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MEF-NF-LogoThe MEF Network Foundations certification, a part of the Third Network Certification Framework, is a major concept-level exam that will debut in early Q3 of 2017. Network Foundations will be the foundation certification in a stack of professional-level certifications (see framework below) in the content and practice domains introduced at a concept level in this new certification.

In time, a full suite of professional, practitioner-level certifications in SDN/NFV, Advanced Network Security, LSO/Automation/Orchestration, in addition to the MEF-CECP, will form the knowledge validation standard for advanced networking professionals.

Network Foundations Benefits for Network Professionals

  • Increase opportunities for career advancement and increased earnings
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills and competency, validated through certification, to employers and the industry
  • Join an elite set of professionals and thought leaders who have proven expertise in the rapidly-developing ecosystem of what MEF has called “Third Networks”: SDN, NFV, LSO/Orchestration, Carrier Ethernet, etc.


  • Demonstrate commitment to professional development, and overall dedication to the industry
  • Gain significant contacts through networking
  • Demonstrate technical prowess leading to increased on-the-job performance
  • A necessary complement to vendor-specific training and certification that many network engineers already possess.

The Third Network Certification Framework

Network Foundations, like MEF-CECP certification, fits as one of the major building blocks for a framework of knowledge that is rapidly becoming essential for today’s networking professionals. Building on the essential knowledge domains of MEF’s Network Foundations exam, the transition into more challenging, more operator-oriented skills and their validation continues at the Professional Level. From Carrier Ethernet to SDN&NFV, from LSO Orchestration to Security, this suite of certifications will help prepare network admins, operators, and others for more complex technology deployments and responsibilities. More information will be provided as these certifications start to take shape. Additionally, not only will MEF recognize those network professionals who pass four of the Professional Level credentials, but will also recognize those who also earn a vendor-specific program certification (like those offered by Cisco, Juniper, etc.). The entire program is illustrated below, as well as the planned schedule for availability.

The envisioned certification framework already includes the popular MEF-CECP certification, but in 2017 MEF will begin building other professional, ISO-standard technology certifications in SDN/NFV, network orchestration, network security, and design & architecture. These certifications are key for the growth in advanced networking, and will be supported by the major standards and business development organizations in our world today. By leveraging the subject matter expertise of these organizations, MEF will create a bundle of credentials that will be the go-to validation platform for the next generation of networking professionals.


Knowledge Domains for Network Foundations

The major knowledge domains for Network Foundations are as follows:

  1. Software Defined Networking (SDN)
  2. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  3. LSO/Orchestration
  4. Carrier-Based Connectivity Services (expanded from Carrier Ethernet)
  5. The Third Network Vision (combining network solutions in the above 4 knowledge domains)

A more complete description of these domains is available here on the MEF website.

Public Resources