Certification Upgrade Policy Update

With the start of a new year, and new versions, we want to share again the upgrade policies so you are clear on what is required to earn the latest version of your certification. The different upgrade paths are listed on our website, and this blog will help outline the general upgrade policy that you will see reflected on the individual certification website pages.

If you wish to upgrade to the current year certification (ex: VCP-DCV 2022) and you hold the previous certification version in the same track (ex: VCP-DCV 2021), then you can either complete a qualifying course or pass the qualifying exam to upgrade. If you hold a certification going back 2-3 versions (ex: VCP-DVC 2019 or newer), then you can pass the qualifying exam to upgrade to the current year certification. If you hold a certification four or more versions back (ex: VCP6.5-DCV) then you are required to complete a qualifying course and pass the qualifying exam in the same track. If you hold a certification in a different track within 3 versions of the most current version, (ex: VCP-CMA 2019) then you can pass the qualifying exam to upgrade.

How do I upgrade my VCAP?

If you wish to upgrade to the current year certification (ex: VCAP-DCV 2022) and you hold the previous certification version in the same track (ex: VCAP-DCV 2021), then you can either complete a qualifying course or pass the qualifying exam to upgrade. If you hold a certification going back 2-3 versions (ex: VCAP-DCV 2019 or newer), then you can pass the qualifying exam to upgrade to the current year certification. If you hold a certification four or more versions back (ex: VCAP-DCV 2018) then you are required to upgrade your VCP and pass the qualifying exam in the same track. If you hold a certification in a different track within 3 versions of the most current version, (ex: VCAP-CMA 2020) it is required to upgrade your VCP and pass the qualifying exam in the same track.


65 comments have been added so far

  1. The website hasnt been updated to show which courses qualify to update your VCAP-DCV 2019 to VCAP-DCV 2020, when will it?

  2. What is considered a “version?” The 2020 VCP-DCV test is based on Vsphere 6.7 U1. What is the difference between somone taking that test in 2018, 2019, or 2020? It seems like the certifications do still expire, just in 3 years instead of 2. Meaning: If someone gets their VCP-DCV 2019, they will need to take a test in 2023 to recertify, regardless of the version of the vmware product

    1. Hi Nick, the version refers to the certification, not the specific exam taken. You can see the explanation and benefit here:

      Recertification is still important. It’s important to stay up-to-date on technical expertise and be able to show that to your employer, customers, partners, etc…we just stopped mandating when to do it. The longer you wait, the more there is to catch up, since the delta becomes larger with time. You can see more about that change on the post from the recertification change here:



      1. Hi Karl,

        If I wrote the VCP exam in 2019, I would be a VCP-2019. How would I then get the 2020 as the exam would in all likely hood be the same exam I did in 2019. Also the VCP ICM course would probably be the same in 2019 and 2020 so it wouldn’t make sense to do the course (again or for the first time) if I am already certified for that course material.

        This exam could even be the same as the 6.7 exam written in 2018.

        1. Hi Darryl, there may be some space between versions of exams and the available upgrade paths in some situations. Since the certification reflects the year of meeting the requirements to reflect the most current expertise, some candidates, as in your case, may have already taken the most current version of an exam or training. In these cases, some time will elapse before new offerings are available to upgrade. We will continually add new versions of the training and delta classes when they release, as well as the new exams.

          If you have completed a training or other activity that you think may apply as an upgrade, send a note…we can look at those on an exception basis.


  3. I believe last year the announcement was that the certifications would no longer expire and that it would be up to the candidate to decide when to re-certify.
    Also if I am not mistaken a VCAP would not expire.
    I am deeply disappointed.

    1. Hi Tony, that is still the case. Recertification is still important, and so we provide upgrade paths for each situation, so you can decide when it makes sense to you. The more time that goes by, the larger the gap is in validating your current expertise, which is why you see the differences in the upgrade paths, depending on how old your previous certification is. But we won’t expire your certifications.

      Inside your transcript, you’ll see certifications move to Emeritus. They’re still valid and current, our system just needed a way to display those certifications that are not available to earn for new candidates.


    1. Hi Preetam, we actually have the exam done, and are just working through with Pearson on the publishing details…so it’ll be very soon when you can register for it.


  4. Hi Karl.

    I am certified VCP 6-5 – DCV in 2018 am i eligible to take direct (VCP-CMA 2020) certification ?

    Also there was an announcement that the certifications would no longer expire and that it would be up to the candidate to decide whether to certify or not am i correct?

    Parag Manerikar.

