Skip to Content

SuccessFactors Training and Certification FAQ

*This blog was published in December 2013 and is no longer accurate. Please refer to the blog SuccessFactors Training and Certification FAQ: 2015 Edition*

I have recently received and read a lot of questions around getting trained in SuccessFactors and there has been some confusion with consultants who are expecting to be able to take traditional classroom training to make the transition to SuccessFactors. SuccessFactors training differs from traditional SAP training and certification and has many activities that are extremely different for SAP Consultants who have undertaken SAP HCM training. In this FAQ I will answer a number of questions that I commonly get from aspiring SuccessFactors consultants. In addition, I would recommend watching Becoming an HCM SaaS Consultant part 1 and part 2 for some additional insights [added in January 2015].

How do I get trained on SuccessFactors?

Only employees of official SuccessFactors partners are eligible for training. This is because there are a number of systems required to undertake SuccessFactors training and access to these are part of the Partner agreement between SuccessFactors and the partner. These systems include the SuccessFactors LMS, SAP Jam, SuccessFactors Partner Portal, and a SuccessFactors demo system.

What level of trainings are there?

SuccessFactors offers what they call a “Mastery” course for each of their solutions, such as Employee Central or Performance & Goals. Before you can take a Mastery course, you have to complete the Introduction to Mastery course. Since December 12th, 2013 it is no longer a prerequisite to complete the Introduction to Mastery course to gain Provisioning access. However, taking a Mastery course is not optional for implementing a specific module.

What courses do SuccessFactors offer?

SuccessFactors offers the following courses:

  • Introduction to Mastery
  • Employee Central Mastery
  • Compensation Mastery
  • Learning Management System Mastery
  • Performance and Goals: Core Topics Mastery
  • Performance and Goals: Additional Topics Mastery
  • Recruiting Management Mastery
  • Recruiting Marketing Mastery
  • Succession Mastery
  • Variable Pay Mastery
  • Workforce Analytics and Planning Mastery
  • SAP Jam Mastery

It is worth noting that the Development module – often called Career Development Planning (CDP) – is not covered under any Mastery training, although there is a self-learning course available in the SuccessFactors LMS. Metadata Framework is covered in Employee Central Mastery. SuccessFactors Onboarding Mastery will be offered from Q1 2014.

How does the training work?

Training is delivered virtually and is focused around self-learning. There is also a strong emphasis on collaborative learning via SAP Jam and you will be expected to record one to three demonstration videos in the SAP Jam group. SuccessFactors holds regular check-in meetings via WebEx. For Introduction to Mastery these are every day, but for a Mastery course they are often two or three times weekly. In the Mastery course, there is an exercise that must be completed and passed at the end of the first week in order to progress to the second week which then often involves completing a final exercise in which you are provided a sample customer workbook and have to set up the system based on these requirements.

Are there any prerequisites to take the training?

As mentioned above, to undertake a Mastery course you must complete the Introduction to Mastery course. The prerequisites for taking any training course are access to:

  • SuccessFactors Learning (LMS)
  • SuccessFactors Partner Portal
  • SAP Jam

What sort of experience do I need?

There is no particular experience required, but it does help to be familiar with the module you are taking and to have knowledge of XML. Business process experience is not required for the training, but it helps to understand the various functions of the application that you are training on.

Can I just take a course with SAP or a 3rd party instead?

At present only SuccessFactors offer trainings although some of the trainers are employed by SuccessFactors Partners. Trainings offered by any other providers are not official and will not mean that you will be given Provisioning access or have a customer instance linked to your Provisioning account so you will be unable to do many traditional consulting tasks/responsibilities. If a Partner has completed the “Train the Trainer” program then they can provide SuccessFactors training in-house and it will hold the same weight as the training offered by SuccessFactors.

Do I need training? Can’t I just learn on the Job?

Although this practice does occur with SAP HCM, without taking the training it is not possible to get Provisioning access or to have the customer instance mapped to your Provisioning account. In addition, there are many nuances to each solution that would not be known without taking official training.

