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Agile qualifications

Agile certification

by Simon Buehring
Discover the pathway to project leadership and heightened career prospects with our comprehensive exploration of Agile certification.
Agile certification

Introduction to Agile certification

Agile certification represents a commitment to the dynamic and collaborative approach required in modern product development and management. As industries evolve at an unprecedented pace, the demand for Agile-certified professionals has soared. These certifications bear testimony to one’s expertise in Agile methodologies, a suite of practices focused on team collaboration, customer feedback, and iterative development.

Agile’s importance stems from its proven track record in increasing project transparency, enhancing product quality, and reducing time-to-market. It is not just a set of techniques but a mindset that encourages continuous improvement and responsiveness to change. Certifications range from foundational knowledge for newcomers to specialised skills for seasoned practitioners.

In a world where flexibility and speed are paramount, Agile certification is becoming a cornerstone for professionals who wish to lead and innovate in project management. It also serves as a differentiator for employers seeking to build resilient and adaptive teams capable of facing complex project challenges head-on. This introduction sets the stage for exploring how to select and pursue the right Agile certification for your career development.

Benefits of Agile certification

Agile certifications are more than just personal accolades; they serve as a lever for professional growth and organisational improvement. Individuals with these credentials often witness enhanced career trajectories, garnering recognition for their specialised knowledge and commitment to modern project management approaches. For organisations, certified Agile professionals can be a boon, infusing teams with robust methodologies that streamline processes and boost productivity. This dual advantage of Agile certification cultivates environments where project success, team dynamics, and customer satisfaction are not just goals but tangible outcomes.

Career advancement opportunities

Agile certification opens the door to numerous career opportunities. It’s a signal to employers of an individual’s mastery in flexible project management methodologies. Certified professionals often enjoy preferential status during job selection, access to higher positions, and competitive salaries. They also benefit from being part of a community of practice, staying abreast of the latest trends and techniques. This investment in professional development not only boosts individual career prospects but also increases the value they bring to their organisations.

Organisational impact

Certified Agile professionals drive transformation within their organisations. They bring a mindset focused on efficiency, adaptability, and customer satisfaction that resonates through the company culture. Their expertise leads to more responsive project management, better team performance, and enhanced customer engagement. The result is a more dynamic, competitive, and innovative organisation equipped to tackle the challenges of a fast-paced business landscape and deliver projects that meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.

Choosing the right Agile certification

When selecting an Agile certification, align it with your career aspirations. Research to identify certifications that are in high demand within your industry. For instance, a Scrum Master certification benefits those seeking a Scrum Master role. Alternatively, if you prefer a more technical path, consider a certification in Agile software development practices.

Connect with professionals who already hold Agile certifications. Seek their advice on which certification has boosted their career. Your decision should balance your professional goals with practical considerations such as time, cost, and the specific skills you want to develop.

Each certification caters to different roles and expertise levels in Agile methodologies, offering valuable credentials for career advancement.

Key certifications to consider


Scrum certifications are probably the most popular Agile certifications. There are certifications available for the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team roles within Scrum.

The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) from Scrum Alliance is widely recognised, focusing on team leadership in the Scrum Master role. Similarly, the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification from enjoys a reputation as the most challenging certification to get, and as such it is highly regarded by professionals.

For professional seeking Product Owner certification, the two most popular include the Certified Scrum Product Owner certification (CSPO) from Scrum Alliance, and the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) certification from

For Scrum Developers, the most popular is the Certified Scrum Developer certification from Scrum Alliance.

For professionals seeking a more general Scrum qualification the Scrum Essentials certification is recommended.

Agile project management

Since Scrum is not an Agile project management approach, Agile professionals seeking a dedicated Agile project management certification, usually choose one of two paths. These are the AgilePM certification from the Agile Business Consortium, and PRINCE2 Agile certification from PeopleCert. Choices include AgilePM Foundation or PRINCE2 Agile Foundation for beginners, and AgilePM Practitioner or PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner for more experienced professionals.


Kanban certification options are more limited. Kanban University does offer Kanban certification in the form of Kanban Management Professional (KMP) for entry level professionals. Certification requires completion of both the Kanban System Design, and Kanban Systems Improvement modules.


For comprehensive Agile methods, the PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) from the Project Management Institute is a versatile choice. The ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP) offers insights into Agile processes beyond Scrum.

Scaled Agile

The SAFe Agilist (SA) certification from Scaled Agile caters to those working in large-scale Agile projects.

Certification bodies and institutes

The Scrum Alliance and are leading Agile organisation, offering a range of Scrum-focused certifications. The Project Management Institute (PMI) provides the PMI-ACP certification and Scaled Agile, Inc. provides SAFe certifications. The International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) is another key body, offering a vast array of Agile learning tracks, whilst the Kanban University provides Kanban certification.

These organisations are reputable and recognised globally, ensuring that their certifications carry weight in the professional community.

Agile certification process

Obtaining an Agile certification typically involves several steps. First, select a certification that aligns with your goals. Next, complete any mandatory training or coursework, which may be offered online or in-person. Training often covers Agile principles, methodologies, and practical applications.

After training, you’ll likely need to pass an examination to demonstrate your competency. Check if there’s a need to accumulate specific work experience to qualify. Lastly, maintain your certification by meeting ongoing education requirements, ensuring your skills stay current in an evolving field.

Exam preparation strategies

Effective preparation is crucial for Agile certification exams. Start with the official study materials provided by the accrediting body. They’re tailored to the exam content and often include practice questions. Supplement your study with additional resources like books, online courses, and Agile practice tests.

Active learning methods, such as study groups and discussion forums, can help deepen your understanding. Allocate regular study times and simulate exam conditions to build confidence. Lastly, remember to review Agile principles frequently and apply them to practical scenarios, as real-world application can cement your knowledge and prepare you for exam success.

Maintaining your certification

To maintain your Agile certification, you must engage in continuous learning and professional development. Accrediting bodies often require a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) or professional development units (PDUs) within a specified timeframe. Stay abreast of the latest Agile trends, techniques, and best practices through workshops, seminars, and industry conferences. Some certifications may also necessitate periodic re-examination or proof of ongoing practical Agile application in your work.

Adhering to these requirements ensures that your Agile certification remains valid and demonstrates your commitment to professional excellence.

Agile certification in practice

Agile certifications equip professionals with methodologies that enhance project flexibility and efficiency. In practice, these certifications enable practitioners to better manage change, improve team productivity, and ensure continuous delivery of value to customers. Certified Agile professionals often lead cross-functional teams, applying Scrum, Kanban, or SAFe frameworks to tailor approaches to project needs. This adaptability results in timely responses to market shifts and customer feedback.

Ultimately, Agile certifications can transform project outcomes, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and customer-centric development within organisations.

Learn from agile leaders

agileKRC has helped shape agile thinking by leading the teams that developed AgilePM® and PRINCE2 Agile®. We take a practical, success-oriented approach. We begin by taking the time to listen and understand your needs, before offering our real-world experience and expert guidance.

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