IT Accreditations Explained

IT Accreditations Explained


Microsoft Certified Professional

Need to pass any one of the current Microsoft certification exams, i.e. one exam on the way to becoming an MCSE, MCSD, etc. The value of this qualification depends on the exam taken and its relevance to the job. Most MCPs are working towards one of the higher qualifications and will become an MCP several times over on their way to achieving it.

Microsoft Certified Systems Developer
Highly regarded in the software development field. For
  • Software engineers
  • Software applications engineers
  • Software developers
  • Technical consultants

MCSD is available in
Windows Store Apps
Web Applications
SharePoint Applications
Application Lifecycle Management

Microsoft Certified System Engineer
  • Systems engineers
  • Technical support engineers
  • Systems analysts
  • Network analysts
  • Technical consultants
  • Network Security Design and Network Infrastructure Design
  • SQL Server Admin, Design and Implementation
  • Migrating from NT4 and Exchange Server Admin
  • Exchange Server Admin and Design
  • Clustering services

MCSE is available in:-

Server Infrastructure
Desktop Infrastructure
Private Cloud

Microsoft Certified Trainer
MCTs are Microsoft’s exclusive product evangelists for Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC). All trainers running Microsoft certification courses have to be MCTs and have to use the official curriculum. Provides certification for both instructional skill and Microsoft product knowledge, although their practical product expertise may be limited.
Microsoft Office Specialist
End user exams showing competence in using Microsoft Office components. Core certification is any one exam (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Project) Expert requires passing either Word or Excel expert level exam. Master level requires passing both Expert exams plus core exams for PowerPoint, Access and Outlook. The Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint MOS certificates are comparable to the word processing, spreadsheet, and database and presentation modules of ECDL. The ECDL module on network communication is broader than the Outlook qualification. Also ECDL contains modules on file management and IT basics. ECDL advanced modules in Word and Excel are comparable to the Microsoft Expert exams.




Certified Cisco Network Associate
Can install, configure, and operate LAN, WAN and dial access services for small networks (up to 100 nodes). 1 exam.
CCNA Wan Switching
Certified Cisco Network Associate WAN Switching
Can install, configure and operate networks in simple WAN environments. 1 exam.
Certified Cisco Design Associate
Can design routed and switched networks involving LAN, WAN and dial access for smaller networks (up to 100 nodes). 1 exam.
Certified Cisco Network Professional
Can install, configure and operate LAN, WAN and dial access services for larger networks (to 500 nodes). Need CCNA plus further 5 exams.
CCNP WAN Switching
Certified Cisco Network Professional WAN Switching
Can install, configure and operate networks in complex WAN environments. Need CCNA WAN Switching plus further 4 exams.
Certified Cisco Design Professional
Can design routed and switched networks involving LAN, WAN and dial access for larger networks. Need CCNA and CCDA and 5 further exams.
CCDP WAN Switching
Certified Cisco Design Professional WAN Switching
Can design in complex WAN environments. Need CCNA WAN Switching and CCNP WAN Switching and 1 further exam.
CCIE with various specialisations
Certified Cisco Internetwork Expert
Most advanced certification. Specialisations include Routing and Switching (most common), Communications and Services, Security, ISP Dial, SNA/IP Integration, and Design. All involve at least 1 exam and 1 practical exam. CCNP is highly recommended.



 JNCP Juniper Networks Certification Program The Juniper Networks Certification Program (JNCP) is a multi-tiered program of written and hands-on lab exams that serves to validate the technical skills of networking professionals on Juniper Networks technologies.


Apple Mac (iOS)

Apple Certified Mac Technician
Apple Certified Mac Technician (ACMT) certification verifies the ability to perform basic troubleshooting and repair of both desktop and portable Macintosh systems, such as iMac and MacBook Pro. ACMT certification exams emphasize identifying and resolving common Mac OS X problems, and using Apple Service and Support products and practices to effectively repair Apple hardware.
Mac Management 10.9
  • Want to know how to add a Mac to a Windows or other standards-based network
  • Support OS X users in a business, education institution or school district
  • Manage networks of OS X systems in an organization — for example, a teacher or a technology specialist who manages classroom networks or computer labs
  • Manage complex, multi-platform networks that include OS X systems
Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) certification verifies an understanding of OS X core functionality and an ability to configure key services, perform basic troubleshooting, and support multiple users with essential OS X capabilities. ACSP certification is designed for the help desk professional, technical co-ordinator, or power user who supports OS X users, manages networks, or provides technical support for the Mac.
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC)
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) certification verifies a foundation in OS X and OS X Server core functionality and an ability to configure key services and perform basic troubleshooting. ACTC certification is intended for OS X technical coordinators and entry-level system administrators who maintain small to medium networks of computers using OS X Server.



