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Certification Watch Volume 13 #8

Certification news regarding name changes for Microsoft and ISC(2) certifications, sickness changes to Cisco CCIE lab exams, find a new CCNA certification, Microsoft certification on Bing, and the Microsoft Second Shot program.

Microsoft MCAS Reverts to MOS

Beginning June 2, 2010, the certification program for Microsoft Office products will resume using one of its previous monikers, Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), instead of the current Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) title. Apparently the MCAS name never caught on. Current MCAS holders will automatically be considered MOS 2007 certified, but if you want a new certificate, you'll have to purchase one for "a small fee" through the Certiport portal. Certiport will continue to administer the MOS program.

ISC(2) Changes CAP Designation Name, Domains to Follow

As of May 21, 2010, (ISC)2 changed the name of its Certification and Accreditation Professional (CAP) credential to Certified Authorization Professional (still CAP). Individuals who earned the certification under its old name will automatically receive a replacement certificate and lapel pin with the new name. ISC(2) says the name change was made "to reflect updated nomenclature" in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publication SP800-37 regarding risk management and federal information systems. The domains for CAP will also be changed from 4 to 7 for the same reason, effective November 2010.

Easy Come, Easy Go for CCIE Core Knowledge Questions

Cisco Systems recently announced that the four "core knowledge" short answer questions that were added to the CCIE R&S and Voice lab exams less than a year ago have been removed. Cisco reports that the rest of the exam does a fine job of validating expert skills, so the four questions are no longer needed. They will continue to appear, however, in other CCIE lab exams. Core knowledge questions are given at the start of the exam, typically require five words or less to answer, and no documentation may be used. More details and related discussions are available on Cisco's website.

CCNA Service Provider Operations Released

In other Cisco certification news, a new CCNA Service Provider Operations (CCNA SP Operations) designation is available for candidates who want to certify that they have the basic knowledge and skills of a Tier 1 support engineer within a carrier class IP NGN network infrastructure. Candidates who already hold another CCNA certification need only pass the new Supporting Cisco Service Provider IP NGN Operations (SSPO) exam to earn this certification. Candidates without a current CCNA must also pass the ICND1 exam, the exam that leads to Cisco's entry-level CCENT designation.

MCTS: Bing Arrives

Interested individuals can now earn a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) designation related to Bing. MCTS: Bing Maps Platform, Application Development is a one exam certification covering using Microsoft Visual Studio to create Web applications that use the Bing Maps platform for creating geospatial apps. There is no official course or training material available yet, but you can get warmed up at the Bing Maps Developer Center.

Microsoft Second Shot to Expire June 30

Microsoft's Second Shot program, which allows candidates a free retake of a failed exam, is slated to conclude on June 30, 2010. The retake must be completed by then. This program will likely be back, but why wait? You must sign up in advance on Prometric's website to take advantage of this program.

That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..