Continuing Education FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Continuing Education

Is continuing education required in order to keep my certification from expiring?

It is required if you want to avoid re-taking the certification exam. All NISM-certified professionals can choose to either maintain their certification through continuing education or by re-taking the certification exam. One of those two paths is required for all of our certified professionals in order to avoid expiration by being approved for re-certification.

How many hours do I need to be eligible to apply for re-certification?

All NISM Social Media Strategists need to maintain their certification with 20 hours of continuing education before their certification expires. Certifications expire two years from the date of certification.

What does it cost to get re-certified?

The cost will vary according to the re-certification path that you take. The first path is to re-certify via continuing education. In order to qualify for re-certification using this path you must first achieve 20 hours of continuing education within the two year time period for which you are certified. Once you have achieved your required hours, you will be directed apply for re-certification on the NISM website. The fee for re-certification via continuing education is $135. The second path to re-certification through re-examination. The fee for re-examination during your certification period is discounted 10% to $270 (+$65 Proctoring Fee), and since the examination will be updated during your certification period you will be required to pass the certification exam to gain re-certification. Those who take the exam and fail will not achieve re-certification.

Rather than completing continuing education, can I re-take the certification exam?

Yes, you can re-take the certification exam at the 10% discounted rate of $270 (+$65 Proctoring Fees), and since the examination will be updated during your certification period you will be required to pass the certification exam to gain re-certification. Those who take the exam and fail will not achieve re-certification. If you wish to choose this re-certification path please contact us, as you will need to re-apply for the exam using a unique code to get the discounted exam fee. Please note that if you do not apply for re-certification before your certification expiration date, you will be charged the normal $295 exam voucher fee.

What types of continuing education are available to me?

There are many types of continuing education that may qualify for continuing education hours:

  • Webinars
  • Live Classes
  • Conferences
  • Speaking / Teaching
  • Research & Studies
  • Leadership Positions in Clubs / Associations

Do continuing education events need to be focused upon any particular topics?

Yes. Not all events or activities that you submit will be approved. The events and activities that are submitted must fall under one or more of the following social media subject areas to be approved:

  • Social Media Strategy
  • Compliance & Governance
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Project & Campaign Management
  • Community Management
  • Research & Analysis

In addition, any hours that are deemed rudimentary in nature by the NISM advisory committee may not be approved. This means that submitted continuing education hours involving or limited to basic principles may not be accepted. For example, a one-hour webinar about the, “Basics of Social Media” would not be acceptable. Instead consider a webinar about “Intermediate Social Media Marketing Techniques,” as such an event would very likely count toward your total continuing education hours.

How do I record and track my continuing education?

To track your continuing education you are asked to utilize our continuing education tracking provider – Training And Online Professional Education (TAOPED). Using this free CE hour tracking platform, you can keep track of all of your CE hours over your entire two year certification period. Simply click here to visit the NISM Continuing Education page, and sign-up for a free account on the TAOPED platform today.

Are there ways to find pre-approved continuing education opportunities?

Yes. You can find pre-approved continuing education opportunities on the NISM website on our continuing education page. This page is intended to provide you with opportunities that we have selected from across the country to be pre-approved for continuing education hours. You are welcome to use these activities, or you are welcome to find events of your own that align with the types of continuing education listed in the question above. Just make sure to upload any documentation from the outside event to the TAOPED platform. We may verify this documentation when you apply for re-certification.

Can I teach a continuing education course?

Yes. The National Institute for Social Media offers social media professionals the place to create, market and deliver training programs to an audience of certified professionals who are looking for opportunities to continue their learning. Visit us on our website at our continuing education page, and look for the button to “Add a Class” to our list of upcoming training programs. If your class is approved, we will work with your schedule, and help you bring the class to market. We’ll even offer you support with registrations and collecting tuition.



Your browser is out of date. It has security vulnerabilities and may not display all features on this site and other sites.

Please update your browser using one of modern browsers (Google Chrome, Opera, Firefox, IE 10).