Partner Central

Gold Certification

Update

The Gold Certification is evolving to offer you more opportunities through our Channel Partner Program. New requirements, available April 1, 2015, are listed in the New Requirements tab below.

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Gold Certification offers the broadest range of expertise across high growth market opportunities known as architecture plays - Enterprise Networking, Security, Collaboration, Data Center Virtualization and SP Technology. Gold Certified Partners have also integrated the deepest level of Cisco Lifecycle Services expertise into their offerings and demonstrate a measurably high level of customer satisfaction.

Visit the Certification and Specialization Application to:

Apply for Certification | Renew Certification | Review Compliance Reports

New Specialization No-Retest Rule

New Certification No-Retest Rule

You are no longer required to retest on pre-existing exam content to recertify. (PDF - 231 KB)

Read the Q&A

Partner Benefits

Cisco Gold Certified Partners benefit from the highest level of certification-specific rewards and recognitions. Gold partners receive technical support, productivity tools, online training, marketing resources and sales promotions. In addition to branding as a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, benefits of the Cisco Gold Certification include:

Gold Certified Partners also enjoy access to many Cisco resources, including customer satisfaction best practices and tools, the Partner Education Connection, and Marketing Resources and support.

Gold partners are eligible to participate in Cisco Channel incentive Programs, with higher economic incentives than all other certification levels. Another benefit is an option to become a "Certified Host" in the Global Partner Network Program

Ready to Go?

After you gain certification, you can:

View country groupings

Looking for a different certification?

Gold Certification Requirements Available April 1, 2015

Certification and specialization are based on meeting all requirements within a given country, or country grouping where relevant. All applicants must agree to the Channel Partner Program Terms and Conditions which can be found in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool during the application process.

Specialization Requirements

Partners need four of the following specializations for Gold Certification:

Note: Enterprise Networks and Security Architecture are mandatory; partner may choose the remaining two Advanced Architecture Specializations: Advanced Collaboration Architecture, Advanced Data Center Architecture, Advanced IP NGN Architecture (retirement date: March 10, 2015), or Advanced SP Architecture Specialization to qualify for Gold Certification.

Hybrid IT Requirements

Partners must be able to resell four Hybrid IT Services from the following list:

1. Cisco Cloud Service or Cisco Powered Cloud Service (required)

2. Cisco Powered Managed Service or Cisco Based Partner-Created Managed (required)

3. Cisco Cloud Service or Cisco Powered Cloud Service or Cisco Powered Managed Service or Cisco Based Partner-Created

4. Cisco Cloud Service or Cisco Powered Cloud Service or Cisco Powered Managed Service or Cisco Based Partner-Created

Cisco Based Service Definitions:

Cisco Based Partner-Created Managed Service: An offer where the key features of the service are provided by Cisco device(s), or a network-based service is built on Cisco infrastructure AND the service includes monitoring and management of Cisco equipment owned or leased by the customer (Cisco endpoints or customer premises equipment).

Cisco Based Partner-Created Cloud Service: A cloud-based service built on Cisco reference architecture. Examples can be found in the Design Zone.

To sell the hybrid services, you will need to secure a provider contract(s) and ensure the following are in place:

  • End customer SLA
  • Marketing and/or technical description
  • Hybrid IT resale lifecycle management process

Hybrid IT Documents

Certified Role Requirements

Partner must have a minimum of 12 unique certified full-time employees:

  • minimum of four CCIEs
  • minimum of one Business Value Practitioner
  • and no more than four Cisco Sales Experts (CSEs) can be counted toward the total

Support Requirements

Type Gold

Legal agreement

Valid resale agreement or Cisco Indirect Channel Partner Agreement (ICPA) in place

Demonstration capabilities

Ability to demonstrate a technology or solutions specialization at the time of audit

Customer service

24 hours a day, seven days a week

Escalation process

Required

Call Back

One hour

Support lab

Support lab equipment requirement for collaborative services partners only

Pre-Sales Support

Required

Post-Sales Support

Requirements based on Partner Support Agreement

Customer Satisfaction

Note: Participation in the Cisco partner customer satisfaction survey is required.