    1. Hi Parag, that is correct. You decide when to update your certification. Depending on the time that elapses, there may be more requirements to upgrade, since the difference in skills between, for example, v5 and v6.7 and much broader than between v6.5 and v6.7. But you decide when it makes the most sense in you particular situation.

      For you, you can still upgrade to 2020 through the one exam.


    1. Hi, there aren’t specific upgrade paths for badges. In this case, you most likely have the underlying VCP still, so you would just need to pass the new vSAN exam.

  5. If I upgrade to VCP-DCV 2020, and VMware release vSphere 7 in 2020, does that mean I’m certified on v7, or just that people could perceive that I am certified on v7?

    I am a VCP6-DCV, and my employer has offered to pay for the course to re-certify, as it’s quite a while since I did the course (VCP 4). However, I’d prefer to wait for v7 to come out then do that course, as it would be of greater benefit. But if I re-certify to VCP-DCV 2020 in the meantime, my employer may not perceive any benefit of sending me on a course to achieve a certification I already have!

    1. Great question!! The certification version is based on when you meet the requirements, so you could earn the VCP-DCV 2020 on the current v6.7 exam, or wait until the v7 exam. Either would award the 2020 version of the certification. So yes, it could be perceived as being qualified on v7; however, having the most current certification reflects that your skills are up-to-date and current…there are a number of installed product versions in the market and still require expertise, including v6.7…the certification version shows you have the expertise on current version and infers that you can get up to speed on anything not covered explicitly in the exam, since you proven your baseline of skills.

      In your case, it may make sense to wait for the next version of exam, to take advantage of the training offering.


  6. Hi Karl,

    Currently i have VCP-DCV 6.5 2018
    Course that i attend before exam is 6.7 ICM,

    to certify for VCAP-DCV 2020, am i require to take two exam which is
    – VCP-DCV 2020 and VCAP-DCV2020?

    Appreciate your feedback.

    1. Hi Aliff, the VCP requirements for a first-time VCAP is either the current or previous year’s version. For VCAP-DCV 2020, the VCP requirement is either VCP-DCV 2019 or VCP-DCV 2020.

      In your case, you will need to update the VCP to 2020 through the delta exam, and then earn the VCAP with either the Deploy or Design exam. No additional training is required (although recommended for preparation).


      1. hi karl,
        being in the business for quite some time, started with gsx, esx2.5 etc. i learned that there is a version 3, a version 4, a version 5 etc. i made the vcp 5 and have considered upgrading it now. so i am one version behind, since we are on version 6 right now, correct? so i do register for the v6(.7-2020) test and i am good to go, since we are still on version 6, right?

          1. Ok, so basically the certifications now expires every three years insted of two. Based on the re-certification rules previously published on vmware.com, I’d expect VCP5-DCV to still be valid for re-certification. Instead, VMware invented “virtual” VCP-DCV certifications by just adding the year to the certification designations, thus expiring the certifications every three years. VCP-DCP 2019 and 2020 are basically the same version (6.7) are they not? Switch and bait by VMware!
            Oh well, I’d better just concentrate on taking an Azure certification then.

          2. The certifications don’t expire at all. In the past, your certification was not considered valid once it expired. However, now, regardless of how old they get, we always consider them active (although they hit a point where they’re unavailable of course for new candidates to earn.)

            However, the longer the time goes by between upgrading, the work required to upgrade will change. Since the difference in knowledge grows year by year, more is required as the years go by to validate your current expertise and fill that gap. Hence the different upgrade paths mapped to each version. And also why the upgrade path is small (free training in some cases) to upgrade from only one year past.

            The versions of the exams may carry over to the following year, but the exams are also updated. While the exam may be based on the same vSphere version, there can be changes made to the exam over time to keep it up to date and improve the questions. And as there are major changes that affect the blueprint itself, the exam version will be updated. But generally, someone who took the exam in 2020 will have had a more current version of the exam than in 2019.


          3. Ok, lets see if I have understood this correctly?
            Looks like it’s still possible to schedule the 2V0-21.19 exam on Person VUE? This exam was used for the VCP-DCV 2019 certification? But I am no longer able to take this exact same exam to upgrade my VCP5-DCV certification, because it is now designated as leading to the VCP-DCV 2020 certification, thus adding another “version” in between the certifications?
            Please correct me if I have misunderstood anything here, but the implementation of “virtual” certification versions doesn’t make sense to me, and is certainly not made with the certified VCP’s in mind.

  7. Hi Jings, that process is actually correct, remembering the upgrade paths are based on the time that elapses between certification versions. As stated above, there are continual improvements to the exams through health checks, so the exam, while having the same code, may be improved from one year to the next.

