Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the Scrum Alliance offer a certification program?
When Scrum was first introduced, the only available training was in the form of articles, presentations, and books. By reading these resources, many grasped the iterative nature of Scrum but missed the principles and practices that are necessary for successful implementation. In response, the Scrum Alliance developed a certification program.
What makes the Scrum Alliance certification program different from other Scrum training programs?
The certification courses posted on the Scrum Alliance site are all taught by Scrum Alliance Registered Education Providers (REPs) and Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs). All of these providers have been vetted by their peers to verify that they have the depth of knowledge, experience, and training ability to teach others about Scrum. Their courseware has been approved as being consistent with Scrum and agile principles. You can be assured that a course from a Scrum Alliance REP or CST is an accurate representation of Scrum and is being taught by a recognized authority on Scrum and agile practices and principles.
Can I become certified without taking a course?
No. It is our belief that true learning requires hands-on practice and in-person training. The CSM test is not offered as a replacement for formal training.
What does it mean to have a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) designation?
A Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is someone who has been taught (by a Certified Scrum Trainer) the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable them to fulfill the role of ScrumMaster or Scrum team member. A Certified ScrumMaster course is a first step on the path to growing more Agile. Experience and continuing education are necessary next steps to become a true, practicing Scrum professional. To demonstrate deep understanding and experience with Scrum, CSMs are encouraged to apply for and become Certified Scrum Professionals (CSPs).
Does the Scrum Alliance offer an online CSM course?
No. While we acknowledge that online seminars can be an effective teaching forum for some subjects, we believe that understanding Scrum requires a greater level of personal interaction than can be delivered in a virtual environment.
The Certified ScrumMaster courses engage participants in live, interactive learning, free from the obstacles inherent in an online activity. Additionally, students of online courses do not have the same opportunity to connect and exchange their perceptions that students in live courses do. There is no virtual coffee break that could replace meeting real people with real experiences. For this reason, online learning has a place in preparing participants for the Certified ScrumMaster course and for passing the test, but is insufficient to fully prepare Scrum participants, which is ultimately the goal of Certified ScrumMaster program
Do I receive PDU credits for a CSM course?
Yes. Please follow PMI's procedure for Category B: Continuing Education. According to the PMP handbook: “Contact hours of project and/or program management education may be earned by attending relevant educational courses offered by organizations not registered with PMI. To calculate the number of PDUs earned, use the following formula: one contact hour of learning relevant to project and/or program management within a structured activity or course equals one PDU. Documentation required upon PMI audit/request: registration form, certificate or letter of attendance, and a brochure or course materials outlining the subject matter covered and the qualifications of the instructor/lecturer.” Most CSTs can tell you how many PDUs their course offers.
What is the membership fee?
Our Certified Scrum Trainers pay the initial membership fee for each student who successfully completes a Certified ScrumMaster course. This membership fee covers the cost of the CSM Test and the first two years of membership.
How do I renew my CSM?
Maintaining your certification secures the investment you have already made and demonstrates your commitment to retaining competency and broadening your skills in the practice of Scrum. The Scrum framework is evolving and growing as a result of the engagement and contributions of those who share their ideas and practical experiences in the workplace. Recertification validates your participation in this evolution and your continued proficiency in the fundamental principles and practices of Scrum.
Please visit http://www.scrumalliance.org/pages/fee_payment_links
for detailed instructions regarding how to renew your certification.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
For further questions please contact us at email@example.com.
Why has the Scrum Alliance added a Certified ScrumMaster test?
Training is an important part of the certification process—all certification candidates must complete a training course in the domain for which they seek certification. However, it is very difficult to standardize training and impossible to provide adequate oversight to ensure trainers adhere to a single standard. Likewise, using trainer judgment to determine if individuals meet minimally acceptable standards for certification introduces subjectivity and unreliability into the process. To help ensure consistency, we provide trainers with a content outline and course objectives
, offer teaching guidelines, and recommend course materials. The objectives that are provided to trainers and the recommended reading found here
are used to develop the test content.
Do I have to take the CSM test to become certified?
If you take a CSM course on or after October 1, 2009 you will have to complete the test to obtain your CSM certification. The cost of the online test is part of your initial membership fee that is paid for by the trainer.
Can I retake the test if I score poorly?
