Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching FAQs

    The Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching
    The Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching is the superlative training program for professional network engineers designed to elevate their skills to expert level. This authorized program ensures that candidates are provided with the learning resources necessary to achieve expert skills and knowledge as defined by the rigorous Cisco CCIE certification.


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Q1: Why did Cisco develop a learning program for networking experts?


    A1: Training networking experts is no easy feat. Cisco and Cisco Learning Partners wanted to offer a program that provides a baseline of standards in curriculum, tools, instructors, and training services. Only Cisco and Cisco Learning Partners have the breadth and depth of experience in networking instructional design, curriculum development, and instructor expertise to create true networking-expert educational programs that can be scaled globally and offered consistently to develop the best networking experts worldwide.


    Q2: What makes this program different from other programs?


    A2: Cisco has invested heavily in developing a standard set of tools and services that our learning partners can use in their specific markets to deliver a standardized curriculum with the highest-quality training services to meet the needs of Cisco employees, partners, and customers.


    Not only is this program aligned with the latest Cisco products, services and technologies; it also combines the most innovative and current instructional design practices with the most experienced networking instructors in the industry to create experts who are proven and job-ready once they complete the program.


    Q3: Who is the targeted audience for this program?


    A3: This new curriculum is intended to accelerate the skills and competencies of networking professionals with at least three years of experience to an expert level of expertise. These professionals are typically identified by having an existing professional-level certification or having a passing score on the CCIE Routing and Switching written exam. The program is intended to accelerate a professional network engineer’s competency in technical topics to a level that is necessary to tackle expert-level scenarios like those of the highly sought after CCIE lab assessment.

    Q4: Where can I find more information about the new Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching?


    A4: Cisco provides information on the features of the program on its publicly accessible website and on the Cisco Learning Network, On the Cisco Learning Network, you can find details regarding the solution, methodology, authorized learning partners, and specific product data sheets.


    Q5: Does completing the Cisco Expert-Level Training mean that I will receive CCIE certification?


    A5: No.  To earn the CCIE certification, you must schedule and pass the CCIE written qualification and CCIE lab exam. This is an entirely separate process from the Cisco Expert-Level Training. The CCIE certification is the industry-recognized validation of your expert networking status. The Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching is the only end-to-end, development-oriented learning program authorized by Cisco for Cisco CCIE certification. The program is offered exclusively by Cisco Learning Partners. You can find more information regarding the CCIE certification process at


    Q6: How does the Cisco Expert-Level Training differ from a single-exam preparation bootcamp?


    A6:  Boot camps are generally designed to cover a large amount of test material and related information in short period of time, usually within a period of several days. Bootcamps are intended more as a knowledge review. After attending a bootcamp, some students report success in passing the exams. However, bootcamps aren’t intended to develop expert-level networking skills. While that can be accomplished by some students, bootcamps usually need to be accompanied by supplementary curriculum and complementary mediums of learning to develop advanced skills.


    Unlike boot camps, the Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching is a comprehensive suite of learning tools and is designed to provide the resources needed by a student for expert-level skill-building opportunities with more of a longitudinal approach.


    Q7: How do I find out who will be teaching the material in this program in my local area?


    A7: Only Cisco Learning Partners who meet specific instructional and program standards will be authorized to offer the Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching. To identify which learning partners in your area will be delivering this program, visit the Cisco Expert-Level Training Partner Locator.


    All Cisco Expert-Level Training instructors must attend a dedicated training program and are evaluated on their classroom readiness, program comprehension, and ability to meet Cisco’s standards for customer satisfaction.


    Q8: Is the Cisco Expert-Level Training aligned to the new CCIE Routing and Switching Version 4.0 curriculum?


    A8: The Cisco Expert-Level Training has been updated to fully support the new skills identified through the CCIE Routing and Switching curriculum revision process to Version 4.0. Updates have been made to the comprehensive Cisco Expert-Level Training workshops, practice lab workbook, new lessons on demand and troubleshooting assessment labs.

    Q9:  Are changes being made to the Cisco Expert-Level Training as well?


    A9:  Yes, the Cisco Expert-Level Training is also being updated to help students develop the skills expected of routing and switching experts.  The new skills are being introduced to the Cisco Expert-Level Training workshops and learning modules, reinforced through the practice labs, and evaluated in the lab assessments.


    Q10:  What if I purchased the original Cisco Expert-Level Training? Do I need to purchase the new version?


    A10:  Subscription purchasing ensures that students who’ve already paid for the original version of Cisco Expert-Level Training have access to all updates throughout their subscription period.  Additionally, the original learning components of Cisco Expert-Level Training are all still relevant to candidates studying for the CCIE Routing and Switching Version 4.0 certification exams.

    Q11:  How do I obtain the updates to Cisco Expert-Level Training if I’ve already completed the old Cisco Expert-Level Training program?


    A11:  All Cisco Expert-Level Training products are available through the online learning management system.  Current Cisco Expert-Level Training participants will have access to all the new materials throughout their subscription period.

    Q12: How long does the Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching take?

