VCAP – Where is my 2019 Badge?

Are you VCAP certified and wondering where the 2019 badge for your VCAP track is and why your current VCAP version is listed as “Emeritus”? You have passed the latest VCAP exam (before 2019) and you verified there is no new VCAP exam in the exam catalog, surely they would grandfather you in? Unfortunately, no – the certification policy has changed.

NOTE: I am focusing on 2019 as the case in point since the 2020 badges are having issues at the moment and it is not clear if a new 2020 exam for every VCAP will be released during 2020 (image below). In the first week of January 2020, I had 21 certifications awarded to me with the “2020” designation. I was excited and thought that VMware had fixed the certification logic; unfortunately, they were all revoked the following day (image below).

NOTE: I have opened a number of tickets with VMware Certification on this subject and sent a multitude of emails and currently there has been no policy change.

First, let me explain how it used to be. VMware Certification would release a new VCDX version approximately every 2 years, which would coincide with new VCAP Design and Deploy exams (previously known as the Administration exam) for that track. Originally there was only the vSphere/DCV track and then Cloud/CMA (vCD and later vRA), Desktop/DTM/DW (Horizon and then Workspace ONE) and NSX/NV (NSX-MH, NSX-v and then NSX-T) were added over time. We all understood the link to product versions and it worked.

In 2019 (2018 for some DCV certifications), certification by product version changed to certification by year. Instead of VCAP6-DCV, we now have VCAP-DCV 2019 (and 2020). And this is being applied to every existing VMware certification (Associate, Specialist, Professional, Master Specialist, Advanced Professional and Expert).

If you look into the logic currently being applied:

  • You will not be grandfathered into the 2019 certification (even though you passed the latest exam in 2016, 2017 or 2018). “Grandfathering” logic has been used by VMware in the past, particularly with the NV track. In 2015, upon completing the VCIX-NV certification, you were automatically awarded VCP-NV in late 2015 and then upgraded to VCP6-NV and VCIX6-NV in 2016 without taking another exam.
  • You need to have passed the old exam after August 1, 2019 to be awarded the 2019 badge. Why was August 1, 2019 selected and not January 1, 2019 (as indicated in the blog I referenced above)? If I pass the pre-2019 exam in 2019 (older version of technology) how does awarding me a 2019 badge validate that I have been certified on the 2019 version of that technology?
  • You are not expected to retake the old exam you previously passed to achieve the 2019 badge. Which begs the question, how do I get my 2019 certifications if I have passed every exam that is available before 2019?
  • All certifications that are older than 2019 have been moved to “Emeritus” status.
  • This new policy does not align with the VMware Partner Central policy of recognizing many “Emeritus” certifications as being current (for Solution Competencies and Master Service Competencies). In fact, my VCDX and VCAP 2019/2020 certifications do not appear in Partner Central.
  • Resulting in a VMware transcript that gives the impression that your skill-set is not current. Which is unfair, since we (and our employers) spend a significant amount of time and money remaining current and this is short-changing certified individuals at the advanced professional level. Looking at my current transcript below, I have passed the every VCAP exam for every track (with the exception of VCAP-CMA Deploy 2018) and it looks like I am not current for DCV, CMA or DTM (I took the VCAP-NV Design 2019 exam in early 2020, hence the 2020 certs are listed)

It should be mentioned that VMware does a great job of releasing new VCP exams for every track each year (normally during February of each year). VCP 2019 does allow some “grandfathering” based upon free and paid courses.

What do I think needs to change?

  • Release advanced professional exams for every track every year. The typical incubation period for developing a single VCAP exam is approximately 1.5 years. I have been involved in this process and it takes a ton of work from a team of people. In my opinion, releasing these every year is not realistic.
  • Or change the logic to allow “grandfathering” for people who have achieved the current exams in previous years,
  • Or change the “Emeritus” logic to keep certifications derived from the latest exams current,
  • And align the VMware Certification and VMware Partner Central policies to match.

I have created a PDF that breaks down the upgrade logic for every 2019 expert and advanced certification – VCIX was ignored, since these are digital badges (located in VMware Certification Manager – see PDF for exact location). Some interesting points to note:

  • The VCAP-DCV Deploy and Design 2019 certifications list 2019 exams (3V0-21.19 and 3V0-22.19) that were never released.
  • The VCAP-CMA Deploy 2019 exam (3V0-31.19) is listed as active, but cannot be scheduled in the USA.
  • VCDX 2019 certifications for DCV, NV and CMA were never created.
  • The VCDX-DTM 2019 certification allowed an upgrade from VCAP7-DTM Design (did not enforce VCAP-DTM Design 2019).

For completeness, here is the current list of VMware Advanced Professional exams (3V0-6nn – developed in 2016, 3V0-7nn – developed in 2017, 3V0-nn.18 developed in 2018, 3V0-nn.19 developed in 2019):

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Chief Enterprise Architect and Strategist, 4xVCDX#133, NPX#8, DECM-EA.

One thought on “VCAP – Where is my 2019 Badge?”

  1. I’m not nearly as certified as you, but as someone attempting exams and hiring based on them, this “year makes it clear” policy appears to have been a HOT MESS- There were 3 allowed exam versions for a VCP-2019, there are 2 exam versions for 2020 currently. It even appears unclear if VCIX needs to be achieved entirely within 1 year- which seems overly aggressive and an unrealistic expectation.

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