The CSM test has a passing score of 24 out of 35 questions. You will have two attempts within 90 days after you receive your welcome email to pass the test at no cost. After two attempts or 90 days, you will be charged $25 for each additional attempt.
Please note that when you apply to become a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP), you will be held accountable for all of the information contained in the test.
Where can I find the link to take the CSM test?
After completing your CSM course, you’ll receive an email from the Scrum Alliance that includes a link to create your login credentials. The first step will be to take the test. Once the test is complete, you will be asked to accept a license agreement and setup your
online profile. It could take up to two weeks after course completion to receive your welcome email.
If you are already a member, the CSM test will be a link from your dashboard. Once the test is complete, you will be asked to accept a license agreement and your CSM badge will appear on your profile.
What can I expect from the CSM test?
The test consists of a combination of multiple-choice and true/false questions. It will take approximately 60 minutes to complete it. You’ll be required to demonstrate your understanding of key Scrum elements, including:
• General Scrum Knowledge
• Scrum Roles
• Scrum Meetings
• Scrum Artifacts
What is the cost of the CSM test?
The cost of the test is included in the cost of your CSM course and paid by your trainer. There will be two free attempts paid by the trainer but each subsequent attempt will cost $25.
How soon after my course do I have to complete the CSM test?
After receiving your membership email, you have 90 days to take and complete the test.
Can I take the test without taking a CSM course?
No. The test is not intended as a substitute for formal training.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
For further questions please contact our membership and certification liaison
Certified Scrum Product Owner
Do I receive PDU credits for a CSPO course?
Yes. Please follow PMI's procedure for Category 4: Courses offered by Other Education Provider. According to the PMP handbook: "Contact hours of project and/or program management education may be earned by attending relevant educational courses offered by organizations not registered with PMI. To calculate the number of PDUs earned, use the following formula: one contact hour of learning relevant to project and/or program management within a structured activity or course equals one PDU. Documentation required upon PMI audit/ request: registration form, certificate or letter of attendance, and a brochure or course materials outlining the subject matter covered and the qualifications of the instructor/lecturer." Most CSTs can tell you how many PDUs their course offers.
What does it mean to be a CSPO?
A Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is someone who has been taught (by a Certified Scrum Trainer) the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable him or her to fulfill the role of Scrum product owner.
Where can I download a logo?
You can download a logo here
. Complete usage instructions can be found on the download page.
Is there a CSPO discussion group?
Yes. Once you become a CSPO, you can join the CSPO LinkedIn Group. View a list of our online social networks.
Do I have to take a course to be a CSPO?
Yes. We believe that there is no subsititute for hands-on, in-person training from a qualified instructor.
Certified Scrum Developer
How do I apply?
After completing all requirements, download and submit an application
What are the fees?
If approved, you will be asked to pay a fee of $150, which will secure your active CSD status for two years.
Does the CSM course count toward CSD certification?
Yes. This course fulfill two requirements towards a CSD: Introduction to Scrum
and the elective.
What if I took a CSM course many years ago?
The course may still apply toward your CSD.
How Do I Apply to Teach a CSD-Track Course?
You must complete a REP application packet and submit your proposed CSD-track courses
Have more questions? Find answers here
or contact us
Certified Scrum Professional
What does it mean to be a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)?
A Certified Scrum Professional
has proven experience and expertise in the art of Scrum. CSP is the level of certification that all practitioners of Scrum should strive to attain. Before becoming a CSP, applicants must be CSMs, CSPOs, or CSDs.
Does an existing CSP whose certification is due for renewal have to take the exam?
No. From May 31, 2012 forward, as their existing credentials are due to expire, CSPs may renew by paying the CSP renewal fee and are not required to take the exam. Each renewal thereafter will follow the new PDU program once it is announced. If you are currently a CSP, check your expiration date on your Scrum Alliance web site dashboard (www.scrumalliance.org). If your credential has not yet expired, you have up to 90 days after your expiration date to renew and maintain your original certification date. If your credential has already expired, you have until July 31, 2012 to renew and maintain your original CSP certification date. NOTE: The ability to renew via your dashboard will not be available until mid-June 2012. If you have already expired or do so in July, you will receive an email notice as soon as the renewal option is available.
I understand that I can take the CSP exam online – may I do that from home?
