Technology is always changing—and staying current can be a major career advantage. Now, you can renew your Microsoft role-based and specialty certifications once a year by taking a no-cost, online renewal assessment. The unproctored assessment only covers the latest technology updates that align with your job role, so it’s shorter (and less formal) than a proctored exam.
Below, you’ll find answers to the most common questions about renewing your certifications. Once you’re up to speed, visit: https://aka.ms/CertDashboard to check your certification status and start your free renewal.
Why did Microsoft introduce the certification renewal process?
At Microsoft, we’ve been building a portfolio of role-based training and certifications designed to help our learners stay current and be future-ready. Unlike MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE certifications, Microsoft role-based (associate, expert, and specialty) certifications expire after one year. We introduced certification renewal to help our learners renew their role-based certifications and keep them active.
Why do role-based certifications expire after one year?
Beginning in June 2021, newly earned role-based certifications expire after one year. This shift to annual renewals helps to ensure that your certification aligns with evolving job roles and the changing skills you need to keep pace with cloud technologies. This approach also equips tech professionals with proven validation that their skills remain relevant in the current market.
Do I need to renew my Microsoft fundamentals certification?
No. The certification renewal process does not apply to fundamentals certifications, because they do not expire.
Are there different ways to renew certifications?
No. The only way to renew a Microsoft Certification is by passing the no-cost, online renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn.
What’s the value of certification renewal? How does it benefit me and my organization?
Certification renewal keeps you up to date with technology changes and fosters a continuous learning mindset. When a new feature or service is introduced, you can quickly learn how it works and how it impacts your job role. Certification renewal also benefits organizations, because their employees know about the latest features and functionality—and how to leverage their skills to create solutions that are robust, modern, and secure. Productivity goes up significantly when employees keep pace with technology updates and understand how they affect their day-to-day work.
Is there a cost to renew Microsoft Certifications?
No, certification renewal is free. You can renew at no cost by passing the associated renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn before the certification expires.
What do I need to do to renew my certification?
Learners who are eligible can renew by successfully passing an online renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn. Passing the unproctored renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn, anytime within six months before certification expires, is the only way to renew your certification. You don’t need to schedule and take an exam to renew. After you pass the renewal assessment, your certification extends for one additional year from the current expiration date; this can be done annually.
Three steps to renew your certification:
1. Go to Microsoft Learn to connect your Learn profile with your certification profile (you only need to do this once).
2. Prepare with the collection of optional, self-paced learning modules on Microsoft Learn.
3. Take and pass the no-cost, online assessment before your certification expires.
When am I eligible to take the renewal assessment?
You are eligible to take your renewal assessment six months before your certification expires. Once you’re eligible, you’ll receive an email from Microsoft directing you to the assessment that will be available on Microsoft Learn. You can also check to see which certifications are available to renew by visiting your certification dashboard. We recommend that you start right away; passing the assessment early doesn’t change the expiration date, and you’ll have more time to prepare and pass the assessment. In fact, renewing early is like getting extra time on your certification.
I’ve heard the renewal assessment is shorter. How do I prepare?
The unproctored assessments measure the skills you need to remain up to date in your job role. They’re shorter than the original exams because they focus only on the latest technology changes. The renewal assessment takes about 45 minutes to complete.
You can prepare for the renewal assessment by using the free, self-paced learning modules for the specific certification that you’re trying to renew. Visit the individual renewal pages on Microsoft Learn to access the learning collection.
Can I retake the assessment if needed?
Yes. You can retake the assessment as many times as you need. Just make sure you pass before your certification expires. If you don’t pass the first time, you can immediately take the assessment again. However, after the second try, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before your next attempt.
Which certifications are available for renewal?
All existing role-based and specialty certifications are eligible for renewal. Any new certifications launched in the last five months and in the coming months will be available for renewal six months before their expiration dates. For a complete list of certifications by solution area, please check out our certification renewal blog at: https://aka.ms/CertRenewalList
Continuous learning can help you grow and thrive, no matter where you are in your career. Learn more about online renewals and check to see if your Microsoft role-based or specialty certification is eligible for renewal.
Check your renewal timeline today—and stay Microsoft Certified.