ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®) certification is a mark of career excellence that affirms your commitment to quality and demonstrates your expertise and knowledge of state of the practice. Most important, it is acceptance and recognition from your peers.

There are two methods for recertification

The CAP program requires that you recertify every three years to maintain your certification. The purpose of recertifying is to ensure that as a CAP-certified professional you maintain the same level of knowledge originally demonstrated when you passed the written examination. If you do not recertify within four (4) months after your expiration date, your certification is considered lapsed and you must reapply and retest.

When do I have to recertify?

To keep your CAP certification active, pay your recertification fee 60 days before your expiration date.

You will receive notices (these may come in the form of mail, email, and phone) from ISA when your recertification date approaches, but it is your responsibility to submit your recertification on time. Your certification expires on the date printed on your certificate. Make sure to keep your contact information up-to-date in your ISA account.

If your certification has been expired for four months or longer, contact Customer Service at +1 919-549-8411 for further approval.

Recertification by Exam

If you choose to recertify by exam contact Customer Service at 919-549-8411 for instructions. Exam fee is $330 ISA Members; $445 for Non-Members.

Recertification by Professional Development Points

To recertify by Professional Development Points (PDPs), pay the recertification fee, which is $270 for ISA Current Members and $340 for Non-Members.  During that process, you will self-certify that you have at least a total of 150 Professional Development Points (PDP), which are required for renewal as per the details listed on the certification page.

Recertification Audit

A random selection of recertification certificate holders will be audited. Those who are chosen during the audit process will be required to provide verification of job duties and points that was originally submitted.

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program

The ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®) Continuing Professional Development (CDP) Program and its Professional Development Points (PDPs) requirements are designed to be as dynamic as the automation profession the CAP certification program represents and credentials and to assure and enforce continued, relevant professional development in our dynamic professional context.

Professional Development Points (PDPs) are used as a common denominator because there is such a broad range of educational and professional opportunities relating to automation/instrumentation in which credits for professional development activities can be obtained. The following text will define the PDP equivalencies of the various accepted activities.

The CAP CPD Program institutes a PDP reporting process that includes minimum professional development benchmarks. These minimum requirements do not constitute nor do they imply a competency level that is adequate for all certified individuals. To maintain relevancy and competency, it is recommended that you assess your own professional development needs while planning and executing your unique CPD program as you practices in the automation profession. In assessing your individual needs, input from mentors, supervisors, and colleagues may be helpful.

Download the ISA CAP CPD Program Document

CAP CPD Program Requirements?

  • Obtain a total of at least 150 PDPs during your three-year certification period
  • Include activities in at least three of the six CPD categories (see below)
  • Claim no more than the maximum PDPs allowed in each CPD category (see below)
  • Maintain documentation of all CPD activities
  • Report your CPD activities every three years (during certification renewal) on your CAP CDP Activity Record
  • Submit your documentation for your CAP CDP Activity Record upon request (if selected for audit)

The CAP CPD Activity Record

Your CAP CPD Activity Record must include the following information for each CPD activity submitted for certification renewal:

  • A description of the activity
  • The date(s) the activity occurred
  • The organizer/provider of the activity
  • The CPD category for the activity (see below for more details)
  • The number of PDPs being claimed for the activity

Note: For audit purposes, you must have and be able to provide upon request documentation for all recorded activities claimed for renewal.

CPD Categories

  • Professional Practice
  • Formal Automation-Related Activity
  • Informal Automation-Related Activity
  • Participation
  • Presentations
  • Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge

Professional Practice Category

Active professional practice in automation is a significant factor in maintaining and improving your knowledge and skills.  You may be an actual automation practitioner or one that is "influencing" the practice of the automation. In this context, "influencing" means having some effect on how the automation profession is practiced without necessarily performing technical work (i.e., management, teaching).

Professional Practice is further defined as:

  • The directing, designing, preparation of plans and/or specifications, constructing, inspecting, or the operations and maintenance of any automation related structure, work, or process. Examples of automation-related work or processes may include instrumentation, instruments and control, process control, process automation, control systems, automation and control, manufacturing control, manufacturing automation, on-line process data analysis, and system integration.
  • Performing formal, technical instruction on automation-related subject matter

Refer to the Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary table below for PDPs allowed for activities in this category.

Formal Automation-Related Activity Category

Formal Automation-related Activities should be included in your CPD program. Formal Automation-related Activities are typically educationally associated and may include an exam or other evaluation process. When no evaluation process is offered, credit may still be claimed in this category for activities that are over four hours in length. Non-evaluated activities of less than four hours should be categorized as Informal Automation-related Activities (see the next section, below).

Examples of Formal Automation-related Activities include:

  • Professional development programs, courses, and seminars
  • Additional certification/licensing in related areas (Certification must be recognized and administered by a professional organization similar to ISA. "Certifications" offered by vendors fall into other categories.)
  • Courses offered by universities, continuing education vendors, technical institutes, colleges, suppliers, employers, or technical societies. Courses must be greater than four hours in length and/or include an evaluation process. Courses may be offered in traditional classroom settings, by correspondence, by video, or online
  • Serving as an instructor for an automation-related training course or seminar that is over four hours in length

Refer to the Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary table below for PDPs allowed for activities in this category.

Informal Automation-Related Activity Category

Unlike Formal Automation-related Activities, Informal Automation-related Activities are shorter in duration and do not involve any evaluation process.

Examples of Informal Automation-related Activities include:

  • Documented, self-directed study
  • Attendance at conferences and/or industry tradeshows
  • Training seminars, technical presentations, talks, or workshops that are less than four hours in duration and do not include an evaluation mechanism
  • Membership in technical, professional, or managerial associations or societies, including ISA
  • Attendance at meetings of technical, professional, or managerial associations or societies
  • Documented and structured discussions on technical or professional issues with your peers

Refer to the Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary table below for PDPs allowed for activities in this category.

