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 several ways that you can recertify.    

Requalify by meeting the prerequisites of the NSE level

1. To recertify, you can meet the requirements of the NSE level again.

NSE levels 1—5 and 7

If you previously earned certification in NSE levels 1 to 5 or in NSE level 7, you can recertify by meeting the requirements of your certification level again. You can recertify your NSE level at any time before or after your current certification expires; however, if you recertify after expiry, you will not hold a valid certification until you meet the certification requirements again.

NSE level 6

Two years after you complete NSE 6 certification, the NSE Institute checks to confirm how many of your exams are still valid. According to NSE 6 requirements, if you hold four or more valid exams, you will maintain your designation for another two years. If the NSE Institute determines that you do not hold four or more valid exams, then your designation will expire.

When recertifying, you can take the same four product exams that you took to obtain your initial certification, you can take a completely different set of product exams, or you can take a combination of product exams that you have taken previously and ones that you have never taken.

This diagram shows an example combination of exams that a candidate might take to obtain an NSE 6 designation and subsequent recertification.

Recertify via-rewriting-exams

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.