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VMware announces compulsory bi-ennial VCP recertification

Downside: more time and money; Upside: VMware hints at two-yearly release cycle

VMware has announced a Recertification Policy for holders of the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) qualification, who will henceforth have to re-qualify every two years.

VMware says “Earning a VCP certification is a great achievement. But staying up to date in the expertise gained and proven by your certification is equally vital. If your skills are not current, your certification loses value.”

Virtzilla also argues that “The technical and business communities expect that VMware certified professionals are current on the latest technologies and capable of implementing VMware products with the highest level of skill.”

Hence the recertification policy.

The salient detail of the new policy is that holders "... must pass any VCP or higher-level exam within two years of earning your most recent VCP certification.” If you don't, your Certification is revoked and “... you will lose access to the VCP portal and your right to market yourself as certified for that certification, which includes the use of VMware certification logos. Also, your transcript will reflect that your certification is no longer valid.”

VMware has some justification for the change, because as it points out “Currently, VCP certification holders are not required to recertify their skills, which is uncommon in the IT industry”.

The new policy effectively started on March 10th, 2013, because those who earned VCP certifications before that date must now recertify by March 10th, 2015.

The good news is that those seeking certification don't have to attend a course, although those whose VCPs were earned on older software may find them useful. VMware offers lots of study material available online. Books covering vSphere 5.x for VCP aspirants cost around $US50. Nor are exams exorbitantly expensive: quotes online come in at around $US250.

Perhaps those facts explain why bloggers like vNinja's Christian Mohn feel this is “... a good move, and is on par with other technical certifications”. Mohn also thinks the policy shows VMware will offer major releases at least every two years, reckoning that IT professionals would have a lot more to be angry about if they are forced to recertify without the company offering anything new to learn!

Less happy reactions can also be found. Here's one from virtualization consultant Patrick Kremer.

Mention of VRAM is a big red flag: it refers to a licensing scheme VMware tried to introduce that would have resulted in considerable price rises. VMware users rebelled against VRAM and the company more-or-less abandoned the scheme, citing user anger.

If the recertification policy sparks similar anger, we'll let you know. For now, a rebellion does not look to be on the cards: bloggers are filing this change under "firm but fair" rather than kicking and screaming. ®

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