. I see that as a win-win because that person takes applicable skills that are diversified back to the workplace, and it also encourages them to keep their certification active, which enables them to receive information from us, have access to the certification community and all of the other benefits associated with certification.”

Also, the nature of networks today almost demands a change like this, she added. “One of the things that’s happening now is that the network is more of a platform than a closed infrastructure. Companies are no longer just having the standard routing-and-switching-based network – they’re integrating wireless, security, voice and other applications into the network.”

While the options around recertification exams for CCNP holders have changed, the interval at which they must update their credentials stands at three years. “That has not changed – they remain the same as before,” Hoffman said. “That’s a really important factor for anybody who holds the certification to recognize. At the end of the three-year period (after being certified), your certification has expired. If you try to go out and recertify one day after that third year, you have to start all over, as if you didn’t have a certification at all. Certified individuals need to be sure they pass that recertification exam before the three-year date rolls around.”

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