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What are the prerequisites of Third Network Foundations?
There are no formal prerequisites for Third Network Foundations. Students preparing for this exam should consult the examination blueprint when it is formally published (on or before April 21, 2017) and identify the full domain list and weighting of the material covered on the exam.

Because this exam is broadly distributed across the major domains of today’s advanced networking technologies, it is important to be conceptually familiar with these knowledge domains. MEF will have further information as the blueprint takes shape in the next few months.

What is the price for the Third Network Foundations?
The retail price for the MEF Third Network Foundations certification exam is US$350.00. There is an additional charge for remote proctoring (paid to our remote proctoring provider) for those needing to take the exam without a qualified proctor present.

What is a “Concept-Level” professional certification?
Sometimes it’s best to explain by contrasting other MEF certifications with the new Third Network Foundations certification. As many already know, MEF produces practitioner-level IT certifications for professionals working in a particular field of networking practice. For example, our MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional certification is geared toward network practitioners, those technical professionals entrusted with the operations of carrier Ethernet-based networks and services. These examinations going deeper than identifying and explaining at an introductory level how these networks operate. As such, they are normally taken by experienced networking professionals.

Concept formation, or concept learning, refers to the development of the ability to respond to common features of categories of objects or events. Concepts are mental categories for objects, events, or ideas that have a common set of features. Concept learning encompasses learning how to discriminate and categorize things (with critical attributes). It also involves recall of instances, integration of new examples and sub-categorization. Concept formation is not simple recall, it must be constructed of learned subjects and appropriately assembled. For the Third Network Foundations certification exam, the credential will test the student’s understanding of key technologies (as well as their underlying enablers) that are powering today’s modern, software-driven advanced networks. The expectation is that the successful credential holder would have a comprehensive grasp of a variety of networking technologies (including SDN, NFV, LSO/orchestration, networking security) and be able to articulate their function, significance, contribution, characteristics, etc., without having to actually operate these network technologies in an actual network.

When will Third Network Foundations be available?
The fully-completed version of the exam, available worldwide, will be published for use on or before June 30, 2017. The exam blueprint (articulating the major domains and contents of the exams, upon which the exam questions will be based) will be published on or before April 21, 2017. After examination questions are developed, a beta exam will be made available without charge for qualified individuals (there is additional work involved in participation for a MEF beta certification exam, but the successful candidate will receive a full certification if he/she passes the exam). After the beta results are thoroughly analyzed, the final version of the examination is ready to be taken worldwide.


What are the domains (subject matter categories) of Third Network Foundations?
The proposed domains for this exam have been suggested, but will not be formally validated until the Job Task Analysis workshop at the end of March 2017. Right now, the proposed domains include:

MEF will publish the complete domains areas and their relative weightings at the conclusion of the preparation workshop in Sunnyvale, California. We anticipate that there will be a general distribution of these topics, and the exact proportion of attention will be published in the examination blueprint.

How is the Third Network Foundations certification being developed?
The Third Network Foundations certification is being developed in a rigorous manner, such that the exam will be acceptable to evaluating and certifying organizations who can mandate the exam for use in their companies. An example of this use is the U.S. Department of Defense 8970 program, which credited certain professional certifications as fulfilling mandatory job requirements and professional development obligations that DoD employees were required to fulfill.

As such, all MEF certifications will be built by strict adherence to ISO standards for technical certifications, per ISO/IEC 17021. For MEF’s process, the following activities are stipulated, as shown in the figure below. This is a rigorous process, and we are assisted in this effort by the Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) who assist MEF with respect to content, and the Alpine Testing organization, which takes this content and renders it into a proper format. This work results in an accurate and trustworthy exam that fulfills certain legal requirements.


Is there a mailing list for MEF’s Third Network Foundations?
Yes! To receive updates and additional information as it develops, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is the relationship between Third Network Foundations and the MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) certification exam?
The Third Network Foundations exam validates concept-level knowledge of a wide variety of networking domains, including Carrier Ethernet networks, but is not limited to only Carrier Ethernet concepts. Third Network Foundations is definitely NOT “CECP-Lite”, as it were. All professionals seeking certification in this new certification should consult the exam blueprint, which will be published in late April 2017.

I’m an Expert in Third Network technologies; is there any way I can help develop this new certification?

Yes you can! We are working with IT professionals in a variety of technical domains (SDN, NFV, Security, LSO/Orchestration, Carrier Ethernet, and other related domains). If you are an expert and want to volunteer your expertise in various ways (helping develop or validate the exam blueprint, writing questions for the exam, participating in the beta exam, and other areas, please contact MEF’s certification director Rick Bauer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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