I think it's a good idea. It all depends on how it's applied. I think that it's always good to have an exam with vendor neutrality because you want to validate fundamental skill sets and fundamental aptitude. Obviously, from the vendor perspective they're looking to certify on their specific technology, either to give their partner what they feel is a competitive advantage or just to validate the quality of their partners themselves.
But generally speaking I like the idea of a tiered model because I think it covers more bases. It's not as black and white as I think some of the other certification models that exist today are.
Listen to the vendor certification podcast here.
Go back to the beginning of the Vendor Certification FAQ Guide.