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Linux Foundation Global Certification and Confidentiality Agreement
copyright © 2020 Version 1.0. The Linux Foundation. All rights reserved.
This Certification Agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into between you and the Linux Foundation as of the date of your exam registration (the “Effective Date”).
YOU AND LF AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING:
“LF” means the Linux Foundation, its project communities, and entities it has engaged with to provide Certification Programs.
“Certification(s)” means any professional certification credential offered by LF.
“SkillCred” means any skills credential offered by LF.
“Program(s)” means the Certification programs offered by LF under this Agreement.
“Examination” or “Exams” means a test provided by the LF, possibly through an Exam Proctoring Partner, which is used to determine whether to issue Certification(s).
“Exam Proctoring Partner” means the entity engaged by LF to administer the applicable examination.
“Mark” means one of the trademarks and logos related to LF Certification such as:
- Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS )
- Linux Foundation Certified Systems Engineer (LFCE)
- Linux Foundation Certified Cloud Technician (LFCT)
- Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA)
- Cloud Foundry Certified Developer (CFCD)
- Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
- Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
- Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
- Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA)
- Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator (CHFA)
- Certified Hyperledger Fabric Developer (CHFD)
- Certified TARS Application Developer (CTAD)
- FinOps Certified Practitioner (FOCP)
- OpenJS Node.js Application Developer (JSNAD)
- OpenJS Node.js Services Developer (JSNSD)
- Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA)
- RISC-V Foundational Associate (RVFA)
LF makes exams available to you solely to test your knowledge of the exam subject matter for which you seek Certification or a Credential. You are expressly prohibited from disclosing, publishing, reproducing, or transmitting any exam and any related information including, without limitation, questions, answers, worksheets, computations, drawings, diagrams, length or number of exam segments or questions, or any communication, including oral communication, regarding or related to the exam (known collectively as “Confidential Information”), in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, oral or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose.
Confidential Information includes the contents of the exam, which may not be disclosed as set forth above, including to any employee not affiliated with the LF Certification Program. A disclosure of Confidential Information by any means in violation of this Agreement undermines the integrity and security of the Program.
Examination Materials are proprietary, confidential and copyrighted materials of LF (except open source code incorporated therein, which may have other copyright holders and is used pursuant to the applicable open source license). Violators of copyright law are subject to injunctions, civil liability, forfeiture of profits, punitive damages and other legal sanctions. LF will take appropriate legal action against you to protect LF's rights if you breach the provisions of this Section.
Certification is based upon a candidate meeting the minimum requirements of the Program, including achieving passing scores on required examinations in accordance with LF’s testing guidelines. If these requirements are met a candidate will receive a certificate from LF signifying they accomplishment. If Certification expires (see Section 3.2), then the candidate must retake the examination and again achieve passing scores to renew the Certification.
While LF does provide an exam score, no representations are made beyond whether or not the candidate has demonstrated minimum competence.
Certification is only available for natural persons, not corporations or other legal entities. Should the candidate misuse any certificate or Marks associated with any of the Certification schemes, appropriate action will be taken to resolve the case and prevent recurrence. Serious and/or continuous misuse will give rise to Certifications being withdrawn and legal action being taken as appropriate. (Use of Marks is defined in Section 3.6.)
Certifications* expire 36 months from the date that the Program certification requirements are met by a candidate. * NOTE: CKS and FOCP Certifications expire 24 months from the date that the Program certification requirements are met by a candidate.
Candidates must meet Certification renewal requirements prior to the expiration date of their certification in order to maintain active certification. If Certification renewal requirements are not met before the expiration date, Certification will be deemed revoked without further action by The Linux Foundation and this Agreement shall terminate effective as of the expiration date, subject to the provisions of Section 9.3.
LF may, in its sole discretion, change the Program without notice. Such changes may include, without limitation, adding or deleting available Certifications and modifying Certification requirements, testing objectives, outlines, recommended training courses, and exams. It is your responsibility to keep informed of any such modifications and if applicable, to complete new requirements for maintaining and/or renewing Certification. If any LF Certification requirements are modified, this Agreement and your LF Certification may be terminated by LF without further notice, unless you adhere to any applicable LF Certification requirements.
