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InfoQ Homepage News Scrum Alliance to Strengthen ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification

Scrum Alliance to Strengthen ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification

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The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification from the Scrum Alliance is granted to individuals that participate in a two day certification course and complete a pass/pass (e.g. can’t be failed) test. The testing process will be changed in 2012 to include a pass/fail test, and a new Professional Development Unit (PDUs) program will be rolled out no later than January 2013 for CSM’s to maintain their certification. The Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) credential, which implies a greater level of understanding than does the CSM, will have a new 150-question, 3-hour exam.

In an email sent to Certified Scrum Trainers (e.g. those individuals that can deliver certified Scrum training), Managing Director Carol McEwan explains that the new CSM exam will be available on January 1, 2012. For the first three months of the year, all candidates who complete the test will pass. Starting April 1, 2012, CSM candidates will have 60 days in which they can make two attempts to pass the CSM exam. If the candidate needs to take the test a third time, they will incur a small fee of $25.
The exam itself will be short, at only 35 questions, covering General Agile and Scrum Knowledge, Scrum Roles, Scrum Meetings and Scrum Artifacts. The candidate will be able to take the test online from any location (e.g. no testing centers are involved). At the end of the exam the list of incorrect answers will be shown. The CSM Content Outline and Learning Objectives, on which the test is based, are available for download from the Scrum Alliance site.
Perhaps more significant is changes to the renewal process as the Scrum Alliance will be introducing a Professional Development Unit Program (PDUs) no later than January 2013. CSMs will eventually need to obtain Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain their certification.
The CSM Certification process has always been controversial, and the growing list of new agile certifications only increases the controversy; your thoughts are appreciated on the subject.


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Community comments

  • Certs are like a driver's license

    by André Dhondt,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Taking a class and passing a test doesn't mean we're good drivers--it takes more than that. Even driving accident-free for years doesn't mean we're good. To me, Agile certification is one of the ways we can learn from others, but it must be combined with other ways of learning, too, including on-the-job practice, participating in local user groups, reading books, hiring consultants or taking classes. In the end, I have a lot of respect for people who know what's out there, have identified areas of for growth, and are making a real effort to learn. I think a certification is one visible means of showing someone is committed to learning--not enough--but a sign. Read more about the Agile PMI-ACP exam at my site: . We've priced it so that companies get coaching after the training, to help them apply their new-found knowledge!

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