Certification Policies

  1. PC Architecture

    The LPI program will attempt to be architecture-neutral when possible. When architecture-specific knowledge is deemed important for the purposes of the program, Intel “PC” architectures will be used for reference. Other architectures may be optionally included for testing as demand warrants.

  2. Start with exam 1

    We require the candidates to pass all exams from #1 up to the required level. Motivation: At the higher levels, we can only guarantee the necessary background and a complete and consistent program if the candidates actually pass the initial exams.

  3. Bounding the Certification Program

    The Linux Certification Program will test technical skills and knowledge required of the Linux professional. The emphasis will be on understanding rather than memorization.

    We will not test other requisites for a successful IT professional like general intelligence, social and managerial skills, knowledge of legislation, financial awareness etc.

  4. Jargon

    The Linux Professional Institute will not explicitly test on knowledge of jargon or acronyms. The examinees are expected to be familiar with concepts that have a commonly used acronym for a name (e.g. TCP/IP). However, we will not require knowledge of the actual meaning of the letters.

    There will be a list of preferred terms and deprecated synonyms. Acronyms which are not explicitly listed as “preferred”, should not be used. This list will also contain definitions of the terms within a certain context where this appears necessary. The list will be updated while successive tests are being developed by LPI, and the tests will be made consistent with this list.

  5. Exam Renewal

    LPI will review the contents of its test objectives and exams and revise them as deemed necessary in order to provide for new material, test validity, security, and to incorporate feedback. Test objectives and exams will be reviewed at least once in two years.

  6. Recertification Revised

    September 1, 2009
    Once a person is certified by LPI and receives a certificati
    on designation (LPIC-1, LPIC-2, LPIC-3), recertification is recommended after two years from the date of the certification designation to retain a current certification status. However, to RETAIN an ACTIVE certification status, a certification holder is REQUIRED to recertify within 5 years of the certification designation.

    Recertification requires that the individual candidate passes all up-to-date exams that are only required for the highest earned certification designation. After successful recertification, the designation status will be updated to ACTIVE for a period of FIVE years.

    When a higher level certification designation is earned, the status of all lower level designations are considered ACTIVE for FIVE years from the date of the higher level certification designation. However, candidates who do not recertify and allow their certification status to lapse will be required to earn their current and all lower level certification designations, should they subsequently pursue reactivating their certification status.

    The addition of the designation status of ACTIVE or INACTIVE into the LPI database began on September 1, 2004. Certification designations (LPIC-1, LPIC-2, etc.) earned before that date will be subject to the recertification stipulations as outlined above. Therefore all certification designations earned before September 1, 2004 will no longer be considered ‘lifetime’ designations and instead will only have ACTIVE status from FIVE years from the date of certification designation. However, certification designations earned prior to September 1, 2003 will be considered ACTIVE certifications until September 1, 2008.

    Commencing September 1, 2009 a single exam towards the LPIC-1 or LPIC-2 certification will remain ACTIVE for a period of FIVE years until the second exam towards the certification designation is successfully completed. Since the LPIC-3 certification requires only one exam candidates may retake that exam or any of the LPIC-3 “specialty” exams (e.g. LPI-302, LPI-303, etc.) to attain recertification status for LPIC-3. Therefore the successful completion of a single LPIC-3 “specialty” exam will recertify the candidate’s LPIC-3 level and all other prior LPIC certifications (e.g. LPIC-1 and LPIC-2).

  7. Re-taking exams Revised

    The LPI Board voted on a policy regarding the delay required between re-taking exams:

    • Anyone who takes an LPI exam once must wait one week before re-taking.
    • Anyone who takes an LPI exam a second (and subsequent) time must wait 30 days before re-taking.
    • Anyone who passes an LPI exam may not retake that exam for at least two years.
  8. Disciplinary Procedure

    The disciplinary procedures of LPI are intended to assist and inform certificants and candidates for certification of LPI standards relative to professional conduct and discipline. A certificant or candidate for certification agrees to comply at all times to the standards found here.

  9. Candidate Grievances, Complaints and Appeals

    April 19, 2004
    Grievances that question the examination content, passing standard or specific items will be accepted by LPI and reviewed as part of its quality control processes, but no further action will be taken on the grievance. Complaints concerning application, testing procedures or retesting procedures must be made in writing to LPI.

    Grievances concerning a specific exam administration must be submitted in writing with a signature to LPI within 30 days of the exam administration. LPI staff will contact the candidate with its decision within 60 days of receipt of the grievance.

    Should the candidate desire to appeal the decision, the candidate must submit a written appeal request within 15 days of receipt of LPI’s decision. Within 60 days, LPI shall schedule a hearing (likely by conference call).

    During the appeal, the Board will only review whether a decision made by LPI was inappropriate if: (1) the decision was based on material errors of fact, or (2) LPI failed to follow published criteria, policies, and procedures. Only facts and conditions up to and including the time of LPI’s decision will be considered during the appeal.

    LPI and the applicant or certificant may make opening statements, present documents and testimony, examine and cross-examine witnesses under oath, make closing statements, and present briefs as scheduled by the Board. Formal rules of evidence shall apply. Relevant evidence may be submitted electronically.

    Disputed questions shall be determined by majority vote of the Board and shall be final and binding. The decision of the LPI Board shall be rendered in writing and transmitted to the applicant or certificant by certified mail whenever possible, within 30 days of the appeal.