Type Gold

New Partner Certification*

  • Thirty (30) responses are required at the first measurement period (January or July**) that occurs after a full six months of certification.
    and
  • Low Score Follow-Up requirement in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool

Recertification

  • Minimum of 30 responses are required, measured twice a year (January and July**), using results received in the 12 months previous to each measurement date.
    and
  • Low Score Follow-Up requirement in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool

*The definition of "new" partner as it relates to the enforcement of the customer satisfaction requirement is a partner that has not been Premier, Silver, or Gold Certified within the previous six months.

** The Cisco fiscal year measurement dates can be found in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool.

Exception

  • Premier or Silver partners moving to Gold Certification must have 30 responses at the first measurement period after a full six months of certification achievement and Low Score Follow Up requirement in PAL tool.

Service Requirements

Service Attach Rate

New and renewing Gold Certified Partners are required to have a minimum service attach rate of 40 percent during the four previous Cisco quarters.

For partners who have not previously been Gold Certified, the service attach rate requirement may be met by achieving a rate of 40 percent within the past 12 months.

Revenue from Services

New and renewing Gold Partners must generate at least 15 percent of revenue from services during the two previous Cisco quarters.

For example:

  • Total product revenue (from the networking products division) for the past two Cisco quarters
  • Total services revenue (from all services sold, including Cisco SMARTnet and professional services)

Revenue from
Services%=

Total revenue of service sold (Managed, Professional Service, & SMARTnet)


Total product revenue of the networking division


X100
=15%

Revenue from services must meet the following requirements:

  • The percentage of revenue from all services (includes all vendors, and does not have to be 100 percent Cisco-specific) against the product revenue must be at least 15 percent
  • Partners must provide documented evidence that they have met or exceeded this requirement

Measurement must be specific to the division engaged in providing networking services or solutions in the country applying for certification.

The service requirements apply to both Cisco Branded Services (CBR, Packaged Services, Pay-for-Performance), and Partner Branded Services (CSSP, Co-Brand, Collaborative Technical Services).

Before Gold Certification or re-certification is awarded, an independent firm will conduct an audit to help ensure your company has met all program requirements.

Note: Certification and specialization are based on meeting all requirements within a given country, or country grouping where relevant. All applicants must agree to the Channel Partner Program Terms and Conditions which can be found in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool during the application process. All Certifications and Specializations must be renewed in CSApp every year. A complete list of requirements including certified personnel may be found in the Audit and Policies Document.

New Partner - you may become a Gold Certified Partner by meeting the current requirements until Jul 31, 2015. The new program requirements will become mandatory on Aug 1, 2015.

Note: during the period of Apr 1, 2015 - Jul 31, 2015, the new program requirements will be available as an option to become a Gold Certified Partner.

Note: if you are applying as a new Gold Certified Partner, but do not have the Advanced Borderless Networks Architecture Specialization, then you must have a combination of four (of five) other specific architecture specializations. The Advanced Enterprise Architecture and Advanced Security Architecture are mandatory. In addition, you must have two of the following three specializations: Advanced Collaboration Architecture, Advanced Data Center Architecture, or Advanced Service Provider Architecture.

Existing Partner - you will need to meet the new requirements as of Aug 1, 2015 when renewing your Gold Certification. Partners with a certification anniversary date of Aug 1, 2015 or later will be expected to renew with the new program rules.

Certification and specialization are based on meeting all requirements within a given country, or country grouping where relevant. All applicants must agree to the Channel Partner Program Terms and Conditions which can be found in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool during the application process.

Base requirements:

Specialization Requirements

*Note: Advanced Borderless Network Architecture Specialization went end-of-sale on July 1, 2014.
View Original Announcement (April 1, 2014)

Partners are being provided with additional time to migrate from the Advanced Borderless Networks Architecture Specialization to the Advanced Security Architecture and Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture Specializations (including Advanced Unified Access and Advanced Core and WAN Specializations).
View Announcement (February 19, 2015)

Certified Role Requirements

Partner must have a minimum of 12 unique certified full-time employees:

  • minimum of four CCIEs
  • and no more than four Cisco Sales Experts (CSEs) can be counted toward the total