What does a course entail?

The length and content of each SuccessFactors course can vary. Each course assumes 8 hours of study per day and it is strongly advised to schedule no other work during the course time as this impedes the ability to learn the content and pass the course. The length of each course is listed below.

The following courses are 5-day, 40-hour courses:

  • Introduction to Mastery
  • Recruiting Marketing Mastery
  • Performance & Goals: Additional Topics Mastery
  • Workforce Analytics and Planning Mastery

The following courses are 9-day, 80-hour courses:

  • Compensation Mastery

The following courses are 10-day, 80-hour courses:

  • Learning Management System Mastery
  • Performance and Goals: Core Topics Mastery
  • Succession Mastery
  • Variable Pay Mastery

The following course is a 12-day, 96-hour course:

  • Recruiting Management Mastery

The following courses is a 15-day, 120-hour course:

  • Employee Central Mastery

The following is a self-taught course in the SuccessFactors LMS:

  • SAP Jam Mastery

Generally each 5-day course has a 2-hour check-in meeting each day. Each 10-day course generally has 5x 3-hour check-in meetings. There will be 3 meetings in the first week – which includes the introductory meeting on the first day of the course – and 2 meetings in the second week. The Employee Central Mastery course has an additional 2 check-in meetings in the third week. The check-in meetings enable the trainer to cover a number of topics, test the participants on their learning and request demonstrations, track progress, and answer any questions.

The course materials include: video packages with quizzes, workbooks of activities to complete, and other materials required to complete the activities (e.g. XML configuration files or implementation Workbooks). Some activities require posts within the course’s SAP Jam group. The demonstration videos are recorded in the course’s SAP Jam group.

The exception to all of this is the SAP Jam Mastery. The SAP Jam Mastery is a self-taught course the SuccessFactors LMS and can be done at your own pace. Although there is a final exam, to earn Mastery you need to schedule a SuccessFactors consultant to shadow you on an implementation.

Detailed information about each course can be found in the Mastery Course Catalog on the SuccessFactors Partner Portal.

Why are only employees of SuccessFactors partners allowed to take training?

As mentioned above, there are a number of different systems required to take training and it can be difficult to provide access to non-partners. I am hopeful that this will change over time once the sheer demand for training subsides but in the interim think it is smart to limit it to ensure that unauthorized training centers don’t open up as this has historically been a problem in the SAP ecosystem. At present, there is a huge demand for training from existing partners and courses fill up quickly.

How much does it cost?

The cost of courses vary, especially if your organization buys courses in bulk but in general they are between $1,500 and $4,500 depending on the course. Your company should contact their SuccessFactors Alliances manager to find out more. The current list prices can be found in the SuccessFactors Partner Portal.

What about certification?

In the past, a consultant had to complete the Introduction to Mastery, a Mastery course, and complete 2 full projects as the lead consultant to obtain official SuccessFactors certification.

It was announced at SuccessConnect 2013 that going forward SuccessFactors wants to better align their Certification Program with SAP, so they will be announcing some changes to their Consultant Certification Program. They are introducing 2 levels of certifications in different SuccessFactors product tracks:

  • SuccessFactors Certified Associate
    • Requires successful completion of relevant product Mastery
  • SuccessFactors Certified Professional
    • Requires successful completion of relevant product Mastery Training and requires successful completion of customer project implementations in relevant products

Is training all I need to implement SuccessFactors?

SuccessFactors training equips you with the fundamentals of each application, but much of the real learning happens on projects so it is advised to shadow an experienced consultant on your first few projects. Like with any software, there are many nuances and caveats that you cannot learn in a training course and there is no substitute for experience.

Customers need to understand that it is the Wild West out there right now and it is important to follow some of the tips in Jarret Pazahanick’s Seven Tips to ensure you hire the Right Consultant as well ensure that your SuccessFactors Consultant has the appropriate training, certifications, and experience as without it they are not going to be able to help you sufficiently.