    Requests for Manual Re-Scoring of Exams

    Although it is extremely unlikely that manual re-scoring will result in a change in examination results, candidates who receive a failing score may request a manual re-scoring of paper-and-pencil administered exams or computer administered exams. Requests should be submitted in writing and mailed to LPI with a US$50.00 fee (money order or certified check) made payable to LPI. Upon receipt of a written request and appropriate fee, the candidate’s exam will be manually re-scored. Requests for manual scoring must be received in the LPI central office no later than 30 days following receipt of the pass/fail decision. Requests received later than that will not be honored. Request for manual scoring will be processed within 30 days after receipt of request and submission of the appropriate fee.

  10. Nondiscrimination Policy

    April 19, 2004
    LPI does not discriminate for the purposes of Board membership or office, application, examination, recertification or any other activity of the Board on the basis of age, gender, race, sexual preference, color, religion, marital status, national origin or disability.

    Furthermore, LPI is committed to ensuring that no individual is deprived of the opportunity to take an examination solely by reason of a disability. In the United States, our testing vendor examination facilities meet ADA standards and are accessible by those in wheelchairs or with other mobility impairments. In other countries around the world, facilities are dependent on local norms and efforts will be extended to provide accommodations whenever possible.

    Special accommodations also may be provided for individuals with documented disabilities. For individuals requesting special provisions for computer administered exams, the individual must state their needs to the particular testing vendor before scheduling an exam and the testing vendor will consult with LPI regarding the provision of an accommodation. For paper-and-pencil testing, the individual should apply directly to the LPI central office at least 14 days before the testing date. LPI will determine applicant eligibility for special accommodations and applicants should provide LPI at least 14 days to review the request, and if warranted, make provisions to provide an accommodation for a specific date at a testing site.

    Requests for accommodations for either a computer administered or paper-and-pencil examination should include:

    • documentation of the disability
    • accommodations requested for the examination
    • descriptions of past accommodations provided for in other educational or testing situations
    • a current letter from a physician or other appropriate diagnostic authority confirming the diagnosis of the disability and a prescription for specific accommodations.
  11. Record Retention Policy

    April 19, 2004
    This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form or characteristics, both paper and electronic, which have been made or received by LPI in connection with the transaction of public business.


    LPI shall retain records for the period of their immediate or current use, unless longer retention is necessary for historical reference, research, or to comply with contractual or legal requirements. The records of the LPI shall be classified for purposes of retention as follows:

    • Class 1: Permanent Retention. Records that are permanent or essential shall be retained and preserved indefinitely. Examples of permanent records include official minutes of LPI board actions, LPI policies, annual reports, as well as records of candidate identification information with their certification status and date of examination.
    • Class 2: Current Records. Current records are records that for convenience, reference, or other reasons are retained by LPI. Current records will be retained for three years. Examples of current records include general correspondence, financial records, and records and payment regarding employee or consultant agreements. Research reports (including general statistical reports, item analysis, equating, job analysis and standard setting reports), forms of the exams, candidate application information and the full record of candidate exam responses are also classified as current records.
    • Class 3: No Retention Required. Documents and other materials that are not “records” need not be retained. Documents and other materials (including originals and duplicates) that are not otherwise required to be retained, are not necessary to the functioning or continuity of LPI and which have no legal significance may be destroyed when no longer needed. Examples include materials and documents generated for the convenience of the person generating them, draft documents (other than some contracts) and duplicate copies of records that are no longer needed. Specific examples include reminder messages, miscellaneous correspondence not requiring follow-up or action, e-mails that do not need to be retained under this policy as well as chronological files. With limited exceptions, no specific retention requirements are assigned to documents in this category. Instead, it is up to the originator or recipient to determine when the document’s business utility has ended.


    Records and other documents or materials that are not expressly addressed may be destroyed at any time provided that they have been retained for the periods prescribed for substantially similar records.


    Records may be stored in the LPI central office space or externally in LPI maintained servers if the records are in active use or are maintained in the office for convenience or ready reference. Examples of active files appropriately maintained in the LPI central office include active chronological files, research and reference files, pending files, administrative files or personnel files. Inactive records, for which use or reference has diminished sufficiently to permit removal from LPI office space or equipment, may be sent to an off-site storage facility.

    Certain records require additional security measures to maintain the integrity of the examination process. These records include:

    • Candidate information (certification status, exam date, identifying and application data, and full records of candidate exam responses)
    • Item analysis with answer key
    • Forms of the exams
    • Records related to the content of specific items (item bank)

    For selected candidate information, an individual candidate can make his/her certification status and exam date available to employers (or others) by providing to that person a username and password using secure http processes. No other candidate information is accessible through this process.

    For the remaining more detailed candidate information, as well as the above items two through four, security must be maintained at the highest level. In electronic formats, access to individual candidate information records are encrypted and/or password protected on the server and are accessible by the server administrator, the database administrator and the Vice President of Operations. Additionally, records pertaining to item analysis, exam forms and the content of the specific items and the item bank are on the LPI server and accessible by the Director of Exam Development, the Director of Certification and other LPI staff specifically designated by them.

    In a physical format, these records are maintained onsite in locked cabinets in a secure office. When transported to exam sites, paper exam booklets are maintained in the possession of LPI staff or the approved designated proctor. Additionally, they may be mailed to the proctor using a delivery service requiring signature. After the paper exams are administered, the used exam booklets are destroyed.

    Should a breach of security be discovered, it is incumbent upon staff to act immediately to minimize the effects of the breach. The course of action for the server and database administrators would be to change all passwords, make sure all software is current, identify how the exploit occurred and make the necessary changes to prevent it from happening again. Data would be compared to known secure backups and with the vendor data to verify any tampering and fix any inconsistencies found.