How Do I Verify That Someone Is Really Certified?
by, 10-17-2013 at 08:34 PM (60715 Views)
Here at TechExams.Net, we occasionally have someone ask the question, “How can you tell if someone really has the certifications they say they do?” Usually that question is followed by a member’s story of knowing people who are saying they have IT certifications that they really don’t. Maybe they had the certifications, but they have expired, or they never had the certification at all. So how do you check out someone’s claim of, “I have this certification!”
Well, you’re in luck. You are not the first person to need to verify and validate a certification. Any certifying organization seeking respect from the industry it is trying to serve should have a formal procedure for verifying the certification of any of its membership. Usually it only takes a trip to a Web page, a few pieces of public information, and a button click to do so.
One thing I noticed while compiling the information in this article is the difference in privacy policies of the certification vendors. Some vendors require that the certification holders explicitly release their certification information to the people requiring the verification of their certifications. Other certification vendors seem to regard information related to their certification holders as public information that can be requested anonymously by anyone on the Internet, and with possibly no notification being given to their certification holders that verification of their certifications was requested. I find this to be a splendid example of the reciprocally inverse relationship of security and usability.
There are two ways to verify that an individual holds Apple certifications. The cheap way is by using the Apple Certified Professionals Registry, which is a voluntary public listing of Apple “certificants.” Apple certificants enter their information into this listing using the Apple Certification Records System. Certificants can be located based on their first and last name, city, state, and country.
In the ACPR search, there really isn’t a way to verify if the name(s) in the listing are the same person you are verifying. There apparently isn’t a unique Apple Certificant ID, or at least no way to query on it. If you want to scope out Apple certificants, try searching on only a last name, or just a state and country.
Apple’s more professional certification verification alternative is the National Student Clearinghouse, a verification service for educational degrees, certifications, and enrollments.
The basic procedure is as follows:
- Open the Verification Services page.
- Select the “Professional Certificate (business or technical)” check box.
- Select “Apple” from the Sponsor drop down list.
- Enter the Certification name, Certification ID, and the first and last name of the certificant.
- Click the “Submit>” button.
- Enter your payment card information (yes, they want $7.50 to verify each Apple certification).
- (You can post a comment with the remaining details if you know them.)
To verify the name of the owner of a Cisco certification, use the Cisco Certificate Verification Tool page. You will need the 16-digit Certificate Verification Number printed on the Cisco certificate requiring validation. Note that the Certificate Verification Number (############AAAA) is not the same thing as the certification holder’s Cisco ID Number (CSCO########).
If you need to do more than just verify the name of a Cisco certification holder, the cert holder will need to use the Publish Credentials feature in the Cisco Certifications Tracking System page (formerly known as the Cisco Certification Validation page) to publish his or her Cisco credentials to the person requiring the verification. Using this page, a Cisco certification holder selects the specific certification(s) and email address they would like a verification report emailed to. The full procedure is listed here.
If you are having problem using the Cisco Certification Tracking System, please visit Certification and Communities Online Support at Support Home Page.
Discovering how to verify a CompTIA can be a little daunting. It seems there are several verification and validation mechanisms available, but only two of them really do anything.
From the CompTIA Knowledge Base: “Candidates present proof of their CompTIA certification/s directly to the employer/educator/investigator by using the ‘Transcript’ feature, available through their record at the CompTIA candidate database.“
A CompTIA-certified member accesses the Transcript feature by logging in to his or her CompTIA account at CertMetrics and clicking the Transcript link in the main menu bar. From there, a transcript for any or all of the member’s CompTIA certs can be created, along with optional details and an expiration date for the transcript’s availability. Once created, a Transcript ID is shown that can be used by anyone to verify and validate your CompTIA certification status using the CompTIA View Transcript Web page. There is even a handy form for CompTIA certification holders to send their Transcript ID and verification link to any email address they wish.
Also from the CompTIA Knowledge Base: “Candidates can also submit verification by downloading a PDF of their certificate, which contains a verification code and url that could then be emailed to the employer/educator/investigator for verification purposes.”
CompTIA-certified members can get a copy of their certificates in PDF format by first logging in to their CompTIA account, clicking on the Certification link in the main menu bar, and then clicking on the Expand link. All of CompTIA member’s certs will be listed, complete with a link to download the certificates as PDF files. Each PDF contains a verification code that can be used at verify.CompTIA.org (redirects to https://www.certmetrics.com/comptia/...ification.aspx) to display the name of the CompTIA certification and cert holder, the date certified, and active status of the certification.
I didn’t have any luck determining how to verify and validate Check Point certifications. If you know, please post a comment with the info and I’ll update this article.
Citrix requires that their certification holder send verification of their certification status to 3rd-parties themselves. Before you can do this, your Citrix account must be linked to your Citrix Certification Manager account. You do this using My Certification Manager:
- Log in to your Citrix Certification Manager account.
- Obtain your Candidate ID.
- Log in to your Citrix account
- Click on the My Certification Manager link.
- Click on the Launch Tool Now button.
- Enter your Candidate ID number from your Citrix Certification Manager account.