Participation Category

Participation activities are those that promote peer interaction and provide exposure to new ideas and technologies. These activities enhance the automation profession and serve the public interest.

Examples of Participation activities include:

  • Service as a Mentor to a less-experienced automation professional or technologist or as an advisor to a school/school group, including FIRST® Robotics teams
  • Service on public bodies that draw on professional expertise (e.g. planning boards, development appeal boards, investigative commissions, review panels, community building committees)
  • Service on professional or technical committees of professional or managerial associations and societies
  • Community Service: Any activities that contribute to the community which require professional and ethical behavior, but not necessarily the application of technical knowledge. This includes active service for charitable, community, or service organizations; or elected public service on a municipal, provincial, or federal level or on a school board

Refer to the Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary table below for PDPs allowed for activities in this category.

Presentation Category

Eligible presentations are those of a technical or professional nature that are discretionary (outside of your normal job functions). Presentations must be developed by the CAP receiving the PDPs. Presentations developed by others will not qualify for PDPs.

Examples of Presentations include:

  • Delivery of a paper, authored or co-authored by the CAP, to an audience at a scheduled meeting
  • Technical presentations at a conference, meeting, course, workshop, or seminar
  • Technical presentations within a company or at an event sponsored by a technical or professional organization

Refer to the Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary table below for PDPs allowedfor activities in this category.

Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge Category

Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge activities are those that expand or develop the technical knowledge base of the automation profession.

Examples of Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge activities include:

  • Development of automation-related codes and standards
  • Patents (credit can be claimed once per patent)
  • Publication of papers in a peer-reviewed technical journal
  • A thesis at the Master's or Ph.D. level (on a one time basis, upon successful defense and approval)
  • Publication of a technical automation-related book
  • Publication of technical papers/articles in non-reviewed journals or an internal company report
  • Reviewing articles for publication
  • Editing papers for publication
  • Reviewing of papers/presentations for a technical conference
  • Serving on program committee for a technical conference

Refer to the Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary table below for PDPs allowed for activities in this category.

Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary

You must earn 150 PDPs total across three of the categories below during your three-year certification period. You may not exceed the maximums allowed in each category.


CPD Activities and PDP Values

Maximum Allowed

per Category per Year

Maximum Allowed

per Three-Year Certification Period

Professional Practice

Professional Practice Hours
16 Hours = 1 PDP
35 PDPs 105 PDPs

Formal Automation-Related Activity

General Formal Automation-Related Activities
1 Hour = 1 PDP
0.1 CEU = 1 PDP
College Courses
1 Semester Hour = 15 PDPs
1 Quarter Hour = 10 PDPs

Instructor for an automation-related training course/seminar over four hours in length
2 PDPs x Number of Contact Hours with Students

Additional Certification/License in related areas
Each certification/license = 2 PDPs

20 PDPs 60 PDPs

Informal Automation-Related Activity

General Informal Automation-Related Activities
1 Hour = 0.5 PDPs

Membership/Participation in a Professional Society
Each Membership = 2 PDPs
Each National Society Meeting Attended = 2 PDPs
Each Local/Regional Society Meeting Attended = 1 PDP
Each National Appointed or Elected Position Served = 2 PDPs
Each Local/Regional Elected Position Served = 1 PDP
Each Local/Regional Appointed Position Served = 0.5 PDPs

20 PDPs 60 PDPs

Participation Activity

Participation Activities
1 Hour = 0.5 PDPs
15 PDPs 45 PDPs

Presentation Activity

Delivery of a Paper to an Audince at a Scheduled Meeting
10 PDPs x Number of Deliveries (for published papers)

Delivery of a Paper to an Audience at a Scheduled Meeting
5 PDPs x Number of Delivieries (for non-published papers)

15 PDPs 45 PDPs

Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge

Development of automation-related codes and standards
1 Hour = 0.25 PDPs

Patents (claim once per patent)
Each Patent = 10 PDPs

Publication of reviewed papers
Each Paper = 10 PDPs

PhD/Master's Thesis
Each Thesis = 20 PDPs

Book Publication
Each Book = 40 PDPs over two years

Publication of non-reviewed papers (limit 2/year)
Each Paper = 5 PDPs

Article Review (limit 10 per year)
1 Article = 1 PDP

Paper Editing (limit 5/year)
Each Paper = 2 PDPs

Reviewing of Papers/Presentations for Technical Conference (limit 10/year)
Each Reviewed Paper/Presentation - 1 PDP

Serving in Program Committee for Technical Conference (limit 2 terms/year)
Each Term of Active Service = 5 PDPs

20 PDPs 60 PDPs


Part-time Employment, Unemployment, or Retired Status

If you do not work/practice full time, you might not be able to meet the requirements of the CAP CPD Program as readily as those who are practicing full time. If this describes your situation, you can submit a written request to the CAP Steering Committee for special consideration to have your CPD PDP requirements reduced. If the Committee grants a reduced requirement, you must submit an Annual Reduced-PDP Submittal Form.

Recognizing that circumstances such as unemployment, illness, etc. cannot be anticipated, the request should be accompanied by a report of current PDPs acquired and anticipated PDPs for the remainder of your certification term. Your individual circumstances will influence what your reduced CPD Program requirements will be. If granted reduced CPD PDP requirements, you will generally be expected to accumulate at least 30 PDPs per year. Upon return to full-time professional practice, you must comply with the full requirements of the CAP CPD Program.

Appeal Process

If you feel you were wrongly denied credit for a CPD activity, then you have the right to appeal. For information about the appeal process, please click here.