Microsoft certifications for new technologies--in the MCTS, MCPD, MCITP format--will retire when Microsoft discontinues mainstream support for the underlying technology (Gerry posted this earlier). At retirement, your certifications will move to a 'retired' section on your MCP transcript, so you can show a full picture of your cert history.

Many of you are aware that this is a change from what we announced earlier, when we said that the professional series certifications--MCITP and MCPD--would require a refresh (or recertification) of one exam every three years. There are good reasons why we started out that way, and good reasons why it has now been aligned with the MCTS retirement policy, instead. 

  • "Current technology" doesn't mean the same thing to every customer around the world. We didn't want our refresh policy to rule out the option of pro-series certs for those of you who aren't using the newest thing from MSFT
  • It is simpler this way. Having two different retirement policies (between the MCTS and professional series) was making things more difficult than we'd like for you and for us.
  • It just makes sense, per the feedback and good points many of you made on this blog and elsewhere.

What this means to you if you have ALREADY earned an MCITP or MCPD: Your cert will not retire until mainstream support for the underlying product retires. So, those of you with MCITP: Database Administrator today--your certification will retire with SQL Server 2005 mainstream support is discontinued, whenever that will be. You will not be asked to "refresh" at your three-year mark. In related news, you'll start to see versions included in the MCPD and MCITP certifications so you can earn a professional-series cert that is clearly tied to the technology you're on...

As usual, nothing is very black and white around here and there are lots of discussions about the best way to go to make you, MSL, and Microsoft better off... hopefully this is going in the right direction.