Required Common Components

Background Validation

As part of the application process all candidates for the CNP designation are expected to provide appropriate, sufficient documentation to validates claims of experience, education, and professionalism.

In addition, candidates for the CNP designation may be subject to an investigation to validate information presented and character of the professional. Application to the CNP includes the express permission to review your background. The investigation where permitted by law may include but is not limited to consumer credit, workers compensation, vehicle driving records, employers, education, references, and legal actions.

Base Exam

All candidates for the CNP designation must pass a base exam as specified in the CNP Guidelines. The base exams are to be considered stand alone exams. The fact that some of them are part of other industry certifications and qualify for certifications on their own (example Network +) does not prevent the candidate from utilizing the certification awarded, as a result of passing any base exam, for meeting the requirements for the CNP. The base exam validates the knowledge and skills of networking professionals as applied to the features and functions of networking components and to install, configure and troubleshoot basic networking hardware, protocols and services.


3 years of professional level experience is the minimum qualification for a candidate for the CNP designation.

Demonstrated Proficiency

100 points of experience credits or 100 points of combined education plus experience credits.

Demonstrating Proficiency
Experience or Education plus Experience?

Choose how to demonstrate your proficiency — the CNP provides two options of credentialing: Experience or Education with Experience

Experience: Years of experience and industry peer recognition of expertise and standing are strong traits of a true professional. The CNP recognizes mentorship and stature of the sage network professional.

Education with Experience: Youth, invention and ingenuity are driving forces in our vibrant industry. The CNP promotes the advancement of network professionals by recognizing a combine of education, training and work experience. The CNP validly recognizes education through certification, traditional education (bachelor, masters, doctorate) and work experience as an educator.

Read below to understand which choice is best for you...

Demonstrating Proficiency by Experience Credits Only

Experience credits can only be assigned for professional level work as determined by CNP Guidelines. Some examples of professional work activities would include: network systems analysis and design, network data base analysis or administration, network systems programming, web development, network hardware design, telecommunications, network systems planning or analysis, network security design and analysis, research involving networking, management of networking activities, maintenance where network design or analysis is included, teaching networking at a professional level, sales or marketing where professional level network recommendations are required.

10 or more years of professional level experience in networking qualifies as meeting the standards for entry as a CNP.

Demonstrating Proficiency by Education plus Experience credits

Completion of any of the widely recognized certification programs from Major Vendors and the Open Source Community apply. A minimum of 100 points are required for qualification of meeting the standards for entry as a CNP. Those points could come from the certification category only, the education category only or a combination of both of the categories. The certification or education credits from a completed program count. The following explains:

Certification Category

The points system is generally based on 10 points per test that is required for a certification as specified by the vendor. For more details on the accepted vendor certifications and their point values, please consult the CNP Guidelines. Candidates must have at least 2 vendor's certifications in the 100 points. Only one and only the highest certification is accepted from a single vendor, i.e. for Cisco you cannot use the CCNA and the CCNP.

Examples are:


MCSE 2000 (6 exams - 60 points)
MCSE 2003 (7 exams - 70 points)
MCSA - Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8 MCSA (2 exams - 20 points)
SQL Server 2012 MCSA (3 exams – 30 points).
MCSE - Server Infrastructure, Desktop infrastructure, Private Cloud, Data Platform, Business Intelligence, Messaging, Communication, and SharePoint


CCDP (7 exams - 70 points)
CCNP (7 exams - 70 points)
CCIE Collaboration
CCNA Routing and Switching certification

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
Cloud Essential
HP ASE (5 exams - 50 points)
Professional Institute
LPIC-2 (4 exams - 40 points)
Novell CNE (5 exams - 50 points)
MCNE (9 exams - 90 points)
Novell Certified Linux Professional
Novell Certified Engineer
Novell Certified Engineer Enterprise Services (NCE ES)
Red Hat RHCE (1 exam - 10 points)
ISC CISSP (1 exam - 20 points)
ICCP CCP (3 exams - 30 points)
Sun Solaris Network Admin (3 exams - 30 points)
VMware Certified Professional-Cloud (VCP-Cloud)
Certified Design Expert-Cloud (VCDX-Cloud)

Education Category

For Students

The points for the education category are listed below. Credit is only given for candidates who have graduated from an accredited program and only the highest degree program is accepted.

Points   Degree
20   Vocational/Technical Certificate in a related field
30   Vocational/Technical Certificate in a specific field
40   Associate Degree in a related field
50   Associate Degree in a specific field
Bachelors Degree in a non-related field
60   Bachelors Degree in a related field
70   Bachelors Degree in a specific field
Masters Degree in a non-related field
80   Masters Degree in a related field
90   Masters Degree in a specific field
Ph.D. Degree in a non-related field
100   Ph.D. Degree in a related field
Ph.D. Degree in a specific field

Examples of Specific and Related Education Fields

Specific Fields

Related Fields

Computer Analysis Business
Computer Electronics Data Processing
Computer Information Systems Electrical Engineering Technology
Computer Repair Electronics Engineering Technology
Computer Science Engineering Technology
Computer Systems Technology Information and Office Technology
Computer Technician Information Processing
Electronic Computer Maintenance Information Systems Analysis
Mainframe Computers Office Automation
Network Management Programming and Analysis
Unix System Management Small Business Information Systems
Vocational/Technical Vocational/Technical
Computer Office Information Systems Business
Computer Science Business Administration
Electrical Technology Business Automation
Information Systems Manufacturing Engineering
For Teachers

Because teaching requires much more effort than attending classes, there is an additional set of points awarded as listed below:


  Teaching Activities
50   Vendor Teaching Certification (MCT, CNI etc)
Formal Education Teaching Certification
70   Presenting at a major conference or conducting international Web Casts as a profiled expert speaker or moderator

All certifications and presentation experience must be CNP approved and only current certifications or presentations done in the last 12 months prior to the application will be accepted.

Experience Category

Below is the listing of experience credits that can be used. As mentioned above in the Experience Credits only path, the credits can only be assigned for professional level work as determined by CNP Guidelines.

3 years of professional level experience is the minimum qualification for a candidate for CNP designation.



Number of Years of Professional Experience

10   4 Years
20   5 Years
30   6 Years
40   7 Years
50   8 Years
60   9 Years

Network Professional Association The CNP program was developed and funded by the Network Professional Association® (NPA). The NPA is a self-regulating, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the network computing profession.

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Background Check
Base Exam
Demonstrating Proficiency
Experience Credits Only
Education plus Experience Credit
Certification Category
Education Category
Experience Category
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