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Scrum Master Certifications Tracks – A Complete Guide

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Scrum Master Certifications Track

CSM and PSM the most common and highly demanded Scrum Master certifications. Professionals who have an interest in any of these terms tend to work very hard and try to earn these certifications. But among such people are those who need some guidance as to what is next. For instance, there are many people who have an interest making a great career in CSM. So what they do is prepare for the CSM exam and pass it. But for these people, passing CSM is the end. They think that this may be enough for making a great career but that is not the case. They need to do more to upgrade their level.

So that is why we have made a track or a guideline that can help a person to see his next step. We’ll start with the CSM and then move to PSM and then PMI-ACP. So read this whole guide or track carefully and then realize what next there is that you need to do.

Scrum Master Certification Tracks


Introduction to Certified Scrum Master (CSM):

A Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is known to be an entry-level designation that is given to those professionals who are starting as Scrum practitioners and getting to know the scrum as agile project management methodology. This certification is proof of understanding of different Scrum values like emphasizing on teamwork, accountability and iterative progress that only leads to a defined goal. Those who manage to earn the CSM can be hired for the role of a Scrum Master or a Scrum team member.

What are the requirements to earn CSM?

Following are the different requirements that are to be fulfilled in order to become a certified Scrum master:

  • A person is required to attend a 16-hour in-person course that has to be taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST).
  • After this, a person has to take a CSM test that consists of 50 questions among which it is compulsory for a person to answer at least 37 questions correct.
  • The time that is given to a person to complete the test is 60 minutes. A person is required to complete the test within this time period only.
  • If a person manages to pass the test, he is required to accept the CSM license agreement and complete the Scrum Alliance membership profile.
  • Now that is not just it, a person has to maintain his CSM certification by earning Scrum Education Units (SEUs) and renew his certification once in every two years.

CSM Certification Exam

What is next?

Preparing for the CSM exam and passing it means that now a person is a Certified Scrum Master and he is entitled to the role of a Scrum Master. But this doesn’t mean that the road towards a Scrum master has come to an end because there is more to this certification. In simple words, we can say that after CSM, there’s more to it that can help a person upgrade his level and of course his career. So let us take a look at what is next after CSM.

Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM):

After CSM comes an upgraded level which is known as A-CSM which will help a person to upgrade his agile journey. Through A-CSM, a person will be able to learn the following:

  • It will teach a person to represent himself in a better form in front of the Product owners, Scrum Team Members, Customers, Stakeholders and executives.
  • It will help a person to gain more confidence in himself and able to deal with different situations like unavailability of key people, lack of motivation, lack of engagement and many other situations like these and what to do to deal with such situations.
  • How to increase engagement that will lead to greater accountability, buy-in and commitment.

Why does a person need this certification?

Earning this certification will not only upgrade the level of a person but will also teach him such skills that will help him perform tasks more effectively:

  • Help a person distinguish himself in a global marketplace.
  • This certification will help a person to stand tall in his industry as a member of a globally recognized Scrum Alliance community.
  • A person will be able to build on a foundational knowledge with the help of enhanced implementation skills.

What are the requirements to earn A-CSM?

Following are the requirements that are to be fulfilled for earning an Advanced Certified Scrum Master:

  • It is mandatory for a person to have a Certified Scrum Master certification with Scrum Alliance in order to be eligible for this certification.
  • A person is required to attend a certified A-CSM educational offering that will teach him the techniques and skills which are beyond the basics of Scrum. This will include team dynamics, coaching and facilitation and many other things.
  • A person will be obliged to complete the whole educator-designed components that are given by an approved educational offering. This may include different course work that may be assigned to a person by an approved educator for the purpose of completing the learning objectives.
  • The next step will be to accept the A-CSM license agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile.
  • The last requirement is to validate the work experience that is specified to the role of scrum master of at least 12 months. This should be within the past five years.

After all the requirements are fulfilled, a person has to maintain his A-CSM by earning Scrum Education Units (SEUs) and renew his certification once every two years.

Certified Scrum Professional-Scrum Master (CSP-SM):

Certified Scrum Professional takes one’s career to a more advanced level by improving a professional’s Scrum skills in the workplace. This is a type of certification that trains a person to become capable of challenging their teams to improve the way Scrum and Agile principles are applied. In short, we can say that this certification will lead professionals to not only improve their techniques but also help their team to become better at what they do.

What are the requirements to get this certification?