Do Customers Need to Hire Certified Consultants

I have heard from several recruiters that their customers have said that they “don’t need their SuccessFactors Consultants to be certified”, but as you can see from above the basic Associate Certification for a solution (e.g. Employee Central) there is no value that an uncertified consultant can offer. As a bare minimum customers should be looking for experienced and trained consultants and once the new certification program is announced then Associate Certified consultants. Customers should ask consultants to provide a copy of their course certificate as it is provided once they have successfully passed a course.

Will SuccessFactors ever offer training via MOOC?

For those that don’t know MOOC is a new mode of training where training is delivered via online collaboration and the learner can complete the curriculum at their own pace. The great news is that SuccessFactors tentatively has plans to offer Introduction to Mastery for official SuccessFactors Partners via the massive online open course (MOOC) delivery method.  Some of the advantages for Partners are the following:

  • Never sit on a waiting list again!
  • Schedule training when it works best for you
  • Self paced learning with instructor help when needed
  • Increased access to deeper expertise
  • Get credit for your expertise


It’s important for me to point that Mastery courses are updated quarterly and that course modality, duration, and titles are subject to change based on business demand. Anything I have written here is subject to change at any point by SuccessFactors!

Key resources

There are some key resources that you can use to help learn about SuccessFactors and SuccessFactors training:


Much like SuccessFactors in general, SuccessFactors training and certification is not the same as what SAP HCM consultants will be used to. There are different methods and formats required and the outcomes are different. While training is only open to SuccessFactors partners, I expect this to change in future as the ecosystem stabilizes.

To stay current on this topic and SuccessFactors in general I would highly recommend joining the over 8,000 members in the SAP and SuccessFactors Linkedin Group.

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • Thanks Luke,

    Detailed and and informative as usual.

    Question for you;

    If an individual worked for certified consulting partner, completed training/projects/became certified, but then left to work for a customer, would their provisioning access remain active? Or is the access dependant on being linked to a certified partner?

      • Thanks Luke,

        Thats good news for the individual and potential customers in future if they can secure a former consultant for their internal team.

        appreciate you taking the time to respond.


      • One can only imagine, I fear, that this will not be a long term thing. As consultants typically join the PS Jam groups with their company email id. With updates every 3 months, it won't be long before on independent would be out of date, with little hope of catching up again.

        I would be wary about taking this approach as a company.

        Not (just) trying to protect my interests as a partner here, but there just isn't currently the infrastructure for an independent to keep up to date.

      • OK - I checked with my team and we have been advised that as soon as a qualified employee leaves our company we are to inform SuccessFactors who will revoke the provisioning access.

        So not sure that hiring trained consultants is a viable support mechanism. Even in the short term that their knowledge remains up to date.

        • This is interesting as lots of independent employees still have their Provisioning access. It would take an efficient or malicious employer to do this 😉

          Agree on your second point as an independent may not retain their access to the Partner Portal etc., but again this depends on whether their employer applies to revoke their access.

          • As an employer that offers our staff SuccessFactors training, if we did have an employee leave, I would ensure that the provisioning access was removed.

            Why? Not because I'm particularly malicious 😉 and want to ensure a return on investment for the training, but because the individuals as far as I have seen, haven't signed liability clauses, it's the company that signed those. If an ex-employees accidentally stuffs up a customer's system I think (I'm not a laywer so only offering an opinion, not fact) contractually we'd be liable - and that's not a position I'd like to be in.

            Plus I don't want people wanting to join my company just to be trained. We don't have any policies on making staff pay for training themselves if they leave within a certain time frame - as we pride ourselves on only recruiting staff that really want to work with us. I'd rather the temptation wasn't there.

            In your role in your company Luke, would you not inform SuccessFactors that the employee had left?

  • Great summary....but still sad that training is only available via partners and such....almost impossible for us independent consultants in the world. Hoping that will change. In the meantime, I guess the going solution is you work a deal with one of those 3rd party/partners to get into training in exchange for selling your soul to them for a couple of projects. I am interested in SF...but have not been interested enough to take THAT much of a plunge yet.