No. The CSP requires an online exam held only at proctored test sites around the world. The exam will not be available online from your home or work desktop, as it's important for us to assure that the person taking the exam is the person whose name will be on the certification. To find the location nearest your home, work, or travel location, visit the list of proctored testing sites from our testing partner, Castle Worldwide. Note that the list on Castle’s link is not exhaustive, so if you do not find a site near enough to your location, contact Castle with your request (see A6 below).
If a CSP candidate has registered and paid but cannot locate a testing location, will Scrum Alliance refund the exam registration fee?
It is most helpful if the potential CSP candidate reviews the list of worldwide proctored testing sites before registering and paying. Note that the list on Castle’s link is not exhaustive, so if you do not find a site near enough to your location, contact Castle with your request (see A7 below). Consider locations that are not only near your home or office, but those that may be near a location where you may be traveling for work or pleasure. If you have already paid and cannot locate a site after consulting with Castle, Scrum Alliance will refund the exam registration fee.
Once candidate applications have been approved for the CSP, how do they schedule their exams?
Once CSP candidate applications have been approved, candidates will receive an email invitation from Castle Worldwide
(from firstname.lastname@example.org) with a link to the exam registration form, which includes access to the list of locations, dates and times available for the CSP exam. The list of proctored testing sites is also available (see A6 below for exam registration steps).
What are the CSP eligibility requirements for work experience?
How to record your Scrum experience:
You need a minimum of 12 months (2,000 hours) of experience using Scrum principles and processes in the workplace during the most recent past two years to be eligible for the CSP credential. This may include leading or working on a Scrum team in any role. Use the steps below to assure you document your work experience accurately.
1. Log in to your Scrum Alliance dashboard.
2. Click on “Add Work History.”
3. Under the “Work Experience” heading, click on “Add Work Experience.”
4. Complete the details for each field in the pop-up window (Company Name, Role, Job Begin/End Dates, etc.).
5. In the “Description” field, be sure to describe clearly for each Work Experience the projects in which you participated in any Scrum role, including how much time (days/weeks/months) was required to complete the project. If you cannot provide an exact total, a close approximation will do (“one month of full-time work” vs. “160 hours”).
6. Your Scrum-related Work Experience should total no less than one year or 2000 work hours.
a. Software Developer at Lightning Computing Services, Inc. -- East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA;
August 2010 - Present --Various software developer roles including Embedded C and C++ developer. C#.Net developer, ASP.Net developer, Scrum Team member on various teams full-time from August 2010 to December 2011. ScrumMaster on a new software development team from January 2012 to present.
b. Program Developer at Southwest Airlines -- Phoenix, Arizona, USA
– Present (all projects listed are full-time)
February – July 2010
: ScrumMaster for team responsible to deliver promotions management strategies for customer service retail products.
August – November 2010
: Scrum Team member on team responsible for delivering marketing plan for system-wide customer service process improvements.
December 2010 – February 2011
: Scrum Team member on team responsible for automated customer check-in kiosk experience.
c. Project Expediter at Cisco Systems, Inc. --Munich, Germany
When will I get my CSP exam results?
March 2011 – present: Concept, design and implementation of components that visualize and evaluate data and extend an existing software package for digital classification. The IT system is very extensive. It is comprised of numerous hardware devices and software tools to make it easy to work with the system. Many departments are involved in this work, and it is my job to separate complex tasks into smaller tasks to manage them easily and assign them to other team members. We use Scrum to manage these tasks and respond quickly to changes.
Immediately after you complete and submit your exam at your proctored test site.
What is the passing score for the CSP exam?
This varies depending on the exam form and test-takers’ performance. The CSP examination results are interpreted using a criterion-referenced process called “scaling.” CSP exam results range from a low of 300 to a high of 600, with a passing point of 450. A criterion-referenced interpretation means that the score conveys information about an individual test-taker on specific subject matter regardless of other test-takers' scores.
There are two types of test scores: raw scores and scaled scores. A raw score is a score without any sort of adjustment or transformation, such as the simple number of questions answered correctly. A scaled score is the result of some transformation applied to the raw score. Scrum Alliance uses scaled scores to report test-taker results on the CSP exam.
The purpose of scaled scores is to report scores for all tests-takers on a consistent scale. The CSP examination forms vary in difficulty depending on the exam items that are assigned to each. Based on the performance of many test-takers on individual questions, a statistical process is used to determine the difficulty of individual items as well as the difficulty of the overall exam form.