    A12: It depends on the student’s motivation, experience, and technical competency. There are over 550 hours of total instruction in the program. However, Cisco recommends that a professional-level network engineer with 3 to 5 years of experience allocate 6 to 12 months for study in this program. Cisco Learning Partners’ service subscriptions in the Cisco Expert-Level Training last for a period of 18 months. On average, students will perform 400 hours of labs which take:


    • At 33 hours per week → 12 weeks (3 months)
    • At 25 hours per week → 16 weeks (4 months)

    • At 20 hours per week → 20 weeks (5 months)
    • At 16 hours per week → 25 weeks (6 months)
    • At 12 hours per week → 32 weeks (8 months)
    • At 8 hours per week → 50 weeks (12 months)



    Q13: What products are in the Cisco Expert-Level Training CCIE Routing and Switching Learning Program?

    A13: You can find a comprehensive listing of the products in the Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching by visiting the Cisco Learning Network and viewing the Program Componets page.


    Learning Management System:


    Q14: What is the Cisco Expert-Level Learning Management System (LMS)?


    A14: The learning management system (LMS) is an application for delivering, tracking, and managing your training. It is a system for managing training records and for distributing your learning products and services over the Internet. The LMS offers a range of features for online collaboration. It includes  online learning (computer-based training, reading and comprehension units), online assessment, management of continuous professional education (CPE), collaborative learning (for example, application sharing, discussion threads), and training resource management (for instructors, facilities, equipment). The LMS can also be used for performance management which encompasses feedback, appraisals, competency management, skills-gap analysis, succession planning, and multi-rater assessments.


    Q15: How long is my LMS account active? If I buy a product after my subscription ends, do I get a new subscription?

    A15: Your LMS account will stay active for the subscription period of 18 months. If you do not purchase any new products within 18 months, your LMS account will go inactive. However, if you continually add products to your LMS, your account will stay active until the end of the 18 month subscription period of the latest product purchase.

    Q16: What is DRM?


    A16: Digital rights management (DRM) is a generic term that refers to access control technologies that can be used by publishers and copyright holders to protect the usage and distribution of digital content. The term is used to describe any technology that makes the unauthorized use of such digital content and devices technically formidable, and it can also refer to restrictions associated with specific instances of digital works.. Cisco employs various tools for DRM to protect its intellectual property from unauthorized distribution. The Cisco Expert-Level Training uses DRM to protect your investment in the instructional material.



    Q17: Do I need to take the Preassessment? Is it required?


    A17: The Preassessment is a diagnostic assessment lab for a candidate to establish a baseline of their skills in preparing for the expert-level curriculum in the program. It is not a mandatory assessment. However, it is extremely valuable as a tool in developing a training plan and in helping candidates meet objectives and milestones that are attainable and specific to the candidate.


    Q18: How is it different form the other assessments?

    A18: The Preassessment is only a 4-hour lab in which the topics should be familiar to candidates. Therefore, there is no need to prepare or study for the Preassessment. It is preferred that the student take the Preassessment immediately upon the start of their program to establish a quantifiable baseline prior to engaging in any learning activities.

    Q19: If I don’t have mentor, should I take the Preassessment?

    A19: Yes. The Preassessment is a tool. Even without a mentor reviewing the Preassessment, each candidate will need to know their starting baseline as they develop and progress in the program. The Preassessment establishes the baseline to which further study can be added. For example, an instructor in one of the instructor-led workshops may reference a student’s Preassessment when recommending additional study or reading material.


    Instructor-Led Workshops:


    Q20: Do I need to complete a workshop? Is it required?

    A20: The workshops in the Cisco Expert-Level Training are not mandatory. They are intended for students who need a dedicated learning environment with a certified subject-matter expert delivering lessons and leading discussions among professionals around expert networking scenarios in the curriculum and on the job. Each workshop includes lessons and lab work and offers the ability for the student to obtain live, face-to-face instruction in a fully functional classroom environment, with an instructor coaching them through the scenarios.


    Q21: What is unique about the workshops?

    A21: The instructors are all Cisco CCIE and Cisco CCSI® certified with networking experience and accomplishments that include the Expert-Level Instructor Development Program. Our instructors deliver the lessons according to a formal outline and agenda, with expected learning outcomes. However, each workshop is unique in that it involves networking professionals from differing roles and responsibilities who will participate in lively educational discussions.


    The Instructor Led Workshops include:

    • CIERS1 Workshop 1
    • CIERS2 Workshop 2


    Reference Library:


    Q22. What is in the Reference Library?

    A22: The Reference Library is a compilation of documents that are designed to supplement all of the other learning resources that are used in the Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching. The Reference Library also contains articles about formulating CCIE preparation strategies and useful study tips to help accelerate the CCIE preparation process. A PDF library component includes downloadable documents that can be viewed offline.


    Self-Paced Lessons:


    Q23: What are the Self-Paced Lessons?

    A23: The Self-Paced Lessons are concentrated lessons on topics within the CCIE Routing and Switching Expert-Level portfolio. They include presentation of the instructional material via video, audio, presentation slides, and terminal screen views as part of a video on demand (VoD). The split-screen format of each VoD module provides the powerful learning experience of shadowing a Cisco CCIE professional who is configuring and explaining Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Each VoD is approximately 15–30 minutes in length, and each lesson includes multiple hours of VoD modules that are divided into learning blocks.


