Do you need to recertify your Microsoft exams? Recertification for MCSE and MCSA Explained

Do you need to recertify your Microsoft exams? Recertification for MCSE and MCSA Explained

By James on 03 July 2014 | microsoft

Microsoft have updated their recertification policy which requires IT professionals to renew their MCSE and MCSD certifications every 2-3 years to stay up to date. Recertification exams, just like any other exam, are published on a regular basis as new technology updates are released by Microsoft.

The first batch of recertification exams is due out between Aug 2014 and Mar 2015, starting with the MCSD exams first. There have already been calls for feedback for SharePoint 2013 exam which has its own recert number of 70-517.

How to you know when to recertify?

You know you're due to recertify when you receive the warning email from Microsoft:

"Microsoft Recertification Due Soon"

However, not all certifications are included. The following certifications do NOT require recertification: MTA, MCITP, MCSA.

How long do you have to recertify?

According to the MS learning blog you have at least 12 months to prepare and pass the recertification exam, but if you fail to do so by the deadline your certification will become inactive. The certification planner is your best buddy when it comes to checking that deadline.

Failure to recertify will result in your certification becoming inactive and you not being allowed to recertify again in the future. It's harsh but that seems like the gist of the process.

Microsoft requires that your MCSE is recertified every 3 years and the MCSD every 2 years.

Problems with recertification

It's still early days and Microsoft has already received negative feedback over the issue of recertification. Some like it some don't. The main problem appears to be the requirement to certify and then recertify again later, otherwise face a penalty (inactive status).

The problem with MCSE and MCSD is that they're not version specific, and will continue to be called for example MCSE: Server Infrastructure. That explains why MCSA: Windows Server 2012 requires no recertification because it'll just be replaced by Windows Server 2015 or whatever the next version is.

With a harsh penalty such as becoming inactive and no chance to recertify, the MCSE and MCSD paths are in danger of being discarded in favour of the version specific MCSA.


The frustrating part is the lack of insight from Microsoft on the issue of recertification, which other companies such as Cisco have been doing for many years. The delays in MS Press book releases and the deadlines for recertification are not helping either.

We're interested to hear everyone's feedback on this issue so if you'd like to voice your concerns then feel free to leave a comment below.


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