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How to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer

Billions of people and millions of organizations all over the world use Microsoft’s products. Over the decades the company has built an IT empire and created a huge market.

Microsoft has managed to withstand tough times and to reinvent itself more than once. Today the company has a booming business, rising stock prices and lots of new revenue streams. In fact, you could argue that right now the company is better and stronger than ever.

Microsoft’s Azure platform has done a lot of the heavy lifting to bring the company to today’s strong position. The cloud platform has grown a lot over the years and offers more than 90 services already.

As you can imagine, that’s only the start. The company is constantly working to improve and add new features to Azure and its other products like Office 365, Windows 10 and more.

This continuous expansion and development means that more IT professionals are looking to hone their Microsoft-related skills and build up their trainings and certifications. And in return, there’s a lot more interest among experts to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).

So, let’s explore how to become a MCT. On the surface (yay, puns) it looks like a pretty straightforward task. You merely have to fill out an application form and wait for a reply. Spoiler alert: It’s not so easy.

Since Microsoft wants to select only among the best experts to become Certified Trainers, you will have to meet quite a few requirements. It’s a long checklist, which you should complete before you even think about going to the enrollment tool. Otherwise you will just waste your time and the time of the evaluators. And you don’t want that.

What is a Microsoft Certified Trainer

Before we go through the list of requirements, let’s first check out what exactly is a Microsoft Certified Trainer. And also let’s see why you might want to become a MCT.

The official definition by the company is as follows: “Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) are the premier technical and instructional experts in Microsoft technologies.”

Sounds simple, right? Being a MCT allows you to teach official Microsoft courses that you are certified for. It also gives you access to official Microsoft certification products, discounts for them, for the exams, books and much more. You also get invitations to exclusive Microsoft and MCT events.

The MCT Program is an annual program for individuals, adds Microsoft. It’s open year-round and you can apply for it at any time. Once you’re accepted, you have to continue to meet certain requirements to be in good standing with the program. If that’s the case, then you can renew your membership easier.

If you don’t renew, you will be out of the MCT program. You are able to re-enroll at a later time, but then you will have to start from scratch and complete the entire enrollment process again.

MCT Requirements

In order to be an MCT, you have to meet the following requirements:

Have a current Microsoft Certification or qualification eligible for the MCT program. The eligible certifications as of August 5th, 2019 are:

Microsoft Certifications
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Expert
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Teamwork Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Sales Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Marketing Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Field Service Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Financials Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): BI Reporting, Cloud Platform (Retired 12/31/18), Data Engineering with Azure (Retired 6/30/19), Linux on Azure (Retired 12/31/18), Machine Learning (Retired 6/30/19), Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Retired 6/30/19), Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations, Office 365 (Retired 4/30/19), SQL 2016 BI Development, SQL 2016 Database Administration, SQL 2016 Database Development, SQL Server 2012/2014, Universal Windows Platform, Web Applications, Windows 10 (Retired 4/30/19), Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2016
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Business Applications, Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (Retired 12/31/18), Data Management and Analytics, Mobility (Retired 4/30/19), Productivity, Core Infrastructure
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): App Builder
  • Dynamics CRM Dynamics Technical – Understand the requirements associated with each Microsoft Dynamics qualification and certification.
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): Master 2016, Master 2013, Expert Excel 2016, Expert Excel 2013, Expert Word 2016, or Expert Word 2013

Microsoft notes: “Microsoft Certifications and qualifications eligible for the MCT program are subject to change. All new role-based certification will become eligible for the MCT Program once they are released. Certifications that are retired will be eligible for the MCT program up to 6 months following the retirement date.”

To clarify: You don’t have to hold all of these certifications. Any one of them will do. Of course, if you have several of them, that will for sure increase your chances.

The next step is to prove instructional skills which you can verify if you have one of these

Instructional Skills Certifications:
  • Instructional Skills Certification:
    • CEGOS Group
    • CompTIA CTT+
    • Essential Educate Trainer (internal Microsoft certification)
    • Fourth Dimension Technologies, Inc.
    • Friesen Kaye and Associates
    • Global Knowledge Instructional Skills Certification
    • Gopas
    • IAMCT Approved Technical Trainer (IAMCT ATT)
    • IPM (Institut für Personalberatung und Managemententwicklung)
    • Learning and Performance Institute Trainer Performance Monitoring and Assessment (TPMA)
    • Learning Tree Train the Trainer Program
    • Marcom Deli
    • Microsoft Certified Trainer Instructional Skills Certification (MCT-ISC)
    • Netcom Learning Instructional Skills Certification
    • New Horizons Instructional Skills Certification
    • PrepMasters USA
    • Sinerji Egitim

Another option is to prove you have at least one year of instructional experience. The more experience you have, the better, but you need suitable documentation to prove it.

How to enroll

Right, you’ve made sure you meet the requirements. Now comes the actual enrollment process. It’s quite easy to do so.

First, go to the MCT enrollment tool. Log-in with your MSA and follow the steps.

The Enrollment tool will allow you to review once again the MCT requirements. You will have to read and sign the MCT Program Guide and Agreement. The signing process is done electronically.

The Enrollment Tool will then guide you through the process of updating your profile. This will include your employment. You can be a freelancer to join the program. You can also be an employee of another company, government, academic, or a Microsoft Partner.

The profile will also require you to specify your primary training audience, ie the main type of people you will train. For example Developers, IT professional, Microsoft Dynamics users.

Then will come the time for certifications. If you have a Metrics That Matter (MTM) account, you can connect it and it will make training validations easier. You can also upload documents and certifications via a form and/or provide personal references. If you choose the latter, you will have to provide contact information for the person who will recommend you to the team.

Next, you will have to review the terms and conditions and finally, pay the fee for the MCT program. The fee varies depending on the country and whether you’re enrolling for the first time or not. Certain discounts also apply for employees of Microsoft Certified Partners for Learning Solutions or Microsoft Imagine Academy employees.

You can see the fee for your country right here.

What to expect

After you enroll, it can take up to 10 business days to review your application depending on the information you’ve provided. This can be a bit longer if you provide contacts for a personal reference of your instructional skills proof. In this case the 10 business days will start after the team obtains the reference.

If your application is not approved, you will not be charged for the membership fee. Sometimes, there might be issues with the system. If you don’t see any updates, you can use the MCT Support forum. The team there will look into the possible issue and help you out.

What’s next?

So, you have been accepted as a Microsoft Certified Trainer! Congratulations! Now, in order to keep you’re your MCT status, you will have to meet a new set of requirements.

One of them is to maintain your member status in good standing. This means meeting the Terms & Conditions, the Program Agreement and other requirements.

Each year MCTs have to deliver at least one Microsoft training to current Microsoft Partner Network members, current Microsoft Imagine Academy members or other entities preapproved in writing by Microsoft. Of course, the more successful trainings you deliver, the better.

You will also have to participate in possible audits, only teach Microsoft Courses for Authorized Customers and use Trainer Kits which are associated with the given course.

You have to make sure you teach courses for which you fulfill all competencies. Some courses require MCTs to hold more than one Competency. The good news is that you get all of that information in the Microsoft Learning Dashboard in your MCT profile.

Finally, MCTs must receive good customer satisfaction scores. They include not only the quality of course delivery, but training activity throughout the MCT Program membership. Basically, it’s not enough for you to teach one course once in a while. You have to be active and deliver high quality teaching on a consistent basis.

It makes sense, though. After all you’ve invested so much time, effort and money to build your certification portfolio and become a MCT. You might as well take full advantage of it.

Cool sources for you:

The MCT basics

A useful MCT Facebook Group