While most SEOs want SEO certification by a formal and trusted organization, Google won't be the one providing it.
Google's Gary Illyes said in a interview yesterday with Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting that Google will not provide SEO certification like they do for AdWords and other partners. Gary said while there are many good reasons to provide it, there are way more bad reasons not to. He added that they discussed this "a lot" internally and the conclusion was no, no SEO certification.
Gary said this in a Google hangout at the 55 minute mark saying:
(Q) Do you think Google should have an SEO certification program just like it has an AdWords certification program?
(A) We were thinking of that, a lot and a bit more. And we always end up with the conclusion that we shouldn’t do it. There are many reasons why that would be a good idea but there are many more reasons why it would be a bad idea.
If we endorse SEOs, then that would also mean that we actually have to perhaps train them. Which would be nonsense because… First of all it wouldn’t be scalable to train, I don’t know, how many people. Second, if we do go down that path, then we will have to hire more people, which costs more. Finally, we would have to ask for money and search doesn’t ask for money for anything [organic for pay]. So there is already a conflict there.
I don’t know, there were tons of things that we brought up against this.
My short answer is no, we will not have that any time soon.
Here is the video embed:
The closest thing to SEO certification Google has is the top contributor program in my opinion.
Forum discussion at YouTube.