 Data Center Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center
  • VirtualizationVMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration
  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design
  • VMware Certified Design Expert 5 – Data Center Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Associate – Cloud
  • VMware Certified Professional – Cloud VMware Certified Professional 6 – Cloud) NEW
  • VMware Certified Design Expert – Cloud
End User Computing
  • VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 – Desktop Certified Professional 5 – Desktop
  • VMware Certified Design Expert-Desktop
Network Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Associate – Network Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Implementation Expert – Network Virtualization
  • VMware Certified Design Expert – Network Virtualization (VCDX-NV)
Cloud Application Platform
  • Certified Spring Professional
  • Certified Spring Web Application
  • Spring Enterprise Integration Specialist


Prince 2

Prince2 Foundation
The PRINCE2 Foundation qualification will teach you the PRINCE2 principles, terminology and when qualified you will be able to act as an informed member of a project management team using the PRINCE2 methodology within a project environment supporting PRINCE2.PRINCE2 Foundation can be studied on its own or as a prerequisite for the PRINCE2 Practitioner course.
Prince 2 Foundation and Practitioner
The PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification will teach you to apply PRINCE2 to the running and managing of a project within an environment supporting PRINCE2. Once qualified you will be able to apply and tune PRINCE2 to address the needs and problems of a specific project scenario. You will have a comprehensive knowledge of the relationships between the PRINCE2 principles, themes and processes and PRINCE2 products and will understand these elements. In order to sit the PRINCE2 Practitioner examination you must provide proof of having passed one of the following:
  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
  • IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)
  • IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate)



The Foundation level is the entry level qualification which offers you a general awareness of the key elements, concepts and terminology used in the ITIL service lifecycle, including the links between lifecycle stages, the processes used and their contribution to service management practices.
The Practitioner level is the next stage in the ITIL scheme. It has been developed to provide a step between Foundation and the Intermediate Level and aims to improve the ability of individuals to adopt and adapt ITIL in their organizations.
The Intermediate level qualification has a modular structure with each module providing a different focus on IT Service Management. You can take as few or as many Intermediate qualifications as you need. The Intermediate modules go into more detail than the Foundation level and Practitioner, and provide an industry-recognized qualification.
The ITIL Expert level qualification is aimed at those who are interested in demonstrating knowledge of the ITIL Scheme in its entirety. The certificate is awarded to candidates who have achieved a range of ITIL qualifications and have attained a well rounded, superior knowledge and skills base in ITIL Best Practices.
To achieve the ITIL Master qualification, you must be able to explain and justify how you have personally selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods and techniques from ITIL and supporting management techniques, to achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments.



Certified Novell Administrator
The lowest level of Novell certification and aimed at people supporting users of software. Managing workstations, setting up print servers, sharing software, etc. Certification available for NetWare 5, intraNetWare, NetWare 3, GroupWise 5 and GroupWise 4 One exam. Most CNAs are working towards a CNE and will become a CNA several times over on their way to achieving it.
Certified Novell Engineer
For those who are involved with higher level network issues including planning, installation, configuration, troubleshooting and upgrade services for networks. In NetWare 5, intraNetWare, NetWare 3, GroupWise 5 and GroupWise 4. Number of required exams varies with the track chosen but is typically 3 to 5, plus one elective.
Master Certified Novell Engineer
Multi vendor, multi solution specialists. Required to pass CNE plus 1 required and 3 elective exams.
Certified Directory Engineer
A performance-based certification for the experienced IT professional. Targeted at consultants and senior level engineers involved in the design, implementation, optimization and maintenance of directories and directory solutions. Need to have some certification already. e.g.CNE, MCSE, Compaq, Cisco, Lotus, etc. Exams and requirements depend on the certification held.
Certified Novell Instructor
Qualified to teach Novell certification courses. Need to be a CNE plus complete a Certified Technical Trainer qualification or similar.



Sun Certified System Administrator for Solaris
For system administrators performing essential system administration procedures on the Solaris Operating Environment and technical application support staff responsible for administering a networked server running on the Solaris Operating Environment. 2 exams.
Sun Certified Network Administrator for Solaris
For experienced system administrators responsible for administering Sun systems in a networked environment that includes LANs and Solaris Operating Systems. Must be a Sun Certified Solaris Operating Environment System Administrator. 1 further exam.



