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HP-Compaq Certification Program Merger

Read the story about the unification of the HP and Compaq professional certification programs.

The Hewlett-Packard (HP) Certified, HP STAR, and Compaq Accredited Professional certification program are progressing toward a planned merge into a single unified program. The new program, called HP Certified Professional, is organized into four primary categories: sales, pre-sales consultants, integration, and operating systems. Each category includes progressive levels of certification denoting increasing expertise. The same certifications will be available to HP customers, employees, and partners/resellers.

New Program Offers Familiar Titles

Many of the titles under the new program will be familiar to currently certified individuals. For example, under the integration category, available designations include: Accredited System Engineer (ASE), Master Accredited System Engineer (Master ASE), Accredited Integration Specialist (AIS), and Accredited Platform Specialist (APS). This group of certifications is designed to demonstrate expertise in integrating HP platforms, operating systems, networking storage and application components. Individuals will enter this category at the APS level, and progress to AIS, then ASE, and finally, Master ASE. As with the current Compaq certification program, each designation will offer a choice of tracks covering particular technologies.

The operating system category will offer two titles: Certified Systems Administrator and Certified Systems Engineer. They encompass basic to intermediate installation, configuration, and administration of HP operating systems. At the engineer level, candidates will be expected to demonstrate mastery of integration, performance tuning, management and troubleshooting support for enterprise-class configurations. Candidates must first earn administrator certification before they can attempt the engineer level.

Certification will be granted based on a candidate's ability to pass the exams (which will typically cost $100 each). There will be no associated training requirements. However, associated training will be available for those who wish to take advantage of it.

Although there are no continuing certification requirements currently defined for the new program, HP plans to add them in the future. Continuing requirements won't be uniform across all certifications, but will differ based on the technology area covered by each title.

Pre-merger Certifications Remain Valid

The pre-merger certifications will continue to be valid until they would normally be due for renewal. At that time certified individuals will need to migrate to a comparable title in the new program. Benefits and privileges that are associated with the older certifications will continue to be administered until the certifications expire.

HP has vowed to make the transition as simple as possible, and to respect the investment already certified individuals have made to their existing credentials. The actual transition requirements from the existing titles to the new titles are still under development. HP will notify currently certified individuals of any migration track that applies to them.

Information on the new, unified program, as well as links to requirements for the original separate programs, can be found on the HP Web site at Details on the specific tracks for each designation are scheduled for a February 2003 release. At that time transition plans for migrating from the old to the new program will also be announced.