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Scrum Master Certification Levels

by StarAgile

April 15, 2019
Category Agile and Scrum


Jack of all trades, master of none” is a statement referring to people who acquire many skills but do not become a pro in anything. If you want to become a master of one skill, then think about the scrum master track. Yes, already agile methodology has taken off with a full swing and you need to stay at par in the market. You can be a scrum master or a developer but digging deep in the scrum master track will provide you with knowledge and status in the IT community.

Today, let us throw some light on the scrum master certification levels offered by the CSM certification body Scrum Alliance. We will also provide you with details including the following

  • What are those levels
  • How they differ from each other
  • How should you become eligible to apply for each level

In short, this article will help you make a long-term career path obtaining scrum certification training

About Scrum Alliance

Scrum Alliance is an organization found in 2001 that provides certification and professional membership in the agile community. It is a not for profit association that has certified millions of practitioners across the globe. They provide certification in scrum master track, product owner track, and developer track.

The goal of this scrum master certification body is to motivate many organizations to provide training in scrum and agile methodology. The candidates who go through the training will directly register with Scrum Alliance and get certified. Also, they can renew the certificate upon expiry of validity. Apart from that, all the certified practitioners can meet under one online forum using Scrum Alliance community to share their knowledge and learn. Therefore, the Scrum Alliance is an organization that opens the door for constant learning in the agile community.

Scrum Master Certification Levels

There are three levels in scrum certification namely the CSM, A-CSM, and the CSP-SM. Let us understand about each certification, qualifying criteria, exam process, exam fees, certification validity, and renewal process.

CSM Certification: 

What is the CSM Certification? – Certified Scrum Master Certification is the expansion for the abbreviation CSM. Every beginner in scrum projects including those who aspire to become a Scrum Master must attend scrum certification course as per the guidelines suggested by Scrum Alliance. This course will provide an insight into the scrum methodology. How to use it effectively to stand up meetings, sprint planning, and sprint retrospectives. One does not just get certified but becomes professional in applying Scrum principles in their projects. Beyond teaching a methodology in the CSM certification course, the agile mindset is prepared for each individual. So when you obtain a certification, then feel proud that you can adapt to any agile project coming in your way. Here are the Top 10 Reasons to get CSM Certifcation.

Eligibility – Yes, there are a couple of concerns that each individual before opting for any training program have in their mind. Among them, the topmost question is “AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THIS TRAINING”. You need not have any prerequisite to obtaining CSM certification in India. CSM certification eligibility demands you to possess is basic knowledge about the software development process. If you know the difference between waterfall and agile methodology, then you are overqualified for this course. This means that everyone is eligible to attend the scrum master certification course.

Training and Certification Fee– Our next concern is about the cost involved in training and examination. The CSM certification fees are INR 24999 which includes both training and examination. You can look for a training institute that offers 2 days of in-person training with real-time examples. These institutes also provide scrum certification material and prepare you for the exam. Immediately after the 2-day training or within 3 months you must appear for the online examination. Until 2 attempts you can try but for the third attempt, you need to pay an additional USD 25.

Exam Procedure– CSM certification online exam is an objective type of online examination with 50 questions. You will have 60 minutes to complete the exam. 37 correct answers given will fetch you the certification. This exam you can attend the training center itself. Also, you can use your PC or Laptop from home and log in to the scrum Alliance website to complete the test. In general, people prefer doing it in the training center to take help in case of need. Once you register for a course, then you will get a login credential from Scrum Alliance and you can use that after your training to write your test. The training authority must confirm your training completion to allow you to take the online test.

Validity – The scrum master certification validity is for 2 years from the date of clearing the examination. However, you can renew the certificate by obtaining 20 SEU (Scrum Education Units) and pay USD 100 to renew the certificate for another 2 years

Renewal Process – Complete the 20 SEUs by attending global, regional gatherings, or writing blogs, reading books, watching the video, providing seminars related to scrum and agile processes. Each hour of such activity will reward you with 1 SEU.  after accumulating 20 SEU, you must use the same login credentials and from the dashboard click renew certification. Submit your SEU credits and make USD 100 payment for Scrum Master (CSM) Renewal Process for 2 years.

