[#certciw]:

CIW Certifications

The CIW name

CIW Certification Exam Info: Exam FAQ: Question 32 (“What does the CIW acronym stand for?” states it was “originally known as the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW).” Later, CIW updated this to be “Certified Internet Web Professional”. However, the name is now “de-emphasized in favor of the simple CIW brand.”

Additional overview info

For more information on the certifications, see CIWCertified.com.

At the time of this writing, CIW is owned by an organization called “Certification Partners”.

Relevance

Wikipedia's page for this CIW education program states, “CIW's relevance has come under question in some circles. Because CIW was created during the "dot com" period, it and other certifications like it have fallen under criticism that they were created to simply cash in on IT certification. Nevertheless, CIW seems to have survived the dot com bust and various critiques to become the world's largest Web education certification program.” The number of provided certifications has reached the six digits (>99,999), and CIW Endorsements: Organizationst hat teach for CIW lists multiple universities. As an example, Western Governors University requires some certifications to graduate, and have used (and might still use) CIW as some of the standard certifications required to get a degree from the organization.

Preparation

CIW does provide some training material, with costs. The CIW Store provides hyperlinks to various resources. One of those is the section on CIW Self-Study Products/Kits, which provides some options for some of the certifications. Other certifications might not be covered in that “Self-Study” section, but the hyperlinks on the store's main page (near the upper-left rocner) may provide references to other resources. (This is true, for example, for the Web Development Series's “Database Design Specialist” certification. Those same resources can also be found by going to the main page for that certification, and choosing the “Buy now” hyperlink.

Signing up

The Taking a CIW Exam overview states the candidates must accept the Certification Agreement, and specifies hyperlinks to click on. The CIW Exam Info section provides a hyperlink to CIW Candidate Information Center. That hyperlink is where people can sign up for a CIW ID and click on the hyperlinks for accepting the Candidate Agreement.

Pre-signup

It may be possible to create a CIW account after the certification examination, but presumably things might be simpler if the account is created ahead of time. So, here are the directions for that recommended process:

The recommended sign-up procedure is to start by going to that Candidate Information Center. Provide an E-Mail address. Submit a form, which will cause an E-Mail to be sent.

The next steps needs to be done within a month (or perhaps 30 days? When the form was filled out early on November 4th, the date given was December 4th). (Presumably, if that isn't done, then the temporary Candidate account might not be activatable?)

Check the E-Mail address. Go to the URL provided by that E-Mail, and enter the Authorization Code which is provided by that E-Mail. e.g. the URL might be something like: https://i7lp.integral7.com/durango/aa?aakey=abcdEFGhIJKLMNOPqrST

A chance will then be provided to submit a case-insensitive unique username. (It defaults to the Canidate ID number.) Password minimum is 6 chars.

Upon signing in, the user may be redirected to https://i7lp.integral7.com/durango/do/candidate/registration/userinfo/save to log in.

A request is made to update demographic info every 180 days. The information is likely to all be right since presumably the same information was just filled out when the account was created.

Record the Candidate ID number. At the top of the page, the name of the page will be shown, followed by the candidate's name, a dash, and the numeric Candidate ID number. Plan to provide that Candidate ID number to the testing provider. (Pearson VUE will accept it. CIW also uses Prometric.)

After logging in, it will likely make sense to agree to the Candidate Agreement at this time.

Candidate Agreement

A file called “CANDIDATE” is the user agreement, and is downloadable via the Download Center hyperlink (in the left frame).

Agreement may be specified by using the hyperlink (in the left frame) that says “Candidate Agreement”.

Signing up for a test

CIW uses vouchers. If taking the certification while enrolled in some sort of formal education program, check whether the school provides vouchers as part of the enrollment. (There is no reason for the student to pay for something if the student could just get it provided for free, right?) Some organizations may charge for tuition, and provide vouchers for free.

