All new ESA/NTS certifications are valid for a period of 24 months following the completion of a course of study. Certification is maintained through attendance at industry related continuing education activities.

Maintaining ESA/NTS certifications requires certificate holders to earn continuing education units/hours (CEUs) each renewal cycle. The number of CEUs required depends upon the renewal cycle.  Certifications issued prior to July 1, 2015 had a renewal cycle of 12 months and required 12 hours of qualifying CEU credits in order to renew.  Certifications issued after July 1, 2015 had a renewal cycle of 24 months and require 24 hours of qualifying CEU credits to renew.

Below please find the following policies regarding maintaining your NTS certification:

Continuing Education

It is the responsibility of each Certification Holder to maintain records documenting qualified continuing education credits, report their credits on the ESA/NTS Certification Renewal Form, and submit the form and the applicable processing fee to ESA/NTS at the time of renewal. CEUs must be taken within the period from renewal date to renewal expiration date and cannot carry over to subsequent years.

Qualifying activities

Education or activities covering the electronic life safety, security and systems integration industry are eligible for ESA/NTS CEUs.  Please note that proper evidence of training or activity must be submitted in order for the CEUs to be accepted.

CEUs for education programs must be submitted with: a description or outline of the training content and a completion certificate issued from the training provider that contains name of training provider, title of the training, name of the certified professional, date the training was completed, and duration of the training. Time for meals, breaks, social gatherings, planning sessions, business meetings and similar

activities will not be included.

Other activities such as instruction and volunteering must be submitted with a letter (on letter head) from the entity that hosted the  activity. For example, for service on a committee to be approved, the certification holder must provide a letter from the organization that confirms committee participation.



  • ESA/NTS courses
  • College/University/Trade  School  courses  –  credit  will  be  granted  for  successful completion of a college/university course in a security industry topic area or business. A three or four credit course is equivalent to 12 credits or 12 CEUs.
  • Training Sessions, Educational Workshops, or Seminars – credit will be granted  for documented attendance at educational security and life safety industry related training activities. This may include: educational seminars, education sessions attended at State and National conferences, as well as code and industry update workshops.
  • Industry Related Expos – A maximum of 4 CEU credits will be granted for attendance at security and life safety industry related expo per renewal cycle.
  • Online/distance learning courses – must include a final exam and a certificate of completion from provider that states hours of instruction.
  • Job Safety Training – credit will be granted for attending training programs that teach the importance of safety in the workplace. This may include: OSHA training, first-aid, CPR, or other topics related to job safety.


  • Teaching – credit will be granted for teaching ESA/NTS courses or related electronic security courses at the rate of 2 CEUs per course. A maximum of 12 CEUs will be accepted in this category per renewal cycle.
  • ESA/NTS  Course  and  Program  Development  –  credit  will  be  granted  for   the assistance in creating, writing, and implementation of new ESA/NTS courses  and programs. Not limited to but including; the ESA Apprenticeship Program. Two credits or 2 CEUs per 8 hours of course content and/or classroom instruction. Two credits or 2 CEUs per 4 hours of management and/or implementation of Programs of study. A maximum  of  12  CEUs  will  be  accepted  in  this  category  per  renewal  cycle.


  • Active Committee/Task Force Service – An active committee/task force is defined as one conducting service within the electronic security and life safety industry by way of activities such as one or more meetings per year, one or more reports/position papers issued per year, one or more studies/surveys underway per year, etc. Credit will be granted at the rate of 2 CEUs per position on the national level and 1 CEU per position on the chapter level. A maximum of 8 CEUs will be accepted in this category per renewal cycle.

Electronic Life Safety and Security Industry Certifications – credit is awarded for earning a new certification in the electronic life safety and security industry from an entity other than ESA/NTS.  For a complete list of industry certifications that qualify under this category please visit the Industry Certifications page. A certification earned during the renewal cycle qualifies for 24 CEUs.

Renewal process
  • Continuing education activities must be reported every renewal cycle to prevent your certification from being revoked. It is the certificate holder’s responsibility to report CEU credits to ESA/NTS.
  • An ESA/NTS Certification Renewal Reporting form downloadable at must be completed and returned to ESA/NTS after completing your CEUs.
  • Documentation of attendance and/or CEU course verification must be provided to ESA/NTS. Please provide copies. Do not send originals. They will not be returned.
  • Any programs attended prior to earning your certification do not qualify for renewal credits.
  • ESA/NTS reserves the right to request further documentation from certificate holders.  Any credits which cannot be verified during the review process will be disqualified.
  • It is the responsibility of each certificate holder to maintain records documenting continuing education activity.
  • When multiple certifications are held, renewal dates will be combined so that they share the same renewal date.
Lapsed Certifications

Persons who do not maintain their certification lose the privilege of using the designation.  A certification is considered lapsed once the expiry date has passed.  Lapsed certifications may be renewed as follows:

  • If certification was lapsed for less than 24 months, individuals will be required to submit 24 CEUs (or 24 contact hours) and the renewal fee for the lapsed renewal cycle.
  • If certification has lapsed for a period of more than 24 months, the certification may not be renewed until the primary course and exam leading to certification are retaken.

Those wishing to attain another ESA/NTS certification must have their current certification in good standing.

Contact NTS for more information regarding lapsed certifications.

Understanding Licensing and Continuing Education

ESA/NTS courses and certifications are referenced in numerous state and municipal licensing programs. Not all states handle acquiring and renewing licenses the same way. Some states accept online training, some do not. Some states accept ESA/NTS CEUs, some do not. Students are urged to contact their regulatory agency prior to enrolling in any program to ensure that the course, CEU or certification is acceptable to a particular licensing group.

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