Which Professional Business Analysis Certification Should I Do?

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Last updated on
11th Mar, 2021
Published
12th Jul, 2017
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Which Professional Business Analysis Certification Should I Do?

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®), the leading professional body in the domain of business analysis around the world is responsible for defining the standards, guidelines and best practices related to the profession. These standards and guidelines are applicable for any individual playing some sort of analyst role in an organization.

IIBA® offers four key professional certifications for practitioners to further enhance their knowledge and their careers.  A common problem faced by many professionals and among those aspiring to develop a career in business analysis is the problem of not knowing which professional certifications are available, identifying which certification is most suitable for them and then understanding how to go about obtaining the certification.

This article intends to critically discuss about the four Business Analysis certifications offered by IIBA, so as to provide a comprehensive one-stop guide for anyone to use. Certifications are important, as it is a proof that the individual has mastered the art and science of business analysis and thus provides personal and professional recognition. An IIBA® certification definitely looks good on your resume and is recognized worldwide. With the rapid increase of demand for analyst jobs, an IIBA certified professional is sure to stand head-above-shoulders than any other professional and have the potential to earn 15% to 20% more than a professional who is not certified.

IIBA® Certifications are based on competency of each individual and is in line with the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®). The current version of BABOK® is version 3.0.

The certifications from IIBA® and the requirements are as listed below:

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis® (ECBA®)

ECBA®, which is a new addition to the list of certifications offered by IIBA® is primarily for undergraduates, new graduates, students enrolled in business analysis courses or for anyone moving into a career in business analysis.
ECBA certification is an entry level certification that anyone who wants to venture into business analysis career can pursue.

Eligibility criteria for ECBA® are as listed below:

  • 21 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.  One hour of activity is equal to one PD.

PD hours can be obtained by,

  • Following classroom or online courses from Endorsed Education Providers (EEP) of IIBA®.
  • Following live or recorded webinars related to business analysis.
  • Attending or facilitating conferences, workshops, speeches or training sessions
  • Attending study group sessions, workshops, conferences organized by the local IIBA® chapter
  • Reading and reviewing the BABOK® guide through self-directed learning
  1. Read, understand and agree with the ECBA® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form.

The ECBA® exam is a Computer Based Test (CBT) of 1 hour duration consisting of 50 MCQ questions.

Certificate of Capability in Business Analysis® (CCBA®)

CCBA® is targeted mainly for professionals who have some sort of industry experience as a business analyst. CCBA course  is a Professional Certification for individuals with extensive Business Analysis experience.

Eligibility criteria for CCBA® are as listed below.

  • Minimum of 3750 hours (roughly about 4 years at 6 hours of effective business analysis work per day) within the last 7-year time period.

It is important to note that the individual must be able to demonstrate 900 hours in each of 2 of the 6 knowledge areas or a minimum of 500 hours in each of 4 of the 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK® over the above mentioned 7-year time period.

It is important to fulfill this criterion when documenting your experience and hence take extra care when filling your application form.

  1. 21 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.  

PD hours can be obtained by following any of the methods mentioned previously.

  1. Read, understand and agree with the CCBA® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form.
  1. Endorsement from two referees who are current contacts of the candidate knowing them for at least 6 months which can either be a career manager, client or a CBAP® recipient.

The CCBA® exam is also a CBT of 3 hours duration consisting of 130 scenario based MCQ questions.

Certified Business Analysis Professional® (CBAP®)

CBAP® certification is the most prestigious certification in my mind targeted for experienced professionals in the field of business analysis.

Eligibility criteria for CBAP® are as listed below:

  1. Minimum of 7500 hours (roughly about 7 ½ years at 6 hours of effective business analysis work per day) within the last 10-year time period.

The individual must have a minimum of 900 demonstrable hours of experience in each of 4 of the 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK® over the above mentioned 10-year time period.

It is important to fulfill this criterion when documenting your experience and hence take extra care when filling your application form.

  1. 35 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.  

PD hours can be obtained by following any of the methods mentioned previously.

  1. Read, understand and agree with the CBAP® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form.
  1. Endorsement from two referees who are current contacts of the candidate knowing them for at least 6 months which can either be a career manager, client or a CBAP® recipient.

The CBAP® exam is also a CBT of 3 ½ hours duration consisting of 120 case study (1 to 1 ½ pages) based MCQ questions.

Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader® (CBATL®)

CBATL® is again a new addition to the list of certifications offered by IIBA®. It does require the individual to write an exam but can be obtained by proving 10 or more years of business analysis experience. This credential is still being detailed out but is offered to professionals who have contributed to the growth and popularity of the profession and to the knowledge base of business analysis.

Choose wisely!! The right credential with the knowledge of how to apply the learning at your workplace will make you a valuable cog in your company’s wheels.

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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