Cisco Certified Architect (CCAR)

CCAr is the highest level of accreditation achievable within the Cisco certification program.

The Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) certification is for senior network infrastructure architects who produce technical specifications for the network to support business objectives. The curriculum focuses on understanding the business strategy and translating it into technical infrastructure requirements.


Valid Cisco CCDE certification can act as a prerequisite, along with a thorough understanding of networking infrastructure principles.

Exams and recommended training

There are no formal training programs available for the CCAr certification. However, candidates wishing to attain their CCAr certification must meet before an in-person board made of Cisco-appointed exam committee members, during which the candidate defends their proposed network solution.

To earn this Cisco certification, you must complete the following:

CCAr Board Exam

The CCAr Board Exam requires qualified candidates to develop and defend a network architecture that can effectively support a given set of realistic business requirements. Candidates first submit an application summarizing their project experience and other qualifications and are interviewed by the Cisco-designated Architecture Board team members. Candidates shall not submit project experience related to any classified projects. Submission of classified project information will be cause for immediate disqualification. Once approved, candidates will be given an architecture challenge and will meet live with Board members to answer questions and defend their design.


Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) certifications are valid for five years. CCAr will remain certified as long as they continue to contribute to maintaining the Cisco Certified Architect Certification program. Current recertification policies require Cisco Certified Architects to complete qualifying events within the 24 months preceding the expiration deadline.

Qualifying events include:

  • Contribution to the development lifecycle
    • Significant participation in the creation of new exam content or
    • Significant review/refinement of existing content or
    • Involvement in future direction of the program
  • Participation as a judge in a candidate evaluation
    • Application review/interview for TWO (2) candidates (in the case where the candidate's application IS NOT approved to progress to the board review) or
    • Application review/interview and in-person board review for ONE (1) candidate (in the case where the candidate's application IS approved to progress to the board review)

A valid CCAr will automatically recertify all other Cisco Certifications. When using a higher level of certification to extend other certifications, the expiration date of other certifications will extend to the expiration date of the higher certification (i.e.: If you have one year left on your CCNA certification and you earn a CCIE certification (which has a two-year certification life) then both your CCIE certification and your CCNA certification will expire two years from the date you achieved the CCIE certification).