LF will revoke Certification if you fail to comply with Certification renewal requirements. In addition, LF may, in its sole discretion, revoke any and all Certifications you may have earned and permanently ban you from earning future Certifications under any of the following circumstances:
- If you use profanity, threaten to harm, bully or in any way harass any LF or Exam Proctoring Partner employee or contractor (whether verbally or in writing, including through electronic communications or external web postings);
- If you breach the terms and conditions of this Agreement;
- If you have been convicted of a crime that LF deems, in its sole discretion, in any way harms or affects LF’s or the Program’s reputation, goodwill or security; or
- If you have lost or settled a civil case in which LF is the plaintiff and the claim arose from any alleged damage to LF, its brand, goodwill or reputation.
If you are under the age of 16 years old, you are not eligible for testing or Certification. LF reserves the right to impose additional restrictions to comply with local data protection laws.
If you successfully pass an Exam and receive written indication from LF that you may use the Mark corresponding to the Exam, then LF grants you a nonexclusive revocable license to use that Mark for the purpose of indicating that you have achieved the Credential or Certification. This license will terminate immediately upon a material breach of this Agreement, upon termination of this Agreement, or if LF notifies you of a violation of the rules in this section regarding your use of the Mark and within seven days, in the sole discretion of LF, such violation of the rules is not corrected. The rules are:
- You shall not use the Mark for any purpose other than to indicate your status as having been Certified or achieved a credential
- The only person to use the mark will be You; You will not allow its use of any other person or legal entity on your behalf
- You agree that your use of the Mark may be terminated at any time if, in the sole discretion of LF, LF determines that you are in breach of this agreement
- You agree to only use the Mark in the form provided to you by LF, and not to modify the color, text, proportions or other aspects of the Mark except for the size, which may be adjusted in even proportion
- You agree not to take any action that might injure the brand image and/or goodwill embodied in the Mark, or in any other marks owned or licensed by LF, including without limitation the “LF” trademarks.
- You agree not to make partial or entire use of the Mark as part of your own name or business name, and will not combine the Mark with any other of your marks or logos
- You agree that all right, title, and interest in the Mark shall remain with LF. You agree not to challenge the ownership or any other rights of LF in the Mark, or other marks licensed or owned by LF, including without limitation the “LF”
- You will not file in any application or registration for any trademark that is similar or identical to the Mark or to any other marks owned by LF
Candidates need to provide identification (ID) that meets the requirements outlined below:
- All IDs must be a valid (unexpired) Government-issued original, physical document (not photocopied or electronic)
- IDs must include the candidate's name, photo, and signature*
- *Government-issued biometric IDs that do not contain signature will be accepted
- Acceptable forms of ID:
- International travel passport
- Government-issued driver’s license/permit
- Government-Issued local language ID (with photo and signature)
- National identity card State or province-issued identity card
- Alien registration card (green card or permanent resident/visa)
- 住民基本台帳 (Basic Resident Register with photo) or マイナンバーカード(My Number Card)
- Minors, between the age of 16-18, are permitted to take an online proctored exam, provided they complete the following requirements:
- At check in, the minor candidate must present a valid student ID as a form of identification
- During the check-in process, the candidate's guardian must also present a valid ID and must provide verbal consent during the PSI check-in process.
Candidates must consent to having their photo taken and may be required to scan their government issued identification for the exam Proctoring Partner. These will be used for identity verification only and are not retained for any other purpose.
In addition, live audio, video, chat log, and desktop feed of a candidate’s testing session will be screenshared and streamed to a remote proctor and recorded. Test session recordings are stored for no more than 90 days. The recordings are only accessed by authorized program or exam proctoring partner staff and only in the event of reported irregularities or a candidate appeal regarding an exam session.
