Renewal

Renewal

Certification Maintenance Guidelines & Requirements

The GIAC program has made a major shift regarding our certification renewal approach. In addition to offering the option to retake the certification exam, GIAC now supports individuals maintaining their credentials using a Certification Maintenance Units (CMUs) approach. This program change increases the options available to individuals, with a focus on demonstrating ongoing competence through continued training. It is important to note that while other organizations have similar methods of tracking credits towards certification renewal (CPE's, CEU's, etc), GIAC CMUs will not always match up with other programs exact values.

GIAC certifications are valid for four years. You may start the recertification process two years before your certification expires. We offer several options to demonstrate ongoing competency in the Information Assurance field and maintain your GIAC certification status.


Certification Renewal Program Rules and Information

  • All renewal options will become available for registration in your GIAC portal account (https://exams.giac.org/) two years prior to your certification expiration date.
  • The certification maintenance fee is $399 due once every four years at the time of registration. After your registration is complete and payment is received, all GIAC certification renewal options are documented and submitted through the GIAC Portal. No refunds are given after registration is complete.
  • CMUs must be unique to each certification a candidate is wishing to renew; in other words, you may NOT apply the same training, published research paper, work experience, or community involvement CMUs to more than one certification renewal. For example, if you have a GCFA and GCIA to renew and have taken SANS SEC560 course, you may apply those 36 CMUs to either your GCFA renewal OR your GCIA renewal, NOT BOTH.
  • For multiple certification holders: CMUs may be split between two or more renewals. For example, if you earn 36 CMUs from a completed training course or published work, you may submit 24 CMUs toward one certification renewal and the remaining 12 CMUs towards a second renewal as long as it meets the requirements.
    Or, you may submit 36 CMUs towards one renewal and half credit (18 CMUs) towards a second renewal as long as it meets the requirements.
  • The complete application and all supporting documentation must be submitted at the same time.
    For example, if you wish to renew your certification using 4 days (24 CMU) of training, and 12 CMUs for work experience, please submit your application, certificate of completion for the training and information from your employer at the same time.
  • Applications that are incomplete, or that request CMUs without the required supporting documentation will be rejected. You may resubmit the application and supporting documentation once the application is complete and all supporting documentation is provided.
  • It is your responsibility to submit your documentation before your certification attempt expires. Deadline extensions are not available at this time. In order to ensure your application is received and reviewed before your deadline, we suggest submitting your paperwork at least 15 business days prior to your certification's expiration date.
  • All renewal fees are required to be paid in full before your certification renewal application will be processed. The renewal fee includes a current set of certification specific course materials, should you choose to receive them. The updated course materials are available to you regardless of the renewal option(s) you utilize and will aid you in keeping your skill set current. You are responsible for shipping fees associated with receiving updated course materials.
  • If you register for more than one certification renewal in a two-year period, you will receive a discount. After the first $399 certification renewal, all additional certification renewals during the following two year period will cost only $199 each. For example, if you complete registration for your GSEC renewal on May 5th 2010, any additional renewal attempts purchased between May 5th, 2010 and May 5th, 2012 will cost only $199 (plus shipping fees).
  • All information submitted under certification maintenance is carefully reviewed by our staff and subject to external verification. Renewal candidates who knowingly and willingly submit false information or forged documents will be reported to the Ethics Council for review. Possible sanctions could include revocation of all GIAC certifications or barring from participation in GIAC community events.
  • GSE certifications can be renewed through the Exam option only. CMU submissions will not be accepted.

Options to Earn the 36 CMUs Required to Maintain Certification Include:

  • Standard Exam: Successfully passing the current version of the certification exam or other equivalent and relevant certification will earn candidates a total of 36 CMUs and renew the certification for another four years. Learn More
  • Training/Teaching: Required CMUs may be earned by attending or teaching ISO 17024 related information assurance training courses, such as SANS training courses or post graduate level information assurance courses. Learn More
  • Published Work: A published technical research paper or book may be applied towards the 36 CMU requirements. Learn More

Supplemental Options

There are also supplemental options, which can be combined with the primary options above, to help you reach the required 36 CMUs:

  1. Other Training Courses / Events (non-SANS/ISO 17024 related training)
  2. Work Experience
  3. GIAC / SANS /Community Participation
  4. Cyber Ranges / Exercises

Please pay close attention to the specific requirements of each option so you will be credited for the work you have accomplished and experience you have gained in the information assurance industry.

