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CSPO vs PSPO Comparison: What are the differences?

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19th Feb, 2024
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    CSPO vs PSPO Comparison: What are the differences?

    As Mike Cohn puts it:

    “The Scrum product owner is typically a project's key stakeholder. Part of the product owner responsibilities is to have a vision of what he or she wishes to build and convey that vision to the scrum team. This is key to successfully starting any agile software development project. The agile product owner does this in part through the product backlog, which is a prioritized features list for the product.”

    In other words, a product owner responsibility is to maximize the value of the products created by a scrum development team.

    The expertise of product owner is centered around the following:

    • It’s about the product
    • It’s about understanding product benefits
    • It’s about customer experience
    • It’s about design thinking
    • It’s about collaboration

    As Scrum.org puts it:

    “Product ownership is about more than mechanics: it’s about taking accountability and focusing on value in everything you do. The role of a product owner is to identify, measure, and maximize value throughout your entire product lifecycle.”

    CSPO® and PSPO are two of the premier and globally accepted certifications that help validate the holder’s expertise and skills as a product owner in the Scrum framework. Both relate to product ownership which in turn requires business acumen and competency in product vision and roadmap aspects.

    The training leading up to each of the two certifications offers to learn a wide array of principles, rules, practices, techniques, and practical tools that help product owners become effective and successful.

    So, how exactly are the two different? Let’s have a look at the differences between CSPO vs PSPO.

    If you’re someone who is comfortable with the "business side" of projects, you are probably the right person to aim for a Certified Scrum Product Owner® certification.

    -Scrum Alliance

    What is CSPO?

    As defined by the Scrum Alliance, a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is someone who has been taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer about the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable them to fulfill the role of Scrum Product Owner.


    Elevate your career with our cheapest PMP certification. Stay ahead of the competition through our exceptional project management training.

    What is PSPO?

    PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, a course and certification offered by Scrum.org. The Scrum.org mission is “To Improve the profession of Software Development”.

    Difference between CSPO and PSPO

    ParametersCSPOPSPO
    Focus AreaThe focus is on understanding the scrum model better.The focus is on knowing the overall roles of product owners.
    Accredited ByThe accreditation of CSPO is by Scrum Alliance.The accreditation of PSPO is by Scrum.org
    Certification CostThe certification cost of CSPO is 500 USD.The certification cost of PSPO is 200 USD.
    Process of CertificationYou must complete 14 to 16 hours of CST training (Certified Scrum Trainer).You must register and take the exam to get certified.  
    Qualifying ScoreThere is no exam for CSPOYou need 85% marks in the exam to qualify.
    Renewal TermsAfter every two years, you require 20 scrum educational units and 100 USD to renew your certification.PSPO doesn’t expire. So you don’t need any renewal.
    LevelsA-CSPOPSPO I,II,III
    PrerequisitesNo prerequisitesNo prerequisites
    When will you receive the certification?After completing the CSPO certification training (14-16 hours)After clearing the PSPO exam
    Time limitNo exam60
    Number of QuestionsNo exam80
    FormatNo examMCQs, Multiple answers, and True and False
    Membership2-year Scrum Alliance membershipScrum.org membership which has lifetime validity
    Password Expiry DateDepends on the online workflow by Certified Scrum TrainerNo expiration date for passwords

    Top Cities where Knowledgehut Conduct CSPO Certification Training Course Online

    CSPO Certification in BangaloreCSPO Certification in SydneyCSPO Certification in Chennai
    CSPO Certification in New YorkCSPO Certification in LondonCSPO Certification in Chicago
    CSPO Certification in SingaporeCSPO Certification in Pune CSPO Certification in Berlin
    CSPO Certification in TorontoCSPO Certification in DubaiCSPO Certification in Los Angeles
    CSPO Certification in HyderabadCSPO Certification in VancouverCSPO Certification in Delhi

    CSPO and PSPO: A Detailed Comparision

    The table above gives you a brief difference between CSPO and PSPO. For a thorough understanding, let us discuss the terms in detail. 

    CSPO and PSPO: Focus Area

    The focus area of any certification decides who can enroll on it and what advantages it can offer in your professional career. The accreditation bodies finalize these focus areas, and it is significant to know this to decide which will be best for you. 

    CSPO focuses on understanding the overall scrum model. It trains the candidates in scrum methodologies and specifies that the training has happened under a qualified expert. 

    PSPO focuses on knowing every function of a product owner. The candidates learn how to efficiently fulfil all the responsibilities of a product owner and turn a project or a particular sprint into a success. 

    CSPO and PSPO: Accreditation 

    Always ask about the accreditation body that provides or recognizes a particular certification. The accreditation body should have global recognition to enjoy all the perks of CSPO or PSPO.

    CSPO gets the accreditation of Scrum Alliance. It is one of the trusted and renowned Agile certification bodies, which have been operational since the 2000s. Scrum Alliance is a non-profit organization that gives away thousands of certifications every year.

    PSPO gets the accreditation from Scrum.org. Though it is not as old as Scrum Alliance, it holds an excellent market reputation. They have approximately 400 trainers and more than 100 training partners around the globe.

    CSPO and PSPO: Certification Cost

    Cost is a significant parameter when discussing the difference between PSPO and CSPO. 

