AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Updated AWS Managed Services Provider (MSP) Partner Program Validation Checklist – Version 4.1

Editor’s note: This is not the most recent version of the MSP checklist. See version 4.2 released in 2021 >>

We are pleased to share the latest updates to our AWS Managed Services Provider (MSP) Partner Program requirements in Version 4.1 of the Validation Checklist.

This version reflects our most recent program criteria, with improvements focused on raising the bar for both our MSP Partners and Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers.

By maintaining a high bar in this program, MSP Partners realize greater value by achieving elite recognition for their distinguished capabilities, and AWS customers can have increased confidence in working with AWS MSP Partners.

Download the AWS MSP Partner Program Validation Checklist 4.1 >> 

What is the AWS MSP Partner Program?

The AWS MSP Partner Program recognizes leading APN Consulting Partners that are highly skilled at providing full lifecycle solutions to customers.

Next-generation AWS MSPs can help enterprises invent tomorrow, solve business problems, and support initiatives by driving key outcomes. AWS MSPs provide the expertise, guidance, and services to help you through each stage the Cloud Adoption Journey: Plan & Design > Build & Migrate > Run & Operate > Optimize.

Explore 7 reasons why AWS MSPs are fundamental to your cloud journey >>

The AWS MSP Partner Program also incorporates the use of a third-party validation audit that brings value to participating APN Partners and to AWS customers, who can confidently identify qualified AWS MSP Partners.

What’s New or Different in Version 4.1?

The changes in Version 4.1 focus on clarification and recognizing excellent partner experiences.

APN Partners seeking the MSP Program designation for the first time will conduct a Pre-Assessment of where they stand against the requirements prior to a Full Audit. We recommend APN Partners already in the MSP Program also perform Pre-Assessments prior to a Full Audit, but it’s not required.

Version 4.1 also includes an opportunity for APN Partners to showcase their next-generation AWS MSP offering to customers through their AWS Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE). A CCoE is a team of people dedicated to creating, evangelizing, and institutionalizing best practices, frameworks, and governance for evolving technology operations.

This team becomes a central force through which the MSP can evolve the way it serves customers. It’s critical for a next-gen managed service provider to build and maintain a CCoE to enable best practices across the breadth of offered services.

APN Partners can also read our whitepaper on Putting the Customer First: Building a Next-Gen MSP Practice.

Annual Performance-Based Renewal

The AWS MSP Program will still perform an annual Performance-Based Renewal process in the interim years of a Full Audit. MSP Partners are expected to drive innovation and excellent customer experience, as well as grow and develop their practices.

The renewal process includes:

  • Publicly promote your AWS MSP Practice to customers.
  • Five (5) Launched Opportunities in the APN Customer Engagements (ACE) platform that include managed services in the 12 months immediately prior to the annual renewal.
  • One (1) public reference that includes AWS MSP services, published in the 12 months immediately prior to the annual renewal.
  • MSP Partner remains in good standing at the Advanced or Premier tier, including the requirement to attain Customer Satisfaction responses.
  • MSP Partner complies with the AWS Partner Network Terms and Conditions.

To maintain a high quality and consistent customer experience, the AWS MSP Program still requires a Full Audit of all MSP Partners every 36 months, based on the MSP Partner’s original (or most recent) Full Audit date.

Full List of Changes in Version 4.1

  1. Added Pre-Assessment to Program Prerequisites for new APN Partners pursuing the AWS MSP designation.
  2. Updated the Performance-Based Renewal Requirement details.
  3. Removed CSAT response definition.
  4. Added additional language in the AWS MSP Program Validation Checklist overview to clarify that all evidence presented for audit must be delivered directly by the APN Partner being audited.
  5. Updated 1.1 and 5.1.3 to Mandatory requirements with score of -200.
  6. Added new requirements in Section 1.0 APN Partner Capabilities Overview – 1.3 Next-Generation Managed Services Offering (+20 points).
  7. Added new requirements to Section 4.0 Customer Obsession – 4.3 Cloud Center of Excellence (+20 points).
  8. Removed section 5.1.6 in Section 5.0 Solution Design Capability.
  9. Added additional language in section 7.0 Infrastructure and Application Migration Capability to clarify that for APN Partners exclusively focused on greenfield engagement and currently in good standing with the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program, all points in this section will be granted.
  10. Increased score for 9.11.2 from +10 to +20 points.
  11. Updated the requirements of 13.0 AWS Knowledge – 13.1 AWS Services and Features section now requires APN Partners to select three (3) categories of AWS services.
  12. Updated the hyperlinks for 8.1.8, 8.1.9, 8.2.1, 9.12 and 9.13.
  13. Added an additional security service and IoT service in section 13.1.

When Do These Changes Take Effect?

APN Partners entering the program, or AWS MSP Partners renewing their program status, will be required to meet Version 4.1 requirements for all audits and renewals as of April 1, 2020.

Additional Resources

For more info, please contact your Partner Development Rep (PDR), Partner Development Manager (PDM), or Partner Solutions Architect (PSA). You can also find information here:

Still have questions? Reach out to your PDM or Alliance Manager, or email the AWS MSP Program team at