    FYI for those that don't quite get it....."Provisioning" in the SF world is like the "IMG" (SPRO) in the SAP imagine if you are a SAP consultant on a project and have no access to the IMG unless you go through the required training and have access controlled by SAP.....NOW you get why it is VERY different from a consulting perspective. Not just anyone can read a book on SF (or copy a resume) and suddenly be a consultant on a project. haha

    • Thanks Chris and I agree to an extent, but I see why from a logistics perspective that it's like that right now. Hopefully things will change soon.

      Although Provisioning is like IMG, it's not entirely the same comparison - but it's still something that is needed for many of the modules to do the basic setup. More details can be seen in this recent blog I wrote: Configuring SAP HCM & SuccessFactors: A Comparison

  • Great job with this Luke as I have been get 4-5 request a week for this type of information and going forward I will just send them your blog 🙂

    Great point Chris that the barriers of entry are not 100% negative as there "shouldn't" be as much fraud and poor consulting given some of the "keys to the kingdom" are being controlled directly by SAP/SuccessFactors.

  • One other point to consider with training/config access is the 'cloud' aspect.

    With on-premise you are ultimately only affecting your own system. Service packs, upgrades, patches etc are your own responsibility so what you/consultants do ultimately only affects you.

    The cloud model, being based on subscription, lends itself to more control around access/certification/standards, etc as you the customer are not in total control or own the system, just 'renting' a space.

    We currently support our own SAP HR via an internal team, going forward I will have to a third party agreement with someone for certain provisioning changes as we will not be able to do ourselves.

    I can see the logic, but also understand the frustration.



  • Nice wrap up Luke!

    I think its also worth pointing out that some modules require others a prereqs. Perhaps a civilization tech tree style diagram might help.

    Also I have an issue with SAP calling the new intro to mastery course a MOOC one of the O's in MOOC is Open, which this won't really be.

    Might be worth also pointing out that the courses often get booked up months in advance (especially in time zones that are friendly for non USA participants). And worse I've seen courses being canceled one week out.

    Expect some tricky hours if you're doing the courses from APAC timezones.

    Cheers,  Chris

    • Thanks Chris and great points! I didn't want to go into too much more detail as the blog is already fairly lengthy with the basics, but it's definitely worth noting that the prerequisites are changing here and there for some courses. In particular I recently heard that the Introduction to Mastery had additional prerequisites than when I took it.

      • Yep, be prepared to watch some sales videos and answer some questions on them during one of the most mind mushing 3 hours you'll ever spend 😛 .

  • Thnx Luke

    very Informative blog. Infact It will be more appreciable if u can share some config tips too.. 😉 ... 😛 .... I'll be eyeing around from now on to see more blogs on SF by u..

    Cheers 😉


  • Hi Luke

    Thanks much as always for wonderful summary for SF aspirants like myself 🙂 ..serves as gud start to get the inputs .much appreciated!

    no worries


          • SAP HCM consultants will get less opportunities, but many will re-train with SuccessFactors or other SaaS enterprise technologies.

          • Thanks for your reply Luke... One more question, incase if companies are hiring for SF are they going to give any weightage to HCM consultants?

          • It's hard to tell. On-premise HCM sales are slowing down already, so the changeover has already begun. Things may look very different in 3 to 5 years' time.

          • Thanks again for your prompt help Luke, you have let me know so many things in this document and also clarified my queries.

            As the HCM module is going down in market, and opportunities getting closed for us and we cannot even do Success factors certification as independent consultants, can you suggest any way as we can get into SF I mean any other source?

          • Your only answer right now is to join a SuccessFactors partner to get trained. There are no other ways and I recommend that you don't be tempted by courses you might see promising to offer SuccessFactors training.

          • Hi Sue, thanks for your input. Can i/we go for SF EC certification directly without enrolling SAP SF Training program?

            If Yes, could you please let me know the process to get certified.

          • Hi Sue,

            In SAP Learning Hub, there is note which says "C_THR81_1405 - Only registered SAP Partner consultants will be provided with provisioning rights once they have been certified.  Independent consultants, even if certified, will not be provided with provisioning rights.  There are no exceptions to this policy."

