Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Sections

General FAQ

Why does 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, 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 Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs) and Registered Education Providers. 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 CST or REP 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.

 

Certified ScrumMaster®

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 (CST) 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 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 not 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 the Certified ScrumMaster® program.

 
Do I receive PDU credits for a CSM course?
Yes. Please follow PMI's procedure.

 
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 How to Renew Your Certification and Membership for detailed instructions regarding how to renew your certification.


Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?
For further questions, please contact us at support@scrumalliance.org.

 
Why has 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 fees for the online test are 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: 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 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 available through 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.

 
Whom 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.

 
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 (CST) 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?
If you take your CSD course(s) in 2014 or after, there is no need to submit a separate application. Once your REP/trainer submits your course and fee payment to your profile, you will receive notification of your CSD status from Scrum Alliance.

If you took your required CSD course(s) prior to 2014, download and submit the application in order to have access to the link to pay your $150 certification fee and receive your CSD certification.

 
What are the fees?
Once approved, your CSD status is for two years. If all applicable courses were taken before January 1, 2014, there will be a fee of $150 for certification. If courses are taken after January 1, 2014, certification fees are included in the cost of the courses and no fee will be accessed at the time of certification.

 
Does the CSM course count toward CSD certification?
Yes. This course fulfills 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?
Please check this page to learn about the REP Program and download the new 2014 application.

 

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, an applicant must be CSMs, CSPOs, or CSDs.

 
Does an existing CSP whose certification is due for renewal have to take the exam?
No. From February 1, 2014, onward, the exam is no longer available. As their existing credentials are due to expire, CSPs may renew by paying the CSP renewal fee and following the SEU process. If you are currently a CSP, log in to the Scrum Alliance website and check your expiration date on your dashboard. 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.

 
Why has the exam been discontinued?
In-person exams at specific sites were difficult for many people to attend. The SEU process provides all candidates with a more equal and thorough opportunity to use their experience and learning to show their readiness for the CSP certificate.

 
What are the CSP eligibility requirements for work experience?
Here's how to record your Scrum experience:

You need a minimum of 36 months of experience using Scrum principles and processes in the workplace during the last five years to be eligible for the CSP credential. This may include leading or working on a Scrum team in any Scrum role (ScrumMaster, product owner, or team member). Use the steps below to be sure 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 36 months.

Here are some examples:

 

  • 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.
  • Program Developer at Southwest Airlines — Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    • 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.
  • Project Expediter at Cisco Systems, Inc. — Munich, Germany
    • 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.


 
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. Scrum Alliance has discretion to determine whether SEUs are warranted, considering factors such as content, quality, and accuracy of the source material.

 
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.

 
I do a lot of training and coaching. Which SEU category does this fit into?
There are two areas that we review for CSP applicants. One is around "Experience," which is valuable experience that should be highlighted through updating your Scrum Alliance Profile/Work History. The other is around participation in learning opportunities where you are the student and not the facilitator. These generally count as SEUs.
 
In instances where you are the trainer, these hours would best fit the Experience requirement on your Scrum Alliance profile.
 
There are three exceptions. In these cases, your training experience can be counted for SEUs:
  • You are a co-trainer, learning from a more experienced trainer. These hours can be SEUs in Category F.
  • You've researched and prepared training materials. These hours can be SEUs in Category E.
  • You have volunteered training for nonprofit organizations other than your employer. These hours can be SEUs in Category D.


 
How many SEUs will I need for my initial CSP application?
You will need 70 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?
Download the new REP application for 2014 for more information on the program and download the fee structure here.

 
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 new REP application

 
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 (REPs).

If you have more questions, fee free to contact us at support@scrumalliance.org.