    CSPO will cost you $500. However, it is significant to note that this value can vary depending on the price you pay for your training. Moreover, this certification is only valid for two years. You would have to pay the renewal fee of $100 to earn the certificate again.

    PSPO certification costs $200 for the online application. However, if you want to attend the training also, the total cost will rise upto $500. The highlight is that this certification stays valid for a lifetime, making it a one-time investment.

    CSPO and PSPO: Process of Certification

    For CSPO, there are no prerequisites. You do not require any fundamental certification or a specific educational background. However, you would have to attend mandatory 2-day training before getting certified. There is no exam involved in it. 

    On the other hand, there are no prerequisites for PSPO, and you do not require any prior training. However, you must register for an exam. Visit the website, pay for your exam, and register for exam. Once you qualify for the exam, the certification is awarded. 

    CSPO and PSPO: Qualifying Score

    As there is no exam for CSPO, there are no qualifying marks. Complete the training and earn the certification to your name.

    For PSPO, you register for an exam and should get 85% marks to qualify the certification. Only when you get 85% score, you clear the PSPO exam and become a PSPO-certified professional. 

    CSPO and PSPO: Renewal Terms

    CSPO is only valid for two years, and to continue enjoying its perks, you would have to renew the certificate. For this, you require 20 Scrum Education units and pay the renewal fee of $100. Just fill out the renewal form, and you have the certification for another two years.

    PSPO is for the lifetime. So, once you qualify for the exam and get certified, you have it for a lifetime. You wouldn’t have to renew it ever.

    CSPO and PSPO: Complexity Level 

    • CSPO is an easy to earn certification as you do not have to sit for any exam. You only must complete the training and become a CSPO-certified professional. 
    • PSPO is at the intermediate level in terms of complexity. There is an exam to qualify and specific marks that you should get to become a PSPO-certified professional. So, you would have to prepare well, and the difficulty level is higher than other certifications. 

    CSPO and PSPO: Password Expiration Date

    • PSPO: When you purchase a password, it is set up in the Scrum.org system and emailed to you within one business day. All Students completing a PSPO course are emailed a password upon completion of the course (typically within 3-5 business days). No expiration date for passwords.
    • CSPO: Depends on the online workflow set up by the Certified Scrum Trainer.

    CSPO and PSPO: Membership

    • PSPO: Membership of Scrum.org and the membership do not expire
    • CSPO: 2-Year Membership with Scrum Alliance. You are eligible to join local user groups and social networks, enjoy discounts on global events, search for careers on our online job board, and more.

    CSPO and PSPO: Other benefits

    • PSPO: Once you get certified, your name will be listed on Scrum.org.
    • CSPO: Once you receive the credential, your name is listed on the Scrum Alliance portal.

    How are they Similar

    We have discussed CSPO vs PSPO certification in detail, but there are a few aspects in which these two certifications are similar.

    • CSPO and PSPO are for product owners who want to do better and add value to their projects. 
    • These certifications give hands-on knowledge of the scrum methodologies and train individuals in efficient product management. 
    • Candidates earning any of these certifications get a boost in their professional careers and grab handsome salary packages. 

    Despite the focus of these certifications, the primary aim is similar. It helps the professionals in the product management industry add value to their projects.

    CSPO and PSPO: which one should you choose?

    Both the certifications offer a career boost, an excellent salary and more, but what would you pick? PSPO or CSPO? Well, multiple factors considered together can help you identify which certification would be apt for you. Some of these factors include your interest in the domain and your final goals. Do your research to understand the focus, significance and contribution to the professional journey of CSPO or PSPO. Based on this information, decide which one complies with your vision and can offer the professional career you have desired. If you are a beginner, you can start with CSPO and keep PSPO as your long-term goal. This step-by-step approach is the right approach that every product owner can follow for exceptional growth.

    Conclusion 

    Certifications are like a golden ticket to boost your career. I've seen how professionals in every field use them to learn the skills they need and climb the career ladder. Without certifications, it's tough to catch the eye of employers. Trust me, you might lag. So, the trick is to find the right certification that fits your goals. Pick one from a well-known provider to get that global recognition and set yourself up for an awesome career. I've learned that having the right certification makes a real difference, helping me move forward and get noticed in my professional journey.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Which certification is more suitable for someone new to Scrum?

    CSPO is apt for someone new to Scrum. You can start with it and keep PSPO as your long-term goal. 

    2Can I pursue both CSPO and PSPO certifications?

    There is no eligibility for any of these certifications, so you can pursue them together. Moreover, pursuing CSPO and PSPO together gives you added knowledge of this industry that helps in your career growth.

    3Which certification is more widely recognized in the industry?

    PSPO is your best bet and has better recognition in the industry. Though CSPO is equally popular, PSPO has an edge. 

    Profile

    Meghana Parwate

    Blog Author

    Meghana Parwate is a coach, mentor and trained several team members on Agile-Scrum, SAFe, etc. she has a consistent track record and a merit rank holder at HSSC. She also leads a 150+ people strong member team to deliver the next generation advanced visualization software with SAFe methodology with consistent achievement of 85%+ team goals every program increment. And she also Successfully delivered projects of variable team sizes with Agile-Scrums Scrums-of-Scrums and SAFe methodologies ranging from 1 to 20 scrum teams augmented with a blend of TDD and CI techniques.

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