Beginning this year, Microsoft requires that all Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) hold a premium certification—such as MCSE, MCSD, or Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA)—in addition to the MCT certification. This new policy is good for students, who might find more experienced instructors at many CTECs.

However, another new policy states that MCTs no longer need to pass specific subject-matter exams to be able to teach a specific course. MCTs who hold a premium certification can teach any course for which they've filled in a checklist. The checklist, which comes with the Trainer Kit that an MCT can buy, requires trainers to acknowledge that they've read and understood the course material and worked through all the labs. This new MCT policy means that someone with an MCSE certification could teach Microsoft SQL Server courses without taking a SQL Server class or passing a test on SQL Server administration. Also, Microsoft doesn't verify that an MCT really has met the requirements on the checklist. The new policy also places greater ethical responsibility on instructors, who must ensure that they know products well enough to effectively teach them in class, and on training centers, which must ensure that the instructors they employ are well-qualified to teach their respective subjects.

Each CTEC sets requirements for instructor training and experience, but students who sign up for classes need to ensure that their class instructors know the subject well. Many CTECs provide background information about instructors when students register for classes. If a CTEC can't or won't provide such information, you need to consider shopping around for a facility that will let you know in advance what you're buying with your training dollars.