Now that you’ve put in all that hard work to get your Salesforce certification and proven that you’re up-to-date on the latest release and can boost your company’s Salesforce ROI through the roof, you don’t want to lose it! But how to keep your Salesforce certification?
The good news is that you don’t have to take the full exam every time you need to prove you’re current; once you establish your credentials for a given certification, you just have to take a short release exam to maintain that credential for each new release, much in the same way you don’t need to attach training wheels every time you want to show you can ride a bike, just hop on and go around the block. We really appreciate such a rational approach that lets us prove we still know our stuff without adding too much strain on our already full schedules as busy developers.
Once you establish your credentials for a given certification, you just have to take a short release exam to maintain that credential for each new release.
As a Salesforce developer or Salesforce admin, you need to take the exam every release cycle, which occurs about three times per year — a new release comes out every four months or so.
Some of the release exams are:
- Salesforce Certified Administrator Release Exam
- Salesforce Certified Force.com Developer Release Exam
- Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder Release Exam
- Salesforce Certified Platform Developer Release Exam, and
- Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant Release Exam
To get Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Service Cloud Consultant, or Sales Cloud Consultant certification, you need to take the Administrator exam. To maintain your certification as a Force.com Developer, Force.com Advanced Developer, or Technical Architect you’ll need to take the Developer Release Exams. To hold the Platform App Builder certification, you’ll need to take the Platform App Builder Exam. To be a certified Platform Developer I or Platform Developer II, you’ll need to take the Platform Developer I Exam. If you’re a Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist or Consultant, you need take the Pardot Consultant exam.
To complete a release exam, you must answer about 15 questions in 30 minutes. The exam is not proctored, so you’re allowed to reference whatever literature or online resources you’d like so long as you complete the exam with in the time limit. It’s a good idea to brush up on release notes and watch the videos in Salesforce’s YouTube channel immediately before taking it so that information is fresh in your mind.
In addition to taking regular exams, you’ll also need to pay an annual $100 maintenance fee to keep your certification.
Be sure to take the exams by the deadlines Salesforce.com establishes, which are typically 8 or 9 months before the release deadline. For example:
- Friday, October 28, 2016 is the deadline for the Spring ’16 Release Exam.
- The Summer ’16 Release Exam is due March 3, 2017.
Note: If you miss the deadline or fail the exam three times, your credentials will expire and you’ll have to take the full exam again, so make sure you’re prepared before you take the exam.