Certification FAQs

The Red Hat certification program is a way to validate skills based on rigorous, hands-on testing. To earn a Red Hat certification, you must pass a hands-on, practical exam in which you complete real-world tasks using our technologies rather than just being asked questions about the technology. Enterprises have greatly benefited from the Red Hat certification program by allowing them to find the most qualified and proven system administrators, application developers, and architects. Additionally, the program has helped established benchmarks for what an IT professional should know when using Red Hat products. Below are frequently asked questions about the program. We hope you will find this information helpful.

General Questions

Red Hat Certification program changes

General Questions

What is the purpose of Red Hat’s certification program?

Red Hat certification program validates people’s technical skills and knowledge. Organizations hiring employees, contractors, and consultants can look to Red Hat certifications as an input into hiring, assignment, promotion, and other management decisions. Similarly, individuals who earn these certifications benefit by having official, impartial validation of their skills and knowledge.

What is meant by "performance-based" testing?

Performance-based testing is testing by doing — that is, by having examinees perform real-world tasks similar to those they must perform in a job role. Performance-based testing is also called hands-on or practical testing. All Red Hat certification exams are performance-based tests, and Red Hat is the industry leader in IT performance-based testing.

What sort of identification is required to take the test?

A government-issued photo identification is required in most areas. Candidates in regions for which government-issued photo IDs are not available should contact their local Red Hat office or their authorized Red Hat training partner for guidance on acceptable forms of identification.

What are Individual Exam Sessions?

Individual Exam Sessions are a convenient alternative to Red Hat’s open enrollment exams that are delivered in classrooms. A professional proctor observes an examinee remotely as an exam is taken on a secured system in a testing center. Learn more by visiting www.redhat.com/training/certifications/exam-kiosk/.

When do I receive my official results after taking an exam?

Exam results are emailed to candidates within three business days, assuming they have provided accurate contact information. Unfortunately, some mail servers mistakenly treat results emails as spam and filter them, which can cause delays. Candidates who do not receive their results within three business days should contact Red Hat Certification at www.redhat.com/training/certification/comments.html.

When do I get my certificate upon passing an exam?

You will be issued an electronic certificate that will be attached to your results email.

Where can I find general information regarding certification requirements or test information?

A description of each certification and its requirements are provided at www.redhat.com/certification/.

What is the difference between an RHCSA and an RHCE?

RHCSA is intended as the "core" system administration certification offered by Red Hat. From the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6, everyone who wishes to earn a system administration certification from Red Hat will begin by earning this credential. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) represents deeper skills and knowledge in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In order to earn RHCE under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and after, one must earn RHCSA and pass a separate RHCE exam.

How do I manage my certification profile?

Log into Red Hat Certification Central portal at www.redhat.com/wapps/certifications/.

How do I verify that a certification is current?

Verify a Red Hat certificate is current by entering the certificate number at www.redhat.com/wapps/training/certification/verify.html.

What is Red Hat’s re-certification policy?

View the Red Hat re-certification policies by visiting www.redhat.com/training/certifications/recertification.html.

Red Hat Certification program changes

Why is Red Hat renaming the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Red Hat Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack?

Red Hat is renaming this credential to align more closely to the job role people pursuing it most typically have (system administrator) and to clarify the technology in use (Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.) Red Hat’s training and certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform are available worldwide and we want to ensure that IT professionals around the world know to come to us to learn about this powerful and rapidly evolving technology.

I have already earned the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Do I retain the older title or will I now have the new title? Will I receive a new certificate?

You will now have and should use the new title. Red Hat issued replacement certificates in January 2014.

What is happening to the Red Hat Certified Security Specialist program?

The Red Hat Certified Security Specialist program is discontinued as of February 28, 2014. Red Hat will continue to promote and encourage good security practices by making security a component of all its training and certification exams and through focused credentials and courses. Additional security-focused offerings are being planned.

I am a current Red Hat Certified Security Specialist. Does discontinuation mean I no longer am certified?

Anyone who currently meets the requirements for RHCSS is still an RHCSS and may claim that status. That status can also be verified by entering the certificate number at www.redhat.com/wapps/training/certification/verify.html.

Why is the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Directory Services and Authentication Exam no longer available?

The Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Directory Services and Authentication has essentially been replaced by the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening. The identity management component of this newer credential focuses on identity management using Red Hat IdM in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This credential will continue to appear on the verification page for anyone who has earned it.

What is happening to the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in SELinux Policy Administration?

The Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in SELinux Policy Administration Exam and credential has been discontinued as of February 14, 2014. The associated course (Red Hat SELinux Policy Administration) is being retired and will be replaced by a shorter, more focused course more suitable to a wider audience. There are no plans to create a credential aligned to this shorter course at this time.

Why is Red Hat expanding the number of Red Hat Certificates of Expertise that may be applied towards earning Red Hat Certified Architect?

