Updates to Free Salesforce Maintenance Exams [Updated 2020]

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Salesforce have announced changes to certification maintenance to benefit Salesforce certified professionals. These changes will cut the number of required maintenance exams each year and offer optional ‘no/low code’ and ‘code’ badges in their place.

Since moving maintenance exams to Trailhead and making them free (by ditching the $100 fee), the new announcements are likely to be a welcome move for Trailblazers to keep their credentials valid, their knowledge up-to-standard, while avoiding maintenance overload. With new certifications added every year and more ‘tracks’/pathways opening up, Trailblazers can upskill without having to spend a fortune.

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How do I Maintain my Salesforce Certification?

Since moving all certification upkeep to Trailhead (in Spring 2018), I have found the notifications more transparent and with much less friction involved! Accessing my maintenance requirements through my single Trailblazer login is simpler, with the interactive, gamified modules ready for me to dive into.

Transparency is key. If you fail to maintain your Salesforce Certifications after a certain amount of time has elapsed, they will expire – yes, this means you will have to take the whole certification exam again (plus pay the $200 bill to sit the exam).

In a nutshell:

  • Single Trailblazer login
  • View your maintenance status on your Trailblazer.me profile – don’t let these expire!
  • Access maintenance Trailhead Modules by searching.

Note: You must link your Webassessor and Trailhead account together. You can also use the ‘Certification Status Request‘ service too, which sends an email to your inbox.

Changes Just Announced

One Maintenance Per Year

This change is in effect immediately.

Maintenance 3 times a year, down to 1 (per certification): certifications that previously required maintenance three times per year will now only require one maintenance module per year.

These certifications were Salesforce Certified Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Sales Cloud Consultant, Service Cloud Consultant (and all the ‘consultant’ exams), Platform App Builder, Platform Developer I, Platform Developer II, Certified Technical Architect.

Optional badges

This change will come in to effect in December 2020. 

Trailhead badges will replace the maintenance exams that have been cut from the requirements:

  • Targeting ‘no/low code’ (Admins) and ‘code’ (Developers) skill sets.
  • Three times per year – refresh your skills.
  • Hands-on challenges to test out new features.

These Trailhead badges will be optional, but you would be a fool to not take responsibility for keeping your knowledge up-to-date with every new Salesforce release that comes!

Designer Maintenance Module

This change will come in to effect in December 2020. 

“Architect Designer certifications will have their own Designer maintenance module, created specifically for the designer and/or architect audience.”

Summary

The new announcements are likely to be a welcome move for Trailblazers to keep their credentials valid, their knowledge up-to-standard while avoiding maintenance overload. Bravo to Salesforce for making certifications more inclusive (less cost and stress for the individual) so that we can explore the new certifications and alternate certification ‘tracks’/pathways.

Personally, I welcome this move – and not because I’m lazy! With 6 active certifications, my maintenance requirements have gone from around 11 exams costing $300/year (the previous cap put in place in 2017), to $0 and far more engaging to absorb the new content.

Note: all certification exams remain on the Webassessor platform, proctored either onsite or online, with the same fees.

5 thoughts on “Updates to Free Salesforce Maintenance Exams [Updated 2020]

  1. Avatar

    Hi Ben,
    I linked the Trailhead and Webaccessor account and later completed the Summer 18 maintenance for Admin. I cannot see it reflected on webaccessor? Should it appear?

  2. Avatar

    Hi Ben,
    I linked the Trailhead and Webaccessor account and later completed the Summer 18 maintenance for Admin. I cannot see it reflected on webaccessor. Should it appear?

  3. Avatar

    Hi Ben,
    Same thing is happening to me. My trailhead and Webassessor accounts are linked and I completed the trail for the admin Summer 18 maintenance exam two days ago, however when I check my credentials it shows 1 exam behind….

  4. Avatar

    Hi Stephanie & Tasnim,

    Were you guys able to sort the issue out? I made a blunder. Took the maintenance exam on trailhead first and THEN linked it to webassessor.

    Now, I dont see any proof of the summer 18 maintenance exam completion on webassesor and am presently hoping it will happen in due time.

    Your response will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  5. Avatar

    I have linked Webassesor account with Trailhead. After that I have cleared Summer 18 Admin maintenance exam in Trailhead. But I did not get any mail notification for the completion of the same. Could you please update the same?

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