            So, let us take this situation, I'm an Independent participant who invests $XXXX to get SF certification and clears it. But I wont be provided with Provisioning rights as i'm not partner consultant. If I get a job in a partner company by showing my SF certification:

            1) Will I be getting a Provisioning ID and what is the process for the same?

            2) Should I undergo the certification process again as I need to get Provisioning ID?

            3) Will my certification still hold good?

            Kindly throw some light on this.



          • Hi Hari,

            1) All partner consultants are entitled get a Provisioning ID if they have taken training, irrespective of whether training was taken with that partner (i.e. training is linked to an individual but Provisioning access is linked to a partner company)

            2) No

            3) Yes

            Best regards,


          • @Chris - As long as individuals stay current on their Delta Certification which must be done within 6 months of being released.  For many we are about to embark on cycle of certification and delta exams if we want to "play" in the cloud consulting world 🙂

          • Thanks Luke... But my understanding is Provisioning ID will be required at the time of undergoing training and certifications. How will an independent participant get the best out of training and cert without provisioning id? Correct me if i'm wrong.



          • Hi Hari,

            As far as I know a Provisioning ID is *not* required for either training or certification. It is only needed for implementation.

            Best regards,


  • Hi Luke,

      Of late I have trying to get our team trained in SF. However, I have few question pertaining to SF training and execution in Project. Would be grateful if you can answer the following:

    1. Is it mandatory to have Intro to Mastery training in order to get specialized training like EC, Succession Planning, Performance appraisal?
    2. Can we get provisioning access for all modules without getting any SF training or is the provisioning access for a module limited to corresponding specialized training ?
    3. Can a consultant implement any specialized module after getting trained in “Intro to Mastery” only by self- learning using Provisioning access?



    • Hi Hari,

      It's not wasted, but the technical skillset will change and some of the SAP technical skills may not be of immedaite use going forward

      Best regards,


  • Hi Luke

    Thanks for sharing such amazing information read your other articles as well but still have few questions. HCM Consultant who want them to transform as Success Factor should wait for the opportunity with some Success Factor Partner ? which they never get specially if they are working as freelance consultants.

    Other Question every Mastery will give your certifcation or just like SAP HCM Certification its all bundle up ? e.g. If I am interested in Learning Systems I have to cover only below part to take exam

    The following courses are 10-day, 80-hour courses:

    • Learning Management System Mastery
    • Performance and Goals: Core Topics Mastery
    • Succession Mastery
    • Variable Pay Mastery



    • Thanks Syed. Independent consultants can now train on SuccessFactors with SAP Education.

      In SuccessFactors world you just need to take the training for the area you want, e.g. for learning you just take the Learning Management System Mastery. A prerequisite for all courses is the Introduction to Mastery course.

      • Hi Luke, amazing info 🙂

        Just one question, wasn't the provisioning access tied to the Partner Company "behind" the Consultant? What changed, concerning this, to allow freelancers to take this courses?

        Kind regards, and keep up the amazing work

        • Thanks Pedro. Yes, the Provisioning ID is tied to the partner company that an employee works for. However, a Provisioning ID will be provided to independents.

          • And is this independent ID only tied to the person? If so, that is interesting, it allows the sharing of knowledge, without the hypothetical liability to the company that first provided its employees with that amazing opportunity. Another step in the right direction. Thanks for your speedy answer . Appreciate it.

          • Hi Luke,

               In case multiple employees of one partner company are trained with Success Factors, how many provisioning id will be provided. Is the number same as the number of employees trained with Success Factor where each employee would get their own provisioning id or provisioning id will be assigned with the partner company and all the employees trained with SF would get to use the provisioning  id assigned with the partner company.



          • Hi Anirban,

            Each employee is issued a Provisioning ID. The Provisioning ID is for the employee, but is property of the employer as it is part of the partnership agreement between the employer and SuccessFactors. i.e. when an employee leaves their employer they should no longer use the Provisioning ID.

