A+ Instructor Training UK


Well-known member
Jun 9, 2020
Hi - Im very new to CompTIA and struggling a bit to get my head around requirements. Im hoping to deliver A+ as part of a qualification for college students in September. Do I need to be qualified as a CompTIA instructor to do this? Is the Cisco IT Essentials one way of delivering the course prior to the 1001 and 1002 exams? If I do need training (Cisco Instructor for IT Essentials) how do I find out who is running a course - I have gone around in circles talking to Cisco themselves, they just keep sending me links to ITC that dont have any relevant courses. Any help would be really appreciated.
Theoretically, you *don't* need to even be certified as an A+ Tech to teach it - but then that will greatly erode any credibility you might have in the class. I would have students have CompTIA ITF+ under their belt before starting A+.

While other agencies, like Microsoft, Cisco, etc might be good to provide breadth and depth to the learning experience, CompTIA is the only one that keeps it vendor neutral. This is important in the 0-2 year space for the IT Entry-Level Generalist. Incorporate Cisco if your school is going to do CCNA training. Incorporate Microsoft if you're going to make MTA's. But I recommend sticking to CompTIA for the majority of your training program, so consider IT Fundamentals as the prerequisite to A+.

On a general tangent - these are some considerations when starting out with building a viable, rich, and relevant program - using the classic four quadrant method:

(get ready for another one of Rick's long-reads, y'all!)

Should be certified and current in any certification they intend to deliver. While this may seem obvious, sometimes, people will say, "oh, I know networking like the back of my hand, but I don't have the cert". To me, this is a deal-killer, because why teach if you, yourself, don't have it? Only under RARE circumstances is this okay, but even then, I don't care if you are a CISSP - if you don't have Security+, you're not qualified to teach it in the classroom.

Actual teaching credential would be dictated by your college/center/organization. So, if your organization requires an instructional cert or if you work for a CompTIA Delivery Partner, you may need to get CTT+. If you are a college and qualify for the CompTIA Academic Partner Program, you probably don't need CTT+, as your school should be credentialing you for teaching in the classroom.

There are a plethora of materials that will cover on-ground, hybrid, and online delivery. College accreditation and your Director of Academics should be able to provide guidance germane to your school. If you are a training house, that would be a management decision of delivery modalities, and resources.

CompTIA does a great job of summing up the kinds of resources you should put in your classroom for each cert, and that list changes all the time. If you ask that question here on CIN, you'll get about 20 answers (and four from me...haha). But the point is that you need to consider your student, budget, and available facility to know what resources you have to teach.

Naturally, we'll pitch official CompTIA materials for curriculum. Either using CertMaster Learn or the texts from CompTIA will provide a good plan of attack for teaching in just about any time base. And if you don't use CompTIA's materials, using other publishers such as Cengage, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, or Sybex is a long standing tried-and-true method. A class should have one text with a lab manual of some kind (or labs built in), a platform for practice testing, and perhaps a voucher for students to go take the exam. You should have defined syllabi and lesson plans for your delivery modalities and compliance requirements. Instructors should be well-rehearsed in the curriculum with regular monitoring in the classroom, even after everything is established.

CompTIA also updates certs about every three years. So at the two year mark, you should be preparing to update your materials. You'll have a six-month overlap between old and new exams. If you plan ahead on this, you should be able to manage transitions as they happen.

The student is a manageable consideration for your program, but the most challenging to manage. What kind of student will you be drawing in? Remember that the quality of student you bring in will greatly affect how you deliver the program. If the student has basic learning skills and acumen, the class will be better than one where you're fighting the students personal situation as well as their intelligence/maturity. Your school will have to determine the kinds of students it will admit, but may look to you to discuss the minimum requirements for a student for them to be successful in your classes.

There is a fine line between admitting as many students as you can get to sign up, your drop rates, and how that will affect your class' performances. And there is no set standard for this - every school is different.

