Scrum Master Certification Levels

Agile methodology is all about project management and software development, and it has a huge demand in the field of IT with its various sections such as Kanban, Lean, Scrum, and Scaled Agile Framework. However, to join any company as a Scrum Master, a Scrum Master certification is valued widely for benchmarking competency and knowledge. Moreover, the certification is proof for the company that you are equipped with essential skills and training to manage and guide Agile teams in a successful way. If you wish to be a good Scrum Master of your company who is capable enough to implement Scrum and Agile strategies, you must achieve Scrum Master certification by doing a Certified ScrumMaster program. This course helps you to get a detailed understanding of Scrum and methods to apply it while guiding your Agile team and enterprise. Now let us jump into different levels of Scrum Master certification so that you will have a complete picture of the certification, starting with the first level Scrum Master certification and gradually building up the levels.


What are the Different Levels of Scrum Master Certification?

 The most popular Scrum Master certification levels are CSM, A-CSM, and CSP-SM which people usually prefer to have. Now let us know about each certification in detail, along with its eligibility criteria, exam fee range, exam process, the validity of the certification, and renewal process as well.


Know About CSM, A-CSM, and CSP-SM Certification:

CSM Certification:

 The first level Scrum Master certification is CSM which stands for Certified Scrum Master certification, and this is a must-attend certification course for those who want to join the company as a beginner for Scrum projects and even for those who want to become a Scrum Master. However, one should follow the guidelines adopted by Scrum Alliance while doing this course. This course covers all the portions of the Scrum framework and helps you to learn how to use it effectively to conduct Sprint Planning, Meetings, and Sprint Retrospectives. By attending this certified Scrum Master program, one can develop an Agile mindset apart from just getting certification. Moreover, one can become professional in adopting Scrum values and principles in their development projects. After completing the course, you can feel proud of yourselves that you have gained Agile and Scrum knowledge enough to adapt to any Agile project coming in the future.

A-CSM Certification:

A-CSM is the advanced version of CSM that teaches you about advanced concepts of CSM and boosts your Scrum adoption skills as a whole. This course will help you to learn how to make effective communication with the team members, Product Owners, customers, all stakeholders, and executives. Moreover, this course gives you the confidence to face conflicts that arise in organizations and solve them in a proper way. This certified course makes you professional and effective enough to manage the team members when low motivation and engagement are found. With this course, you can become a renowned Scrum Master who has the ability to handle the situation even when there is no presence of the key people. Furthermore, it lets you scale Agile and implement the Scrum concepts in more than one team in an efficient manner. 

CSP-SM Certification:

 CSP-SM certification stands for Certified Scrum Professional – Scrum Master certification, and this certified course will help you to enhance Scrum adoption at the workspace by mastering the practical solutions. This program allows you to come across Scrum leaders and gain the knowledge of practical solutions to distinct issues. 


Eligibility, Exam Process, Fees, Validity, and Renewal Process for Three Certifications 

Eligibility Criteria

  • CSM: There is no specific requirement for the eligibility of getting CSM certification. However, having a basic knowledge of the Scrum framework is recommended for this CSM certification. So anyone can feel free to do the Scrum Master certification course. 
  • A-CSM: For joining the A-CSM training course, you should have a CSM certification from Scrum Alliance. This is the clear eligibility to apply for A-CSM training. In addition, an individual who is trying to obtain A-CSM certification must have one-year of experience as a Scrum Master to the minimum in the last five years. However, it is not essential to possess A-CSM certification after doing a CSM course, but those who want to gain in-depth knowledge about Scrum concepts can go for it. 
  • CSP-SM: An individual should possess an active A-CSM certification from Scrum Alliance in order to apply for a CSP-SM certified course. Also, one should have at least two years of work experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years. 


Exam Process

  • CSM: The exams for CSM certifications are conducted online with a set of 50 questions, and you will be provided with 60 minutes to complete the whole examination. Out of 50 questions, you have to correct 37 answers to get the certification. On the other hand, you can even attend the exam by visiting the training center. If you have a laptop or PC, you can attend the exam online from home itself. 
  •  A-CSM: For the completion of this course, there is no specific exam to attend; however, you have to accomplish the training and get the login credentials from Scrum Alliance to apply for it. Within five business days, you will receive the link from Scrum Alliance to complete the form, and then you can download the certification, which is valid for two years.
  • CSP-SM: Once you are done with the successful training, you will get login credentials from the training institute provided by the Scrum Alliance, and then you can download the certificate by submitting the correct details. 


Certification Fee

  • CSM: The CSM certification fee varies as per the institute, along with examination and training. Under this fee range, you can even get Scrum Certification material useful for exams. You can appear for online exams in three months right after the 2-day training. You will just get two attempts to appear for exams, and for the third attempt, you have to pay additional fees. 
  • A-CSM: For this course, the Scrum Alliance makes it mandatory for the individuals to attend a 2-day classroom training program and costs vary as per the institution. This fee range comprises the study material, certification price, training fee, and membership with the community of Scrum Alliance.
  • CSP-SM: The CSP-SM certification fee includes course fee, exam fee, materials, and so on. For this course, one has to attend a 2-day classroom training where you will be provided with necessary materials. This program covers emotional intelligence, lean thinking, coaching, and facilitation as well. 


Certification Validity

  • CSM: The Scrum Master certification is valid for two years from the date of completing the exams.
  • A-CSM: The validity of A-CSM certification is for two years.
  • CSP-SM: When it comes to CSP-SM, its certification offers you the validity of two years. 


Renewal Process

  • CSM: You have to collect 20 SEUs by doing various activities like writing blogs, attending global or regional gatherings, watching a video, reading books, and more. After collecting 20 SEUs, you have to use the old login credential to land on the dashboard and then click on renew certification. For the Scrum Master renewal process for two years, you need to submit your SEU credits and make the payment of $100. 
  • A-CSM: After two years, you can use the same credential to renew the A-CSM credential online. However, you should receive 30 SEU along with the payment of $175 for the renewal process of certification for another two years.
  • CSP-SM: You need to use the same old credential to login and then apply for certification renewal from the dashboard. But, you must have 40 SEU credits for doing this price plus make the payment of $250 to renew the CSP-SM certification for the next two years.


Final Words:

While applying for Scrum Master certifications, one should start with first level Scrum Master certification, namely CSM, and then move forward step by step. The next level is A-CSM which is an advanced version of CSM, and then you can go with CSP-SM. This way, you can become an expert in scaling Agile and Scrum concepts for more than one team at a time, and you can even boost the adoption techniques. However, there is a procedure, eligibility, and validity for doing these programs, which you can see above in detail. As a matter of fact, the above-mentioned courses will help you to become Scrum professionals, and it would definitely allow you to show your pro skills when you join an organization as a Scrum Master. Once you complete the courses, you can be able to do any task associated with the Agile methodology, and you will also master the skills of professional communication to act as a leader within your Agile team. For getting Scrum Master certifications, you have to look out for many institutions as there are only a few that provide certification. This article is presented just to make you know about different levels of Scrum Master certification and its importance in the field of Agile framework. Moreover, you can even find out other details for applying for the Scrum Master courses like fees, eligibility criteria, validity, exam procedures, renewal process, etc.

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