Renewing my Cisco CCNP Enterprise certification with Continuing Education (CE) Credits

A while ago, probably less than 2 years ago, Cisco announced a new way to recertify any of their certifications via “Continuing Education” credits, or CE for short, very similar to the PDU point system implemented by the Project Management Institute, most notably for the renowed PMP certification. You can get Cisco CEs via official training, either classroom (not an option these days due to COVID) or E-Learning (some Cisco live sessions will also award you with CEs, at least for the upcoming Cisco Live Virtual 2021). 

Note –You will need a CCO account that is well synchorized with your Cisco CSCO ID, otherwise you may log into the portals mentioned here and don’t see your certifications at all. This is a common mistake from people just using their Pearson Vue account for testing but not liking their CSCO to a CCO account later.

First of all, how do i know how many credits are needed to renew my certifications? for that you need to log into the Cisco Certification Tracking system, go to Certifications>Active Certifications, expand and click on any of your certs. This will open a new page showing up the different options and combinations available to recertify, which range from passing core exams, specialist exams, just CEs, or a combination of all the those. This is what my CCNP Enterprise looked like last week:

So far i already had 64 CEs, which i will explain later how i got them, and the options are either complete 80 CEs, or use 40 and pass a Specialist level exam (300-XXX). Since i’m not really into any of these new specialist exams yet, i will aim for the 80 CEs and see what happens. So where did those 64 CEs come from? last year i got the Cisco ENCORE E-Learning from the Cisco Learning Store, not knowing about CEs at all. After finishing the course you get a completion certificate in the “wrap up” section.

After getting your PDF certificate go to Cisco Continuing Education Program website, login with your CCO account and you should see a list of all your active certifications just like in the Certification Tracking website. In the main menu go to Submit Items, select the details of the training you want to get credits for (E-Learning in my case), upload you certificate and submit.

And voila! for this type of E-Learning certificates, the accreditation is almost instantaneous, but for some other activities such as classroom training or Cisco Live sessions you may have to wait a couple days. The “earned” CEs will show up on the main dashboard at the CE website like so.

Warning – After earning credits in the CE website it will take about 2 days to reflect into the Cisco Certification Tracking system, be patient and don’t panic.

So now the remaining question is, where do i get the missing 16 CEs i need to get my professional level certifications renewed? Earning CEs is not cheap, E-Learning courses and/or Cisco Live are a sizeable investment (Black Friday or Cyber Monday discounts at the Cisco Learning Store may be the exception) but it saves you the time to study for another exam. However if you already are halfway in, you can get additional free training at the Cisco Learning Library which are also CE elegible. You can browse the free course catalog directly from the CE website, in the “Item Catalog” section, or logging in directly to the Cisco Learning Library

In this case my best choise was to take the initial modules of the “SD-WAN Mastery Collection for Customers” which is free and awards me the missing CEs to get CCNP Enterprise recertified. Sadly enough, retired certifications such as my CCDP, CCDA among others are no longer being extended.

After finishing each course the process is the same. Download the certificates of completion, in the CE website go to Add Item and that’s it. Wait a couple days for the synchronization between the systems and you will see the additional 3 year extension granted.

This works for any certification level, including CCIEs, so if you come up with a good strategy it may not be necessary to sit again for testing in a while 🙂

6 thoughts on “Renewing my Cisco CCNP Enterprise certification with Continuing Education (CE) Credits

  1. Do you know if watching recordings of Cisco Live sessions would work (for the CCNP level)? I’m seeing blogs regarding the CCIE and Cisco Live sessions, nothing re CCNP (either yay or nay). The CE website says they should work, but… there are no preapproved items, so probably not.
    I still have over a year, but… I’m looking to get started sooner rather than later. Seems intricate and fairly costly. I’m likely going to apply for item writing, funny enough I used to do that years ago for money, now it’s a volunteer thing – but hey, you get CPEs so…

    Thanks!

    1. It should, but i haven’t seen it in action because of the whole pandemic thing, i guess next year we should see something at Cisco Live Las Vegas. In theory sessions awarding CEs will me marked as such, you will most likely get a pdf or some sort of QR which should later be submitted to the CE website for review and get the points awarded. If it works that way, for sure registration to those sessions will fill up in minutes. I forgot about the points for blogging and such, thanks for the reminder, it may be good motivation to finish the gazillion posts i haven’t finished yet 😀

      Cheers!

  2. Hey,
    I’m also on the same track. Just one question though. How did you bring the course to the “complete” status, the one you have purchased? ENCORE E-Learning. Does it require an exam to be done or labs? If so, are those instructed labs or like the CCNP exams are you on your own. Also, What about the MCQ Exam, is it quite hard?

    1. It’s a mix of everything, every lesson has an exit test (MCQ) and you get a “medal” when done based on how well you did, also some sections have labs which i find fantastic because they are fully guided and use vIOS and QEMU VMs so you can actually test things beyond what’s in the lab guide if you want to, labs are spin up and destroyed after you finish, dedicated resources just for your session. By the end there’s a final exam which is needed a bit difficult but if you did every test in the course then it’s doable. After completing all the sections with a medal (test and labs) plus the final exam, you get the certificate of completion to be uploaded to the CE website.

      1. Hello,
        What you mean to say is that all labs are guided with instructions on what to do to achieve it’s objectives? It’s just these medals that matter How I perform? Also, are these redo able? For an instance do I get chance to redo from bronze to gold, does it change the outcome? Sorry for all the question.

        1. No worries, the labs are not graded, you do them or you don’t and indeed they come with a step-by-step lab guides (and a video guide as well sometimes). The tests for each section can be taken any number of times until you get the desired medal, everything in bronze should be good enough to mark the section as completed. The only test i don’t remember if can be taken several times is the very last one, if i’m not wrong you have 2 or 3 chances to pass it.

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