Exams may be administered to citizens of a sanctioned country listed below PROVIDED the citizens are tested OUTSIDE the sanctioned country and their exam registration and current ID show an address OUTSIDE the sanctioned country.
- North Korea
- Crimea Region of Ukraine
For exams that are scheduled with our proctoring partner, candidates must start their exam no later than 30 minutes after the scheduled start time.
If a candidate does not start their exam within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time, they will be automatically marked as a no-show and no refund or rescheduling will be allowed.
Candidates must also comply with the following rules and policies during the Exam, and the Proctor cannot release the Exam until the Candidate has indicated that they have read, understood and accept these rules and policies:
- Room must be quiet, private and well lit
- Bright lights or windows should not be positioned behind the Candidate
- Testing from public spaces such as coffee shops, stores, etc. is not allowed
- No one other than the Candidate can be present in the room
- Desk must be clear of all notes and electronics
- Candidate is not allowed to communicate with anyone other than the Proctor during the Exam
- Candidate is not allowed to read the questions out loud, to themselves, during the exam
- Candidate is not allowed to leave their desk or step out of view of the webcam, unless they have been granted specific permission by the Proctor
- Candidate is not allowed to eat, drink (except clear liquids as per rule below), or chew gum
- Candidate is permitted to drink clear liquids from a label-free clear bottle or a clear glass
- Candidate is not allowed to wear any electronic device in their ears, on their face or on their body unless medically necessary
- Candidate must refrain from making excessive and/or repetitive noise
- Candidate must refrain from covering their mouth and/or face
- Candidate is not allowed to write or enter input on anything (whether paper, electronic device, etc.) outside of the Exam console screen
- Candidates must refrain from inappropriate or questionable behavior including, but not limited to, failing to follow proctor requests, looking off the screen, and using forbidden resources.
The following tools and resources are allowed during all Exams as long as they are used by the Candidate to work independently on exam tasks (i.e. not used for 3rd party assistance or research) and are accessed from within the Linux server terminal on which the Exam is delivered (resources that cannot be accessed from within the terminal are not allowed):
- Man pages
- Documents installed by the platform (i.e. /usr/share and its subdirectories)
- Packages that are part of the platform (may also be installed by Candidate if not available by default)
Click on your exam title to see the specific resources allowed during your exam
The following resources are forbidden during the Exam:
- Use of devices other than the exam desktop
- Notes or unauthorized materials
- Unauthorized digital resources
- Course manuals
- Devices external to computer on which they are taking the exam, including but not limited to: mobile phones, PDAs, wearable computers, smart glasses, smart watches
- Certain kinds of violations will result in a warning from the Proctor, while certain other violations result in IMMEDIATE TERMINATION OF THE EXAM WITHOUT WARNING.
- If a warning is issued by the Proctor, the Exam will be paused until the Candidate is able to amend or resolve the observed violation.
- If a Candidate is found to be in violation of the same rule more than twice or is found to be in violation more than four times on any combination of rules, the Exam will be terminated immediately.
