The Community Ecosystem

Established during 1998 and ongoing ever since, the UK and Ireland Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad) community is a collection of Schools, Further Education Colleges, Universities, Apprenticeship Providers, and other organisations. Based around the principles of open access and academic social enterprise, the NetAcad community enables the support of educators and education establishments (of all sizes).  

There are three types of organisations within NetAcad structure - it is a collection of equals. The majority of organisations exist as a Cisco Academy, accessing more than 1,500 hours of feature rich Digital Technologies content for free. Some specialist organisations operate as Academy Support Centres, focusing on enablement and guidance. Equally, many of these also operate as Instructor Training Centres, responsible for teaching educators in the more advanced technologies, skills and courses. 

Cisco Academies (CAs)

Being a Cisco Academy gives your educational establishment the opportunity to freely use Cisco curriculum and tools to teach digital, technical and career building skills to students, as part of a global community. Any Cisco Academy within the UK can use Cisco Networking Academy content to support the recruitment and education of students - teaching them the industry skills of the future. We welcome institutions of any size and educational level.

Many current courses do not require the purchase of equipment, using freely available resources as well as Packet Tracer, the Networking, CyberSecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) simulator. Some of the more technically advanced courses, may require the optional purchase of specialist equipment. 

As a community member, your institution will gain access to a comprehensive technology skills and career building programme with a global reputation for preparing people for success in a connected world. Benefits include:

If you would like to apply to become a Cisco Academy, please fill in this online form. You may wish to see what people are saying about the Cisco Networking Academy on Facebook.

Academy Support Centres (ASCs)

ASCs play a critical role in the development and sustainability of the programme. They recruit Cisco Academies and help them meet quality requirements for the delivery of the Cisco Networking Academy curricula. ASCs provide a minimum of the following services to the Cisco Academies (CAs) they support:

ASCs are encouraged to offer additional services to those described above, and typically work with Cisco to support initiatives and projects based on regional goals and objectives. 

Instructor Training Centres (ITCs)

ITCs qualify (prepare and authorise) new and current Cisco Networking Academy Instructors for specific advanced, career focussed courses. They are responsible for providing:

The qualification requirements are not applicable to all NetAcad courses, however, several courses such as CCNA, CCNP, DevNet Associate and CyberOps Associate have qualification requirements. IT Essentials and Networking Essentials do not have qualification requirements. 

Support Network in the UK and Ireland

Cisco Academies are free to select the ASCs and ITCs they would like to work with. You can use the Academy Locator to discover more information.