Following are the requirements that must be followed in order to get this certification:

  • The first requirement is to have an Advanced Certified Scrum Master Certification (A-CSM) with the Scrum Alliance.
  • Next a professional is ought to attend a certified CSP-SM educational offering that will help him to gain advanced Agile facilitation and coaching skills and also lead him to learn different progressive techniques in service to the Product Owner and the Development team.
  • A professional is supposed to complete all the educator-designed components of an approved educational offering. This can also include pre or post-course work if assigned by the approved educator.
  • In the next step, a professional is asked to accept the CSP-SM License Agreement and complete the Scrum Alliance membership profile.
  • Lastly, a professional is then asked to validate at least 24 months of work experience that is only specified to the role of the Scrum master. Also, it must be kept that the work experience that one has to show must be from within the past five years.
  • Also, there’s this one thing that is very important to mention here, it is to maintain the CSP-SM by earning Scrum Education Units (SEUs) and also to renew this certification once in every two years.

But wait, there’s more to this certification, which is as follows:

After becoming a CSP-SM, there are three further certifications that a person can earn so let us take a look at these three certifications as well:

  • Certified Team Coach (CTC).
  • Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC).
  • Certified Scrum Trainer (CST).

Certified Team Coach (CTC):

A Scrum Alliance certified team coach is known to be a certified agile coach whose purpose is to work as meticulously and diligently as possible to improve the performance and outcomes of the project.

The CTC certification holders are designated to work with the following:

  • Scrum teams.
  • Stakeholders
  • Management

Organizations tend to hire CTC certification holders with the intent that they could help the organization become better by providing coaching, facilitation, training, mentoring, impediment management and leadership. The job of the certified team coach is to support team collaboration and enable all the team members to work in such an environment that is equally competent.

How to become a Certified Team Coach?

Following are the steps that need be fulfilled in order to apply for the CTC certification:

  • The application is divided into two parts and notes that part 1 has to be submitted and approved before part 2 can be started.
  • In the 1st part, a candidate is supposed to mention all the asked details that will help to evaluate his credentials against the required elements of the program. This will focus on the quantitative measures of the candidate’s body of work as a coach.
  • The second part of the application is the qualitative evaluation of the candidate’s capability as a coach which will be shown through the diversity of the candidate’s coaching and his ability to demonstrate the proficiency across a wide range of competencies.
  • As per the application, a candidate has to identify whether he is qualified for the CTC program or not.
  • Then you have to demonstrate your prerequisite qualification, that is, part 1 to the CTC program.
  • Then comes the demonstration of your coaching knowledge, competencies and the mindset toward the CTC program which is Part 2.
  • Both part 1 and part 2 has different requirements which must be fulfilled accordingly.

PSM & CSM Practice Exams

Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC):

A Scrum Alliance certified enterprise coach is known best to be a certified agile coach that is an expert or can say a professional in all the agile practices and theories which also include Scrum. It is an understood fact that all the CEC’s have a deep understanding of every single practice and principle of Scrum. With that, they also have a great deal of real-world experience with actual organizational agile transformations. The job of the CEC’s is to guide organizations as to how they can adopt scrum culture and face the challenges in an agile environment.

The CEC’s have experience in the following:

  • Leadership coaching.
  • Organizational transformations.
  • Agile practices at the enterprise level.
  • Working as an agent across multiple teams and organizational boundaries using professional coaching frameworks.

How to apply for the CEC certification?

Following are the steps to apply for the CEC certification:

  • In the first part of the application, a candidate has to evaluate his credentials against the prerequisites of the program.
  • The second part is the qualitative evaluation of the candidate’s coaching experience, competency, specialities and recommendations.
  • As per the application, the first step is to identify if the candidate is qualified for the program.
  • Then demonstrate your prerequisite qualifications, that is, part 1 details.
  • After that is approved, the candidate has to demonstrate his coaching mindset and approach to the CEC program which is basically part 2 discussed above.
  • Each part has different requirements that must be fulfilled accordingly

Certified Scrum Trainer (CST):

A Certified Scrum Trainer is a very important designation in an agile environment. The CST plays a vital role within the Scrum Alliance.

Getting a CST certification means that a person has the license to teach

  • Certified Scrum Master Course (CSM).
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner Courses (CSPO).
  • Has access to the course listing services on the Scrum Alliance website.

What are the prerequisites for the CST certification?

Following are the prerequisites for the CST certification:

  • A candidate has to demonstrate deep knowledge and understanding of the Scrum practices, principles and concepts.
  • It is compulsory for a candidate to possess Certified Scrum Professional-Scrum Master (CSP-SM) or a Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner (CSP-PO) designation in order to become eligible for applying.
  • Have taught Scrum in a co-training partnership with a CST or independently in a noncertified context and meeting the requirement of teaching a minimum of 100 students and also hosted a minimum of 10 multi-day Scrum Master training sessions.
  • The candidate is supposed to have extensive hands-on experience in implementing Scrum as a Scrum master, product owner or a team member inside an organization.
  • Lastly, the candidate is required to hold the Certification Scrum Product Owner designation, this is required if a candidate wishes to train the CSPO courses.