RHCE Red Hat Certified Engineer Expert Red Hat Linux administrator


CompTIA A+

Foundation level, vendor neutral certification in PC technologies, LANs and WANs, operating systems.
Certified Document Imaging Architect
Knowledge of all major areas and technologies needed to plan, design and implement an imaging system.
The CompTIA Cloud+ certification covers standard methodology required to securely implement and maintain cloud technologies.
Foundation level, vendor neutral certification in cables and devices, protocols, operating systems, network design, implementation and maintenance.
A new, vendor neutral certification covering advanced PC hardware issues, such as RAID, SCSI, multiple CPUs, SANs – and more.
Foundation level, vendor neutral certification in Linux
Vendor neutral certification showing competance and professionalism in IT project management.
Certified Technical Trainer
Vendor neutral certification to show an achievement of excellence in technical instruction. Covers both instructional skills and technical skills.
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification designates IT professionals with advanced-level security skills and knowledge.
Mobile App Security+
The CompTIA Mobile App Security+ certification ensures that developers have the knowledge and skills necessary to design and build secure applications.


Tell Me What You Want – Detailed Job Descriptions are critical in finding the perfect employee

Finding the perfect employee is not like ordering a Big Mac and fries at McDonald’s, but some job descriptions can lead you to believe that!

Personnel, Recruitment Consutants and HR staff are often tasked with finding the perfect employee for a company with less details than they would have if they were taking a lunch order for the office. “I need a Technical person with 3-5 years experience in the software industry” is not going to get you what you need!

Here are five questions you should answer in creating a great job description:

1. What is the job’s primary purpose or contribution to the department or Company?

2. What are the essential technical skills, what versions and what should they have done with them. Three technical questions set by the IT Department along with their answers will help with prelimanary interviews for Recruitment Consultants when qualifying candidates for the position.

3. What are the essential duties and responsibilities? You should include all important aspects of the job – whether performed daily, weekly, monthly or annually; and any that occur at irregular intervals.

4. Does the job have supervisory responsibilities? Are there subordinate supervisors reporting to this job? If yes, how many?

5. What education and amount of experience is needed to successfully accomplish the essential duties of the job?

And last, but definitely NOT least, is why would the candidate want to work there? Do you have a fund to allow each employee to pursue their personal development through training or books? Do you provide Flexitime, Creche facilities? Play lunch time 5 A Side? Gym membership, Healthcare? Discounts? Tell them what’s in it for THEM!

Writing your job description in this manner will increase your chances of finding the perfect employee for YOU.

Langley James are experts in their field and have been helping companies both attract and retain the best management talent for 15 years.  A recruitment service founded on service excellence, we are experts at what we do and with a bespoke approach, we help you save time and are happy to share our specialist knowledge to help you Recruit Someone Worth Recruiting.

Finding the Perfect Employee

Over the past few years we have had to be extremely creative to find great employees. Recently the number of Technical Professionals seeking new positions has more than doubled. Instead of having to search high and low to find a few great people, employers and agencies are bombarded with hundreds – or even thousands – of CV’s. So how are you going to find the truly great employee?

Recruiting for an employee to fill your position can be a frustrating and a time consuming process. From writing the job spec and the advert, which has to be exciting and challenging to attract great people, to the actual interviews with likely candidates, your time is guaranteed to be stretched to the maximum for a period of time.

Here are 5 tips to help you find a great employee:

1. When you review a CV, look for length of time on the job: a candidate with several short- term employers (less than a year) could mean a lack of commitment on their part. Of course, with all the recent redundancies, it could just mean they got caught in the fallout.

It isn’t necessarily a fact that they were laid off because the company was cutting back. Star performers are not laid off if the company can avoid it. Be sure to check those references carefully, especially if the company is still in business. You don’t want someone else’s “deadwood”.

2. Look for gaps in employment and ask for an explanation. Long periods out of work could signal a time out to update their education – or it may indicate some criminal background.

3. Watch the employment dates for “overlaps”. This could be a simple error, but also might indicate that the candidate is not being truthful about previous employers. Ask the person to explain it, and be sure to call those employers and verify dates of employment with them.

4. Have a copy of the job description at hand when you review the CV’s. The more skills that match your job description, the more likely you will be to have a great match. Focus on what they have done in the past that matches what you want them to do. Write a list of things you want them to do and then ask questions that will get those answers (or the lack thereof).

5. Sort your likely CV’s into two piles – one for those that look perfect to you, the other for those that look good. Conduct prelimnary telephone interviews and ask them why they want to work for your company.