Red Hat is making this change to provide more flexibility in the Certificates one might choose to earn towards RHCA.

Do I have to be a current Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) in order to take certain exams?

Effective May 15, 2014 Red Hat is lifting the requirements that one must be a current Red Hat Certified Engineer to take the following exams:

  • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Deployment and Systems Management Exam (EX401)
  • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening Exam (EX413)
  • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Clustering and Storage Management Exam (EX436)
  • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Performance Tuning Exam (EX442)

What policy changes is Red Hat making that will acknowledge and differentiate Red Hat Certified Professionals who are current?

Effective October 1, 2014 Red Hat Certification online verification, search, logo access and other services will be provided subject to the following requirements:

  • Red Hat Certified Professionals must agree to online Terms and Conditions and must map their certification IDs to a valid redhat.com user name
  • Only certifications and certificates that are considered current will be reported by verify or be found by search; while verify and search will only display certifications that are considered current, an exam transcript at the bottom of the verify page will list all successful exam attempts but this listing will be differentiated from the certification listing
  • Red Hat will only authorize Red Hat Certified Professionals to download and use logos for which their status is current.

What are some of the changes with the Red Hat Security Specialist and Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist credentials?

Red Hat is reducing the number of titles in its professional certification program in order to make the program simpler to understand for hiring managers, human resources professionals and others who seek certified professionals along and for those who seek certification by Red Hat. Red Hat Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS) and Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS) are being phased out but we are expanding the more widely-known Red Hat Certified Architect program and providing more ways to earn that credential. Please note the following regarding the phase-out of RHCSS and RHCDS:

  • The exams required to earn RHCSS have been discontinued so it is no longer possible for new candidates to earn this credential.
  • Sixty (60) days after the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 all RHCE certifications earned on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 will become non-current and thus will no longer meet existing RHCSS or RHCDS program requirements. Those who have earned RHCSS or RHCDS will not be able to re-certify those credentials but can apply their Red Hat Certificates of Expertise earned towards RHCA if they re-certify as RHCE under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or 7.
  • RHCEs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and have also earned RHCSS or RHCDS will continue to hold these credentials until three (3) years after the date the last required Red Hat Certificate of Expertise was earned. It will not be possible to re-certify as RHCSS or RHCDS but Red Hat Certificates of Expertise can be applied towards RHCA.
  • RHCEs earned on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and later will not be eligible to earn RHCSS or RHCDS.

What is changing with the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise credential?

Red Hat Certificates of Expertise will begin being designated as current or non-current. They have not been designated as current or non-current in the past but the technology releases on which they are earned have always been part of an individual’s certification record on the verification page. Re-certification and expiry policies of some kind are considered a best practice for certification programs. Introducing such policies reinforces that these Certificates are credentials in their own right. We will introduce these policies as follows:

  • Red Hat Certificates of Expertise earned on or after October 1, 2014 will be considered current for three (3) years from the date they are earned.
  • Red Hat Certificates of Expertise earned before October 1, 2014 will be considered current until October 1, 2017. Red Hat appreciates and acknowledges the professionals who have been earning Certificates of Expertise since 2005 and wants to ensure that the transition to the new policy is done in the least disruptive manner possible.

What is changing with the Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) credential?

For nine years RHCA has been Red Hat’s capstone certification and has evolved into a highly sought-after credential worldwide. Much has changed in those nine years, however. Red Hat’s software catalog has expanded from Linux into middleware, virtualization, storage and cloud. Where we could once offer a single vision of what a Red Hat architecture might be, our ever-expanding technology portfolio makes many architectures possible and our customers are choosing among our technologies in the ways that make sense for them. A similar approach makes sense for our Architect-level certification, so we will be taking a less prescriptive approach regarding the exams one must pass in order to earn RHCA. RHCA will be changing as follows:

  • RHCA can be acquired by earning RHCE plus any five of the following Red Hat Certificates of Expertise or certifications:
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Hybrid Cloud AdministrationRed Hat Certificate of Expertise in Hybrid Cloud Storage
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Platform-as-a-Service
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Deployment and Systems Management
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Clustering and Storage Management
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Performance Tuning
    • Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator
    • Red Hat Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack
    • Red Hat Certified JBoss Administrator
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Security: Networking Services*
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Directory Services and Authentication*
    • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in SELinux Policy Administration*
    • Note: The Certificates in Security: Networking Services, Directory Services and Authentication, and SELinux Policy Administration Exams are no longer offered. However, these may apply towards RHCA subject to other terms and conditions as described in this document.

If someone earns RHCA and subsequently earns additional Certificates of Expertise beyond the five required, Red Hat will acknowledge higher levels of accomplishment. For example, if someone earned RHCA and then earned two more eligible Certificates of Expertise, the verification page would report that the individual was an RHCA Level II.