Network Security Expert Program


Once you have passed the requisite exam or exams to qualify for a Network Security Expert (NSE) designation, you are certified at that level for two years. If there are multiple exams that you must complete to earn an NSE designation, the two-year certification begins after the last requisite exam is passed. For example, to earn the NSE 6 Network Security Specialist designation, you must pass four different exams at that level. If Alice passed the first three exams on 3 and 4 December and passed the fourth exam on 7 December 2017, she would have earned her NSE 6 designation on the day she passed the fourth exam. And she would remain NSE 6 certified until 6 December 2019. The fact that Alice passed a fifth exam on the 8th does not restart her NSE 6 designation.


There are three ways that a candidate can recertify.

Requalify by meeting the prerequisites of the NSE level

1. At the end of the two year period, the NSE Institute checks to see how many exams are still valid. According to NSE 6 prerequisites, if there are four or more valid exams, Alice maintains her designation for another two years, if not, then her designation lapses. Continuing our example, let’s assume that Alice successfully completes three more exams between 8 December 2017 and 5 December 2019. On the day that her designation expires, 6 December 2019, NSEI counts the exams that are still valid. Alice has four valid exams and therefore her NSE 6 designation is renewed for another two years.

The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth exams could be the same product exams as before, or they could be exams based on different NSE 6 products, or somewhere in between as the diagram below explains.


Become NSE 7 qualified

2. A candidate who passes NSE 7 recertifies on NSE levels 4 & 5 as long as they have not expired. Assume that Alice has passed NSE levels one through six, but NSE 4 has expired. When Alice becomes NSE 7 certified, she would recertify on NSE 5 only. The new certification start date is the same as the certification start date on NSE 7.


Become NSE 8 qualified

3. A candidate, who obtains the NSE 8 designation by passing the written and practical exams, recertifies on all those NSE levels that were earned earlier regardless of whether or not they are valid or have expired. You cannot recertify on designation levels for which you have never qualified.

In this example, assume that Roberto has never completed NSE 1, he has allowed NSE 4 to expire, and he has passed the FortiMail and FortiWeb specialist exams in NSE 6. Although Roberto is a FortiMail Specialist and FortiWeb Specialist, he is not a NSE 6 Network Security Specialist because he has not completed four NSE 6 exams. Now he earns the NSE 8 designation by passing the written and practical exams. The NSE 8 designation would recertify him on NSE 2 through 5. It would also recertify him on NSE 6 FortiMail and FortiWeb, but not NSE 1.

To recertify NSE 8, it is sufficient to pass the NSE 8 written exam so long as NSE 8 has not expired. When you pass the written exam for the purpose of recertifying, it also recertifies you on all NSE levels valid or expired. However, if your NSE 8 certification expires, then you will have redo the written and practical exams to recertify.