The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) last week announced the new LPIC-3 certification programme. The LPIC-3 is the organisation's highest level distribution-neutral Linux certification and is targeted at Linux professionals providing IT services at the enterprise level. The certification consists of a single exam (LPI-301) and additional specialty certifications.

Launched together with LPI-Japan, the LPI recognised the "substantial" contribution made by the Japanese affiliate in creating the programme. Jim Lacey, president and CEO of LPI, said "LPI-Japan brought significant resources to the table in the creation of this programme. In particular, they were responsible for ensuring the involvement, counsel and strategic advice of key technical and business individuals from amongst the world's most highly respected and recognised IT companies. This input and other necessary investments helped to make this programme possible."

Lacey also said the process to develop the examinations was open and transparent and involved more than 300 Linux professionals from around the world: "We also thank the numerous senior IT professionals who volunteered their time to ensure the industry's best interests were represented throughout our Job Tasks Analysis, exam question creation, and beta-testing of the LPIC-3 exams," he said.

Gen Narui, chairman of LPI-Japan, said that there was substantial demand within enterprise for this high level certification in ratifying employee skills: "This certification level will assist organisations in their investments in training and human resources programs. It will demonstrate significant and professional enterprise level skills in Linux particularly for those companies that have a substantial customer base in Linux services."

The LPIC-3 certification program consists of a single core exam (LPI 301) which focuses on skills in authentication, troubleshooting, network integration and capacity planning. This core certification can be supplemented by additional speciality certifications: the first of these will be the LPI-302 Mixed Environments.

Other proposed speciality certifications include security, high availability and virtualization, web and intranet, and mail and messaging.

The LPIC-3 exam (301) is priced at US$250 (R1,800) in most jurisdictions. However, local affiliates may provide special introductory pricing. Exam candidates are advised to contact their local affiliate or testing centre for pricing details. The LPI-302 exam is US$150 US worldwide.