VMware have their own landing page and FAQ page for their certifications, but I get emails and have conversations with people all the time who ask me questions like the ones below - so I thought I'd share them with you here...
If I haven't answered your question below, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I self-study for a VCP?
No you cannot - VCPs have always had a training requirement for first-time achievers.
Once you achieve your first VCP, there is always an "upgrade" path to the VCP on the next major version, and for achieving VCPs in other solution areas - so long as you don't let your VCP expire.
How many different VCPs are there?
VMware have 4 different technology areas that have a solution-specific VCP certification: (core products in brackets)
DCV = Data Center Virtualisation (vSphere & vSAN)
DTM = Desktop & Mobility (Horizon with View)
CMA = Cloud Management & Automation (vRealize)
NV = Network Virtualisation (NSX)
Why do I have to pass 2 exams for a VCP certification?
Each solution-specific VCP requires that you pass 2 exams:
1. vSphere Foundations
2. VCP exam for that solution
vSphere Foundations is classed as a "core" exam for all 4 of the solution-specific VCPs - the same exam is listed as a requirement for each of those VCPs, and you only need to pass it once regardless of how many solution-specific VCPs you want to achieve.
Each solution-specific VCP then has it's own exam, titled the same as the VCP itself - each of which only includes questions on the products for that particular VCP.
Are there certifications for major versions only, or minor versions too?
VCP certifications relate to the major version only - so for all vSphere 6.x versions there is just a single certification, VCP6-DCV.
Are there exams for major versions only, or minor versions too?
VMware don't always release exams for every minor version, but significant minor versions do get their own exams - this is made clear in the exam titles and objectives.
Using vSphere 5.x as an example - the exam VCP510 was originally for vSphere 5.0, when vSphere 5.1 was released the VCP510 was updated to make it applicable to both 5.0/5.1, but the vSphere 5.5 release saw a VCP550 exam that was specific to that version.
The simple answer is - it's best to check the titles and objectives for an exam.
Can I mix minor versions of training and exams for the same certification?
Yes, absolutely! Using VCP6-DCV as an example - you could be trained on vSphere 6.0, pass the vSphere 6.0 version of the vSphere Foundations exam, but then pass the vSphere 6.5 version of the VCP6-DCV exam (due for release in April 2017).
So long as the major version matches for all of the requirements - you're good.
Do I have to do the training before the exam(s)?
No, it is not essential to take the training first, although it is recommended. You can also pass exams in the "wrong" order - so the VCP6-DCV exam before the vSphere Foundations exam, if you wish. You'll achieve the certification once you've completed all of the requirements.
How long can I leave between the training and the exam(s)?
Technically, you can leave as long a gap as you want - the only deadline is the future availability of the training and the exam for that major version.
For VCP6-DCV, as long as you can get trained on one of the qualifying vSphere classes (6.0 or 6.5) and the vSphere Foundations and VCP6-DCV exams are available for you to attempt, you can achieve the certification.
Does a VCP expire?
Yes - after 2 years from completion. VMware announced a recertification policy for VCP-level certifications on March 10th 2014.
If you want to stay VCP certified in the future, do not let your existing VCP expire - read this post to learn more.
Must I visit a testing centre each time I want to attempt a VCP exam?
Every VMware exam is classed as either "proctored" or "non-proctored" - you can check this status on the page for the specific exam you want to take.
"Non-proctored" exams, such as vSphere Foundations, can be taken from any location with internet access - but "proctored" exams must be taken at a Pearson VUE testing center.
Can I get a free re-take or any other discount?
Check this promotions page for any special offers.