- Click the Submit button.
To send verification of your Citrix certification to a 3rd party, log in to the Citrix Certification Manager page. Select your Citrix certifications to be verified, enter the email address to send a verification email to, add a personal message, and tick the checkbox allowing Citrix to release your certification information to the email address that you specified.
For more information on checking the certification status of a candidate holding Citrix certifications: CTX131458 - How to Check Certification Status - Citrix Knowledge Center
To verify CWNP certification(s), you will need the certification holder’s CWNP ID (found on their certificate and CWNP card) and the email address they used to register on www.cwnp.com. Plug this information into the CWNP Verification page and you will see a listing of the member’s CWNP certifications and their date of expiration.
Verifying an EC-Council certification (Certified Ethical Hacker - CEH, Certified Forensic Hacking Investigator - CHFI, etc.) requires sending a written letter to the EC-Council with the following information:
- Certificant's full name
- Certificant's e-mail address
- Written verification from the certificant giving permission for the information to be released to the requestor
Email email@example.com if you have any questions, such as the address you should mail the certification verification request to, and if the verification reply will be mailed or emailed back. The EC-Council’s Contact Us page indicates that they will not respond to email sent from a “free” email account (Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) and request that email correspondence be sent from a business email account. (They don’t make it easy, do they?)
Looking up the GIAC certification held by a certified individual is performed at the GIAC Certified Professionals Directory. Simply enter the name of person claiming to be GIAC-certified and you will see a listing of every person with the same name who holds, or has held, any GIAC certification.
In this surprisingly primitive GUI, there is no way to query certifications based on any other criteria, such as certification name, award date, or the “analyst number,” which is different for each GIAC certification a person holds. There is no way to determine if the name listed is the really same person you are querying for, or if multiple certification records under the same name are all for the same person.
Just for fun, enter “smith” or “nguyen” in the GIAC Certified Professionals Directory search and see what you get.
To verify the certification(s) held by a member of ISACA, the a "Verify a Certification" widget is available on the homepage at www.isaca.org (it’s usually in the rightmost column and down a bit). You will need to input the member’s last name and certification type (CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC) and number. If the information is recognized, you will see displayed the name of the cert holder and the certification status, the date certified and when the cert expires. There is also a "View Profile" button that, when clicked, displays the public profile and all ISACA certifications held by that individual. The content of the public profile is configured by the ISACA member.
To verify the certification(s) held by a member of the (ISC)2, you will need the member’s first and last name and (ISC)2 membership ID number (found on his/her certificate and (ISC)2 membership card). Input this information into the (ISC)2 Certification Verification page and displayed will be the member’s personal information, (ISC)2 certification(s), and the dates each certification was granted and will (or did) expire.
If you believe someone is misrepresenting their certification status with the (ISC)2, please review the information on the (ISC)2 Ethics Complaint Procedures page and act accordingly.
Juniper cert holders must request of Juniper Networks to send their certification information to 3rd-parties on their behalf. To allow Juniper to release your Juniper Networks certification information, use the Publish Credentials feature on the Juniper Networks Certification Program (JNCP) Cert Manager page. Select your Juniper credentials to be verified, enter the email address to send a verification email to, add a personal message, and tick the checkbox allowing Juniper to release your certification information to the email address that you specified.
For further information, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Microsoft certifications are validated using the MCP Transcript validation page. To view the certification transcript belonging to a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), you will need the MCP's Transcript ID and Access Code. This information is obtained by the MCP using the Microsoft Certification member site.
Every Microsoft-Certified Professional has a Microsoft Certification ID (MC ID), formerly known as a Microsoft Certified Professional ID (MCP ID). The MC ID is shown in emails from the Microsoft Certification Program and in the MCP’s profile information on the Microsoft Certification member site. Any member that is unable to access the member site should contact the Microsoft Regional Service Center for assistance.
As an Oracle certification holder, you will need to create a free Oracle Web account at Oracle University CertView and associate your Pearson Vue Oracle account with your CertView account using your Oracle Testing ID and email address as they appear in your Pearson VUE Profile.
To provide verification of your Oracle credentials, log in to your CertView account, under the Certification Status tab select the option to Publish Credentials to 3rd Parties, and select your credential(s) that need to be verified. You will then receive two emails: one contains a secure URL where you can view verification of the candidate's certification, and another providing the password to access this URL. You then send this information to the person needing to verify your Oracle certs. The verification URL is valid only for a limited time.
VMware has only very recently implemented a formal way to check the validity of VMware certifications, and to verify people who claim to be VMware-certified. Just like CompTIA and Cisco, VMware uses certification authentication code that is printed on every VMware certificate. Enter this code into the VMware Certification Authenticate page and you will be presented with the name and number of the certification, the name of the certified individual, the date certified, and the current certification status.
A VMware-certified individual can find his or her certification authentication code using the VMware certification portal to obtain a copy of their certificate(s) with their code from the myTranscript section of the VMware Certification page.
Do you know of any other IT certification verification procedures? Please post them in as a comment or PM jdmurray here at TechExams.Net.
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