Scrum Alliance certifications and what they mean for the PMI-ACP certification.
We describe on the site the so-called "Scrum practitioner certifications" of the Scrum Alliance: CSM, CSPO, CSD, CSP.
All these certifications give you, in addition to the Scrum knowledge and the international acknowledgment of the certificates, access to local user groups, online social networks, and additional resources that are only available to Scrum Alliance members. In addition you receive a profile page on the Scrum Alliance website and have access to a specially designed logo to highlight your credentials.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
There are two ways to earn the CSM certificate.
- To earn your CSM certificate, you must take a CSM course from a Certified Scrum Trainer and demonstrate your progress through our online CSM test.
- Effective January 1, 2014, Certified Scrum Coaches may recommend ‘coachees’ the opportunity to bypass the Certified ScrumMaster course and proceed directly to the online certification test. This pilot program supports qualified individuals by expediting their Certified ScrumMaster certification as a result of receiving coaching.
Who is eligible to participate?
Certified Scrum Coaches may recommend individuals whom they have provided 40 hours of coaching contact in a Scrum-Team-sized setting.
The CSM test has a passing score of 24 out of 35 questions. You will have two attempts within 90 days after you receive your welcome email to pass the test at no cost. After two attempts or 90 days, you will be charged $25 for each additional attempt.
The test consists of a combination of multiple-choice and true/false questions. It will take approximately 60 minutes to complete it. You’ll be required to demonstrate your understanding of key Scrum elements, including:
• General Scrum knowledge
• Scrum roles
• Scrum meetings
• Scrum artifacts
Students who fail to pass the exam will be supplied with a list of their missed questions. However, the correct answers will not be indicated on their list.
Students who pass the exam will be awarded with a Certified ScrumMaster title.
To renew your certification and membership, visit your Scrum Alliance dashboard and click the "Renew Certification/Membership" link under Actions. Renewals are $100 for two years.
Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
To become a Certified Scrum Product Owner you have to attend a two-day CSPO course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer. This course will help you understand how Scrum works by focusing on your role as the Product Owner, or customer, for a Scrum team. Topics that are covered include managing stakeholders, ROI, backlog grooming, creating effective user stories, acceptance criteria for user stories, and defining "Done."
Renewals must be done every two years and are $100 for the period.
Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
At least five days of formal training taught by Scrum Alliance REPs are required to earn a CSD.
- At least three days must be technical training through a three-day CSD technical skills course.
- At least one day must be dedicated to the study of Scrum through an introduction to Scrum or a CSM Course.
- Days 4 and 5 can be either completing a Certified ScrumMaster certifcation OR attending a 1-day Scrum elective course AND a 1-day introduction to Scrum course
Applicants must also demonstrate an understanding of Agile engineering practices by passing a CSD assessment/evaluation provided by the REP trainer.
As of January 1, 2014, REPs upload courses to student profiles and make certification payments for those courses for each student for Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD) certification. This training counts toward a student’s CSD certification requirements as well as providing SEUs for Category B of the Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) certification.
When REPs deliver an approved CSD-track course (3-day Technical, Technical Elective, or Intro to Scrum) and upload the students' information to their profiles, REPs pay the certification fee for those courses.
When REPs upload the CSD course and make the certification payment, the student is notified to accept certification. If their prerequisites are not met, they are given a 1-year basic membership; when they complete the additional requirements, their CSD certification is issued and their membership is good for two years.
If a CSD student completed one of the CSD course(s) prior to 2014 and wants to get certified now, they will need to submit the old application and make a $150 certification payment to secure active CSD status for two years. The automation mentioned above begins with 2014 courses.
Renewals must be done every two years and are $100 for the period.
Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
To apply to become a CSP, you must satisfy three eligibility criteria:
- Be a current holder of an active CSM, CSPO, or CSD credential.
- Have a minimum of 36 months of successful Agile/Scrum work experience gained within the past 5 years implementing Scrum inside organizations as team member, product owner, or ScrumMaster.
- Gather and submit 70 Scrum Education Units (SEUs) from the past three years. Note that SEUs earned from your CSM (up to 16 SEUs), CSD (up to 24 SEUs), and/or CSPO (up to 16 SEUs) certifications can put you well on your way.
If you are entering the CSP application process for the first time, you will be required to enter prerequisite profile information first. On your CSP application, add your Scrum Experience Summary and your SEU information. Pay the application fee of 100$, and this will submit your application.
After the payment is processed, your application will be reviewed. The review process may take up to 3 weeks.
When your application is approved, you will receive an email from Scrum Alliance with a link to pay the $150 certification fee.
You must renew your CSP credential every two years. You will receive a reminder email from Scrum Alliance 90 days before your certification expires. Please be aware that, in order to maintain your certification, you will need to obtain 45 SEUs within each two-year period. Renewals automatically include lower-level certifications, such as CSM, CSPO, and CSD. The renewal fee is $250.
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Certification
Scrum Alliance courses can be used for the acquisition and for the renewal of the PMI-ACP certification.
Participants can submit the training hours as contact hours in "Training in Agile Practices". 21 contact hours are on the requirements list of the PMI-ACP certification.
As an alternative, you can submit the training sessions as Professional Development Units (PDUs) in the categories B (continuing education) and C (self-directed learning) in the certificate renewal.
You will find more information in the PMI-ACP Handbook.
More Questions and Answers
How can I prepare properly for the CSM Exam ?
These Scrum learning resources can you help further your knowledge of Agile principles, engineering practices, and the application of Scrum.
- "Agile Atlas" – by Ron Jefferies and other contributors — provides information about Agile and related methods.
- "Do Better Scrum" – by Peter Hundermark, a CSC and CST in Africa and Brazil — provides a set of tips and insights into how to do Scrum well. (Also available in Spanish.)
- Scrum topic pages – by CST Mike Cohn — provides an online overview of many of the Scrum basics.
- "The Scrum Primer" – by Pete Deemer, Gabrielle Benefield, Craig Larman, and Bas Vodde — offers an in-depth introduction to the theory and practice of Scrum.
- "The Scrum Papers" – compiled by Jeff Sutherland, one of the co-creators of Scrum — covers the basics of Scrum through advanced topics such as how to scale Scrum.
How can I become a Certified Scrum Trainer or a Certified Scrum Coach?
Information on certification programs for Scrum trainer and coaches can be found on the website of the Scrum Alliance : http://www.scrumalliance.org/certifications
Which certification is the right one for me?
Here you can find the comparison chart that maps the certifications to both Agile and pre-Agile team roles. http://www.scrumalliance.org/scrum/media/ScrumAllianceMedia/PageGraphics/PractitionerPageGraphic.pdf
How can I earn Scrum Educational Units ( SEUs )?
What is the renewal fee, if I have several certifications?
If you have more than one of the following Scrum Alliance certifications - CSM , CSPO , CSD - the renewal fee of $100 must be paid only once to renew all your certifications.
CSP renewals automatically include lower-level certifications, such as CSM, CSPO, and CSD.
Any more questions?
Visit the Scrum Alliance website or send your questions by email: Certification@ScrumAlliance.org