The table below summarizes the options available for certification renewal. Any option selected must be completed and documented within the final two years (24 months) of your certification window.

GIAC Recertification Options
Primary Options CMUs Maximum CMUs Number of years before certification expires for CMU submission to qualify
GIAC Certification Exam 36 36 2 years
Attending or Teaching a SANS or ISO 17024 Related Training Courses 1 CMU per contact hour
(Base 6 CMUs per full training day)
36 3 years
Publishing an Information Assurance Related Paper, Book or Article Up to 36 36 2 years
Information Assurance Post Graduate Classes 12 (per 3-5 credit hour course) 36 2 years
Supplemental Options
 
Other Training Courses / Events
(non-SANS/ISO 17024 related training)
Up to 12 12 3 years
Work Experience 6 per year 12 2 years
GIAC / SANS /Community Participation/Contribution to InfoSec-related Magazine Up to 6 6 2 years
Cyber Ranges/Exercises 12 12 2 years

Instructions for Completing the Certification Renewal Process

  1. Go to the "Certification History" section of your GIAC Exam Engine (https://exams.giac.org/pages/history), where you will see a list of your certifications. Next to the certification you are trying to renew, click "Renew NOW!"
  2. You now have the option of choosing to renew your certification by retaking the Certification Exam or providing documentation of Alternative CMU's. Choose your option:
    1. Certification Exam
      1. Under Registration Information, make sure your address information is correct.
      2. Choose your shipping type for the updated reference material. If you do not wish to receive the books, please check the "Do not send me books" checkbox.
      3. Select your preferred method of payment.
      4. Once payment has been approved, the reference material will be shipped and you will be granted access to the certification renewal exam and two practice tests. You will have 4 months from the date your registration and payment are received to prepare and complete your proctored exam.
      5. **Please Note** If your certification expires prior to passing your renewal exam, your certified status on the GIAC website will temporarily expire. Once you successfully complete the renewal exam, your status will go back to active and you will retain your original analyst number.
    2. Alternative CMU's
      1. Under Registration Information, make sure your address information is correct.
      2. Choose your shipping type for the updated reference material. If you do not wish to receive the books, please check the "Do not send me books" checkbox.
      3. Select your preferred method of payment.
      4. Once payment has been approved, you can submit your renewal application and supporting documentation in the Certification History section of your GIAC Exam Engine. A link to "Submit CMU's" will appear next to the certification you've registered to renew.
      5. **Please Note ** The complete application and all supporting documentation must be submitted as a .zip file at the same time. For example, if you wish to renew your certification using 4 days (24 CMU) of training and 12 CMUs for work experience please submit your application, certificate of completion for the training and information from your employer at the same time.
      6. **Please Note** It is your responsibility to submit your documentation before your certification expires; extensions to your deadline are not available for purchase. In order to ensure your application is received and reviewed before your deadline, we suggest submitting your paperwork at least 15 business days prior to your certification's expiration date.

GIAC CMUs vs. Other Programs Credit

Each credential granting body defines their own units of measure for continuing education and credential maintenance. The number of credits each organization requires varies greatly depending upon the credential, granting agency, and how the credits are defined, what activities are accepted, and the various categories or groupings used. Currently, there is no industry standard.

Like other organizations, GIAC chose to create its program to suit the community we serve. Therefore, there is no direct one-to-one mapping of GIAC Certification Maintenance Units (CMUs) to other organizations units of continuing education (CPE's, CE's, CEU's, etc), except for where explicitly specified in our policy.

Other organizations require more units, and thus award credit for less in-depth activities such as attending meetings, magazine subscriptions, listening to vendor presentations, etc. GIAC's CMUs are more focused units of measure, and we define one CMU as equivalent to one contact hour of intensive classroom training.

A total of 36 CMUs are required to renew a GIAC certification. If you hold multiple certifications, you will be required to earn 36 CMUs to renew each certification.