Microsoft has redesigned its training scheme but has denied that it is diluting the quality of its accreditations for engineers.
Under the new rules, more companies will be able to qualify as Microsoft ATECs (Authorised Training and Education Centres), because those offering only online, and no classroom, training will be considered.
Debbie Walsh, IT skills development manager at Microsoft UK, said: ?We?re making some changes to our education programme. When we originally launched it, it was to improve technical training for individuals in the corporations, in the channel and for contractors.?
She said the companies that Microsoft had accredited as its training companies ?had made a lot of money? but, she said, her company had realised there needed to be ?more flexibility? in the scheme.
She said: ?You couldn?t become a training company if you did not have a classroom but now people can train online. We?ve also recognised that not necessarily everyone wants to do a five-day course and training companies can now add to the scheme and combine the methods they are providing.?
This was not a dilution of the accreditation, claimed Walsh. ?Pricing remains the same, but pricing for customers is a lot more flexible.?
She claimed the push came from the Microsoft training centres and said that its certified engineers would retain the same status as they had in the past.
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