Maintaining your CCSP Certification: Renewal Requirements

September 27, 2018 by Fakhar Imam


Once you earn a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification, you become an (ISC)2 member and join a global community of approximately 125,000 cybersecurity professionals. However, you must maintain your CCSP certification to continue to receive benefits of your membership, keep yourself abreast of the latest industry trends and keep your skills and knowledge current.

In this article, you will learn about Group A and Group B Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits, CCSP renewal requirements, CCSP CPE maintenance requirements, how to regain membership, how to retake the CCSP exam and the benefits of maintaining your CCSP certification.

Understanding Group A and Group B CPE Credits

Understanding of Group A and Group B CPE credits is a prerequisite to comprehending CPE credits altogether. Let’s look at them in a little more detail.

Group A CPE credits involve domain-related activities. That means that these activities must be related to specific domains of the respective credential (e.g., CCSP, CISSP, CSSLP, SSCP, CAP and so forth). Examples of Group A activities are listed below:

  • Read a whitepaper, book or magazine
  • Publish a whitepaper, book or article
  • Attend a seminar, presentation, conference or an educational course
  • Give a presentation or teach with regard to information security
  • Take a higher academic course
  • Volunteer for the public sector, government, or any other welfare organization
  • Self-study related to a preparation for a certification exam or a project
  • Perform a unique work-related project that isn’t a part of your typical work duties.  

Group B CPE credits are related to general professional development activities that are not applied directly to your certification domains. These activities are helpful in enhancing your education, knowledge, professional skills or competency outside of domains associated with your respective certification. General professional development activities include professional development programs such as management courses or professional speaking. Examples are given below:

  • Attend a seminar, presentation, conference, or an educational course
  • Gear up for a presentation or teach something related to a professional development
  • Take a higher academic course
  • Self-study related to a preparation for a certification exam or a project.

What Are the CCSP Renewal Requirements?

You must recertify every three years by paying an Annual Maintenance Fee (AMF) of U.S. $100 and earning 90 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits before the certification expires. 30 CPEs are required for each year of the renewal cycle. If you unable to pay an AMF, your certification will be terminated. On the other hand, if both required CPE credits and AMF payment are met, your membership will be renewed for a new three-year certification cycle.

What Are the CCSP CPE Maintenance Requirements?

Once you become an (ISC)2-certified member, you need to attain and submit CPE credits each year of your three-year certification cycle. The number of CPE credits you earned within a three-year cycle must add up to the minimum CPE credits needed during the three-year certification cycle. A CCSP requires a total of 30 CPE credits each year of your three-year certification cycle, for a total of 90 CPEs.

You can earn CPEs by participating in various activities offered by (ISC)2. These learning activities are available within the following categories:

  • CPE credits offered by (ISC)2
  • Unique work experience
  • Contribution to the profession
  • Education
  • Professional development (Group B Only)

CPE Policies and Procedures

You must complete one or more of the above CPE activities during the three-year span of each certification cycle, rather than at the end of your certification cycle or after the certification expiration date.

Maintaining Multiple Credentials

In addition to CCSP, (ISC)2 also offers various other certifications including CISSP, CSSLP, SSCP, CAP, HCISPP, ISSAP, ISSEP and ISSMP. If you hold any other certification(s) along with CCSP, (ISC)2 automatically counts your CPE credits toward all active credentials you hold as of the completion date. As an (ISC)2 member, you are only required to enter your CPE activities in a record or member database one time, rather than multiple times.

Audit of CPE Credits

The CPE credits you earn may be randomly audited by the (ISC)2 CPE Auditors. You must provide a brief description of your activity (either Group A or B or both) or proof of your attendance. Audits of CPE credits are valuable as they provide compliance with ANSI/ISO standards for credentials and uphold the integrity of (ISC)2 certifications and those in compliance with them.

Once you are selected for an audit, you will be informed via an email which you are required to respond to within 90 days of the notice.

Dispute Regarding CPE Status

If any dispute regarding CPE status occurs, you may submit a complaint to the (ISC)2 Board of Directors within a three-month period from the date of denial. Your written appeal must not consist of more than two pages. Once it is ready, you can submit it to the (ISC)2 General Counsel.

Can I Regain Membership If My Certification Has Been Terminated?

Yes, you can regain membership if your certification has terminated. Termination occurs due to the failure to achieve three years’ worth of CPE credits and/or payment of AMF renewal requirements within 90 days following the certification expiration date. The notice of decertification is issued through by email.

If your certification is suspended or/and decertified, you have the right to file an appeal. If you are unable to report your CPE credits or/and make your AMF payment within a deadline, you can ask for assistance from the Member Services Department.

Becoming a member again requires you to take and pass the CCSP certification and then pass the Endorsement Application process, which is used to verify that you meet the work experience requirements. Once you meet these requirements, you will become an (ISC)2 member and your membership will be renewed.  

(ISC)2 also offers you a grace period, allowing you to submit all CPE credits within 90 days following the certification expiration date. However, these CPE credits must be attained by the expiration date.

How Long Is the CCSP Certification Good For?

Your CCSP certification is good for three years. However, the member must meet certain requirements to keep his certification active and valid. These requirements include the attainment of 30 CPE credits each year and 90 CPE credits for the three-year certification cycle. In addition, paying an AMF of US $100 and complying with the (ISC)2 Code of Ethics is also necessary.

Do I Have to Retake the Exam?

If your previous certification has been terminated and decertified, you can retake the exam to recertify. The process for retaking the exam is the same as the first time around. For example, you will schedule the exam, pay the AMF and pass the exam. Once you meet all these requirements, the Member Services Department will reactivate your certification. After that, you need to maintain your certification to avoid decertification again.

What Are the Benefits of Maintaining My CCSP Certification?

The CCSP cloud security certification is a globally-recognized credential that builds your career in the cloud security realm. Your CCSP credentials ensure that you have advanced technical skills and knowledge to design, manage and secure applications, data and infrastructure in the cloud employing best practices, policies and procedures. Maintaining your CCSP certification have various other benefits, including:

  • Peer networking, mentoring and global resources
  • A plethora of promotions and job opportunities in the cloud security realm
  • Having access to expert guidance, a variety of research and industry insight to support continuous and diverse education
  • Having an association with a global recognition and value and ethics of (ISC)2 credentials

InfoSec Institute Boot Camp — Your Best Bet

InfoSec Institute offers a six-day training class focuses on gearing up candidates for the (ISC)2 CCSP certification exam through a review of the entire body of knowledge and practical questions and answers in a high-energy seminar approach. You can book InfoSec’s CCSP Training Boot Camp right away to take the CCSP exam successfully and secure an elite score.

InfoSec has been one of the most-awarded (42 industry awards) and trusted information security training vendors for 17 years.

InfoSec also offers thousands of articles on a variety of security topics.



(ISC)2 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Handbook, (ISC)2

(ISC)2 Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths, Business News Daily

Posted: September 27, 2018
Articles Author
Fakhar Imam
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Fakhar Imam is a professional writer with a master’s program in Masters of Sciences in Information Technology (MIT). To date, he has produced articles on a variety of topics including on Computer Forensics, CISSP, and on various other IT related tasks.

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