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Personal Development Path Under Scrum Alliance Certification System

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Last updated on
11th May, 2022
16th Aug, 2017
Personal Development Path Under Scrum Alliance Certification System

What is Scrum Certification System?

Scrum Certifications is for personal Agile career development, maintained by Scrum Alliance. The certification is distributed after taking training of coaching by registered experts.

Foundational Level

Foundation Level consists of 3 certifications linking to the three defined roles in Scrum framework:

  • CSM - Learning objectives of CSM cover every details of Scrum framework and how to become a ScrumMaster which takes brand new responsibilities such as scrum implementation, servant leadership, coaching team , etc., CSM is suitable for people manager, project manager, team leaders. Attendees must take 2-day course by CST and pass the online exam.
  • CSPO - Learning objectives of CSPO covers how to explore the uncertainty with users to better realize product vision and collaborate with development team under Scrum framework as a Product Owner. Attendees must take 2-day course by CST, no exam required.
  • CSD - Learning objectives of CSD covers both Scrum framework and the agile engineering practice such as TDD, Refactoring, Continuous Integration, clean code , etc. as a developer. CSD is for development team members. Attendee must take 2-day scrum foundation course and 3-day technical practices course delivered by REP (Registered Education Partner) trainer.

All three certifications will also enable 2-year access to Scrum Alliance. Through this membership you can join local user groups, online social networks, gain access to deep discounts on gatherings, and additional member-only resources.

Professional Level

  • CSP - CSP is not earned by taking course only but apply from Scrum Alliance as individual. A candidate must have rich Scrum experience and professional skills, and having one of the foundational level certifications. The application must hold one of the foundational level certifications, have a minimum of 36 months of successful Agile/Scrum work experience gained within the past 5 years, gather and submit 70 Scrum Education Units (SEUs) from the past 3 years.

For how to earn SEU, ref to

Taking 1-on-1 coaching or advanced agile coaching course may be helpful.

Elevated Level

  • CST - A trainer can delivery CSM/CSPO course.
  • CEC - An agile coach who have wide coaching experience in different organizations focus more on enterprise transformation.
  • CTC - An agile coach who have wide coaching experience in different organizations focus more on multi-team performance and culture change.

All the three must have CSP and many year training and practicing to continuous growing. Most of them are opinion leaders in agile communities.
For how to apply please refer to Scrum Alliance website.

Certified Agile Leadership

There’s a separate path for leaders and management to enhance their workplaces with a culture of agility. It has none with the other certification.

New CSP Path is coming soon…

Scrum Alliance is working to add 3 advanced certifications: A-CSPO/A-CSD/A-CSM for the 3 roles respectively between the foundation level and professional level in 2017. Also the CSP will split into 3 separate paths.
For example, if you are developing yourself on product owner path, you need to take CSPO first and then A-CSPO, after that you can apply for CSP-PO certification.

The elevated level and agile leadership has no change.

How do you develop yourself?

Scrum expert is a popular new career path

Scrum Master is the Top 22 high paying job in America according to a survey in 2017.

The Scrum Alliance certifications are a well-designed career path for individuals. Since recent five years, more and more famous companies in the world start Agile transformation to enable a more competitive business performance with early delivery and better quality to satisfy customers in such a VUCA era with a coaching style leadership.
ScrumMaster as a new role can create wider leadership in the organizations and even dedicate to serve companies. Some ScrumMaster grows further to Agile coaches with their great learning capability. On the other hand, a developer with great technical skills become a full-stack engineer which is hot required by start-ups and getting much higher paid. All the innovative business and start-ups must have a Product Owner to lead the team working on doing right thing towards their vision otherwise all effort is worthless.
Qualified Scrum experts is becoming hot in the recruiting market e.g. LinkedIn.

Transit from current position

Whatever job position can choose a path towards agile/scrum experts, focus on one path, start from a certified course, and do NOT attend a “one fit all” course. After training, open your mind and jump into a real project/product immediately to “learn to swim” to earn hands-on experience rather than “by-the-book consultant”. At any time, “Don’t wait change happen, be the changer yourself”.

If you’re working as PMO, SQA, project managers, director, engineer, you’re suitable to transit to ScrumMaster. Start from taking a CSM course and take the role either part-time or full time to teams. The precondition is that your organization start to adopt Scrum/Agile and re-organize the team structure and define new roles. With 1+ year experience, you can think to develop yourself to a multi-team ScrumMaster or agile coach and learn more soft skill, also you can take higher people management and lead the culture changes such as COO/CIO.

If you’re working as product manager, project manager, business analyst, you consider to transit to Product Owner, learning from CSPO course to learn the skills of customer empathy, lean startup, prioritization, data analysis etc. to work with Development teams, and develop yourself towards business owner and CEO.

If you’re a developer or software engineer and want to embrace agility and craftsmanship, you may want to attend a CSD course regardless whatever language and tools you use, and bring the skills back to you new feature and legacy system, increasing the responsiveness of implementation to the ever changing business requirement. You can develop yourself towards technical coach in the future.

Besides grow in daily job, you’re highly recommended to join agile communities, connect with opinion leaders and experts, writing and sharing your own story, continuously learning with short feedback cycle. You’d better find a long-term mentor or coach to help you.


Rumesh Wijetunge

Chief Innovation Officer - Zaizi Limited, Chief Operating Officer - LearntIn (Pvt) Ltd., Director /

Rumesh is an IT business leader with over 12 years of industry experience as a business analyst and project manager. He is currently the CIO of Zaizi Limited, a UK based data management company heading the operations in Sri Lanka, the COO of LearntIn, a global training institute based in Sri Lanka and is also a lecturer / trainer at multiple private universities on management, IT, business analysis and project management subjects. He is the current president of the IIBA Sri Lanka chapter and is one of the most qualified and sought after trainers in Sri Lanka. Refer his LinkedIn profile for more details and to see more articles he has written on linkedin