A-CSM Certification

What is A-CSM Certification – To straight away answer this question, A-CSM means advanced CSM? Yes, this course will offer you an education about advanced CSM concepts and enhance your implementation skills. Here you can learn to facilitate the right conversation between the team members, customers, product owners, executives, and all stakeholders. You can respond with confidence at the time of encountering conflict to changes and when there is low engagement, motivation among the team. Also, you can handle the situation even in the absence of the key people. Scaling agile beyond one team can quickly happen with the help of the A-CSM course. Even though the scrum concepts remains the same, this course will help you implement in an effective manner.

Eligibility – You must possess a certified scrum master certification from Scrum Alliance to apply for A-CSM training. Attend A-CSM training and understand the advanced skills and the techniques to expand the facilitation and interaction with the team. Also, the person aspiring to get A-CSM certification must have a minimum one year experience as a scrum master in the last 5 years of work experience. It is not necessary to do A-CSM after CSM but can take it up at a point in time.

Training and Certification Fee – Per the Scrum Alliance mandate a 2-day classroom training program will cost between INR 35000 and 40000 depending on the institute. However, this includes the training fee, certification cost, study materials, membership with scrum Alliance community.

Exam Procedure – There is no examination that decides the completion of the A-CSM course. But one has to complete the training and obtain the login credentials from the Scrum Alliance to submit the application form. The training institute will inform Scrum Alliance and then you will receive the link in 5 business days, later on, you must complete the form and download the certification. This is valid for 2 years.

Renewal Process – The A-CSM credential must be renewed online using the same credential after 2 years. One must obtain 30 SEU and pay USD 175 to renew the certification for another 2 years.

Validity – attend course and obtain certification which is valid for 2 years. Renew online and that is valid for another 2 years.

CSP-SM Certification: 

What is CSP-SM Certification – Certified Scrum Professional – Scrum Master Certification. This course will offer you to master the practical solutions for enhancing the Scrum implementation at the workplace. You get a chance to meet with scrum leaders and understand practical solutions to different problems. Also, now you can obtain a free premium subscription with the world’s huge agile assessment and constant enhancement platform.

Eligibility – Must have an active A-CSM certification provided by the Scrum Alliance. Minimum 2 years of experience as a Scrum Master in the last 5 years.

Training and Certification Fee – In India, the training cost for CSP-SM includes the certification fee as well. For a 2-day classroom training with materials and certification cost includes INR 50000. The learning objective of the course includes covering concepts like lean thinking, emotional intelligence, facilitation, and coaching. There will be assignments given as pre-class learning and post class as well.

Exam Procedure – Upon successful completion of the training, the training institute will recommend Scrum Alliance to create a login and once the details are submitted the certificate will be available for download.

Renewal Process – The login credentials given by the certifying body at the time of obtaining the certificate must be used to login and then apply for renewal from the dashboard after entering the 40 SEU credits. Make USD 250 payment to complete the application process and you can now renew the CSP-SM certification for an additional 2 years.

Validity – The certificate is valid for 2 years and can be renewed online every year.

Conclusion

Find the table given below. It is very evident that each Scrum master certification levels progress from the one level to other. Therefore one must start with CSM and move on to A-CSM and then to CSP-SM to become a pro in scaling scrum concepts for multiple teams and enhance the implementation methods. You can find all the details about the CSM training in India including the cost and eligibility.

Criteria
CSM

A-CSM

CSP-SM

What is it
Certified Scrum Master
advanced Certified Scrum Master
Certified Scrum Practitioner -Scrum Master
Eligibility
Basic knowledge of SDLC
CSM certified with minimum 1-year experience as Scrum Master within past 5 years

active A-CSM certified with minimum 2 years experience as Scrum Master in the last 5 years

Fees
INR 24999
INR 35000 – INR 40000
INR 50000
Exam process
50 objective questions, 1-hour duration and 37 correct answers for clearing the examination
No Exam
No Exam
Certification Validity
2 Years
2 Years
2 Years
Renewal process
20 SEU + USD 100
30 SEU + USD 175
40 SEU + USD 250

However, we strongly recommend you to attend Scrum Master Certification training and gain work experience before you look for A-CSM and CSP-SM. Over time you can register for classes and move up the career ladder with these certifications.

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