BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
There was a time when a virtualization administrator who had been certified as a VMware Certified Professional didn't have to worry about renewing that certification. However, a change in the VMware recertification policy -- which started March 10, 2014 -- means VMware professionals will need to recertify within two years to keep their VCP standing.
The IT industry uses certification to prove someone has acquired certain technical knowledge and skills. Before VMware changed the recertification policy, an IT professional could use the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) logo and call themselves a VCP even if the certification was for version 3 -- a status acquired eight years ago. Now, that VCP needs to be recertified on version 5.
This recertification change isn't unique to VMware. Other vendors also require certificate holders to recertify within a certain period. Cisco requires recertification within three years for entry-level certifications and every two years for all advanced certifications. RedHat has a three-year recertification period. Citrix also requires IT staff to update certifications within three years.
How to recertify
An IT pro with a VCP certification that was awarded on or before March 10, 2013, must recertify by March 10, 2015. Certifications acquired after March 10, 2013, must be renewed two years after the issue date.
To recertify, IT professionals must pass a VMware exam in any of the current VCP or VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) tracks. You do not necessarily have to take the same exam. For example, if you currently hold a VCP4 certification and take the exam for a VCP-desktop or VCP-cloud certification, that will recertify your VCP status because this proves to VMware that you are current on its software.
Be aware that, depending on the certification track, there may be a course requirement. For example, if you are a VCP4-desktop and want to become certified as VCP5-desktop, you would have to attend the required training for Horizon View. That would not be necessary with a VCP5 certification. There is some good news: VMware states if you are VCP4 certified and want VCP5 -- now called VCP5-data center virtualization (VCP5-DCV) -- you do not need to attend the two-day "what's new" training for version 5.5.
Recertify by stepping up to the VCAP level
You can also renew your recertification by taking an exam in the next level of certification in any of the VCAP tracks. If you become a VCP5-DCV in the next few months and early 2016, you would become a VCAP-DCA in data center virtualization -- desktop or cloud -- making your VCP status safe for another two years.
What happens if you don't recertify?
If your VCP certification expires, then VMware removes login access to the VCP portal and your certification transcript will show as expired. You can no longer use the VCP title and the VCP logo. VMware also removes your name from its certification rolls.
If your VCP certification has lapsed, then you must fulfill all requirements for that certification to reacquire it, which could include attending a qualifying course.
The VMware myLearn site has your certification status and when it will expire. VMware said it will send reminders to VCP holders so they have time to recertify before it lapses.
People having trouble accessing their myLearn accounts or those who have separate accounts attached to different certifications can email VMware at email@example.com for a resolution. The Frequently Asked Questions section at VMware's recertification policy website may address your concerns if you have more questions.