Updates to Microsoft role-based certifications

Microsoft recently made some changes to the role-based certification program. In general it should be good news for everyone. In this post I’ll do a quick review of the changes that were announced.

Certification validity

The first change to mention is that the role based certifications will now only be valid for 1 year. This change will be in effect from June 2021. This means any new certifications obtained from June 2021 will only be valid for 1 year. Any certifications earned before this date would still be valid for 2 years.

The shorter validity may not seem like a positive change but cloud technology is constantly changing at a rapid pace. The shorter validity ensures we are adapting to this by updating our skills more often.

Free certification renewal

Yes you read that correctly, it is not a mistake. You can now renew your certification for free, you no longer need to retake the exams to keep your certification up to date. Starting in March 2021 you will now have the oppurtunity to renew your certification without the need to re-write the exams.

You should receive an email from Microsoft Certification Program approximately 6 months before your certification will expire.

The link in the email will take you the Microsoft Learn site. You can sign in here with a personal Microsoft account. I am using the same account that is used for my certification profile. You should have an option to link the certification profile with your Microsoft Learn profile.

From here you will have the information on what skills will be measured during the assessment. The Microsoft Learn content for this is also shown and can be added to a collection to complete at a later stage.

All you need to do to update your certification, is to successfully complete the online assessment. You will have approximately 6 months to complete this. You can also retake the assessment if you don’t pass, which means you can revisit the learning content and attempt the assessment again.

Your certification will be extended by 1 year once you successfully complete the assessment. Important to note that this will be extended by 1 year from the original expiry date thus, if it expires in July 2021 and you complete the assessment in March 2021, the new expiry date would be July 2022 and not March 2022.

Also important is to ensure you complete the assessment before the certification expires. If you leave this and the certification expires, then you would need to retake the exams to obtain the certification.


Below is an example of what the email would look like. I’ve received this for my Azure Administrator Associate certification that will expire in July 2021.

The website provides the summary of the skills being measures with training material and a link to the assessment:


Microsoft role-based certifications will only be valid for 1 year starting with certifications obtained from July 2021. Microsoft now makes it much easier to renew your certifications while keeping your skills updated.

Be sure to explore the Microsoft Learn site for content if you haven’t done so already.


Renew your Microsoft Certification | Microsoft Docs

Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals – Microsoft Tech Community