Certification Maintenance

What is SPēD Certification Maintenance?

The purpose of the SPēD Certification Maintenance Program is to:

  • Enhance continuing subject matter competence
  • Recognize and encourage learning opportunities
  • Offer a standardized and objective measure for obtaining and recording professional development activities
  • Sustain the global recognition and value of SPēD Certifications

How do I maintain my certification(s)?

To maintain a SPēD certification, you must maintain an active and up-to-date Security Training, Education, and Professionalization Portal (STEPP) account. You must also attain 100 professional development units (PDUs) within your two-year maintenance cycle, at least 50 of which must be related to security. For additional information, visit our certification maintenance page.

What happens if I fail to maintain my certification(s)?

Failure to attain 100 professional development units (PDUs) within your two-year certification maintenance cycle will cause all of your certifications to expire. To attain your certifications again, you will need to retest and pass each certification assessment.

My certification expired. How do I get it back?

If you fail to maintain your certification(s) and wish to attain it again, you must retest and pass each certification's assessment.

What is a professional development unit (PDU)? What counts as a PDU?

A professional development unit (PDU) is a unit of continuing education and growth, including specific activities where one's experience has broadened by the preparation and/or presentation of the activity. You must earn and submit evidence of 100 PDUs during your two-year maintenance cycle, 50 of which must be related to security.

There are six professional development categories through which you can obtain PDUs. These include the following:

  1. Certification Programs
  2. A. Security Training and/or Certificate Programs
    B. Security Higher Education (i.e., credit-bearing)
  3. A. Non-Security Training, Education, and/or Certificate Programs
    B. Non-Security Higher Education (i.e., credit-bearing)
  4. Conferences and Workshops
  5. SPēD Certification Project
  6. Experience and Achievements

View more information about each category.

If you have any questions about what constitutes professional development, please contact your Department of Defense (DoD) SPēD Component point of contact (POC).

How long do I have to complete my certification maintenance?

Your certification maintenance and renewal cycle is two years and based on your first conferral of either a Security Fundamentals Professional Certification (SFPC) or Physical Security Certification (PSC). Your certification expiration date is available on your My SPēD Certification (MSC) home page.

Can I get an extension to complete my certification maintenance?

 You may request a Certification Maintenance Waiver for an extension to complete your maintenance requirements due to deployment, hospitalization or other medical leave, or other extraordinary reason.

If you are an employee or contractor for the Department of Defense (DoD) or one of its Components, agencies, or companies, submit your Waiver Request Form to your SPēD Certification Program point of contact (POC).

If you are an employee or contractor for the Defense Security Service (DSS), Industry, or other participating agency without a SPēD Certification Program POC, submit your Waiver Request Form through the DoD SPēD Certification PMO (dss.spedcert@mail.mil).

Supporting documentation, such as unclassified duty orders or doctor's note, must accompany your Waiver Request Form.

You will receive notification of your waiver decision within 20 duty days of receipt of your waiver request by the appropriate authority.

What is a certification renewal form (CRF)? Where do I find the CRF?

The certification renewal form (CRF) is used to record your professional development activities. In order to maintain and renew your certification(s), you must complete 100 professional development units (PDUs) during your maintenance and renewal cycle and record those PDUs in a CRF before your cycle expires.

To find your CRF:

  • Log in to your MSC account (https://i7lp.integral7.com/dss).
  • On the left navigation bar, click "Complete a Form."
  • Under the New Forms tab, select the CRF available to you.
  • Enter your professional development activities into each applicable category.
  • You may save and return to your CRF at any time during the process.
  • Submit the form when you reach 100 PDUs.

A CRF will not appear in your MSC account unless you are conferred a certification and you are in your current certification maintenance and renewal cycle.

What happens after I submit my certification renewal form (CRF)?

Once you submit your CRF, your renewal date for all certifications you hold (including any certifications earned during your two-year maintenance cycle) is automatically extended two years from your certification renewal date. This applies regardless of when you submitted your CRF during this cycle.

Below is a graphic depicting your two-year maintenance cycle. The option to start a new CRF will appear after your certification renewal date.

two-year maintenance cycle

If you have any questions about meeting your two-year maintenance cycle, please contact your Department of Defense (DoD) SPēD Component point of contact (POC).

Why do I need to maintain my certification(s), anyway?

Department of Defense (DoD) Manual (DoDM) 3305.13-M, "DoD Security Accreditation and Certification," and national accreditation standards set by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) mandate certification renewal and maintenance. These standards require certifying agencies to have a plan for periodic recertification and to provide evidence the certification program effectively measures or enhances an individual's continuing competence.

In order to meet these accreditation and certification standards as set by the DoD and NCCA, SPēD certifications must be renewed every two years by accruing and recording 100 professional development units (PDUs).