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In response to current events, Red Hat Global Training + Certification has been evolving the way we work with customers and partners as well as the way we deliver our expertise. Due to COVID-19, many of our customers and partners are now subject to travel restrictions, quarantines and similar measures. Others may not be subject to such measures but are understandably reluctant to go to training and testing locations in the near future. Here are the ways in which we are working actively to meet the needs of the current situation. 

Expanded virtual training class offerings

In light of social distancing mandates, we have expanded and scaled up our ability to deliver live virtual training classes as a replacement for in-person training events. This expansion includes the addition of courses to our virtual training catalog. 

Red Hat virtual training is real-time training conducted by live Red Hat-certified instructors in an interactive, virtual environment, giving you the same industry-respected content and hands-on labs as the corresponding classroom-based courses, including virtual lab machines that run actual products. 

Cancellation flexibility

The health and safety of our customers, partners, and fellow Red Hatters is a focal priority. Due to social distancing mandates, we are giving our students, customers and partners full flexibility to cancel and reschedule any previously scheduled classes or exams. 

Extending Training Unit lifespan

The lifespan of a Red Hat Training Unit is typically 12 months. Due to restrictions of testing and training locations, any Training Unit accounts purchased between now and June 30, 2020, will have a 15 month validity.

Extended exam window

Red Hat Certified Professionals (RHCPs) are invaluable ambassadors for Red Hat and open source, and are critical assets to the organizations that employ them. Their health and well-being are very important to us. COVID-19 has caused the closure of many of our testing locations worldwide. Due to changes in the availability of testing locations, we are extending the period during which students can take certification exams by three months. 

Postponed certification expiration

We are extending all certifications set to expire in 2020, to January 1, 2021. Affected RHCPs have been notified.   

Some questions have arisen about the approach we are taking. Why not extend all certifications? Why extend certifications expiring in December by just weeks or days? In the spirit of open source and the open organization, we want to be transparent and share our answers.   

First, the approach we are taking is the one we could put into effect most quickly from a technical perspective and set the minds of RHCPs at ease soonest. Second, the approach is fair and proportional. We do not know what the situation will be in six months. Our response weights the known present more heavily than the unknown future. We will plan to revisit the extension date if that becomes necessary. 

Discounts on digital learning

We have put certain discounts and promotions in place around our digital learning offerings in order to make them more accessible. These discounts vary by geography. Students can check with their local Red Hat Training + Certification teams to determine what promotions may be available. 

Free labs for Red Hat Academy students

Red Hat Academy and Network Development Group, Inc have partnered to sponsor instructor-led, cloud based labs at no-cost for affiliated colleges and universities. This effort allows our RHA students to continue learning as schools are closed due to social distancing protocols and classrooms are requiring online environments. RHA instructors who are currently teaching a Red Hat course are able to access this opportunity, which aims to help supplement the courseware in finishing out their school year online.

Looking to the future

We're optimists, and hope for a better situation in the near future. We are also realists, and thus are working actively to develop new ways to meet the needs of the current situation. We wish health and safety to everyone, their loved ones, their colleagues and their communities.

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About the author

Ken Goetz is vice president of training + certification at Red Hat.

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