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CSM Certification vs PSM Certification

by Roopesh Janmanchi

April 08, 2019
Category Agile and Scrum


What is Scrum framework?

In simple words, Scrum is nothing but loose guiding principles governing the method of a product development. It tries to bring more transparency and address the failure issues of the product development in Traditional project management methodology.

Scrum Framework is made up of Scrum Roles involved in Scrum, Events and rules. Each constituent within the framework serves a specific purpose and is vital to Scrum success and its usage.

CSM Certification

Scrum Master Certification is most sought after certification in the IT and even Non IT industry. It not only increase your visibility to prospective employer but also shows your commitment towards adopting Scrum. It opens a gateway to scrum community wherein people share their knowledge and experiences which enhances your learning experience.

Certified Scrum Master

PSM Certification

PSM also known as Professional Scrum Master TM. Said course is useful for experts who are interested to master the Scrum. Professional Scrum Master exhibits knowledge and understanding of Scrum and their competency to apply it in practical world. The importance of certification is directly tied to the demonstration of knowledge required to achieve it.

Objective of Professional Scrum Master training and certification mentioned below:

  • Through understanding of Scrum rules through empirical foundation of scrum
  • Act as Scrum Master for Scrum team and Stakeholders
  • In-depth understanding of Servant-leadership
  • Successfully start using Scrum and increase the value of Scrum

PSM certification involves three levels namely

  • PSM I
  • PSM II
  • PSM III

Who is the Governing body?

CSM Certification body is Scrum Alliance.

Governing body for PSM certification is Scrum.org. In 2002, Ken Schwaber founded Scrum.org oversees the Professional Scrum accreditation series.

How to get certification?

To get CSM certification one needs to attend a 2 day training by the registered education provider and exam needs to be taken online. Passing score of CSM Certification exam is 74%.

As mentioned above PSM certification involves three levels i.e. PSM I, PSM II and PSM III. One need to purchase password from Scrum.org and needs to enrol for the PSM Certification. One is expected to have appropriate years of experience in the implementation of Scrum Framework in real world to appear for PSM 1 directly.

One needs to score atleast 85% to pass PSM certification of all 3 levels.

What are the pre-requisites for training?

For PSM, there are no pre-requisites for attending training. In fact training is not required if one has a complete knowledge of scrum implementation. Since PSM is an advanced course one is expected to have a minimum knowledge of scrum or rather CSM which is basic introductory course on scrum

What is the cost of Certification?

To get Scrum Master (CSM) Certification cost is 24,999/- excluding GST. It includes CSM Certification Study material, Exam Fees, Certification Cost and Lunch Cost.

Cost for PSM varies for all three levels.

Level                             Cost

PSM I                US $ 150

PSM II                    US $ 250

PSM III                US $ 500

Total                US $ 900

For CSM Certification fees varies from Institution to Institution that provides training.

What are the exam details?

CSM Certification exam do not have different levels. Single Exam is conducted to get CSM certification. It consists of 50 multiple choice question. Duration for same is 60 minutes. Passing percentage is 74% .

PSM is a rigorous assessment held online. Though the passing percentage is 85%+ to achieve certification for all three level. Number of question varies based on the level one undertakes.

Level
No of Questions
Duration of Exam
Exam Type
Test Covered
PSM I
80
60 minutes
Multiple choice questions, Multiple Answer Questions and True/False Questions
Scrum Framework, Rules and Values.
PSM II
30
90 minutes
Multiple choice questions, Multiple Answer Questions and True/False Questions
Situational Questions to evaluate what is going on in a situation and determine best options
PSM III
34
120 Minutes
Combination of MCQ and Case Study or Essay type questions
Combination of above two and essay type

What is the renewal policy?

CSM Certification validity is for 2 year. Scrum Master (CSM) Certification renewal cost is USD $ 100 and has to renew every 2 years

PSM certification has no expiration. It is valid lifelong.

Table with differences between CSM Certification and PSM Certification


Certified Scrum Master
Professional Scrum Master
Governing Body
Scrum Alliance
Scrum.Org
Training Requirement
Scrum Master (CSM) certification without training is not possible. Mandatory 2-day training from Registered Education provider
One can take a 2 day Professional Scrum Foundations or Professional Scrum Master course
Training Material Availability
Scrum Master Certification Training Material is provided by the Institute where a candidate is undergoing 2 day training
Training Materials are created and maintained by Scrum Co-creator Ken Schwaber, Scrum.Org and the Community of PSTs who teaches the course
Cost of Certification
Scrum Master Certification cost is just 24,999/- excluding GST
ALL PSM level will require an investment of US $900
Exam Difficulty Level
Scrum Master certification exam is much easier to clear exam
PSM exam is difficult to clear compared to CSM Certification
Exam Pass Percentage
Minimum Score to Pass is 74%
Minimum Score to Pass is 85%
Exam Pattern
Multiple Choice Question
Level I & Level II are Multiple Choice Question, Multiple Answer Questions and True/False Questions. For Level III combinations of MCQ and Open End Essay or Case Study’
Training and Certification Fee
Entire Training and CSM Certification will cost 24,999 excluding Taxes

Each Level carries different Cost

PSM I - US $ 150

PSM II - US $ 250

PSM III - US $ 500

Certification Renewal Fee
CSM Certificate valid for 2 Years and option to renew by paying US $100
No Expiry. Life Time Validity

Which one is best for you?

It is always debatable which course is better PSM or CSM. As mentioned above both CSM and PSM are two different Scrum Certification.

To put it simply, CSM Certification from ScrumAlliance has more demand because of mandatory 2 days training. Scrum Alliance believes that professional will understand concepts like Scrum framework, roles, artifacts and events only by doing not by reading books or watching videos.

Attending classroom is not mandatory for PSM, people who have complete knowledge and implementing Scrum in their projects from quite sometime can go for PSM.

Conclusion

There is no doubt both the Certification have a place in industry and most sought after certifications for the Scrum Master. Considering above points and difference in CSM and PSM, CSM Certification can be considered a notch higher than PSM certification

According to the stats nearly 2500+ professionals getting trained in India on Scrum master (CSM) Certification every month where as PSM number are quite less.

All the companies believe, these practices will be in adopted and applied only when they attend 2 days CSM training from ScrumAlliance.