While these tips aren’t the whole picture in hiring a great employee, using them increases your chances that you will hire the perfect match for your company.

With the present restrictions on information that a previous employer is allowed to give you, it is important to pay attention to all the details you get from the candidate. It will make the difference between having a GREAT employee working for you, or just having a GOOD one.

At Langley James we are at hand to assist with writing Job Descriptions.

Langley James are experts in their field and have been helping companies both attract and retain the best management talent for 15 years.  A recruitment service founded on service excellence, we are experts at what we do and with a bespoke approach, we help you save time and are happy to share our specialist knowledge to help you Recruit Someone Worth Recruiting.

Rebuilding Your Staff Employee By Employee

Problem – “my employees are minimal and I can’t get any improvement”

Solution – rebuild your business one employee at a time

Minimal employees have become the bane of business – those that do just enough to get by and no more. If a business with good market share and strong strategy is still achieving poor results then it almost always points to minimal employees. Sometimes owners/management see this but often it takes an outsider to point it out. Once this is understood to be the problem the question I get is – How do I get rid of these bottom-feeders and get some good people in their place? The answer is to build it employee by employee. The following are some key concepts when considering a personnel ‘upgrade’:

1. Understand that minimal employees cause discontentment with productive employees. Good employees often leave because of minimal employees. Having a minimal employee can hurt the entire operation. Realizing this is important when difficult decisions need to be made.

2. Understand that most businesses cannot shut down as they reorganize or redesign. I use the analogy of a flying plane: you cannot stop the plane to fix it – you have to fix it while it is flying. The rule here is ‘don’t shoot yourself in the foot’. Usually this means don’t fire or lay-off until you have replacements.

3. View employees as resources and profit centers – not just expenses. Minimal employees are usually cheaper but deliver much less value.

4. Review your staffing at least once a week. (depending on the circumstances this may be necessary more often.) Go through each employee and determine his or her appropriateness for the business. I like to use a spreadsheet, keep notes and strategies current so they can be constantly reviewed. I ‘star’ those employees that are ‘on the bubble’ or are delivering questionable value.

5. Do evaluations and reviews every three months. Once or twice a year is simply not enough.

6. Measure and evaluate your people weekly. Producers welcome the attention and ‘bottomfeeders’ will do all they can to avoid the scrutiny. Find some criteria for even those hard to measure job classifications – like service rep.

7. Find out if the poor producers have potential. Time and time again I see management wanting to fire but not looking at potential. Sometimes they are amazed when they see a minimal employee blossom. Sometimes I am amazed that management is not paying attention. It is usually better to give the minimal employee a chance or opportunity – if they do not want it they will often quit.

8. Understand that accountability is the employee’s responsibility – not management’s. It is management’s responsibility to do something about the lack of accountability if it is not there. This makes it much easier to deal with those tough decisions when the time comes.

9. Have a training and career plan for each employee.

10. Hire right. The key to building a successful staffing is to make sure each new hire is better than what you have. If you do know how to hire get some help. Look at work ethic, values, maturity, drive, creativity, etc. Truly amazing things happen when you replace a ‘bad apple’ with a good employee.

11. Look for ‘breakthrough’ employees that can bring high value quickly. This is usually a factor of skill, experience and work ethic. This can bring a corresponding sharp spike in performance.

12. Set up a system where employees can train or mentor each other. This tends to raise the standard throughout the business.

13. Constantly evaluate what your market and customers demand. Make sure you are hiring to meet this demand.

14. Make the processes automatic – daily if possible. If you stay focused the results will come. Focus on the process!

15. Be persistent. Most of my clients go into a continual recruitment mode.

Langley James are experts in their field and have been helping companies both attract and retain the best management talent for 15 years.  A recruitment service founded on service excellence, we are experts at what we do and with a bespoke approach, we help you save time and are happy to share our specialist knowledge to help you Recruit Someone Worth Recruiting.

45% of employees are not inspired by their line manager

Research has revealed that poor leadership is a major cause of staff leaving their job with over 30% citing this is the main reason for searching for alternative employment.  This was one of the many insights identified by the latest Towers Watson Global Workforce Study.

The report goes as far to suggest that “meagre managers are adding to the UK talent drain”.

The report also highlighted that only 39% of employees feel that the company leaders truly understand the factors that drive business success, and just 58% saying that their leaders consistently make rational decision that benefit the organisation in the long term.

Although many employees understand and recognise the challenges that come with managing a team, many feel that their manager doesn’t have sufficient time to perform the people aspect of management.  Managers agree and many said that they were not being supported and empowered to deliver effective management.