            Best regards,


          • Luke....always curious of does SF handle/check/detect/stop the sharing of IDs? Say a customer wants to implement SF...does the customer get Provisioning IDs for the employee/contractor to use for their specific implementation, and if so, does SF further check that the employee/contractor assigned has been "certified" for whatever SF work they are doing?

          • Someone gets a Provisioning account once they complete Intro to Mastery training. To have a customer's instance linked to a Provisioning account, SuccessFactors do check that the employee has certification in the required topic.

          • ...but past that, they can't really verify that it is THAT employee on the system doing the work? So there could be a non-certified person(s) working on it using the info and/or being "shadowed" by the actual certified person? Of course, I can see the penalty if a company/person were caught doing this, but I can also see some seedy types doing it "until caught" as well.

          • Not to mention, but this is a typical way that new SAP customers bring their in-house support staff up to speed during an implementation, by having the consultants shadow the in-house employees while the employees do the work. It doesn't always work this way, but it's pretty common. We pretty much require this in my shop, because we are highly independent and actually don't hire consultants much (a significant percentage of the support staff are ex-consultants). So, can customers get provisioning access for their own employees if they send the employees to training? Or is this basically geared to ensuring that customers must always hire consultants every time they want to configure something?

            Just curious, because we have no plans to implement SF any time soon.

          • My understanding is that anyone taking training can get a Provisioning login, but not everyone will be able to have customer instances linked to it. I don't think it has anything to do with ensuring that customers hire consultants, rather that Provisioning is designed in such a way that any feature can be enabled irrespective of what has been licensed.

          • Ok, so if my employer sends me to training, I should then have the access, and as an employee associated with my company's installation, I probably then would have our customer instance linked to my provisioning ID. Does that seem like the way it will probably go? If so, that would work out for us, if and when we ever go down this path.

          • that is not how it will go. per sap - notes for course c_thr81_1405 - sap certified application associate - sap hcm cloud employee central.

            the notes state - only registered sap partner consultants will be provided with provisioning rights once they have been certified. independent consultants, even if certified, will not be provided with provisioning rights. there are no exceptions to this policy

            RANT ON - to sf. thanks for thinking of your customers as second class citizens. this policy is absolute b***s***. so matt you and all other sf clients are s*** out of luck. you have to pay to get anything done and before anyone says provisioning is just switching on functionality that is total bs. this reminds me of a monopoly. customers are very very very very angry with this approach. so to any potential sf customer look at wday. I have heard this is another reason why sap has lost out. wd is more friendly in allowing customers to configure their systems. we had an incident where we could not even change some colors on a form - what the f***??? I hope sf goes straight to HELL. f*** off and don't let the door hit you on the way out when your potential customers pick WD - RANT OFF

          • oops!!!  The provisioning ID access note comes a a shocker to me. I was planning to take up SF training and certification at my own expense. Now I have no choice but to drop the plan if no Provisioning ID is provided.

            And I dont get his point from SF, what will an independent consultnat do without provisioning access and only with certification??? SUPER!!!

          • Why you want to drop your plan to go for training and certification? as your both objectives can be fulfilled by doing that and that training followed by certification will make difference and you are more preferable over those who are not trained.

            As ID will come when you will be working at Partner end or you can use the SF at client end......just first have a goal what you want to achieve by doing training?.........Knowledge is power...

            As in SAP ERP modules certification as well once the training is over, any independent consultant can't access the SAP GUI unless you are at Partner or client end, one can access service market place.....

            As SF is in demand so if you have proactively decided to go for it then you should............ just for the ID don't come back............SAP is leader in ERP, and going forward this training will be of much importance.............and hopefully any solution to this will be devised by SAP, as you can see from the history of SAP................

            rest the decision is your's.........

