OCP Certification: To train or not to train, that is the question…

January 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Oracle | 5 Comments
Tags: , ,

I hear lots of differing opinions about the hands-on training required to obtain an OCP certification. On one side, there’s the seasoned DBA who has been using Oracle for years and has a broad understanding claiming, “I’ve been certified for years, I know my stuff, so why do I have to attend a training class if I’ve demonstrated such competence?” On the other side, there’s the DBA who has used Oracle in a specialized role and has a working knowledge of the features he/she uses every day, but has little or no experience with many of Oracle’s features and components.

My humble opinion on this issue is that the additional training requirement ensures that OCPs have a broad knowledge of Oracle features, which only increases the value of an OCP certification. I agree, it also increases the cost to obtain an OCP, and that’s a double-edged sword. But, nonetheless, it is what it is…and Oracle is not likely to drop the training requirement any time soon.

That being said, let’s table the debate and talk about the training requirement. Oracle began the additional OCP certification training requirement with Oracle 9i, and has required it ever since. So how does it work?

What Training Qualifies?

First, to obtain an OCP certification, you must attend an Oracle-approved training course. Just what qualifies as “approved”? Well, it depends on the database version on which you’re getting certified. Oracle-approved courses are specific instructor-led courses (either classroom or virtual live classes) offered by the following training providers:

  • Oracle University Training Center, Oracle Authorized Education Center or Oracle Authorized Partner
  • Oracle Academy
  • Oracle Workforce Development Program

Although there are many competent training providers out there that offer Oracle training, these approved providers use Oracle courseware and Oracle-certified instructors. Training from other providers and training that is not on the approved list (including self-study training) does not qualify. So, my advice is to double-check the approved training list before you spend your training dollars. Some of the approved training courses are classroom courses, so you’ll have to factor in the additional costs on that. Other approved courses are instructor-led live virtual classes offered online, which might be an excellent choice if geographic location of the training centers is an issue.

Which Approved Course to Take?

After you decide which certification you intend to pursue, review the list of approved courses for that particular certification path and select the course you plan to attend. Each approved course in the list will link you to the course detail information, which includes a course overview, formats in which the training is offered, the length of the course, and last but not least, the cost.

The big thing to remember is that the Training Format is extremely important. Although it is basically the same course content for all formats, some training formats (such as Self-Study) do NOT qualify for meeting the hands-on training requirement. Only Instructor-Led training and Live Virtual Classes qualify.

Next, you can use the links provided for the course to find out when and where specific courses are offered, pick a location, and register.

TIP: Keep in mind that if you are pursuing a 9i OCP certification, Oracle will accept some 10g courses as approved training if 9i training is not readily available.

So What Next?

After you complete the training requirement, you must submit the Hands On Course Requirements form. Notice that I said AFTER you have completed the training. This is extremely important because here’s what happens when Oracle receives it:

1. Oracle receives your completed form.
TIP: Double-check that you’ve completed all information or you might experience delays.

2. Oracle verifies that you attended one of the approved courses.
TIP: If you haven’t already completed the course, Oracle will not be able to verify your attendance, and there could be a problem here…hence my advice that you complete the training first.

3. Oracle updates your personal record (at Oracle and with Prometric) to indicate that you have met the OCP hands-on course requirement.

And after this happens, you’ve got the OCP hands-on training requirement under your belt. Oracle recommends that you take the training before you take the necessary exams, but that’s not required. If you have already passed your required exams, then congratulations! If you haven’t passed the required exams, then it’s time to get your study materials (including the applicable Transcender practice tests) and spend time preparing. Our Transcender material is geared toward familiarizing you with the test format, building confidence, and helping you locate any gaps in your knowledge that need filling before you sit the exam.

Finally, you will take the required live exams. You’ll receive your OCP certification when you have completed all of the certification requirements (exams & training).

Tip: If you haven’t taken your required certification exams, I suggest you check out the “Recommended Training” links for the exams you will be taking and select a training class that supports your certification goals.

Completing and Submitting the Hands On Course Requirement Form

First, make sure you have met the training requirements. Then, to submit the form, you’ll need your Prometric Testing ID and proof that you have completed the training requirement. To prove you have completed the training requirement, you can use either the e-mail confirmation you received when you registered for the hands-on course or provide the specific details of the hands-course you attended (including the course title, date, location, and the name of the location at which you took the course).

With this information in hand, you can navigate to the Prometric site (http://ibt.prometric.com/oracle) and submit your form. Oracle outlines these steps for you at http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=99#4.

The Loophole

For the most part, there isn’t a loophole. But, if you are pursuing 9i certification, you may be exempt from the hands-on training requirement. According to Oracle:

“Candidates who have taken at least one exam in an Oracle DBA track on or before September 1, 2002 are exempt from the Hands On Course Requirement, but they are still required to complete the Hands On Course Requirement Form before they can receive their certification. “

If you took your first exam in the 9i DBA track (1z0-031, 1z0-032, 1z0-033, or a required SQL exam) prior to September 2002, you are exempt from the hands-on training requirement. If you qualify for this exemption, then you should still complete and submit the Hands On Course Requirement form as outlined, even if you are exempt. Oracle will verify that you are exempt from the hands-on training requirement and update your record accordingly.

You can complete the 9i DBA track that you started to obtain your 9i DBA OCP.

Then, you can upgrade to 10g (1z0-040) or 11g (1z0-055) before your 9i OCP certification is retired.

In Summary

If you still have questions after reviewing this information and the information provided at Oracle’s Web site, and you are in doubt about your specific requirements, training exemption, or other Oracle certification issues, it’s best to contact Oracle directly (via ocpexam_ww@oracle.com) with your specific questions (and include your full name and Prometric ID in the e-mail). Oracle’s OCP team is great at quickly providing the requested information.

Until next time!

– Jan

5 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Excellent perspective!

  2. Too Informative and detailed. All questions answered.

  3. thanks for the clarity …………5 yrs later ur explanation’s still relevant

  4. dont know what u mean by hands on course pls. but i hav a cert given to me by d sch i attended.kindly help me send my ocp cert pls. thank u..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: