I am currently a holder of GIAC Security Essentials certificate (GSEC) that expires soon, so I'm looking for a way to renew this certificate in the most efficient way.

GIAC Certification Renewal page says that it is possible to earn all necessary 36 CPEs through "ISO-17024-Accredited InfoSec Related Certifications and Affiliated Training". I want to take a certification exam for CIPP/E provided by IAPP, who is in the list of accredited providers.

However, after reading the document at the last URL, I'm still not quite sure how to interpret the sentence "relevant activities completed through an InfoSec related ISO-17024 accredited certification and its affiliated training providers". Do CPEs get earned only for training hours/days, or is it sufficient to just get a certificate?

More specifically, my questions are:

  • In order to get the 36 CPEs, do I necessarily need to go through a training, or would it be sufficient to just successfully pass the exam and and get a CIPP/E certificate?
  • If I have to take a training, would an online training course be accepted?
  • If so, how many CPEs can I get for it? The description of the course length is pretty vague: "The training comprises 11 modules with an audio run-time of approximately 2-3 hours", which gives me pessimistically 22 hours. I could hope that it would be at least 24 hours, plus get the remaining 12 CPEs through Field Work Experience, but such approach lacks certainty.

I would be grateful to anyone who shares his/her experience.

1 Answer 1


I sent this question to SANS support, and got the following reply:

Passing a ISO-17024 certification qualifies for CPE credits. Once submitted a member of our team will review your supporting documentation and award the proper amount of CPEs.

In other words, neither the training length nor even the training itself are relevant here. What is relevant is passing a certification exam by IAPP, which grants me 36 CPEs.

I eventually went through the training, registered for a certification exam, and when I passed it, I got the possibility to claim 36 CPEs with SANS. Once claimed, I successfully used them to renew my GIAC certification for another four years.

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