            Kind regards,

            Farzana Mushtaq

          • @Farzana ....I have to agree with G.Hari here.....for an independent, this is a "show stopper". No point in paying out the money to get certified if you can't actually get on projects. It is VERY different from the "classic" SAP world where people might have had experience either through working for a customer or consulting company and then go on their own. Because of their experience, they can get onto projects and work as an independent. With SF, it is a Catch-22. It's not the same with SF. You can't get that level of experience (Provisioning) without first being certified, second working on projects via a SF Partner, third being granted a Provisioning ID tied to the customer directly, and lastly you need the SF access for continuous updates/information/etc. So you won't have a chance to get (and keep up!) experience unless you continue working with/via a SF Partner and their best interest is NOT to work/subcontract to independents when they can place their own folks...which for SF projects, only takes a VERY small team compared to traditional SAP projects. Jarret Pazahanick can explain the trials and tribulations (as well as most recent obstacles put in place) of this as he IS one of those independents that has given it a go.

  • Hello there everyone. I got to work today, with an email concerning SF and Cloud training in general. What is your take on this news? What changed, really?

    I went through my documentation on training, and some of the things appear to have to been changed, but I think they might still be catching up on some of their official documentation, so my understanding gets a little blurred.

    One of my issues is with the timeline: does this change take effect as of now, or it goes live in Q1 2015?

    There are still courses scheduled to this month and i was wondering how they would work: Are they delivered with the new methodology?

    Looking forward to your takes on this,

    Very kind regards, and wishes of a great holiday season.

    Pedro Mendes

    • Hi Pedro,

      The main changes - that take affect on January 1st 2015 - are:

      • Course names have changed (Mastery > Academy)
      • Training is now delivered exclusively through SAP Learning Hub
      • Core exam and Delta exams are now a compulsory part of certification

      The model of the courses have already changed. For example, the case study-based examination has been replaced by a multiple-choice examination.

      Best regards,


      • But the multiple choice examination is still an integrated part of the course? Or is it like an activity you need to go through after you complete the course?

          • I beg to differ on this one, Pedro.

            A certification test that would really be able to check your proficiency with the solution and deployments methods (if at all possible) would be brilliant and I would expect experienced top-quality consultants to pass it without taking a course first.

            This one is the opposite: it relly tests you in the course material incl marketing lines on other SAP products not even related to SF. So, having SF experience pre-course may help a bit, but not much.

            Knowing the buzzwords from the course is what you need to pass.

            As a friend recently said (might even have been Luke): shame customer projects don't come as multiple choice questions. 😉

          • Yeah Sven, I understand. But my main complain is with the test. Always looked with some bias towards multiple choice tests. In Portuguese we have a saying: " A sorte protege os audazes", that translates roughly into "Luck (or fate) protecs those who dare". And there lies my issue, and I have seen it multiple times. People who have no understanding of some subjects tend to go "all-in" on these kind of tests and they get rewarded by statistics and cheer luck.

            The case study that was included in the courses, seemed to me a better filter because you would have to understand how things work. But hey, if you look at some of the requested training to sell SF you would be hardly press to find references to SF itself, because the training treats Cloud Solutions as a whole, and if you have half a brain, and half an understanding of how Cloud work, you could extrapolate most of the information during the assessment .

            That said, totally understand your point on knowing buzzwords. It is about 50% of your "grade" on this assessments.

  • Hi Luke,

    I have been reading the blog and other comments. I am SAP HCM consultant with 10 years of experience and looking forward to learn SF on my own. There isn't much clarity as to how this is shaping up, can you please help with following doubts

    1. Can I take a training within the organization (in-house) and then apply for certification, is there are set criteria to attain few years of experience before applying for certification.

    2. If I complete my certification in SF can I work for clients like working in classic SAP.

    3. Will need any additional access from SF before starting my work

    4. I am interested in Payroll - do you think I should wait for some time before getting into it.



  • Hi Luke,

    SAP background is mandatory or any ERP experience (like PeopleSoft) candidates also can do SF Employe Central Certification?


    Seshu Chunduri

  • Hi All

    Last week Luke Marson, Jon Reed and I recorded this two part series that I would recommend to anyone considering making the jump from SAP HCM to SuccessFactors including certification or OnPremise to Cloud based consulting.   We also talk about what customers should be on the lookout for.

