Incus Data Course Assessments

If you are thinking about attending a course yourself, you might be asking:

  • Is there an exam?
  • What kind of certification will I get?

If you are thinking about sending an employee on training, you might be asking:

  • How do I know if my employee has actually understood the content?
  • How can I measure my employee's progress and competence?

We often get asked about assessments, exams and certification. Most people don't really understand what options are available.

Types of certificates

There are two types of certificates:

Certificate of attendance
This certificate confirms that you attended the course, but does not prove that you are competent in the subject. As a general rule, you will always receive some form of confirmation of attendance, no matter what course you attend or where you attend it.
You will receive an Incus Data certificate of attendance if you attend at least 80% of the course, and provided that you participate in the practical component of the course.
Certificate of competence
This is what most people want when they refer to certification. To be certified as competent by any organisation, you will need to write a test or exam. To do this successfully, you will first need time to revise and practice the skills you learn on the course. This means you will generally write such a test after completing the course, and not as part of the course itself.

Certificate of competence

To be certified as competent, you need to prove that you are competent. That means there will be a test or exam or assessment that you will need to complete and pass. Just attending a course does not make you competent.

There is no single international certification authority that is relevant for all programming languages. Some certifications are more valuable than others to prospective employers.

If you are interested in a certificate of competence, you have a number of options.

Incus Data certification

Our course price includes a voucher for a free competency assessment to be written within 6 months of completing the course.

This is a detailed, technical test that covers the contents of the course. Our objective is to test your understanding, and your ability to read and write code. You will not be able to pass just by memorising the content in the course material: you will need to practice the skills we teach.

This is a closed-book, invigilated (i.e. supervised) test that you write on our premises, and it can take up to 2 hours. You must achieve 75% to be declared competent.

If you fail, you can rewrite the assessment for free, as long as it is still within the 6 month window.

If you do not have a voucher or it has has expired, you can still write the assessment. There will, however, be a small cost of R450,00 excluding VAT per assessment.

If you want to write an assessment, please contact us to book your assessment slot.

Other vendor certification

Some vendors offer certification on the specific languages, technologies or applications that they own. As with any competency certification, you will be required to write an invigilated exam. For example, you must write an Oracle exam if you want Oracle certification, or a Microsoft exam if you want Microsoft certification.

Different vendors have different certification paths. There may be different levels of certification, from entry-level to more expert, and you might need to write more than one exam to obtain a certificate.

These vendor exams are available from official testing centres (usually Pearson VUE) that manage tests for industries from IT to nursing to real estate. The costs range from US$50 to US$295.

These exams are not usually associated with a single course, and you may need to attend more than one course to cover all the topics. Most of these exams require a passmark of at least 70%. You will need to study and practice extensively before attempting such an exam.

MICT SETA statement of achievement.

This is a competency assessment based on the unit standards as issued by the SA Qualifications Authority in terms of the National Qualifications Framework. It is only available for parts of a few of our courses, as there are no unit standards for most of the technologies we teach. For this you need to write a test and complete a portfolio of evidence. There is a cost for both the assessment and the moderation of the portfolio of evidence.

Please note that we do not recommend this. The unit standards are out-dated and poor quality, and the level of competence required is too low to be of any value to prospective employers.

Is certification important?

There is no simple answer to that question. Some people believe it is valuable, other people believe it is a waste of money. It depends on your objectives.

Want to get a job? Certification may add value to your CV. Employers are looking for competent developers: people who know how to do the work, and how to do it well. While experience and real-world development skills are the most important, in some industries a certification may give you a competitive edge during the hiring process.

Want to evaluate your staff and plan their development paths? Vendor certification is an expensive choice, and might not even be relevant unless you are an official vendor partner.

What option should I choose?

Once again, there is no simple answer that is right for everyone.

Regardless of what you decide about certification, an Incus Data course will give you a solid foundation in the technology.

If you decide to write a Microsoft or Oracle exam, we recommend you first write the Incus Data assessment. It will be an excellent way to determine how ready you are, and it won't hurt your pocket.

For managers, the Incus Data assessment is a great way to evaluate the progress of your staff, and determine the gaps in their knowledge. We can also assist with customised pre-employment assessments. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.