Home > Articles > Certification > CompTIA

Train for Success: CTT+

Are you a technical trainer? Have you considered becoming a technical trainer? This profession is rewarding both financially and internally. Trainers and potential trainers should check out CompTIA's CTT+ certification. You can find the details here.
Joseph Phillips writes a weekly column on professional certification for InformIT. See all of Joe's articles at Joe's author page.

Don't read this unless you are a technology trainer or want to be one. I mean it. Stop here.

Okay, now that the only folks left are the incredibly nosy candidate trainers and those of us who earn our living from teaching, let's proceed. Trainers are a unique blend of people. That's a nice way of saying that we're all weird. We learn a technology, inside and out, and then teach others what we've learned. Our goal is to take complex topics and explain them in simple terms. We have to learn fast and think faster. The great trainers make it look easy.

As a trainer myself since 1993, I can say with confidence that we have a tough job. Think of your college history professor. Did she have to learn something new every year? Doubtful. It's not like the outcome of the Revolutionary War changed since last semester. Our jobs, as technical trainers, however, are in a constant state of flux. We learn. Deliver. Learn again.

No matter which technology you teach—Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Mac, you name it—there is a common credential I think each technical trainer should have: the Certified Technical Trainer+. This credential can help in several ways:

  • It establishes your expertise as a trainer.
  • It demonstrates that you are a professional trainer.
  • It creates value for you and your training organization.
  • It looks nice on your business card.

Many of you may already be familiar with the CTT program from the Chauncey Group. CompTIA acquired the certification and, as with all of CompTIA's certifications, add the plus symbol to the title. If you are already a CTT through Chauncey, you do not have to complete the certification process again. CompTIA reports that a letter was sent to all current CTTs early in September to automatically transfer their status from CTT to CTT+. That was nice of them.

For those of you who want to earn the CTT+ title, there are two requirements you'll have to complete:

  • You need to pass a computer-based exam.
  • You need to provide a video of yourself teaching.

Pass the Exam

Let's focus on the exam details first. The CTT+ computer-based exam is labeled TK0-001. You have one hour and 45 minutes to answer 45 multiple choice, multiple-response, and drag-and-drop type questions. The cost of the exam is $140 for CompTIA members and $190 for non-members. There are 14 areas of competency on this exam.

Competency One: Analyze Course Materials and Learner Information

This competency will test your ability to review materials and make adjustments to the materials. You will also have to defend adjustments you've made—great and small.

Competency Two: Assure Preparation of the Instructional Site.

There are few things I dread more as a contract trainer than walking into a training room for the first time and finding a small disaster. This area of the exam will test your ability to respond to such situations. How will you arrange the room, control the physical environment, and minimize distractions? Think of physical distractions such as sounds from equipment, lighting problems, and noise from outside the classroom.

Competency Three: Establish and Maintain Instructor Credibility

As a CTT+, you have to be able to establish your credentials, your expertise, and your ability to lead a class. This includes the ability to demonstrate authority of the subject matter, your personal conduct, and acceptable social practices. (Sorry, belching the seven-layer OSI Model isn't socially acceptable.)

Competency Four: Manage the Learning Environment

Every learner is different: Some are hostile, others are eager to learn, and others couldn't give a flip. Your job is to work with and motivate each of these learners. This objective also involves your ability to keep the class on schedule, resolve learner behavior problems, and adjust your performance to suit the learning environment.

Competency Five: Demonstrate Effective Communication Skills

This is standard "train-the-trainer" stuff. You should be a master of verbal and non-verbal communication, have the ability to communicate effectively to different types of learners, and determine whether learners understand your message.

Competency Six: Demonstrate Effective Presentation Skills

Have you ever had a class in which the presenter was as exciting as a dead fish? An effective presenter can massage the message, maintain eye contact, work the room, motivate, involve, inspire. It's our job. This includes your ability to use silence, movement, posture, props—general public speaking basics.

Competency Seven: Demonstrate Effective Questioning Skills and Techniques

Are you good at asking questions? How about answering them? Have you ever allowed other students to field questions for you? How do you pose questions to your class? Have you ever read an entire paragraph full of questions?

Questions allow you to accomplish many goals:

  • Involve your class and keep them focused on the subject matter.
  • Allow you to lead the discussion.
  • Review the material you have already covered.
  • Introduce new material.
  • Confirm whether your class understands the material you've presented.

Competency Eight: Respond Appropriately to Learners' Needs for Clarification and Feedback

A couple of years ago, I was taking a five-day SQL 6.5 class led by a trainer from Ohio. My classmate asked the instructor on the first afternoon how the data actually got entered into the database. This instructor (jerk) responded that this student was in the wrong class to ask that question. Guess what my fellow student did the rest of the week? Solitaire.

The moral? If you are to be a CTT+, you have to know how to respond to users' questions, appropriate or not. There are techniques to put off questions to be answered later or outside the bounds of the class hours.

Competency Ten: Use Instructional Methods Appropriately

You need to be able to teach the material through different instructional methods, manage group dynamics, and employ different techniques to deliver the message as situations warrant. Basically, you have to have more than one trick and have the ability turn on a dime to pass this objective.

Competency Eleven: Use Media Effectively

As adults, most of us learn by doing, not by listening to some dolt drone on about the beauty and wonder of Active Directory. There are times, however, when a lecture is necessary to introduce and build a foundation for learning. To supplement lectures, we often need overhead projectors, slide shows, videos, and other electronic gadgets to create an above-average learning environment.

As trainers, we need to know how to work with and troubleshoot each piece of hardware and media that we use. There are few things worse than watching an expert fumble with an overhead projector like it's time to watch the vacation slideshow at Uncle Walt's house.

Competency Twelve: Evaluate Learner Performance

How do you know if students are really understanding and learning? You need to have different tools to test their comprehension: tests, quizzes, feedback, discussions, and others.

Competency Thirteen: Evaluate Delivery of Instruction

As trainers, we can also be our own worst critics. Sometimes, we are right. We need to know how the class is going, how our performance is while we teach, and then how to adjust our performance to make it better. This includes the instructional design of the course, our ability to react to poor design during and after the delivery, and our ability to learn from our mistakes.

Competency Fourteen: Report Evaluation Information

As a trainer, I keep a journal of each class I teach: how the class went, how I reacted to problems within the course, and how I handled troublemakers within the course. When I teach the same course again, I have my notes to prepare and adjust for technical difficulties, areas of confusion for students, and inaccuracies within the course material. You need to do the same.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020