A-Plus (A+) is the name of a process, developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a large trade group, that certifies individuals for knowledge about and competency in installing, maintaining, customizing, and operating personal computers. The examination is in two parts, the first covering computer hardware and software in general and the second covering a specific operating system, such as Windows 98. The exam is administered by Drake Parametric and there is a fee. A number of companies provide in-house or self-taught preparation for the exam.
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CompTIA also sponsors specialized certification for document imaging and a network certification exam. The A-Plus certification is somewhat more basic and less product-specific than other certifications, such as Microsoft's Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certifications.
An advantage of certification in any industry is that it promotes self-regulation rather than government regulation.