Otherwise, obtaining a voucher might be optional. Scheduling with the testing center might be just as effective. Vouchers can also be provided by CIW: See CIW Vouchers. However, if getting a voucher from CIW, check which section isbeing used. There is a “Prometric Exam Vouchers” section and a “VUE Exam Vouchers” section. So, if the desire is to take the certification from Pearson VUE, make sure to obtain a voucher from the “VUE Exam Vouchers” section.

Choosing a testing center
See: Choosing a testing center.

CIW Testing Centers lists Pearson VUE and Prometric. One option: Go to Pearson VUE: Scheduling for CIW to sign in with a pre-existing account with Pearson VUE, or to first create a free account with Pearson VUE. Another option: Prometric CIW section.

Upon Success

CIW Program FAQ #9: “Does my CIW certification every expire?” states, “CIW certifications do not expire. Once CIW certified, always CIW certified.”

Upon success: CIW EXAM FAQ 10 is “I just took my first CIW exam, what should I do next?” (That is according to the table of contents: the question is longer in the actual text.)

Upon logging in, https://i7lp.integral7.com/durango/do/login?ownername=certpart&channel=CIW may provide some information, such as: “Note that it normally takes 2 to 7 days for your exam results to be transmitted from your testing center, to the testing service headquarters, and then to the CIW Candidate Information Center.” “After” ... “be sure to complete the CIW Certification Agreement” ... “Certifications will not be awarded until you have completed this agreement.”

Verification

If the test is taken by PearsonVUE, the score report will show a registration number and a validation number that can be verified at Pearson VUE Exam Authentication: http://pearsonvue.com/authenticate/

That may be the best option for independent verification.

Another option is the “Publish Credentials” route, which is notably inferior.

Perhaps a couple of days after taking the test, the user will be able to log into the CIW site and see the exam. Note that although the phrase “couple of days” has been known to happen, the FAQ #14 (“I took my CIW exam yesterday, but I am still not able to log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center. Why?”) indicates that this may take longer, and says, “If more than two weeks have passed since you took your CIW exam, and your results are still not available, please notify” CIW using their CIW Program Information Request form. Make sure that when you log into the CIW site, it is showing the same CIW ID as the score report (or when logged in at test provider's website, e.g. at Pearson VUE's web site.) There are various spots on the website that will show what certifications have been obtained.

In the left frame, there is a “Publish Credentials” hyperlink. Upon previewing the report, the web page will note, “The credential verification is valid only when emailed directly from CredentialVerificationServices@pearsoncred.com.” The ridiculous part of that statement is that the E-Mail actually did not come from that address: it came from CredentialVerificationServices@integral7.com (which is a sensible address, because CIW does work with Integral, but it is unfortunate that the website is providing incorrect information).

The E-Mail will provide a URL and an authorization code, along with the note “This URL and code are valid for a limited time only.” Any recipient of the E-Mail may then use that information to check on CIW certification status, as well as seeing additional details like the candidate's physical street address.

So, the “Publish Credentials” route does not allow a person to publicly publish proof of their credentails. It's actually a system that involves E-Mail. A person cannot check the exam results without coordinating with the person being checked, thereby communicating interest in certification verification. The person wanting to be able to verify the claim needs to provide a working incoming E-Mail address. The results are fairly temporary, so the recipient cannot just publish once and then have details available from then on. And, worse of all, the sharing of personal information makes the act, of public sharing the proof, undesirable.

Unfortunately, CIW does not seem to be providing any better solutions (based on some research done near the end of the year 2013).

Upon failure

Retake policy: the CIW Exam Policies has an “Exam Retake Policy” section. (Taking a CIW Exam: Exam Retake Policy) After the “first attempt, a 24-hour waiting period is required between the first and second sittings of that CIW exam. Candidates who fail” again “are required to wait for a period of no less than thirty (30) calendar days” ... “before any” ... “subsequent sitting of the same CIW exam.” This is enforced based on exam ID numbers. (Taking an exam with a different exam ID number should be allowed.)