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No retest and Continuous Learning by Cisco: what are those?

1st July 2015
by Herman Goedman

No-retestOn the Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal Cisco announced the ‘no retest’ strategy and ‘Continuous Learning’. The big question: what are those? And even more important: what do these announces mean for you and your organization? In this blog post I will elaborate on it.

No retest strategy and Continuous Learning: in short

Both the no retest strategy and Continuous Learning are changes in the Cisco Channel Partner Program. In short it means the following:

  • Employees of Cisco partners don’t need to retake exams that are not or barely changed.
  • Cisco will follow and rate specific activities that are performed by Cisco partners.

No retest strategy

In the Cisco Channel Partner Program it is quite common that an employee needs to take an extra exam next to the CCNA or CCNP certification, to be able to fill a role.

The role of Field Engineer in the Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialization for instance. Besides his CCNP Voice certification (soon: CCNP Collaboration certification) that Field Engineer has to obtain the certification Cisco Collaboration Architecture Field Engineer 1 Representative (CCSR1). To achieve this certification he needs to pass the exam 700-038 PSACAFE. That exam stays valid for 2 years and needs to be renewed afterwards by…taking the exact same exam.

Cisco thinks – and who could disagree with that – that retaking the same exam has no added value. For that reason the exam will stay valid until the exam changes significantly. A change of the exam usually contains a change in the number of the exam and the name of the specialization. Although no one confirms it, I consider it the reason why specializations have recently gotten a serial number, like in case of CQS-CCSR1.

The no retest strategy seems to have a limited impact, but the overviews of recertifications I quarterly make for the Cisco partners contained an awful lot of those retests. This is no longer the case now and that is a good thing.

Continuous Learning

Continuous Learning is the implementation of earlier announced ‘electives’ in the Cisco Channel Partner Program. Electives are the choice of activities a Cisco partner can perform. The objective of the electives is more success for a Cisco partner in sales, design, implementation and management of an architecture.

Examples of activities that will possibly fall under electives (caution: nothing is a 100% sure!) are participation in Cisco events like Cisco Live, in partner enablement programs like Partner Plus, and in sales updates and technical updates.

By participating the employee, and therefore also the Cisco partner, will receive points that also count in the Cisco Channel Partner Program.

Cisco will disclose more details on Continuous Learning in the fall of 2015. As soon as they are known I will devote a whole blog post to the subject.

The no retest strategy and Continuous Learning: what is the connection?

The 2 new initiatives of Cisco are connected to each other. They demonstrate how important it is for Cisco that Cisco partners will continuously evolve instead of stagnate at things that are already known. The introduction of the no retest strategy and Continuous Learning is a fine step in the stimulation of this process, in my opinion.

Do you want to know more about the no retest strategy or Continuous Learning? Please let me know. I would be happy to help.

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