So, that's my long-winded response. Remember, think about the needs of the student and the market you are in, and your program will have great success.

The Cisco Academy Program provides our colleges with free courseware, and I know that many instructors do rely on using the Cisco IT Essentials courseware to teach a California Community College course that is aligned with the two CompTIA A+ exams (220-1001 and 220-1002). I agree with the belief that instructors should have passed the certification exam in order to teach a course that has as a principle outcome students taking and passing the certification exam. However, that position isn't followed by many of our faculty.
However, that position isn't followed by many of our faculty.

Yes, this is quite true, Steve. But I think it goes back to something that I said on a different post - the value of actually getting the certification. I've encountered so many in my experience (as I'm sure you have as well), that for one reason or another, just don't want to get the cert. Here are a few of my 'favorites' over the years.
  • My experience is my certification.
  • CompTIA is only pushing it to make money for themselves.
  • Employers that I talk to (or work for) don't care if I'm actually certified.
  • I can't afford the testing/training
  • I don't have the time to prepare or test.
  • I have this other cert that's just as good.
In my opinion, it's a matter of personal excellence. If the instructor's job role is to teach the A+, they should have it. I would expect the same thing if I sat in a CCNA class, only to find that my instructor was not Cisco certified. It should matter.

And on that, there's an ongoing debate about whether the CCNA is more or less superior to the Network+. The way I see it, if they were interchangeable, then why not go get the other cert and end the debate right then and there. *points to above list*

I'll back off my soapbox here, unless someone else wants to egg me on - haha



Well-known member
Jun 9, 2020
Many thanks for the replies - its all becoming clearer now.
I have signed up for us to become a CompTIA Academy and that has been approved today - as such I have two exam vouchers for myself and a colleague to sit the exams (I agree you need to sit the exam in order to teach it really). We are already a Cisco Academy and I think I will use a hybrid of materials to aid in delivery. In terms of students - they are college students preparing for T-Levels (UK) and all are interviewed by me to ascertain suitability. The class size (post Covid) will be 12-15, would that be feasible for the labs? - we have the space and equipment.

Stephen Schneiter

Staff member
  • Nov 26, 2018
    Knoxville, TN
    Agree with most of the comments made in the thread. I definitely agree you should sit for the certification in order to have a better understanding on what students will be experiencing and that way be able to assist them in preparing for the experience.

    You can also take a look at the A+ Core 1 and Core 2 on-demand TTT that CIN offered last year when the new exam were released. You can find them here:

    A+ Core 1 on-demand - http://bit.ly/CIN-APlusCore1-Ondemand
    A+ Core 2 on-demand - http://bit.ly/CIN-APlusCore2-Ondemand
    I definitely agree you should sit for the certification in order to have a better understanding on what students will be experiencing and that way be able to assist them in preparing for the experience.

    I think, to a student, there is a credibility issue also at stake. Having been where I am for the last decade, I've seen times where we've had no choice but to put a qualified, yet non-certified person in the classroom. They taught the class well enough. But the students that didn't make it used that as an excuse "I didn't learn anything because the instructor himself didn't have the cert". I recall one such incident.

    Never mind that the instructor had 20+ years in the industry doing the job. Never mind that he followed the lesson plan, passed all observations, and taught a good class. And never mind that the student was too busy macking it up with his Facebook girlfriends, rather than participating in the class. But that credibility piece came to bear when the student only got a 250 on a practice test. But was it his fault? No, it was our responsibility - a situation that was exacerbated when the student presented that the instructor didn't have the cert.

    The student was a VA student. The VA sent an investigator to the school. Eventually, the truth was told and the student was made to look like a total jerk for his rant. But it should have never even got that far. So after all that, we made the point to not allow a non-certified instructor to teach. Not for actual content sake, or capability, but because we live in a world of perception - one that requires the crossing of T's and dotting of I's, just to CYA.

    Oh well, I'll end my rant...for now. ;)