Google is making an update to their AdWords Certification Program, requiring you to have a Google Partners account to be certified by Google.
Google sent an email to advertisers who are part of the program saying they ned to "Get ready to make the switch to Google Partners."
The email said, "On September 30, 2013, Google will begin replacing the Google Certification Program with a new and improved experience for agencies and online marketing professionals -- Google Partners. Inspired by your feedback, Partners will include improvements that make it easier and more meaningful to get certified in Google advertising solutions like AdWords."
Here is what is changing:
- Beginning September 30, 2013, access to your GCP account will be read-only.
- You'll need a Google Partners account to take exams and get certified.
- Taking exams and getting certified will be free. (Currently $50 USD per exam)
- Your GCP exam history and AdWords certification status will transfer to Partners when you join using the same Google account.
- Certifications earned through GCP will remain valid through the expiration date.
How this will affect Google Certified Partner companies:
- Beginning September 30, 2013, a Google Partners account will be required to manage your company's profile on Google Partner Search. You'll be able to manage both your individual certifications and company profile using the same Partners account.
- Certified Partner companies will remain listed on Google Partner Search until November 13, 2013.
- To continue being listed on Google Partner Search after November 13, a company must qualify for the new Google Partner badge.
- Current Certified Partners will not automatically qualify for the new Partner badge.
- Use of the old 'AdWords Certified Partner' badge for promotional or other purposes won't be permitted after November 13.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.