- The following actions result in IMMEDIATE TERMINATION OF THE EXAM WITHOUT WARNING:
- Candidate refuses to comply with a Proctor request
- Candidate is observed to be copying Exam content, whether with software, external device(s), manual transcription, or other means
- Candidate steps out of view of the webcam for extended amount of time without the Proctor’s permission
- Someone other than the Candidate is observed to complete or assist with any part of the Exam (e.g. by using Remote Access Software or Proxy Testing)
- A discrepancy exists between the input on a Candidate’s screen and the Candidate’s observed activity
Candidates engaging in Exam Misconduct, as defined below, will not be allowed to complete the Exam or receive an exam result. Such candidates will also be barred from taking any other LF Exam and if applicable, will have any active LF Certification(s) or Credential(s) withdrawn. Refunds will not be given and rescheduling will not be allowed in the event of early termination of an exam due to misconduct. Misconduct may, at any time, result in application of the sanctions specified in Section 7. You shall adhere to all Program rules and shall not engage in any action to subvert, or attempt to subvert, the examination process (“Exam Misconduct”) including but not limited to:
- Disseminating actual exam content by any means, including, but not limited to, web postings, formal or informal test preparation or discussion groups, chat rooms, reconstruction through memorization, study guides, or any other method, as well as providing exam content or information to any person not expressly authorized by LF to receive such content or information (including but not limited to an LF employee who is not part of the Certification Program staff)
- Copying or otherwise transferring, modifying, making derivative works of, reverse engineering, decompiling, disassembling, or translating any Exam or any part thereof
- Seeking and/or obtaining unauthorized access to examination materials (this includes using recollections of others or materials from previous administration of any Exam, a.k.a. braindump material, and/or any unauthorized publication of Exam questions with or without answers)
- Using falsified or altered certificates, score reports, or other documents or electronic media to misrepresent Certification or Credential status
- Allowing another person, or an organization in which you are not actively involved, to use your credentials to obtain employment or promotions
- Providing falsified information, documentation or statements as a means of a false identity, false address or solicitation of someone to take a test on another's behalf
- Giving, Receiving or obtaining assistance by improper means (e.g. using AI or ChatGPT) during the examination or attempting to do so
- Making notes of any kind during the Exam, whether on paper or via digital means (other than using the notepad provided within the exam browser tab)
- Possession of non-authorized items during the Exam
- Accepting or providing improper assistance on your Exam or Exams taken by others (e.g. by using Remote Access Software or Proxy Testing)
- Removing or attempting to remove Exam material (in any format)
- Intentionally or otherwise repeatedly causing a disturbance of any kind during the Exam
- Tampering with the exam server and its environment or attempting to use it for any function other than taking an LF Exam
- Modifying and/or altering the results and/or score report for this Exam or any other Exam record
- Using computer scripts to register for Exams
- Failing to adhere to any LF or Exam Proctoring Partner policy, procedure, rule, or instruction
- Using profanity, threatening to harm, bully or in any way harass any LF or Exam Proctoring Partner employee or contractor (whether verbally or in writing, including through electronic communications or external web postings)
- Otherwise violating the terms of LF’s Certification and Confidentiality Agreement
Upon completion, exams are scored automatically and a score report will be made available within 24 hours. LF and/or the Exam Proctoring Partner will review your exam record for scoring accuracy, for evidence of possible misconduct, and for response patterns that may suggest that your scores do not represent a valid measure of your knowledge or competence as sampled by the examination (measurement error). LF will use statistical analyses of exam data (“Data Forensics”) to identify patterns indicative of test fraud, including cheating and piracy.
LF reserves the right to invalidate your exam score and certification result if review of your exam record reveals scoring inaccuracies (attributable to LF or the Exam Proctoring Partner) or response patterns indicative of possible misconduct or measurement error. If LF determines that an Exam score is invalid due to issues that are beyond the control of the candidate, the candidate will be advised of options to retake the Exam at no charge.
If a candidate requires test accommodations they must notify LF two weeks in advance so any accommodating measures can be communicated to the Exam Proctoring Partner.
The LF endorses the principles of equal opportunity. Eligibility criteria for Certification or Credentials are applied equally to all individuals regardless of age, race, religion, gender national origin, veteran status or disability.
Candidates, before and after Certification or Credentialing, shall:
- Perform duties with objectivity, due diligence and professional care.
- Access private information on computer systems only when it is necessary in the course of technical duties. Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of information obtained in the course of your activities unless disclosure is required by legal authority. Such information shall not be used for personal benefit or released to inappropriate parties.
- Provide service in your areas of competence, being honest and forthright about any limitations of your experience and education. Maintain competency in your respective fields and agree to undertake only those activities you can reasonably expect to complete with the necessary skills, knowledge and competence.
- Strive to ensure the necessary integrity, reliability, and availability of the systems for which you are responsible.
- Design and maintain each system in a manner consistent with the purpose of the system to the organization.
