Changes to HP certification on the way

Professionals equipped with official Hewlett-Packard and Compaq training prior to the companies' merger will find out the state of their accreditation when the company announces its new certification roadmap next month.

Under the new plans the company will reduce its over 100 certification programs offered to 75, affecting thousands of accredited professionals. The new scheme will see existing programs such as the Accredited Professional program from Compaq and the HP Star program fall under a single umbrella known as the HP Certified Professional. According to Brian Beneda, Chief Architect, HP Certified Professional program, HP will be repackaging existing exams and courseware and will announce these changes some time in February.

Beneda said professionals in some programs will see no changes, while others will see a "small delta" and the remaining professionals a "large delta".

"In every case we are creating a transition plan for somebody who is certified in any of the old programs over to the new one, maintaining as much of their investment [in either HP or Compaq certification] as possible."

If, for example, you held ProLiant certification, "the old certification fairly well comes across with no question asked," Beneda said. "Anyone who holds that certification will continue to hold that certification."

In areas like storage, on the other hand, where there has been significant product line integration, Beneda said that, depending on the content, HP will "grandfather" people across to the new certification and "give them a period of time to complete whatever the deltas were".

Mike Wells, HP's local certification spokesperson, said the company has already contacted the certified community so that individuals who have made an investment in certification "know they have a future with that certification". For those whose certification will have been phased out, HP will have communicated to them what their migration alternatives are, Wells said.

In the Asia-Pacific region, HP has some 10,000 certified professionals, he said.

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