AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Recertification Mechanics / Renewal Dates


When re-certifying – does your new ‘expiration date’ remain two years after the date of your current expiration – or does the date ‘shift’ to whatever day you took the recertification exam?

This seems like a basic question, but I’ve scoured AWS’ Recertification pages and FAQs, as well as forums here at ACG and elsewhere – to no avail. The question is simple:

When re-certifying a Pro level cert (both my SA Pro and DevOps Pro expire within two weeks of each other, in March) – if I take the exam early (say, for sake of discussion – sometime in February) – does that ‘advance’ my NEXT renewal date (e.g. would my recertification expire 2 years, to the date, after passing the re-cert exam)?

If so – then that incents / motivates us to wait until the very last moment (day) to renew? Or even – given your feelings regarding ‘being in good standing’ / lapses in certification – to wait out much of the one-year ‘grace period’?  This would, taken to the extreme, stretch out a certification cycle to nearly 3 years.  Unless, of course: upon recertifying, the validity period was STILL two years from the original expiry.

I know I won’t do that: I’ve got all 9 right now, and just sat the Alexa Skill Builder exam yesterday (missed the ML beta late last year, dang it! – but I’m sure curious to understand the actual mechanics, from anyone who HAS recertified.

1 Answers

Hi SnoWake,

I’ve been through 2 re-certification cycles with my CSA-Pro.  When you re-certify, your new expiration date is based on when you passed the certification test + whatever the valid duration.   I say "whatever the valid duration" because AWS is now supposed to have a flat 3 year certification period with no 1 year "grace period".   But, it seems the certification portal still has then concept of a 2 year validity and a 1 year "grace period".

For example, I just got my PASS results back for the Beta exam I took in October 24, 2018.  The portal shows "Expired" as of October 24, 2020 and "Last Day to Re-Certify" as October 24, 2021. 

This is at odds with the FAQ on AWS’s Certification website:

Q: "How long will my certification be valid?"

A: "You will be required to update your certification (or re-certify) every three years."


Billy Glenn

Hi Scott — Thanks for the feedback. It actually took me a couple of iterations of exchanging emails with the certification team, but I was eventually able to convey my question, and received an answer consistent with yours, above. So – it really DOES incentivize folks to ‘wait until the last minute’ to recertify: let’s say you took the recert exam a month early… then you’d have to re-cert, under the new 3-year cycle. Good catch on the inconsistency of various resources / information – as I was trying to understand this, I found the certification information change suddenly between visits. They’ve got a LOT of content in a LOT of places – might take a while to track ’em all down and rationalize to the new 3-year model. Thanks again for this great course – just wrapped it up, and I’ll be sitting the SA Pro recert on Feb 28, and DevOps Pro recert on Mar 1. Thanks for your contribution to my preparation!!

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