AccessData Certified Examiner now free (part 2)

May 14th, 2009

Having reviewed the videos from AccessData, it seems that you do still need to own a copy of FTK to undertake the new “ACE Test-Out”. The specific wording is:

be exempted from the class attendance requirement

Clearly this is a little bit more than the promo email promise which is “NO PREREQUISITES!” This amounts to a little under $4k pre-req of requiring that members own a current version of FTK, with current meaning your support contract or “SMS” is up to date. Of course, you weren’t actually expecting a free lunch were you?

Now here is where my comments about this free test being a good way for AccessData to channel people into their training comes true:

  • If the candidate fails a Test-Out session, they must complete the ACE Prep course to attempt the Test-Out session again.
  • If the candidate fails a second Test-Out session, they must complete the class pre-requisites to challenge the ACE process.
  • So basically, they encourage you to try to get ACE certified, and then if you fail, they channel you back into the training that you used to have to take originally anyway. I am totally OK with this since in my mind, it behooves AccessData to make the cert challenging to get more people to their training. And as I said, their training is very good.

    The other smaller issue is that it looks like the ACE is heavily focused on FTK2. I expect that you could complete the practical component with FTK1 – and probably with the other forensic suites out there – but a whole raft of the knowledge test component questions are about functionality specific to FTK2.

    Personally, I’ve been holding off using FTK2 because of the teething problems, and the resource hog reputation it had acquired in the computer forensic community. I’m hearing however that the latest iterations of FTK2 are much faster. It looks like it’s time to move on up to FTK2 then get the ACE done.