How to Renew Your ESA Certification

All ESA Certifications are valid for a period of 24 months following the completion of a course of study. After this period, Certification Holders must complete the ESA Certification renewal process.

Certification is maintained through attendance at industry related continuing education activities. Maintaining ESA Certifications requires certificate holders to earn 24 continuing education units/hours (CEUs) (the equivalent of 24 classroom hours) each renewal cycle.

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

When you have read and understood the requirements listed below, please have the necessary documentation ready and submit an ESA Certification renewal form.
ESA Certification Renewal Form

Continuing Education

It is the responsibility of each Certification Holder to maintain records documenting qualified continuing education credits, report their credits on the ESA Certification Renewal Form, and submit the form and the applicable processing fee to ESA 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.

Understanding Licensing and Continuing Education

ESA’s National Training School 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 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.

Qualifying Activities

Education or activities covering the electronic life safety, security and systems integration industry are eligible for ESA’s CEUs.

Please note that continuing education activities must be reported every renewal cycle on the required submission form for the CEUs to be accepted. Time for meals, breaks, social gatherings, planning sessions, business meetings and similar activities will not be included.

All certification holders are subject to a random audit. If you are audited, you will receive notification from ESA’s National Training School within 60 days of receipt of renewal to send all requested CEU documentation for review.

Documentation requested may include any and/or all the following:

  • Documentation of attendance and/or course 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.
  • A description or outline of the training content.
  • 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.

The following activities may qualify for CEUs:


  • ESA National Training School 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.

Work Experience:

  • Work Experience Verification – Up to 1/3 of the required CEUs may come from work experience verification during a renewal cycle. The required work experience verification form must be submitted to receive credit.
  • Credit will be granted for verified work experience during a renewal cycle. A maximum of 8 CEUs will be accepted in this category per renewal cycle.

125 On-the-Job Training (OJT) hours equals 1 CEU. 1,000 On-the-Job Training (OJT) hours equals 8 CEUs

Download the Work Experience Verification Form


  • Teaching – credit will be granted for teaching ESA 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 Course and Program Development – credit will be granted for the assistance in creating, writing, and implementation of new ESA 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. For a complete list of industry certifications that qualify under this category please visit ESA’s certification web page. A certification earned during the renewal cycle qualifies for 24 CEUs.

ESA Certification 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.
  • 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 certification 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 certification must have their current certification in good standing.

Contact NTS for more information regarding lapsed certifications.

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