Candidates should be familiar with the policies for CCDE program participation, as stated below. If you have any questions regarding the policies please contact customer support through the Certifications Online Support tool.

  • Conduct
    Candidates must agree they will not compromise the integrity or confidentiality of any Cisco certification exam or certification program. Prohibited actions are described in the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement. Remedies for violating the policy can include a lifetime ban on all future exams and voiding of all previous certifications.

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  • Confidentiality
    The questions and answers of the certification exams are the exclusive and confidential property of Cisco and are protected by Cisco's intellectual property rights. Candidates taking Cisco exams must agree they have read and will abide by the terms and conditions of the Cisco Certifications and Confidentiality Agreement before beginning each exam.

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  • Correspondence
    All official correspondence to certified CCDEs and candidates is sent to the email address in the CCIE database. This database is SEPARATE from the Cisco customer database. Changing an email address in the Cisco customer database does not automatically update the CCIE database. CCDEs and candidates must keep their CCIE database email address updated in order to ensure they received all official correspondence.

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  • Exam Discounts, Vouchers & Promotional Codes
    Neither Cisco nor Pearson VUE, its primary test delivery partner, guarantees the authenticity of discount vouchers or promotional codes that are obtained from any individuals or entities other than Pearson VUE.

    Individuals or Cisco affiliated partners who use certifications discount vouchers or promotional codes that are fraudulent or otherwise obtained from an unauthorized source (including legitimate vouchers for attempted re-use) may risk up to and including a lifetime ban on all future exams, the nullification of all previous certifications or other program sanctions at Cisco’s discretion. Cisco will not compensate candidates for fraudulent vouchers or vouchers obtained from an unauthorized source.

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  • Exam Violations
    Disclosure of test content is strictly prohibited. Please report any suspicious activity as described in Cisco's Exam Violation Rules.

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  • Double Booking
    CCDE candidates are allowed to schedule only a single CCDE practical exam date at any location. Double booking for exams at either the same location or different locations, is not permitted.

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  • Exam Rules
    Candidates for the CCDE practical exam are not allowed to bring anything into the exam room or take anything out. This includes, but is not limited to: notes, documentation, watches, laptops, keyboards, pagers, PDAs, and mobile phones. DO NOT confer or consult with anyone about the exam while taking the exam or after the exam is completed. During an exam, you may only discuss your exam with the lab engineer.

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  • Payment
    Payment must be made in full at the time of registration.

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  • Rescheduling, Canceling and Postponing
    Cancellations or changes to the exam date, location, or track must be made prior to the payment due date--90 days before the scheduled practical exam date. To make any changes, you must log into Then, you can reschedule according to preferred date, location and track. You may cancel or reschedule your exam without penalty, up to 90 days before the event.

    After Due Date. Changes and cancellations are not permitted after the payment due date--90 days prior to the scheduled practical exam date--and no refunds will be issued. If you are not able to attend your scheduled practical exam date, contact Pearson VUE support to let them know the seat will not be used. You will still forfeit your payment, but you will be allowed to book another exam date immediately. If you do not contact Pearson VUE support, you will be marked as a "no show" for the exam and be barred from booking another exam for 30 days.

    Candidates Requiring Visas. If you require a visa to attend your practical exam, it is strongly recommended you apply 10-12 weeks before your exam date. Candidates who fail to obtain required visas will still be bound by these cancellation policies and must cancel their exam before the payment due date to be eligible for a full refund. For more information in requesting a CCDE Invitation Letter, please visit our Invitation Letter (Entrance Visa) Instant Answer.

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  • Start Times
    Start times for exams are indicated in email and can also found on the web page associated with each exam location. If you have any questions about the start time of your exam, please contact Pearson VUE support. If you arrive more than two hours after the start of your exam, you will not be allowed to start. If you arrive less than two hours late, you will be allowed to start but you must finish with the rest of the group.

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  • Logo Guidelines
    Certified CCDEs may only use the CCDE logo as provided and in accordance with the published Logo Guidelines.

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  • Recertification
    To maintain active CCDE status, CCDEs are required to pass the CCDE written exam every 24 months. Certification candidates are responsible for keeping track of their certification expiration dates. Subsequent recertification deadlines are always based on your original certification date, not on when you took your last recertification exam.

    If your CCDE recertification requirements are not completed on or before the certification's expiration date, your CCDE certification will be suspended for one year. Candidates have one year to recertify their CCDE certification by passing the required written exam. If a candidate does not recertify prior to the one year suspension period, all CCDE certification requirements must be completed again to obtain the certification (pass both the written exam and the lab exam.) Please see Recertification for detailed information.

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  • Travel Costs
    Under no circumstances will Cisco reimburse travel costs for CCDE exams.

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  • Expiration
    Candidates must make an initial attempt of the CCDE practical exam within 18 months of passing the CCDE qualification exam (24 months for those passing the CCDE qualification exam before April 30, 2009). Candidates who do not pass must re-attempt the practical exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their qualification exam to remain valid. If a candidate does not pass the practical exam within three years of passing the qualification exam, he or she must retake the qualification exam before being allowed to attempt the practical exam again.

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  • Written Retakes
    There is no limit to the number of attempts that can be made on the written exam. However, candidates must wait 5 calendar days between exam attempts. Once a candidate passes a CCDE written exam, he or she may not retake the CCDE written exam for at least 180 days. (Though rare, this may occur in certain recertification situations.)

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  • CCDE Practical Retakes
    All candidates must wait 30 days between CCDE practical exam attempts. Please note the 30 days starts from the day after a failed exam.

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  • Scoring
    Pass marks are set using statistical analysis and are subject to change. Scores on exams are automatically downloaded from testing vendors, but may take up to 10 business days to appear in the Cisco CCIE certification database.

    For the Written Exam, candidates receive an Examination Score Sheet immediately after completing the exam that provides their score and a notation of Pass or Fail. Additional section level performance information is also provided.

    For the Lab or Practical Exam, candidates receive either a Pass or Fail notation. Only candidates who fail the Lab or Practical Exam receive additional section level performance information.

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