If I let my Epic Certification lapse, or fail a third time…am I out of the game?

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Never before have I received so many inquiries on whether or not a consultant should do the extra work to maintain their Epic certification(s).   Nor have I seen so many consultants receive a consistent grade of 79% on the first and second attempts at the Continuing Epic Education (CEE) exam.  A lot of consultants seem nervous or unsure of what will it mean if they fail or allow their certification to lapse.  Epic extended the deadline from July 31st to August 31st, so time is running out.  It seemed appropriate to share some thoughts on the subject given the timing.

My first question is always, how many certifications do you have and how many have you supported in the last 12 months?  This is the easiest part of the debate in my opinion.  It’s not unusual to see a consultant have 3 or 4 Epic certifications.  If complimentary, let’s say Resolute PB, SBO, and Cadence, keep them all for sure.  Otherwise, only focus your studies on the one or two applications you have highlighted on your resume for the last year.  Whether you are certified or not will be secondary in comparison to your recent history of support on your resume.  Carrying a certification for a module you haven’t supported in a couple of years is basically pointless.  Not to mention, you’ll likely struggle to pass the certification exam.  In our industry, more does not mean better.

A harder scenario to consider:  You’ve been in a PM role or other non-build related position with a client and haven’t actually done build in a couple years.  Almost every PM opportunity asks for the candidate to be certified, ideally.  It’s not always required, but preferred.  To remain marketable and competitive, you may want to maintain your certification, but know that it won’t make you ineligible for most opportunities.  PM’s should have a PMP, it’s far more valuable.  Six Sigma doesn’t seem to be as recognized.

Other opportunities I see often that don’t always require certifications include: analysts, trainers, integrated testing coordinators, cut over/technical dress rehearsal support, Command Center support, and obviously both CTs and ATE resources.  Again, having that certification makes you more marketable but doesn’t disqualify you all the time.  Remember, ideally build should be managed by FTEs at the client site.  As an analyst you may be doing other things like system demos, current vs future state analysis, workflow capture, visit type/order sets/smart text reviews, conversions, personalization labs, classroom training, eLearning support, or so many other non-build related duties that a certification seems unnecessary.

Bottom line, I personally still recommend that you maintain your primary certification(s) to continue to be in demand and able to fill various roles for clients. Choosing to not keep up your certifications will limit you, but not necessarily mean you are out of the game.  Remember, many clients opt not to send their people to Epic for training.  FTE support roles are in demand for anyone with Epic experience.  Again, if you’ve made a career out of training or being a project manager, or haven’t touched build in years, you’ll be fine without the cert.  You highlight your knowledge and expertise in the work you are doing now on your resume.  Removing the certified credential from your resume may sting at first, but you’ll still have opportunities.

You can view your certification maintenance requirements by accessing the UserWeb and navigating to Training Home -> Your Certifications.  Take a look at this article from a firm with feedback from people who have taken the exams: https://www.globalhit.com/new-epic-nvt-booster-training-program-working/

What are your thoughts or what are hearing out there?  Leave comment to share below.

One Comment on “If I let my Epic Certification lapse, or fail a third time…am I out of the game?

  1. I contend that unless you are in a completely vendor-agnostic role, it is in your best interest to keep your certifications current. I have done multiple staff augmentation contracts where, even as a non-FTE, the client reported my name to Epic to boost their certified analyst stats. Staff aug often involves a client desire to have a one-to-one swap for an FTE who they just lost. I was also in a position where, even as a consultant, I was asked to weed through applicants for a staff aug slot. Because we had far more submissions than we had interview slots, we set aside all of the resumes for consultants who were not certified in the module for which we were interviewing. Rightly or wrongly, we concluded that if you weren’t certified in it, you likely hadn’t been building it recently. Also, market needs change over time. I may never need my Cadence certification ever again. Because I am now a FTE in a PMO slot, I technically don’t need any of my certifications, but they are all current, and I will keep them that way.

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