    Becoming a HCM SaaS Consultant

    Becoming a SuccessFactors SaaS Consultant - Deeper Dive

    For those of you who like to read here is an article that outlines the content in the first video shown above.

    The Pitfalls of becoming a HCM SaaS Consultant

    Would love to get everyones thoughts and continue the dialog.

    Best Regards,


  • Hi Luke,

    Seasons Greetings!

    Thank you so much for sharing all of it, will obviously help all the SF aspirants.

    Request you also to share few posts  or documents on RCM & RMK ( Recruiting Management & Recruiting Marketing) as well.



  • Hi Luke,

    Your blog was one of the best sources of information about SF trainings. However, since 2015.01.01 many things have been changed, namely prices, course titles, training place, etc.

    The links that you post in your blog for courses and price list do not work. The article is no longer as informative as it was. It rather confuses a new user.

    Have you considered of writing a new piece of blog to update everybody on the changes?



    • Hi Egle,

      You are right that many things have changed and it might be time to update the blog. I haven't had the time to look at it in detail, but I will aim to do it in the coming weeks. Thanks for your suggestions.

      Best regards,


      • Luke, just write a new one and reference back the "old" one. I would love for you to leave it as is.....would be an interesting comparison years from now. "My how things have changed" 😆

        • That is the plan. I have added a note at the top, which essentially says "Don't bother reading this blog!"

          I think more people should do that for blogs that become outdated. I'll look at a new blog soon.

  • Hi, I am in SAP HCM Consultant and have 10 years of experience. Now I wish to learn success factors. Now my company is not SF partner, how do I still get trained and certified? (Please provide links where I can enroll for training or certification. )

    What training options do I have? And where do I start from? I know earlier there was a mandatory course as introduction to mastery and then mastery certificate. Is my understanding still correct or it has changed?


  • Good morning all,

    Research, but haven't found anything, When this going to change -  as a SFSF customer, we want to control our destiny. 

    Why are only employees of SuccessFactors partners allowed to take training?

    As mentioned above, there are a number of different systems required to take training and it can be difficult to provide access to non-partners. I am hopeful that this will change over time once the sheer demand for training subsides but in the interim think it is smart to limit it to ensure that unauthorized training centers don’t open up as this has historically been a problem in the SAP ecosystem. At present, there is a huge demand for training from existing partners and courses fill up quickly.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Saquib Khan,PMP

  • Has anyone thought about the experienced consultants working in the 100s of client places, who are already enhancing and supporting SAP HCM modules ?

    More often than not these are the very same clients who implement Success Factors , first as a Hybrid model, and then maybe fully move to the cloud. Where is the option and flexibility for existing IT employees to get on board here ? Nowhere.

    They would have to go to some partner company, get certified, get a provisioning id and come back ? Is this even possible?

    Would not the customer/client benefit from the existing process expertise of the current employees ? In-house employees, in my opinion are the best people to implement new solutions. They know the landscape, data, business processes, customers etc. Training and certifications can be enforced . Is SAP even thinking along these lines ?

    Seems awfully prejudiced and biased towards the so called SAP Partner companies. A bad way to keep knowledge restricted using unfair parameters. Any thoughts on this subject?

    • Welcome to the conversation.....that has been going on pretty much since day one of SAP acquiring SF......and no, good answers....yet?

      As an independent consultant with years of SAP experience, this is a major thorn in my side that has made me focus in other non-HCM areas now....and even considering moving out of SAP all together.

  • Hello Luke,

    What kind of complexities will arise when we move the OLD SF (which is already in use for the part of the Client group) Instance to NEW SF Instance (when implemented across the board) and what steps should be taken in OLD and NEW SF instances

    What options exist in SF to move the users who are using PE Processes (Performance Evaluation Processes)

    thanks in advance


    • Hi SK,

      Why is there any moving from instance to another? Why not just build out the existing instance?

      Also, I think that is a question best served as a discussion in the HCM space as opposed to a comment on an unrelated blog.

      Best regards,