Originally posted March 26, 2020
As the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve rapidly around the world, the health, safety and well-being of our employees, customers and partners remain our top priorities. Authorities around the globe are responding to the situation with stricter measures that are disrupting normal routines, which changes the landscape in which we operate. With this in mind, we have several updates to share with you today on how Microsoft, together with our partner ecosystem, is adapting to the current environment to ensure that all of you can continue to learn and get certified on Microsoft technologies, while staying safe.
Testing centers closing and online proctoring capacity increasing
Pearson VUE, our exam delivery partner, has temporarily closed many of its testing centers worldwide in response to global government regulations to battle the spread of COVID-19. As an alternative to taking your exam at a testing center, online proctoring is available, which allows you to take your certification exam in the comfort of your own home or office. We’re working as fast as we can with Pearson VUE to expand online testing capacity. Stay up to date with current testing availability information from Pearson Vue.
Reschedule and cancellation fees waived
In partnership with Pearson VUE, we are also temporarily waiving exam reschedule and cancellation fees. There will be no charge if you reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours prior to your appointment, rather than the six-day window required under our current policy. More information on this adjusted policy is available here.
Retirement of MCSA, MCSD, MCSE certifications and related exams extended
We know many of you are working toward completing your Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), or Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification(s). We realize that the current environment could potentially hamper your ability to finish your certification before the original retirement date of June 30, 2020. To address this issue, we are extending the retirement date for these specific certifications to January 31, 2021 to give you more time to complete the exams and earn your certification.
Expiring role-based certifications extended
If you have a role-based certification that is expiring between now and December 31, 2020, we are extending your certification by six months. So, for example, if your certification is set to expire September 30, 2020, it will now expire on March 30, 2021. Your certification expiration date will be automatically updated, and no action is required on your part. You will be able to view your updated expiration date in your certification dashboard within the next 30 days.
Exam voucher and discount offer expiration dates extended
If you have a Pearson VUE delivered certification exam voucher or discount offer that is expiring between March 26 and August 31, 2020, it will be extended until January 31, 2021.
For our academic customers, we are working closely with Pearson VUE and Certiport to support schools around the world that are experiencing disruption to classes due to school closures and shifts to distance learning. Academic customers with questions can reach out to their local Microsoft Education team or Certiport support.
Moving to virtual training
Both Microsoft and Microsoft Learning Partners are moving in-person, instructor-led training to virtual instructor-led training. Microsoft Learning Partners provide in-depth, technical training solutions tailored to meet companies’ and individuals’ learning objectives with content created by Microsoft and delivered by Microsoft Certified Trainers. Check with your local learning partner to find out more and visit Microsoft Events to find a virtual instructor-led training event in your area.
Use Microsoft Learn!
As we work with our partners and customers through this challenging time, we want to remind you to use Microsoft Learn as a key component for your skilling efforts. It offers a comprehensive catalog of free, online training at your fingertips, including interactive-coding environments and role-based learning paths that can help you learn about a specific topic area or prepare to earn a Microsoft Certification.
Questions? Concerns? Contact us.
If you have a question or concern about any of these changes or need certification and training support, contact us! Please be aware that the customer support systems for both Microsoft and Pearson Vue are experiencing longer than expected response times, so we appreciate your patience as we work to handle all inquiries as quickly as possible!
This is an unprecedented time for all of us and we are committed to supporting your learning journey as the global situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves. We will provide regular updates on any program adjustments or changes through this blog and Twitter (@MicrosoftLearn). Please stay safe and we appreciate your partnership during this time.
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