To assure that all test-takers receive scores that are equivalent across the exam forms, scores on the forms are converted to a scale so that the equivalent scores have the same reported scores. For example, a raw score of 65% on an exam form whose items have been determined to be more difficult and a raw score of 70% on another exam form whose items have been determined to be less difficult are both “equated” as a score of 450 on a scale of 300 to 600.
Two well-known tests in the United States that have scaled scores are the ACT and the SAT. The ACT's scale ranges from 0 to 36 and the SAT's from 200 to 800 (per section). These two scales were selected to represent a mean andstandard deviation of 18 and 6 (ACT), and 500 and 100. The upper and lower bounds were selected because an interval of plus or minus three standard deviations contains more than 99% of a population. Scores outside that range are difficult to measure and return little practical value. Note that scaling does not affect the psychometric properties of a test. It is something that occurs after the assessment process and equating are completed.
How may I find and schedule my nearest test site outside the United States or Canada?
Follow these steps:
1. Upon receiving your Notice to Schedule (NTS) from Castle Worldwide, log in to the scheduling website. On the right-hand side of the screen you will see a drop-down menu. You may select the country in which you would like to take the examination from this menu.
2. If you do not see the country for which you are searching on this menu, click on the "More International Sites" button. This button will bring up a new page with three drop-down menus and more international sites. You may choose your site from the menus as well as three possible dates on which you would like to test. Within five (5) business days, Castle will issue a confirmation notice for one of the preferred sites/dates. If none of the requested sites/dates are available, Castle will offer an alternate site/date for your approval. Upon approval, Castle will issue a confirmation notice.
3. If you would like to request a location that is not available in either menu, please email Castle at email@example.com
with your request. Castle cannot guarantee availability of any international site/date during the designated testing period, nor can Castle guarantee that a location will be established in your requested city.
You provide a vast reading list for people taking the new CSP exam. Are these simply a selection of books you recommend to choose from, or are you suggesting we should have read every one of them before taking the exam?
The reading list included in the CSP Candidate Handbook includes resources used to write the examination questions as well as authoritative references recommended for a broad understanding of Scrum processes. Everyone prepares a bit differently to take a professional exam. We recommend that you read Appendixes C (Content Outline) and D (Examination Preparation) in the Candidate Handbook, then identify the references in Appendix A (Recommended Resources) that will strengthen your understanding of any content on the examination in which you have less knowledge or experience. Also, consider taking the 50-question online exam offered by Castle, our testing partner. For a fee of $50 (administered by Castle), you will have the opportunity to simulate the online testing experience as well as answer Scrum-related questions sampled from all sections of the exam. Note: none of the questions on the practice exam will ever appear on the actual exam you take.
SEU Process for CSP
What is a Scrum Education Unit (SEU)?
An SEU is a point earned by a professional person for having completed an educational training or learning opportunity that meets a set of learning objectives
How is the value of an SEU calculated?
SEUs work on a points-based system. An SEU is based on a 1:1 ratio of contact hours to points. For example, 8 contact hours (or a full day of training) is equivalent to 8 SEUs.
How do I get SEUs?
Many educational activities can easily count for SEU credit. Reading books, attending mentoring or training sessions, and volunteering are just a few ideas. The activity's contact hours drives how many SEUs the activity will earn. For example, if you attend a Scrum Gathering and participate the entire day, you will earn 8 SEUs. For more information on SEUs, see our list of applicable categories of activities
How many SEUs will I need for my initial CSP application?
You will need 60 SEUs. Each SEU is the equivalent of 1 hour of an educational activity.
How many SEUs will I need to maintain my CSP credential?
You will need 45 SEUs accumulated over two years to renew your CSP. Each SEU is the equivalent of 1 hour of an educational activity.
Registered Education Provider
What are the fees?
Fees range from $1,000-$2,000 per year. See the Scrum Alliance REP application package
for full details. There is also a $250 course review fee
What are the qualifications?
Scrum Alliance REP instructors must demonstrate an ability to convey their expertise through courses pertinent to agile practitioners. These courses must be approved prior to publication on our site. Complete details are available in the application package
Are CSD and REP connected?
The Certified Scrum Developer program is a curriculum of courses that offer the skills developers and other technical-minded team members need to succeed. All courses in the CSD curriculum are taught by Scrum Alliance Registered Education Providers.
Have more questions? Find the answers you need here or feel free to contact us directly.