CCIE Pursuit Blog

October 10, 2007

CCIE Lab Cheater Banned For Life – Loses All Cisco Certifications

You can check out the entire drama here,  but here’s a quick summary:

A CCIE candidate takes his third attempt at the lab.  His first two attempts were in Brussels, this attempt was in Dubai.  He goes home and cannot get his test results.  He keeps asking Cisco about this and they keep referring him to different departments.  Finally he gets this letter:

Re: Violation of CCIE Candidate Conduct Policy-Possession of notes during exam

Dear ******,

I am writing to you on behalf of Cisco, Inc. (“Cisco”). It has come to our attention that ******* 2007 your CCIE Lab exam proctor discovered notes regarding exam question configurations at your assigned testing station. The proctor reported that upon confronting you with these notes that you admitted they belonged to you. As you should be aware, possession of notes during testing is a violation of the Candidate Conduct Policy which states:

“No candidate will take any action that will compromise the integrity or confidentiality of a Cisco Certification examination or otherwise compromise the integrity of the Cisco Certification program. Such actions include but are not limited to:
• Using any aids, notes, equipment or other materials not authorized by the TestingDelivery Partners or Cisco during the exam.”

You signed a Cisco Career Certification and Confidentiality Agreement that prior to your exam. To paraphrase this agreement, Cisco may at its sole discretion revoke any and all Certifications you may have earned, and permanently ban you from earning future Certifications if Cisco determines, in its sole discretion, that you have undertaken or participated in any action that compromises the integrity and confidentiality of an examination or the Program.

As a result, you are hereby permanently prohibited from taking any Cisco examinations, including CCIE written and laboratory examinations, and any Cisco certifications with VUE, Cisco’s Authorized Testing Delivery Partner. Access to your candidate records in the Certifications Tracking System is also denied.

The intention of Cisco career certifications is to ensure high standards of technical expertise. Achieving Cisco certification—at any level—means joining the ranks of skilled network professionals who have earned recognition and respect in the industry. Maintaining the integrity of Cisco certification programs and ensuring that only qualified individuals receive certification is in the interest of everyone.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Kathe Saccenti, CCIE 2099
Mgr, Operations – Labs

Like I said, you can read the entire drama if you like.  The banned candidate makes a number of postings claiming his innocence, but the issue basically comes down to this: a proctor claims to have discovered notes and claimed that the candidate admitted that the notes belonged to him.  End of story.  It is now a “proctor’s word versus a candidate’s word” case.  There is a lot of speculation between the posters (both for the candidate’s guilt and innocence) including whether or not the CCIE lab has cameras.  I’ve never sat the lab, but I would be shocked if they did not have video cameras in the lab.

Cisco not only failed the candidate and barred him from future certifications, but also stripped him of his existing Cisco certifications.  This should be a cautionary tale for anyone who is thinking about cheating in the lab.



  1. That was silly! All of his hard work and effort down the toilet in a matter of days. I looked at some of the thread and was appalled at the fact that he would take such steps for the CCIE acheivement. That was no excuse!

    Comment by Erica — October 11, 2007 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  2. That was too unfortunate for him, definitely he did a BIG mistake. It’s a strict rule that we cannot keep any materials/papers with us other than the questions issued by them. I didn’t know what happened but i believe that may be the guy without realising the seriousness of the lab environment,kept any documentation with him, thats killed all his future cisco plans. Guys, i have done and failed the lab before and still i respect their policies as there are twenty thousand CCIE professionals, and some of them well known with their expertise around the globe and it is the most respectful IT certification in the world and cisco has done something they think right. But i think a more better decision was a policy with a warning with a ban of 1 or two years.


    Comment by Jay — July 3, 2008 @ 3:22 am | Reply

  3. Exam should be strict. And the student also needed to be careful about the rules. No camera needed, if the participant is honest with sincerity.

    Sorry for him, anyway it seems that, may be, he was careless about the carrying the notes.. Though he was not using them or cheating.


    Comment by masood — June 10, 2009 @ 12:56 am | Reply

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