In December, the Computing Technology Industry Association decided lifetime A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications were going to retroactively require renewal every three years. The response from the IT community was particularly thorny, and rightfully so. Why the changes? According to Ars Technica, CompTIA was getting its accreditation process evaluated by several larger accreditation organizations, including ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute), which were helping evolve requirements.
It's not uncommon for many certifications to require renewal, but you certainly affect a lot of people when you ask them to pay to continue something they were told would last as long as they did. Lifetime is lifetime, people said. Many comments about CompTIA were negative, though the organization has taken down its original post that received a harsh response. Here's one reaction (from Phillyman's Blog):
"According to Wikipedia, over 800,000 people are A+ certified! So you just expect 800,000 people to hand over $220 every 3 years??? Before you pulled this little stunt of yours, I had planned on getting the following certifications... Network+ ($220), Linux+ ($220), Security+ ($240). Do you know how many CompTIA certifications I plan on getting now? ZERO!!!!!"
CompTIA appears to have been listening to the uproar and has changed its tune for certifications earned in 2010 or earlier, but after this year, these lifetime certifications will need to be renewed every three years. Here are the latest details from Ars Technica, which led the reporting on the controversy:
"Holders [from 2011 and beyond] who wish to maintain their certification will then have to pay an annual fee to CompTIA of $25 or $49 and will need to rack up sufficient continuing education credits to renew their certs.
The initial decision to retroactively invalidate certifications generated considerable anger among cert holders, which we described in today's story on the fiasco. An hour after our original report went live, CompTIA contacted us with news about the change.
CompTIA president Todd Thibodeaux, announcing the policy change, said, "We do not wish to disenfranchise any of the individuals who have supported our certification program. The right thing to do is honor our past commitment to those certified under our original 'certified for life' policy."