Cisco CCNP Voice Certification
Cisco Certified Network Professional Voice (CCNP Voice) validates advanced knowledge and skills required to integrate voice capabilities into underlying network architectures. Furthermore, this certification validates a robust set of skills in implementing, operating, configuring, and troubleshooting a converged IP network. With a CCNP Voice certification, a network professional can create a collaboration solution that is transparent, scalable, and manageable. The CCNP Voice focuses on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly Unified CallManager), quality of service (QoS), gateways, gatekeepers, IP phones, voice applications, and utilities on Cisco routers and Cisco Catalyst switches. Additionally, the integration and troubleshooting of Cisco Unified Communications applications are now covered in the CCNP Voice, specifically the Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unified Presence applications.
The Certification Process
In order to obtain CCNP certification candidates are required to pass five exams, these exams are arranged separately from any training courses offered, further information on these exams can be seen by clicking on the titles. Note that this certification requires a valid CCNA Voice, Video or any CCIE before candidates can obtain the CCNP.
- 642-437 CVOICE Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Voice over IP and QoS v8.0
- 642-447 CIPT1 Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 1
- 642-457 CIPT2 Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 2 v8.0
- 642-427 TVOICE Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Communications
- 642-467 CAPPS Integrating Cisco Unified Communications Applications v8.0
Note that this certification requires re-certification every three years; this can be done by performing any of the following:
- Pass any current 642-XXX Professional-level exam, or
- Pass any current CCIE Written Exam, or
- Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
- Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications
Preparing for the Exams
The CVOICE exam lasts 90 minutes with 60 to 70 questions spread over a wide range of topics. The CIPT 1 exam also lasts 90 minutes with 60 to 70 questions focused on description and configuration of route plans and Cisco Unified Communications Manager media resources. The CIPT2 exam lasts 105 minutes with between 60 to 70 questions with a focus on multi-site dial plans and bandwidth management. The TVOICE exam lasts 90 minutes with 60 to 70 questions spread across a range of topics. The CAPPS exam is 75 minutes long with 60 to 70 questions with a focus on Connection and Unified Presence solutions. Further details can be seen on the individual exam pages. We would recommend erring on the side of over preparation so as to ensure a mark high enough to provide a pass.
For more information on Cisco exam policies in general, take a look at this page.
GBdirect offer the Cisco approved courses aimed to provide the skills and knowledge required to earn this certification. The courses offered are:
While these courses will help prepare you for the exams they may not provide you with everything you need to pass them. To ensure this we would recommend hands on experience with the products concerned, along with additional reading from Cisco certification texts. It is advisable to look up the content of the exam, while performing practice labs and taking advantage of the practice exams available on the Cisco website should also prove beneficial. We welcome any reviews of your Cisco Certification experience, if you feel that you know of an improved learning method then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Official Cisco Materials
Cisco provides a large amount of online materials, some of which is available through the certification pages themselves. An excellent starting point is to look at the exam content available on the exam page as well as a PDF that provides the exam guidelines.
The Cisco Learning Network area on the CCNP Voice certification can be found here, containing list of materials corresponding to each individual exam that can be found under the study/learn tab. Practice questions are also available under the practice tab.
The CCNP Voice syllabus can also be used as an excellent starting point.
Cisco also hosts forums in the form of Study Groups, allowing for the discussion of any areas within CCNP Voice certification. This is naturally very useful for finding information on specific areas, but also for finding overviews of certification as a whole. If you are less experienced with some more general Cisco networking technologies you may also want to take some time to look at CCNA orCCNP R&S resources.
A range of texts are available for those studying for this certification, however not all exams have an associated set of reading, although some suggestions may be found on the study groups and some books receive relatively poor reviews.
Foundation guides are available for CVOICE, CIPT1 and CIPT2. The guide for CVOICE receives largely favourable reviews for its concise nature, whilst maintaining focus on the exam and covering enough material to make this a valuable study aid.
The CIPT1 and 2 guides however receive significantly worse reviews due to the reportedly large number of errors found in both the text and screenshots included in certain editions. However this said there is still some valuable study material contained within these texts and they could be of use alongside other learning materials.
The quick reference guides available for this certification also receive largely favourable reviews as a last minute revision tool or for gaining a general overview of some areas. It should be noted that the CAPPS receives worse reviews for what could be construed as being too concise in comparison to the others available.
We welcome reviews and views of any text you have personal experience with, likewise if you feel we have missed off a more valuable study aid please do get in touch.
The Techexams.net forum is one of the most active covering Cisco and other certifications, there is a great deal of detailed information related to either specific technical details or the certification as a whole.
CBT Nuggets have video courses available for the CVOICE, CIPT1 and 2 exams. These videos come highly recommended and are a valuable study tool alongside an instructor led course and background reading.
Kevin Wallace's Cisco Cert Prep blog contains a large number of videos and posts related to most aspects of CCNp Voice and as such can be a very useful resource for those taking this certification.
What if I fail?
Don't panic. You will be able to see and your test result and the areas you felt weakest in, focus on content areas where your performance was weakest and areas with a high percentage of questions. Once you feel ready you can reschedule your exam. Cisco's exam retake policy is listed below:
The policies for retaking exams are as follows:
- Candidates who fail an exam must wait a period of five (5) calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.
- Once passed, a candidate must wait a minimum of 180 days before taking the same exam with an identical exam number.
- Candidates who violate these policies are in violation of the agreement. Such conduct is strictly prohibited as described in the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.
Excellent, you've passed
Upon passing you will receive a score report complete with your photo; this can be used to share with employers or other third parties. This will also grant you access to the Cisco Certifications Tracking System, allowing you to see certification progress, access logos for valid certifications, allow third parties/employers to see your certifications and to sign any necessary agreements.
CCNP tends to be the highest level of certification achieved by those pursuing Cisco certifications; however a higher level, CCIE Collaboration, does exist. This is a highly regarded certification that demonstrates the highest level of technical proficiency with Cisco technologies; due to the difficulty and specialised nature of this qualification we do not offer training courses. Further information can be found on Cisco's site.
CCNP, Salary and Contract Rates
A recent survey of IT jobs offered across the UK reported the following statistics on the average earning of salaried and contract workers holding CCNP certification. The UK average salary for a CCNP is £45,000, with the average salary for London being £47,500. A breakdown of this shows 90% are offered a salary of more than £35,000 while 10% are offered more than £63,500.
Contractor daily rates were also surveyed and the UK average was found to be £360 per day and £375 per day for the city of London. The further breakdown of these figures shows that 90% are offered a daily rate in excess of £250 while 10% are offered more than £450. Further details can be found on the IT Jobs Watch site.