Track to become a Professional Scrum Master:

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) is a very important certification that is for the Scrum master to upgrade his understanding and level. The PSM certification is of three levels: PSM I, PSM II and PSM III. Any professional who has knowledge of Scrum is eligible to earn these certifications. It only depends on the professional whether he wishes to earn all three certifications, two or just one. So let us take a look at these three certifications and their requirements to earn.

To understand the difference between PSM and CSMfollow here.

PSM I:

The PSM I certification can be taken by all those people who think that they have enough Scrum knowledge and are ready to validate their knowledge of Scrum Framework and its applications. If a person manages to pass the PSM I certification then he will be given an industry-recognized PSM I certification that will let him demonstrate his fundamental level of Scrum Mastery.

What are the requirements to get PSM I certification?

In order to get a PSM I certification, there are some requirements that need to be fulfilled which are as follow:

  • Depending on the role of the person, a 2-day professional Scrum foundation or professional Scrum master course is highly recommended.
  • Taking any of the above will help a person to prepare for the exam.
  • After this, a learner is required to appear in the test and has to solve 80 questions which are in the form of true/false and multiple choice questions.
  • As per mentioned in the website, the passing score is 85%. This means that a person has to answer enough questions right to make it to 85%.
  • The whole paper has to be solved within the time period of 60 minutes.
  • A fee of $150 has to be paid for the PSM I exam.
  • A person upon passing the PSM I assessment will be given an industry-recognized PSM I certification along with a PSM I logo that will be used by the person to identify his achievement.

PSM Certification Exams

PSM II:

Earning a PSM I certification doesn’t mean a person has all the skills and knowledge regarding the PSM. There is still much more to learn and prove regarding the PSM. So for that, there is PSM II certification that will help a person to show his abilities to apply the Scrum framework and knowledge to solve advanced and complex real-world problems. Those people who manage to pass the PSM II certification receive an industry-recognized PSM II certification which indicates that particular person’s abilities and knowledge related to Scrum and the role of a Scrum Master.

What are the requirements to get the PSM II certification?

Following are the requirements for the PSM II certification:

  • Those who want to earn PSM II must have advanced Scrum knowledge, in-depth Scrum experience and have also taken a professional Scrum master course before taking the assessment. Though this part is not mandatory but since the exam is very difficult so this training would really help a person to solve the exam.
  • A person is required to solve a total of 30 questions. Their difficulty level is very hard and the time period within which a person is required to complete these questions is 90 minutes.
  • The format of the questions is multiple choice questions and true false.
  • The cost of the PSM II assessment is $250.
  • If a person manages to pass the exam, he will be given an industry-recognized PSM II certification along with a PSM II logo that he will use to identify his achievement.

PSM III:

After passing both PSM I and PSM II certification comes a third level which is PSM III certification. Earning this certification will upgrade a person’s understanding towards the Scrum framework and also his career to a more advanced level. In a precise form, we can say that this certification is used to demonstrate a distinguished level of Scrum mastery. Those who have a PSM III certification shows that they have a deeper and the most understanding of Scrum framework and that they have the ability to apply Scrum and its complex methodologies in a variety of complex teams and different organizational situations.

Those who have PSM III certification are globally and industrially recognized and this certification is an indication of their distinguished level of Scrum mastery. Thus we can say that earning PSM III certification will give a person the highest rank.

What are the requirements to get the PSM III certification?

Following are the requirements to earn PSM III certification:

  • The first requirement is to either get a 2-day Professional Scrum Master or a Professional Scrum Master II course. Getting one of the two courses is highly recommended to get all the help required to prepare for the exam.
  • A person is required to solve a total of 34 questions out of which the passing percentage is 85.
  • The format of the exam is multiple choice and essay.
  • The total time to complete the exam is 120 minutes.
  • A person is required to pay a fee for the exam which is USD 500.
  • If a person manages to pass the exam then he will be given an industry-recognized PSM III certification and with that, he’ll also be given a PSM III logo which he will use to identify his achievement.
  • Org doesn’t require a person to pay any future fee in order to retain his certification status.

For PSM I & II certification Practice Exams, follow here.

#Course NameInstructor NameDuration
1.

Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

Yael Grushka-Cockayne

  • 4 weeks
  • Study 2 hours Weekly
2.

Scrum Certification Prep +Scrum Master+ Agile Scrum Training

Paul Ashun
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 21 mins on-demand audio
  • 13 articles
  • 5 downloadable resources
3.

Mastering Agile Scrum Project Management

LearnSmart LLC
  • 14.5 hours on-demand video
  • 564 downloadable resources
4.

Agile Professional Certification Preparation (PMI-ACP)

LearnSmart LLC
  • 16 hours on-demand video
  • 626 downloadable resources

Above mentioned are the steps or guidelines that can turn out to be very helpful for a person in deciding what next there is to do. So if you have interest in any of Scrum Master certifications, then read this guide carefully and know what you need to do.