A few days ago I passed my VCP (VMWARE Certified Professional). Actually you don't get a VCP at all. What you get is a VCP5 meaning qualified with Vsphere 5.x. In particular mine is VCP5-DCV. This is for datacentre vertualization.
So it is a 'qualified' title. Everyone knows the version you understand and know about. There are no secrets there. To get a VCP you have to pass an exam (cost £179 or $286). To register for the exam you have to go through and official training course. The most recent UK price for this course is £2800 + VAT. In other words if you are not a VAT registered business and are paying out of your own wallet the training is £3100 (or just under $5000).
Basically it is a very expensive certification and it only lasts for the version you pass the exam for. So my certification ages over time when version 6 comes out or version 7. Fortunately you never lose your original qualification that you have spent money on and work hard to obtain.
That was true because in March 2014 VMWARE brought in re-certification. Your qualification is 'revoked' after 2 years. This has been brought in due to 'industry standards'. Nothing to do with selling more expensive training courses then! To be fair if you do another exam before your existing exam times out then you don't need to do another course. However its very easy to imagine that a new version is out or is coming out and you don't have a chance to do some learning and therefore have to take the old exam (again) to preserve your VCP.
The detail is full of issues that make a VCP less valuable. Some businesses don't upgrade that fast and old versions stick around. Your two year old qualification may be valid for years in terms of knowledge but not in the eyes of VMWARE.
However industry standards are a bit different from what is described. Older qualifications are not 'revoked' but just become a 'legacy' qualification if you do a Microsoft cert (for example).
VMWARE needs to lighten up. The pressure to re-certify is already there just by naming the certs VCP3, VCP4 and VCP5. They don't need a 2 year timeout. They also don't need to punish people who have achieved certification via revocation.
VMWare Certification FAQ