    A set of supporting soft assessment quizzes are included in most blocks. In addition, most lessons include multiple hands-on, technology-focused, mini-practice labs on the subject of the lesson. Get a complete list of Self-Paced Lessons.


    Q24: Can the lessons be downloaded? Can they be replayed?

    A24: Yes to both questions. The Self-Paced Lessons are hosted in the LMS, and each VoD can be downloaded and replayed as many times as needed by the student on their personal computer. The accompanying technology practice labs scenarios and answer keys are zipped PDFs that also can be downloaded. The quizzes are hosted in the LMS and the questions are randomized so they cannot be downloaded; however, a student can take the quizzes multiple times without receiving the same quiz twice in a row. Also, the mentor guide and accompanying mentor tools are part of the hosted LMS.


    Q25: Do the labs in the lessons involve equipment?

    A25: Yes. The labs in the Self-Paced Lessons require access to equipment. This can be done via equipment rentals from an authorized learning partner. Students can also use home or nonproduction work environment equipment cabled to the topology as specified in the Topology Guide.


    Practice Lab Workbook:


    Q26: How is the Practice Lab Workbook delivered?

    A26: The Practice Lab Workbook is a multipage electronic PDF document that is delivered via the Learning Management System and includes 35 advanced networking scenarios that enable learners to practice networking configurations in a learning environment. The workbook includes a color-coded answer key and the mentoring tools, which enable learners to match their configurations in detail with correct configurations. Ten labs have been added with a 25-point troubleshooting section and a 75-point configuration section to reflect the changes in the CCIE Routing and Switching Lab Version 4.0.


    Q27: Does the Practice Lab Workbook include the mentoring tools and answer keys?


    A27: Each lab provides an extensive answer key, Mentor Guide support, and verification tables, and is designed to maximize learning by providing practical experience. Learners may want to discuss a specific exercise workbook scenario with their mentor, so each lab is tagged for mentor feedback and assigned an online discussion forum where the learner can discuss the lab with others. Also, Practice Lab Workbook scenarios are linked to self-paced learning resources such as the Reference Library and Self-Paced Lessons.


    Q28: Do the labs in the Practice Lab Workbook involve equipment?


    A28: Yes. The labs in the Practice Lab Workbook require access to equipment. This can be done via equipment rentals from an authorized learning partner. Students can also use home or nonproduction work environment equipment cabled to the topology as specified in the Topology Guide.


    Performance Assessments:


    Q29: What are the Performance Assessments?


    A29: The Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching offers a suite of learning assessments that can be taken independently or as part of an instructor-led workshop. Each assessment tests the student’s knowledge of concepts and technologies and tracks progress against learning goals and other students. A built-in mentoring guide enables a mentor to recommend corrections and best practices for the student’s configurations. There are a total of 11 assessment labs in the program, each 9 hours in duration, with varying levels of difficulty.  For details, please view the product guide or the data sheet for each assessment.


    Q30: How can the Performance Assessments be utilized to show improvement and readiness to successfully complete the CCIE lab assessment?


    A30: The 9-hour, online graded labs provide the candidate with an assessment of their grasp of the technology and configuration skills needed for topics covered on the CCIE lab exam. The in-depth reports provide not only the score, but also ample feedback to master those technologies where skills are weak.  The user has the ability to compare performed work with the master answer key and receives detailed explanations in the answer key for any lost points. The user knows where to place study emphasis before continuing studies. Assessment labs save many hours of study time by identifying “if what you think you know is what you know.”  Completion of at least three assessment labs allows the user to determine the trend of his or her skills and compare that trend with scores of other users who have gone on to successfully complete the CCIE lab exam.


    Q31: What is the process for participating in the Performance Assessments?


    Step l.   Schedule lab in Learning Management System
    Step 2.  Receive lab and instructions via LMS
    Step 3.  Perform lab during scheduled time
    Step 4.  Receive Lab Summary Reports


    • Scoring Report (Numerical score of points earned and lost)
    • Multi-Ping Table (Connective report with troubleshooting explanations)
    • Assessment Report: For each task, explains why points were given or lost; the answer key identifies the issue and provides suggestions for tools for further study for lost points.

    Q32: What is the Mentor Guide?

    A32: The Mentor Guide for each assessment is one of many embedded tools within the LMS to compare the student's configurations with the master list of correct configurations. The embedded Mentor Guide tool lets the student query a repository of more than 1 MB of information that is generated by final configurations. Using the embedded tool is like having access to two racks of routers, with the lab configured on both of them. On one rack is the student's configuration and all associated Cisco IOS show command output. On the other rack is the Master Answer Key's configurations with all of its associated Cisco IOS show command output. The embedded tool lets the student compare these two sets of output in a split-screen, accessible via the web by typing in the appropriate IOS show commands. The embedded tool supports more than 1500 show commands in addition to proprietary commands.

    Learn more about the Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching.


    For further assistance, view the Cisco Certifications & Online Communities Support.