How can I define the Certificate Expiration Settings for my Academy Courses?

The Certificate Expiration Settings are a very important part of a Course set up, as they define the period after which a user's certificate will expire, and based on this, the time the user will be obliged to retake this specific course. 

A course's Certificate Expiration Settings can be defined when the course is first created and edited after the course creation. Admins and Training Managers (if allowed to) can create and edit all academy courses, while users with the "Create Course" permission can create a course and edit only the courses they have created. Last but not least, the instructors of a course can edit its settings even if they do not have the permission to create a new course at the moment. 

Now let's check how to define these settings, what each of them means, and what happens if you edit them!

To begin with, you need to make sure that you have the Award Certificate setting set to Yes if you want your course to award a certificate. If this setting is set to No, then the course will not award a certificate and the Certificate Expiration Settings will be hidden. 

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Certificate Expiration Period

There are two different options when defining the Certificate Expiration Period based on which the users' certificates will expire: 

1. In X Months, set upon Enrollment/Completion Date

If you select this option, then the users' certificates will expire in X months after they complete the Course. If you select the Certificate to expire in 0 months, then the Certificates awarded will have no expiration date. 

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Enrollment Date vs Completion Date

The Certificate expiration period counts always from the day of completion. However, the expiration period of a user's certificate is calculated differently based on the Set Upon setting that your course has the moment a user completes it.

When a user completes a course, we check if at that time, the setting of the course is set upon Enrollment or Completion Date. 

  • If when a user completes the course, the setting is set upon Enrollment date, then we check which value this setting had when the user enrolled in this course. If when the user enrolled in this course the selected Certificate Expiration Period was in 12 months, then this user's certificates will expire in 12 months after they completed the course.
  • If when a user completes the course, the setting is set upon Completion date, then we check which value this setting has at the moment. If when the user completed the course the selected Certificate Expiration Period was in 10 months, then this user's certificates will expire in 10 months after they completed the course.

Let's check this in three examples

Case #1: Upon Enrollment date

I create a course on 03/15/2021 having selected the certificate to expire in 12 months, set upon Enrollment date.

  • User A takes this course on 03/16/2021 and the course certificate will be valid until 03/16/2022.
  • User B enrolls himself in the course on 03/16/2021 but doesn't complete the course.
  • On 03/20/2021 I change the settings to "In 1 month, set upon Enrollment date
  • User B completes the course on 03/25/2021. The course certificate will be valid until 03/25/2022 (based on the settings that the course had when the user enrolled himself in the course)

Case #2: Upon Completion date

I create a course on 03/15/2021 having selected the certificate to expire in 12 months, set upon Completion date.

  • User A takes this course on 03/16/2021 and the course certificate will be valid until 03/16/2022.
  • User B enrolls himself in the course on 03/16/2021 but doesn't complete the course.
  • I change the settings to "In 1 month, set upon Completion date" on 03/20/2021
  • User B completes the course on 03/25/2021. The course certificate will be valid until 04/25/2021 (based on the settings that the course when the user completed the course)

Case #3: Upon Enrollment date changed to Completion date

I create a course on 03/15/2021 having selected the certificate to expire in 12 months, set upon Enrollment date.

  • User A takes this course on 03/16/2021 and the course certificate will be valid until 03/16/2022.
  • User B enrolls himself in the course on 03/16/2021 but doesn't complete the course.
  • On 03/20/2021 I change the settings to "In 1 month, set upon Completion date
  • User B completes the course on 03/25/2021. The course certificate will be valid until 04/25/2021 (based on the settings that the course had when the user completed the course)

2. Every x Year(s) on Month / Day

If you select this option, then the users' certificates will expire every x Year(s) on a specific date, no matter when they completed the Course.

If you select this option, an extra setting will be available where you can define that “If the user completes the course X months before the certificate expiration, the certificate expiration period will be shifted to next year".

Based on the example shown in the screenshot below, if a user completes the course on 11/15/2020, his certificate will not be expired on 01/01/2021 but on 01/01/2022.

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Reassign course before certification expires (in days)

If your Course is set to have a Certificate Expiration Period, then by default all users whose certificates expire, will be obliged to retake this course. 

With this setting, you can define how many days prior to their Certificate Expiration these users will be reassigned with this course, to ensure that your employees will always have an active certificate.

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Tips! 

  • This setting is only available if your course has a Certificate Expiration Period.
  • If you have selected the Certificate Expiration Period for your course to be "Every x years on" then:
    • If the "If the user completes the course X months before the certificate expiration, the certificate expiration period will be shifted to next year" setting is set to 0, the course will be reassigned to the users the exact same day their certificate expires.
    • The days of this setting should be less than the days of the "If the user completes the course X months before the certificate expiration, the certificate expiration period will be shifted to next year" setting because the Reassignment Period cannot be bigger than the Certificate's expiration shift period for next year. 

Editing the Certificate Expiration Settings 

The Certificate Expiration Settings of a Course by default do not work retroactively. If the Course Certificate Settings are set and a user completes the course with these settings, editing the Certificate Settings for this course after the user's completion will have no effect on this user's certificate. 

1) If a course is set to expire in x months upon enrollment, changing the number of this setting will affect users who will enroll in this course after the setting update.

2) If a course is set to expire in x months upon completion, changing the number of this setting will affect all users who will complete this course after the setting update.

3) If a course is set to expire in x months upon enrollment and you change it to expire in x months upon completion, the changing of this setting will affect all users who will complete this course after the setting update.

4) If a course is set to expire every x Year(s) on a specific date, changing the number of years or date of this setting will affect all users who will complete this course after the setting update.

Users who have already completed the course will not be affected. 

Let's look at an example

  • I create a course on 03/15/2021 having selected the certificate to expire in 12 months upon Completion.
  • A user completes this course on 03/16/2021. Their certificate will be valid until 03/16/2022.
  • On 03/17/2021 I edit the course settings and select it to expire in 15 months upon Completion. 

In this case, the user's certificate will not be affected and it will still expire on 03/16/2022. The new settings will only be applied to the certificates of the users who complete the course after the new settings have been selected. 

Changing the expiration to 0 months upon Completion

If you have selected your course to expire "in X months, set upon Enrollment/Completion", then there is an option that you can utilize and that allows you to also recalculate previously awarded certificates.

Editing the expiration to be in 0 months set upon Completion will present you with this recalculation option, which will allow you to also recalculate previously awarded certificates in order for them to be valid and have no expiration date. 

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Recalculating users' certificates

If you select this checkbox and click Save Changes then:

1) For the users who complete the course after the setting has been set to 0 months set upon Completion, the certificate they will be awarded will have no expiration date.

2) For the users who have already completed the course before the setting was updated:

  • If the user has an active certification with an expiration date and an active completion on the course, their certificate expiration date will be removed.
  • If the user has an active certification with an expiration date but has already been obliged to retake the course due to the recertification process, their certificate expiration date will be removed and their past completion will be restored as current (only if the user has not completed the course again)
  • If the user has an expired certification with an expiration date and has already been obliged to retake the course due to the recertification process, their certificate expiration date will be removed and their past completion will be restored as current (only if the user has not completed the course again)

The recalculation option will affect all the academy members that have completed this course including dropped out and deactivated users.

Restoring a Completion

To restore a user's past completion as recent:

1) The course is marked as completed.

2) If the course has OJTs, Events, or Polls, the course is completed by admin.

3) We are restoring more specific details about lectures and exams.

  • For lectures details such as progress, view count, total time are restored. 
  • For exams details such as started date, ended date, points, full points, pass score are restored. The exam is completed by admin with 1 attempt.
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