- Inform appropriate parties of the results of work performed including the disclosure of all significant facts known to you that, if not disclosed, may distort the reporting of the results.
- Not engage in deceptive financial practices such as bribery, double billing, or other improper financial practices.
- Obey all laws governing your work, unless, in exceptional circumstances, such compliance is inconsistent with the public interest.
- Promote no interest adverse to your employer or client, unless a higher ethical concern is being compromised; in that case, inform the employer or another appropriate authority of the ethical concern.
- Avoid entering into conflicting obligations with one client, such as obligations of confidentiality, availability for work, or otherwise, which conflict with obligations to another client.
- Not unlawfully discriminate or knowingly permit unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability in: (1) hiring, promoting, discharging, or otherwise determining the conditions of employment of any person; or (2) accepting or terminating representation of any client.
- Identify, document, and report significant issues of social concern, of which you are aware, in software or related documents, to the employer or the client.
- Ensure that you have no other professional or contractual obligations that are inconsistent with this Code of Conduct.
- Participate in any investigation of exam irregularities. Refusal to co-operate can be the basis for revocation of certification or cancellation of eligibility.
- Notify LF if they are unable to continue to perform the skills and competencies prior to their certification expiration.
If LF, in its sole discretion, determines that you have engaged in Exam Misconduct (as specified in Section 4.4) or violated the Professional Code of Conduct (as specified in Section 6), you will receive written notice of the violation(s) and sanctions. It will be your sole responsibility to ensure that LF has your current email address and any notice by LF will be effective upon sending to the last email address you provided to LF.
LF will consider the circumstances of the violation, including information related to the frequency of violations and their implications on the security of exam content and on the reputation of the Certification Program or Credential. Sanction decisions may include, but will not be limited to, cancellation of your exam score, a temporary or permanent ban on future LF examinations and the cancellation of previously earned LF Certification or Credential.
If LF determines that a request for appeal is filed within the allowable time, the submission follows required guidelines for consideration and the original sanction and invalidation decision is upheld by LF, such appeal and the information submitted by you will be forwarded to the LF Certifications Appeals Committee for consideration. You may expect to receive a written response from LF within approximately ninety (90) calendar days after the Appeals Committee meets. Decisions rendered by the Appeals Committee are final.
The Agreement commences when you first accept this Agreement and shall remain in effect until terminated pursuant to its terms.
Either you or LF may terminate this Agreement at any time, with or without cause, upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other.
LF may, in its sole discretion, terminate this Agreement at any time if you breach any of the material terms of this Agreement (including, without limitation, the terms set forth under Exam Misconduct in Section 4.4 or Professional Code of Conduct in Section 6), or if you violate or fail to meet any Program requirements.
All notices of termination must be made in accordance with the notice requirements set forth in Section 13.6 below. LF will provide you written notice of termination at your last known address or email. Termination notices sent by LF are effective as of the date set forth in the notice. Written notices of termination directed to LF are effective upon receipt by LF. LF, without waiving its right to immediately terminate this Agreement, may provide you with thirty (30) days notice to correct any default if this Agreement is terminated under Section 9.3. If LF permits such a cure period, your failure to cure any default within the cure period shall automatically cause the termination of this Agreement without further notice.
Upon the termination of this Agreement or LF’s revocation of your Certification or Credential, you shall immediately cease to represent yourself as Certified by the LF, or holiday an LF Credential.
IN NO EVENT WILL LF’S LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT EXCEED AMOUNTS PAID BY YOU PURSUANT TO THIS AGREEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL LF BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, OF ANY KIND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF LF HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. THIS LIMITATION WILL APPLY NOTWITHSTANDING ANY FAILURE OF ESSENTIAL PURPOSE OF ANY LIMITED REMEDY PROVIDED HEREIN. LF’s LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT EXCEED THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE PAYMENTS MADE BY YOU TO LF FOR CERTIFICATIONS.
