Certifications are earned from a professional society, university, a certification body, or from a private certifier, for some specific certifications (e.g., Microsoft, Cisco, etc.). Some certifications must be renewed periodically, or may be valid for a specific period of time (e.g., the lifetime of the product upon which the individual is certified). As a part of a complete renewal of an individual's certification, it is common for the individual to show evidence of continued learningoften falsely termed continuing educationor earning continuing education units (CEU).
Many certification programs are created, sponsored, or affiliated with professional associations, trade organizations, or private vendors interested in raising standards. Many of those programs completely independent from membership organizations enjoy association support and endorsement.