Changes to HP certification are in the mail

People accredited with Hewlett-Packard training will learn the status of their certification within the next two to fours weeks following an overhaul of the company's accreditation process earlier in the month.

The new HP Certified Professional program combines the previous Compaq Accredited Professional, HP Systems Training and Recognition (STAR), and HP Certified programs into one. The former system had just over 100 certification tracks. Today there are only 64.

The new program is structured with four certification focus areas: sales, pre-sales, integration and operating systems. The integration strand includes Master Accredited Systems Engineer, Accredited Systems Engineer, Accredited Integration Specialist, and Accredited Platform Specialist while the OS strand includes the Certified Systems Engineer (CSE) and Certified System Administrator (CSA).

The 10,000 professionals in the Asia-Pacific region will soon learn of their certification changes - if any. "We have determined all the migration paths from pre merger into the new certification," said Mike Wells, HP's local certification spokesperson.

Those professionals will face one of three possible situations; either:

-- remain unaffected,

-- require a modest update,

-- be required to undertake new training and exams.

Where certification update is needed, people will have 12 months to do so; otherwise that certification will be voided. "We are giving people a reasonable amount of time to retain certification," Wells said.

Wells said each case will be handled manually on a case-by-case basis, which is why certified professionals will have to wait so long for their advice to arrive. This is because the existing information for the HP and the Compaq professionals were held on two separate databases; it was deemed more prudent to double-check these by hand than by machine, he said.

However, not everyone will need to wait. "Common sense will tell them what they need to do," Wells said. For example, anyone certified in the now-defunct HP NetServer range knows they will need to undertake new training. In this instance it would be in ProLiant servers, which replaced the NetServer.

As an additional sweetener to the new accreditation process, Wells said the cost of undertaking exams has now dropped. Previously the standard, across-the-board exam was costed at $US100. That has now been reduced to $US62.50.

More information on the new HP Certified program can be found at www.hp.com/go/certification

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