You acknowledge that your personal information includes, without limitation, your photograph, signature, biometric data or any other personally identifying data collected from you by LF or its authorized agents, and you agree to allow LF and/or its agents to gather and store this information. Your personal information may be shared outside LF and its authorized third party vendors under the following conditions and you consent to such disclosure by your execution of this Agreement:
Verification of Certification. LF often receives requests from third parties, particularly employers, to verify an individual’s Certification status. LF may, but has no obligation to, provide such information about your Certification status to others. LF provides such information as a courtesy to you, and you agree that LF has no liability for providing this information.
In response to verification inquiries that are submitted against a specific Certificate ID number and that include the Last Name corresponding to that certificate, LF will disclose the candidate name, certification title and status, and date of certification for that Certificate ID.
I HEREBY AUTHORIZE THE LF (“LF”) TO DISCLOSE MY NAME, CERTIFICATE ID AND TITLE, THE DATE UPON WHICH SUCH ACHIEVEMENT WAS MADE, AND STATUS AS BEING ACTIVE OR INACTIVE, TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY THAT MAKES A REQUEST TO LF REGARDING A SPECIFIC CERTIFICATE ID NUMBER, PROVIDED THAT THE REQUEST ALSO INCLUDES THE LAST NAME THAT CORRESPONDS TO THAT CERTIFICATE ID.
Data Sharing. LF may also share personal data provided by the candidate and details of examination scores with a third party, including Exam Proctoring Partners, in order to administer the Exams, to improve the testing program and experience, to facilitate statistical analyses, and to determine if Candidate passed the Exam.
Limited Disclosure. LF may share your information in the following ways: (a) to comply with the law or legal process (such as responding to subpoenas or court orders), (b) to exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims related to this Agreement, (c) to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected or potential fraud, and brand protection matters (such as use of LF's trademark without a license), (d) situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person.
Candidate Information may be transmitted or otherwise transferred outside of the country or geographic region in which you reside or in which you took any LF examination. You are aware that data protection regulations in other countries, including, without limitation, the United States of America, may not fully correspond with data protection regulations in your region and may provide less effective protection.
You may not assign any rights, licenses or obligations received under this Agreement to anyone. Any attempted assignment in violation of this Agreement is null and void and without effect.
You waive any right to challenge the validity and enforceability of this Agreement on the grounds that it was transmitted and entered into electronically. You agree that entering into the Agreement electronically is equivalent to signing the Agreement. Failure by either party to enforce any provision of this Agreement will not be deemed a waiver of future enforcement of that or any other provision. Any waiver, amendment or other modification of any provision of this Agreement will be effective only if in writing and signed by both you and LF.
If a court of competent jurisdiction finds any provision of this Agreement to be unenforceable, that provision of the Agreement will be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to affect the intent of the provision, and the remainder of this Agreement will continue in full force and effect.
Sections 2 (Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Ownership), 3.4 (Certification Revocation),4.4 (Exam Misconduct Policy), 7 (Exam Misconduct and Professional Code of Conduct Violations), 9.5 (Effect of Termination), 10 (Limitation of Liability), 11 (Privacy and Delivery of Certification Information to Third Parties), and 13 (Miscellaneous) will survive termination of this Agreement.
This Agreement will be governed exclusively by the internal laws of the State of Oregon, without reference to: such State’s principles of conflicts of law; the 1980 United Nations Conventions on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods; or other international laws. The parties consent to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of the federal and state courts in Oregon.
This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you and LF with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous understandings or agreements, written or oral, regarding such subject matter.
All notices sent or required to be sent shall be in writing or by e‐mail to the other party at the address for the other party set forth below. It shall be your sole responsibility to ensure that LF has a current address for you.
By indicating your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, you hereby represent to LF that you: (1) have read and understood the terms of this agreement; and (2) are sixteen years of age or older. You acknowledge that LF is relying upon such representations in granting certification. LF shall have the right to deny certification should you fail to meet these requirements or in the event otherwise prohibited by law.
The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our Trademark Usage Page. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.