According to the report, over a third of managers do not coach and develop their team and a quarter fail to evaluate performance with personal development reviews.

The talent shortage is intensifying this problem with 43% of businesses struggling to meet client expectation and deadlines, further pressure is being put on management to drive up performance in the existing team.  This can also result in those that have the most impact on the bottom line are getting more attention from their manager which in turn is upsetting team dynamics.

So everybody is having to perform against time and resource pressures.  Not surprising then that the recent YouGov research conducted on behalf of the British Heart Foundation revealed that more than two-fifths of employees feel work pressures have damaged their health in the past five years

Companies need to better train and support their managers to help gain the long-term commitment from their teams.

Langley James are experts in their field and have been helping companies both attract and retain the best management talent for 15 years.  A recruitment service founded on service excellence, we are experts at what we do and with a bespoke approach, we help you save time and are happy to share our specialist knowledge to help you Recruit Someone Worth Recruiting.



Under Half of Employees Think That Their Employers Do a Good Job of Hiring

With the current skill shortage still having substantial airtime and almost 50% of companies seeing an increase in hiring, it has never been more critical to have a clear understanding about that it takes to attract, retain and engage workers.

According to the recent Global Workforce Study by Towers Watson, 25% of employees are likely to leave their current role within the next 2 years and this only highlights further the need to have a real understanding of how to attract talent to your business.  In the report, fewer than half of employees (46%) think that there current company does a good job of hiring.

Do you know what it takes to attract the best talent?  Have a look at the chart below to see the employer versus employee view.

Employer View 
Employee View
1. Career advancement opportunities
Base pay/salary
2. Base pay/salary
Job security
3. Challenging work
Career advancement opportunities
4. Organisation’s reputation as good employer
Learning and development Opportunities
5. Organisation’s mission/vision/values
Challenging work
6. Learning and development Opportunities
Organisation’s reputation as good employer
7. Job security
Vacation/paid time off

Whilst most of the factors are similar on both sides, there are two main differences.  The organisation’s mission, vision and values do not appear on the employee list at all.  What is important to employees is the need to switch off in the 24/7 always-on workplace with vacation and paid time off a key factor.

What about retaining your key talent?  Employers need to understand the important factors in employees deciding whether to remain with their current employer and the report highlighted 3 key drivers –

Trust / confidence in senior leadership – employees need their top leaders to motivate and guide them.

Job security – still plays a critical role in retention.

Length of commute – with the focus on improving work/life balance, this is becoming more important.

Langley James are experts in their field and have been helping companies both attract and retain the best talent for 15 years.  A recruitment service founded on service excellence, we are experts at what we do and with a bespoke approach, we help you save time and are happy to share our specialist knowledge to help you Recruit Someone Worth Recruiting.

Getting results with Free Online Technical Testing

Getting results with Free Online Technical Testing

We all know that it is sometimes difficult to ascertain if an individual is as good as their CV looks or as strong on the job as they perform in interview.

We have a solution

Did you know that Langley James offer free Online Technical Testing that can be used as part of your interview process to test your potential new employees.  Not only that, it can also be used to test your existing employees as part of their appraisal.

To deliver this service, Langley James has chosen Prove IT as our preferred partner.  Prove IT is one of the leading Online Technical Testing tools available today and is used by many large organisations to test proficiency levels and technical experience.  Working with Prove IT means that we are able to deliver the most comprehensive and effective technology tests that can be performed online or in a controlled environment on virtually any mainstream technology product.

With a suite of over 200 technical tests which include Windows Servers, Active Directory, Exchange. SQL, XP and Mac to name just a few.

Best of all, it is a fast, cost-effective solution that lets you focus on IT staffing and training resources where they will have the most impact.

Following the test, we can provide you with a simple, yet comprehensive analysis.  This information can not only help in the shortlisting process but can also be used to staff particular projects or to develop customised training programs to address identified skills gaps.  The later can shorten the number of days required for training, reduce training expense and ultimately enhance productivity with little employee downtime.

When it comes to expanding the team, effective selection if critical to organisational success.  Using technical testing have been proven to fundamentally improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire recruitment process.  In the current climate, candidates can now apply, interview and be offered in a matter of a few short days.  Where time is of the essence, Langley James can help you compete in the fast-moving world of recruitment and utilising our Technical Testing means that selection can take place with greater speed and efficiency than previously possible.

Using Langley James can save your organisation valuable time and effort by ensuring that you are able to focus on the best available candidates immediately.

To discuss your requirement needs, or for more details on our free Online Technical Testing, please call us on  0207 099 4839  or email us