Support Requirements

Type Gold
Legal agreement Valid resale agreement or Cisco Indirect Channel Partner Agreement (ICPA) in place
Demonstration capabilities Ability to demonstrate one specialization technology/solutions at the time of audit
Customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Escalation process Required
Call Back One hour
Support lab Support lab equipment requirement for Collaborative Services partners only
Pre-Sales Support Required
Post-Sales Support Requirements based on Partner Support Agreement

Customer Satisfaction

Note: Participation in the Cisco partner customer satisfaction survey is required.
Type Gold
New Certification*
  • Thirty (30) responses required at the first measurement period (January or July**) that occurs after a full six months of certification
    and
  • Low Score Follow-Up requirement in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool
Recertification
  • Minimum of 30 responses, measured twice a year (January and July**) using results received in the 12 months previous to each measurement date
    and
  • Low Score Follow-Up requirement in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool

*The definition of "new" partner as it relates to the enforcement of the customer satisfaction requirement is a partner that has not been Premier, Silver, or Gold Certified within the previous six months.

** The Cisco fiscal year measurement dates can be found in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool.

Exception

  • Premier or Silver partners moving to Gold Certification must have 30 responses at the first measurement period after a full six months of Certification achievement and Low Score Follow Up requirement in PAL tool.

Service Requirements

Service Attach Rate


New and renewing Silver and Gold Certified Partners are required to have a minimum service attach rate of 40 percent during the four previous Cisco quarters.

For partners who have not previously been Gold or Silver Certified, the Service Attach Rate requirement may be met by achieving a rate of 40 percent within the past 12 months.

Revenue from Services


New and renewing Silver and Gold Partners must generate at least 15 percent of revenue from services during the two previous Cisco quarters.

For example:

  • Total product revenue (from the networking products division) for the past two Cisco quarters
  • Total services revenue (from all services sold, including Cisco SMARTnet and professional services)

Revenue from
Services%=

Total revenue of service sold (Managed, Professional Service, & SMARTnet)


Total product revenue of the networking division


X100
=15%
Revenue from services must meet the following requirements:
  • The percentage of revenue from all services (includes all vendors, and does not have to be 100 percent Cisco-specific) against the product revenue must be at least 15 percent
  • Partners must provide documented evidence that they have met or exceeded this requirement

Measurement must be specific to the division engaged in providing networking services or solutions in the country applying for certification.

The service requirements apply to both Cisco branded services (CBR, packaged services, pay-for-performance) and Partner branded services (CSSP, Co-Brand, Collaborative Technical Services).

Before Silver or Gold Certification or re-certification is awarded, an independent firm will conduct an audit in order to ensure that your company has met all program requirements.

Note: Certification and specialization are based on meeting all requirements within a given country, or country grouping where relevant. All applicants must agree to the Channel Partner Program Terms and Conditions which can be found in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool during the application process. All Certifications and Specializations must be renewed in CSApp every year. A complete list of requirements including certified personnel may be found in the Audit and Policies Document.

How to Apply

  1. Your company must be a Registered Partner before applying for any specializations or certifications. Visit the Become a Registered Partner page if you have not registered for the Cisco Channel Partner Program.
  2. In the Partner Self-Service (PSS) tool, verify that the relevant certified individuals who will be fulfilling job roles are associated to your company with their Cisco (CSCO) testing number.*
  3. In the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool, allocate the individuals who will be fulfilling specialization roles, then complete and submit the certification application.
    If you encounter any issues in the application or renewal process, please open a case at Customer Service Central

*Cisco typically receives exam results within five to 10 days from its respective testing agencies.

How to Renew Your Certification

You have 90 days prior to your certification anniversary date to begin the re-certification process. In the 90 days prior to your anniversary date, your status will change from Approved to Re-Cert in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) online tool and you will receive a notification by e-mail. Once you verify that you are in compliance with current specialization requirements, please submit your application in the CSApp tool. You will not be able to submit your application unless all requirements are met.

If you encounter any issues in the application or renewal process, please open a case at Customer Service Central.

Failure to submit a re-certification application 30 days after your anniversary date will result in loss of the certification.