Which Agil Certification is the Best?

Which Agil Certification is the Best?

These days, undergoing an Agile transformation seems to be the rule rather than the exception. However, successfully implementing an Agile transformation is still considered quite an impressive feat.
Which Agil Certification is the Best?

These days, undergoing an Agile transformation seems to be the rule rather than the exception. However, successfully implementing an Agile transformation is still considered quite an impressive feat. There is a growing awareness of change, along with a greater need for full-service delivery that involves all stakeholders in the same process at the same time with the aim of creating increased business value more quickly. Arie van Bennekum / Chief Examiner | Agile Manifesto Author

Organizations across the world will agree that the Agile methodology of software development is the new normal. The accelerating pace of Agile adoption is compelling businesses to hire professionals that excel in Agile team models. An ideal candidate who can follow Agile practices is somehow who has years of experience and expertise across a range of frameworks and methods. An Agile certification would further act as a stamp of approval for someone’s development of an Agile mindset.

Agile certifications can benchmark your knowledge and competency with the Agile framework along with its various flavors - Scrum, Lean, Scaled Agile (SAFe), and Kanban. Professionals who want to spearhead the Agile approach head-on usually rely on Agile certifications offered by popular accreditation bodies like ScrumAlliance, EXIN, PMI, and Scrum.org. However, it is often difficult for professionals to choose a certification that matches their career needs.

This article helps you by listing some of the most reputed Agile certifications that you can surely consider adding to your array of skills.

So, let’s dive in!

PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner)

The Project Management Institute or PMI is a renowned certification body in the field of project management. It has designed the Agile Certified Practitioner certification for professionals who are skilled in Agile approaches, embrace complexity, collaborate well, and thrive on quick response times. It covers many approaches to Agile such as Kanban, Scrum, extreme programming (XP), Lean, and test-driven development (TDD).

Exam details - 120 multiple choice questions to be answered in 3 hours

Prerequisites - secondary degree, 12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years, 21 contact hours of training in agile practices, and 8 months of agile project experience within the last three years.

Maintenance - earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) in agile topics every 3 years.

APMG International AgilePM Foundation

Introduced in 2010, AgilePM has established itself to be the world’s leading framework and certification for Agile project management. This certification prepares you to flex and deliver projects rapidly and meet your end-users needs. You’ll learn the lifecycle of an Agile project, the techniques used and their benefits, various roles and responsibilities within an Agile project, and the products produced during an Agile project along with their purpose.

Exam details - It is a closed book exam consisting of 50 multiple choice questions per paper. The exam duration is 40 minutes and the passing score is 50% (25 marks out of 50).

Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)

CSM is one of the most sought-after certifications among professionals who wish to gain the core competencies of a Scrum Master. Offered by ScrumAlliance, the certification expands your career opportunities across all industrial sectors that adopt agile practices. You’ll become an expert on Scrum values, practices, principles, and gain expertise in protecting the team from internal and external distractions.

Exam details - A total of 50 questions to be attempted in 60 minutes. One needs to answer 37 questions correctly to pass the exam.

Prerequisites - Attend 14 hours of live online or 16 hours of in-person training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). Otherwise, attend 25 hours of face-to-face training given by a Certified Agile Coach (CAC).

Maintenance - Earn Scrum Education Units  (SEUs) and renew the certification every two years.

Professional Scrum Master Level I (PSM I)

The accreditation body of this certification is Scrum.org. You can demonstrate your fundamental level of Scrum mastery by achieving this certification. One needs to gain a high level of Scrum understanding, Scrum Guide, and learn how to apply Scrum within Scrum teams before attempting the PSM I assessment. The certification is based on topics from multiple Focus Areas defined by the Professional Scrum Competencies.

Exam details - A total of 80 questions to be attempted in 60 minutes. The question format is multiple-choice, multiple answers, and true/false type. The passing score of the exam is 85%.

Prerequisites - None. However, it is recommended to take either the 2-day Professional Scrum Foundations or Professional Scrum Master course (both offered by Scrum.org)/Scrum Alliance Certified Product Owner (CSPO)

Certified SAFe Agilist (SA)

Scaled Agile, Inc. is the certifying body of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®).  A Certified SAFe Agilist is a Scaled Agile Framework enterprise leadership professional who is part of a Lean-Agile transformation. Designed for Scrum Masters, Program Managers, Release Train Engineers, and Business Analysts, this certification helps professionals build an Agile portfolio with Lean-Agile budgeting. Certified professionals are acknowledged globally for their ability to support the transformation of companies into the Lean-Agile enterprise.


Exam details - The exam to be attempted is the SAFe 4 Agilist Exam or SAFe 5 Agilist Exam and it is a closed book test. There are 45 questions asked of multiple choice types and the time allowed is 90 minutes. The passing score for SA4 is 75% while that of SA5 is 77%.

Prerequisites - More than 5 years of experience in software development, testing, business analysis, product or project management. Additionally, experience in Scrum and attending the Leading SAFe course is also a requirement. 

EXIN Agile Scrum Master

A unique certification accredited by EXIN, the Agile Scrum Master tests the competencies required to facilitate, coach, and enable a cross-functional team as a Scrum Master. Professionals in the fields of IT project management, IT service management, software development, and business management. It covers the concepts like Agile way of thinking, complex projects, and Agile Estimating, Planning, Monitoring and Control.

Exam details - A total of 40 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 1 hour 30 minutes. The passing score is 65%.

Prerequisites - Successfully complete an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training. 

You can visit the official websites of the accreditation organizations and get further information regarding these certifications. If you have decided which certification, then we would suggest not to delay more time and reap the various benefits of achieving an Agile certification.

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