ScrumMaster Certification Process FAQ

Questions about the Certified ScrumMaster certification

Do I receive PDU credits for a CSM course and how do I claim it?

Yes. The rules of the PDU reporting has been changed by PMI as of March 1, 2011. It has been simplified. Take a look at the PMI web page – or click here to download the PDF file.

You will be reporting Scrum trainings conducted by Conscires as Category B. There is no limit to the number of hours you can report in this category.

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.

Once the training is done, how do I get the certification, and what is the time frame and process? Where can I find the link to take the CSM Evaluation?

After the CSM training is complete, within 24-36 hours you will receive a link from the instructor to take the CSM Certification test. Everything that is on the test is covered in the class and so far we have never had anyone fail.  It is online and open book. You also get 2 tries for the test.

The link that you’ll receive from your instructor will include  a link to the Scrum Alliance website and instructions for creating your profile. Create your online profile and click the Self-Evaluation link under the “Pending Exams” section of your profile dashboard. Then click OK to begin (you should view the tutorial before starting the evaluation; it will show you how to use the online testing application).

How soon after my course do I have to complete the CSM Evaluation?

After receiving your membership email, you have 90 days to take and complete the evaluation.

Can I take the evaluation without taking a CSM course?

No. The evaluation is not intended as a substitute for formal training.

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 evaluation, but is insufficient to fully prepare Scrum participants, which is ultimately the goal of Certified ScrumMaster program.

Can I become certified without taking a course, or without taking a Certified ScrumMaster course?

No. It is our belief that true learning requires hands-on practice and in-person training. The CSM evaluation is not offered as a replacement for formal training.

What is the membership fee?

Our Certified Scrum Trainers pay a $50 membership fee for each student who successfully completes a Certified Scrum Master course. This membership fee covers the cost of the CSM Evaluation and the first two years of membership. In short, your membership fee is included in the course fee.

How do I renew my CSM certification?

This process is currently being developed. For CSMs who have never taken the evaluation, re certification will require that you take the evaluation.

Maintaining your certification not only secures the investment you have already made, but also demonstrates your commitment to retaining competency or even 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. Re certification validates your participation in this evolution and your continued proficiency in the fundamental principles and practices of Scrum.

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.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

For further questions please contact ScrumAlliance’s membership and certification liaison or contact us.

Visit Scrum Alliance’s original CSM FAQ page.

Questions about the Certified ScrumMaster evaluation

Why has the Scrum Alliance added a Certified ScrumMaster evaluation?

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—but it would be very difficult to standardize training and impossible to provide adequate oversight to ensure trainers are adhering to a single standard. Likewise, using the judgments of trainers to determine if individuals meet the minimally acceptable standards for certification introduces subjectivity and unreliability into the mix. However, we can provide trainers with 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 evaluation content.

Those who took a course after 1 October 2009 will have to take the evaluation to receive their CSM credentials. Those who took a course before 1 October 2009 will be required to take the evaluation when they renew their certifications.

Do I have to take a CSM evaluation to become certified?

* If you take a CSM course on or after October 1, 2009 you will have to complete the evaluation to obtain your CSM certification. The cost of the online evaluation is paid by your trainer.

* If you are a current CSM, you will take the evaluation to renew your certification. You will be notified via email prior to expiration. In May 2011, renewal will be $75 for 1 year or $150 for 2 years and includes the cost of the evaluation.

What can I expect from the CSM Evaluation?

The evaluation consists of approximately 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions. You have 60 minutes to complete it. You’ll be required to demonstrate your understanding of key Scrum elements, including:

* Scrum Terminology

* Scrum Practices

* Scrum Principles

What is the cost of the CSM Evaluation?

The cost of the evaluation is included in the cost of your CSM course and paid by your trainer. You will pay no additional evaluation fee.

Questions about ScrumAlliance Certification Philosophy

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.