I’ve renewed my CCIE for 3 more years, and learned something along the way.

Since the introduction of the Cisco Continuing Education Program I’ve renewed my CCIE submitting the credits received from eligible trainings.

After passing the drake1 exam multiple times2 I welcomed the new way. It’s much better to learn something new than to repeat the same exam every two3 years.

The training path

To renew the CCIE a total of 120 CE credits are necessary.

My choice of training was based on two assumptions:

  • maximize the number of earned credits
  • learn something new

After some investigation I chose these three coures from the Cisco Learning Store :

The surprise

As every good student I’ve watched the videos, studied the manuals on O'Reilly , passed the intermediate tests along the way, and submitted the end results to collect the credits ad the end of each training.

What I didn’t expected was the new-ish certification policy :

All certifications will be active for three years from the date certification is achieved. Each time recertification requirements are met the certification active status will be extended for an additional three years.

This means the day I submitted the last CE credits, reaching the 120 point necessary to renew a CCIE, the certification was renewed the very same day, with the effect of anticipating the date of the next expiration.

This behavior conforms to the Continuing Education program policy and rules :

Once recertification criteria are met, recertification(s) will be automatically processed.

My ignorance of the new policy cost me a few months of validity. I should have been smarter and submit the training on a date closer to the actual expiration 🤦‍♂️

The previous policy renewed the certification for two years from the date it was achieved, the anniversary date. The new policy extends for three years.

And as a side effect, now I have to remember an expiration date that is different than the date I passed the exam.

Example: CCIE exam passed on March 19th 2019, the exam is valid for three years, the next expiration date is March 19th 2022.

If 120 CE credits are submitted on December 8th 2021 (or the amount necessary to reach a total of 120 or more), the new expiration date will be December 8th 2024, not March 19th 2025.

I dont’t blame Cisco for my mistake, I take fully responsibility for that. Probably a warning message before the submit would have helped me to double check the dates and to delay the submit to a date closer to the actual expiration.

Something like:

| Your CCIE is X months from the expiration, are you sure?

I hope this post will help other CCIEs to avoid the same mistake I did and plan their certification strategy accordingly to maximize the validity period and save some time/money.

Addendum 1: the COVID-19 extension

On March 2020 Cisco extended the expiration date of all the active certification in response of che coronavirus pandemic (SOURCE ).

For this reason you may notice an expiration date of the certifications that is different than the anniversary date.

Addendum 2: CE credits

CE credits are valid for 3 years, starting from the day the eligible training was completed (not the date the credits were claimed, see next addendum):

Credits will be valid for 3 years from the date the item was completed and MUST be used towards recertification before they expire.

Thanks @Matt Saunders for the clarification.

Source under “Continuing Education program policy and rules”

Addendum 3: claiming CE credits

When an eligible training is completed, the credits must be claimed within 90 days:

Claims must be submitted for Continuing Education credit within 90 days of completing an eligible item, and while the certification is active. Claims submitted outside the 90-day window will not be eligible for Continuing Education credit.

Source under “Continuing Education program policy and rules”

Addendum 4: YouTube video in Network Playroom

Riikka Sihvonen posted a video in the Network Playroom YT channel to discuss the recertification policy.

  1. the name comes from the original name of Prometric: Drake Prometric  ↩︎

  2. four times: in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017 ↩︎

  3. Before the introduction of the Cisco Continuing Education Program, the CCIE expired every two years. To renew it was necessary to either pass a CCIE written exam or a lab. ↩︎