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If I want to help another person prepare for the Salesforce certification exam, either on this forum, another forum, my website, or one-on-one, do I risk losing my certification if I disclose information about the exam? And what are some specific examples of appropriate ways of helping that do not violate the test-taker agreement?

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There are two clauses of the test-taker agreement that address this question. They are found in sections 3 and 6.

Section 3

  1. Proprietary and Confidential Information. You agree that the Exam and all content related to the Exam is SFDC confidential and proprietary information ("Confidential Information"). You are prohibited from disclosing, copying, publishing Confidential Information and your confidentiality obligations shall survive the termination of this Agreement.

Section 6

SFDC may revoke Your Certification Designation, if in SFDC's sole discretion. SFDC determines that You: 1) assisted, or used assistance from others in completing the Certification Exam; 2) circumvented, or attempted to circumvent SFDC program procedures or security mechanisms, or 3) breached the terms of this Agreement. Upon termination of the Agreement, Your rights to use the Certification Designation shall cease immediately.

The first part (section 3) states clearly that the exam is confidential information that you are prohibited from disclosing.

When you tick that box, you are, in essence, agreeing to an NDA.

Section 6 states clearly that breaching the terms of the agreement is grounds for revocation of your certification.

In other words, violation of the NDA carries the potential consequence of losing your certification.

So what is acceptable?

I have seen examples of all of the following that have been accepted and tolerated by the certification team:

  • Responses to Q&A in online forums
  • Online flash cards
  • Practice exams
  • Community created self-paced learning modules
  • Partner created instructor-led certification prep training

As long as these things do not rely directly on the content of the course, the confidential information you are asked to protect, you should be in good shape.

On the other hand, if in helping in the above ways, you do share confidential information, it is up to the discretion of the certification team and their legal counsel as to whether or not you get to keep your certification. I would like to think that each case would be evaluated on its own merits. A single mistake on a forum, for instance, is different from blatantly posting entire question sets to LinkedIn or Facebook. But in the end breaking the agreement makes a person vulnerable to the consequences outlined within. So share judiciously.

EDIT:

And if you are thinking of writing an article, or publishing your exam study guide, and you are concerned you may be crossing the line, you could always file a case on certification.salesforce.com and ask for the certification team to review your content.

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    Thus said, maybe it's better I don't get certified. I'm a bit of a blabbermouth. – sfdcfox Oct 19 '15 at 10:04
  • So am I. I blab a lot...I'm just selective about what I blab about. I was the guy that got a bunch of Advanced Developer certification judges on the stage at Dreamforce to talk about the programming assignment. There are always ways. And the cert team is always happy to advise. :-) – pchittum Oct 19 '15 at 10:11
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    Incidentally @sfdcfox, I would say your SFSE score is probably all the certification you would need at this point. ;-) – pchittum Oct 19 '15 at 10:15

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