Certification: Becoming a MS Office Certified Testing Center

Certification: Becoming a MS Office Certified Testing Center


What is Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) Certification?


Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) Certification is an industry certification in expertise in Microsoft Office products. While MOUS doesn't carry as much weight as an MCSE certification, it is a great way for computer centers to provide an objective credential. Since most computer centers have no formal certification as an educational institution, it is very helpful to give graduates of your programs an objective credential on their skills that will be recognized by the industry. Passing these tests can provide credibility that can be helpful in getting a job, as if your program were granting an Associates degree or a similar diploma as an accredited institution. Receiving the certification does not guarantee that the graduate of your program will be able to get a job, but it does help by providing an objective credential.


What are the advantages of becoming a Certified Testing Center?


It allows you to conduct testing at your location, making it easier for your students to get MOUS certified. In addition, it will provide practice test software that can assess the readiness of your students before they take the MOUS test. It also adds credibility to your program as you are able to say that your site is a certified testing center, which also allows you to use the Microsoft logo. This does not mean that your program is a certified training center, which is a more involved process similar to becoming accredited and requires having MOUS Certified Trainers at your center.


What MOUS exams are there and how advanced are they?


There are three levels of tests: core, expert and master. Most computer centers will probably want to focus on the core exams which only require a moderate level of expertise for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook. Students can be certified in just one or a few test areas (e.g. “Word MOUS Certified”), but to have the full title “MOUS Certified” they will need to pass all five. The exams for expert and master level are intended for those who are experts in all aspects of the program and could teach and troubleshoot the programs to others.


What are the steps to becoming a MOUS Testing Center?


  1. Contact Mark Saltzman at DDC Training Services at 800-964-6796 ext 322 ask for their application and order form to become an IQ Testing Center for MOUS Exams or simply visit website at www.ddctraining.com/iqcenter/iqapp.asp to get application.
  2. The cost for their basic package is $1000, which comes with 20 MOUS exams, the Administrators Handbook (IQ Center Handbook), Account Number, Info key to access the Portal at www.certiport.com and installing iQ system software. Additional tests cost $48 each.
  3. Need to decide whether you want the practice software to be for Office 2000, 2003 or XP. You can order individual tests as either Office 2000 or Office XP at any point.


Many computer centers will bundle the classes with the test and charge one fee ($50-$100). One advantage of this is that it provides a strong incentive for most of your students to take the test and try to pass it.

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