    In the old model, the VCP5-DCV would have required starting completely over, so this new model has been able to open it up more and provide more candidates to upgrade easier.

  8. Will you be adding vSphere 7.0 to the VCP-2020 certification soon? Also will you be adding vSphere 7: Fast Track to the list of supported courses?

    1. Yes, we’ll be releasing the vSphere 7 exam soon – in development now. The Fast Track is still being determined.

  9. Hi Karl,

    Will the 6.7 version of the VCP-2020 exam still be available once the v7 of VCP-2020 is released as vSphere 6.7 will be still in support until Oct 2022? This allowing for those who have been working towards the 6.7 VCP-2020 and may have scheduled a date (let’s say a month) after the v7 has been released.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Keiran, yes, it will be. We will always give at least four months between a new version of an exam being released and the retirement of the older exam.


  10. HI,
    I am VCP6.0 certified holder, if I complete the 5 day course -“VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V7]”.
    Do I get VCP7.0 certificate?

    Last year VMware had published, if you are already VCP certified and attend training for new version, you will get certification without giving exam.

    Thanks you

    1. Hi Swati, per the update policies described, the training alone will update your certification if you are one version back. If you are more than one version, then you will need to pass the exam. With a VCP6-DCV, you are able to upgrade through just passing the current vSphere VCP exam.

  11. Hi. What is the new VMware 7 ICM exam number? I currently hold a VMWare 6.7 VCP and 6.2 NSX and wanting to update to 7. Thank you

  12. Hello. If I’m a VCP6-DCV and want to upgrade to VCP-DCV 2020, I can take Professional VMware vSphere 6.7 (2V0-21.19) exam? Just want to make sure I’m studying and taking the correct one.

    Thanks in Advance,


    1. Hi Bernard, that’s correct. You can take either that exam for vSphere 6.7 (2V0-21.19), the delta exam for 6.7 (2V0-21.19D), or the latest exam based on vSphere 7 (2V0-21.20). Any of those will get you there.

      Be aware the 6.7 exam will retire at the end of the year.

  13. The 2V0-21.19 exam is due to expire at the end of the year, however the 2V0-21.19D isn’t showing as retiring.

    If I hold a VCP-DCV 6.5 will I still be able to upgrade via a delta exam as of January, or should I be looking to recertify before the end of the year to upgrade to the new style VCP (and not have to take a course)?

  14. I am VCP 6.7 Certified and as per the website and update If I take Course /training for VMware install configure and manage for 7.0 It will upgrade my cert to 7.0 ? Means does that give me a VCP 7.0 Badge or certificate ? how can one showcase the credentials of the upgraded cert ? Please do let me know

    1. Hi Shilpa,

      Assuming that when you passed the Professional vSphere 6.7 exam, you earned the VCP-DCV 2019, then yes, you can upgrade to the VCP-DCV 2020 by taking one of the classes listed on the web site. However, the Install, Configure, Manage class is not one of those. The accepted classes are those at a higher-level or the What’s New class. You can see the classes here:


      From the drop-down list, select “a VCP-DCV 2019”.
      Expand the list on step #3 and you can see the courses.


  15. Hello,
    i just did the 6.7 exam and already did the ICM v7. Am i going to be VCP-DCV 2019 or VCP-DCV 2020? Sorry im confused.

    1. Hi, you’ll get the 2020 version since you would complete the requirements for the certification in 2020. The version is based on when you earn the credential.


  16. Hello,

    Thank you for this article. I would like to ask if I have VCP 2020 and I just finished one of the training listed in here: Option 2 – Attend one of the training courses in 2021. How long it will takes until I will get VCP 2021 certificate?

  17. Hello, Thank you in advance.

    I am VCP6-DCV and VCP6-NV, I would like to upgrade to VCP-DC-2021. I will able to do the VCP 7 without training? Also, if a get the exam VCP-CMA 2021 both VCP I already hold will be upgraded?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Willian,

      To upgrade to VCP-DCV 2021, since you hold the VCP6-NV, you may just pass the latest vSphere exam and earn the upgrade. The policy is that if you are within three versions in any track, you may upgrade to the latest version. Although your VCP6-DCV is 4 versions back, since the VCP6-NV is only three versions, that allows you to upgrade with just the one exam.

      You can see the overall description of how upgrades work here:

      Note that it will not upgrade your VCP-NV. Each track is independent and based on when you pass the latest exam in that track, so you can prove your current expertise in each area.


  18. Hi, I’m…
    2V0-621 Wow, we have 2V0-41.20.

    I want to take the VCP 7 certification test without education, is there any way?

    Like taking the vcp 6.7 test on vcp6 and upgrading back to 2021.

    If anyone knows the policy, can you answer me?

    1. Hi, unfortunately, when you are more than 4 versions behind the current version it does require the training.


  19. Hi,

    Please advise on the path forward I currently have VCP-DCV 2019 & vSAN2021 Specialist. I need to upgrade to VCP-DCV 2021. Do i need to do the course and exam again or can i just do the course to gain my VCP-DCV 2021 certification? Please advise.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Travis,

      To upgrade from your VCP-DCV 2019 you are required to pass the Professional VMware vSphere 7.x (2V0-21.20) exam. If you had the VCP-DCV 2020 then you would be able to upgrade by completing a course but unfortunately this is not the case.

      For future reference you can visit the VCP-DCV certification webpage to learn more about certification details and requirements: https://www.vmware.com/education-services/certification/vcp-dcv.html

      Thank you

  20. Hi Karl,

    I am currently a VPC6-DCV (2V0-622D) and want to upgrade to VCP-DCV 2020 or 2021, is there a exam path to get there with delta exams (e.g. vSphere 6.7 (2V0-21.19D), or vSphere 7 (2V0-21.20))?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Matt, since the VCP6-DCV is more than three versions old, you will need to take the training and pass the most current exam.


    1. Hi Anton, the VCIX is earned when you achieve both the VCAPs in a single track (Deploy and Design). To upgrade the VCIX, earn the latest version of one of those VCAPs, and the VCIX will also be updated to the same version.


    1. Hi Jorden,

      You will need to complete the training and the exam to upgrade, since the VCP 6.5 version is more than 3 versions back. See the graphic up above, which shows a different view of the policy as well.


  21. Hi guys,

    It is unfair removing 6.5 from a direct upgrade path. Because of COVID many people could not study or gain experience or go to the courses, we essentially lost two years. You should bring back the direct upgrade from 6.5 to the current VCP certification. Plus people who managed 6.5 manage 7.0 with no problems.


    1. Thanks Firan, it’s a logical request. While the policy is in place, we are re-looking at the overall upgrade processes and program, so these types of comment really do help.


  22. Just found out that I can’t upgrade my VCAP7-CMA Design based on exam code 3V0-732 because it’s now too old despite this exam being valid well into 2021. There wasn’t even a new exam available until April 20, 2021 when the current exam, 3V0-32.21 based on vRA 8.3 was released.

    So, apparently I had a whole 8 months to recertify and because I wasn’t even aware that VMware finally got around to offering an 8.x design exam, I now have to not only renew my VCP, but also spend $3800 on an “on-demand” course.

    I don’t think I can afford to be VMware certified anymore.

    1. Hi Steve, you are correct, in that at the beginning of 2022, your certification became over 4 years old, which required the longer upgrade path including the training. It does incur additional requirements, since the time between upgrading is longer compared to those who just need to take the exam, having certified within the three or two years, as an example. That 8 months is close to you being able to just take the exam, so I get it.

      Send an email to certification@vmware.com, with reference to this blog and my request, and we can look at it. Include any training or experience that we may be able to apply as that training requirement, and we can see what we can do to get you there.


      1. Will do. The additional kick to all of this is that I certified for both the VCP7-CMA and VCAP7-CMA Design on 12/11/17 (took them back to back), so had I known that there’d be a new policy based on the year it was earned in, I’d just waited three weeks and then I would have been good to renew both of these certs through the end of this year.

  23. Will do. The additional kick to all of this is that I certified for both the VCP7-CMA and VCAP7-CMA Design on 12/11/17 (took them back to back), so had I known that there’d be a new policy based on the year it was earned in, I’d just waited three weeks and then I would have been good to renew both of these certs through the end of this year.

  24. Hi.

    I have a VCP-DCV 6.5 and I’m wanting to get it upgraded. Due to Covid I was unable to study and couldn’t sit remote exams.

    I am due to sit 2v0-21.20 and was hoping that I can then sit 2v0-22.20 to bring it up to date. Can I do this or am I wasting money on the 2v0-21.20 exam?

    Also if I have to re-sit the 5 day course to re-cert this is not really possible as I am a contractor and cannot justify the £3.5K+ for the course. Please bring back the what’s difference course (2 days) which I have done in the past.


    1. Hi James,
      Thanks for your question. I think it is logical to accept the What’s New course for those upgrading VCP-DCV 6.5 or older certifications. Please send an email to certification@vmware.com with this request, referencing this blog reply, and I will approve.
      And yes, for those with VCP-DCV 6.5 or older, both training and the exam are required.


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