Monday, 28 March 2011

Certified Scrum Professional

Chances are you’ve never heard of the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) certification, you’ve most likely heard of the other certifications – Scrum Master, Scrum Developer, Scrum Product Owner, Scrum Coach, Scrum Trainer but the CSP seems to not have had as much publicity which is a shame.

So you’re probably asking what is the CSP? well the Scrum Alliance has this to say:

“Taking a course introduces you to the basic concepts, practices, and principles you need to fulfill your role on the Scrum team. But there are certain things about an agile approach like Scrum that are only learned through time, experience, and continous learning. If you are an active CSM, CSPO, or CSD who has reached that next level of experience and expertise in the art of Scrum, share that accomplishment with others by applying for a Certified Scrum Professional credential.”

So its a certification that is based on actual experience with Scrum, not a 2 day course about concepts, you need to show that you can and have applied the concepts and principles and to me this is far more valuable than a certificate for attending a 2 day course.

I believe more should be made of this certification as to a potential employer this should show that the person they are looking at knows about Scrum and has shown that they have implemented it on a project (or projects).

My application

So following on from my Certified Scrum Master course I applied for the CSP, I met all the prerequisites (have existing certification and at least 1 year of active Scrum practice), so I downloaded and completed the application form where I had to provide details of my experience with Scrum and how it had been used plus a  few questions relating to the concepts & principles behind scrum itself.

My only issue with the application process was that the form was in Word and used word fields for the area’s which gives the impression that you should put your details in these fields, which I did, but when you get to the end of the form it tells you that you have to print it off, sign it, scan it in and mail it back.  I do have to ask if in the 21st centaury can we not come up with a better way of dealing with this?

I then submitted this application which goes through a process of being reviewed by the Certification Review committee (which in my case involved 2 separate people reviewing the application) and I was recently told that I had succeeded in my application.

This means I am now a fully fledged Certified Scrum Professional having been recognised by a professional body of having real world experience with Scrum.  My hope is that will strengthen my CV and stand me in good stead with current and future employers and if along the way I am able to publicise the CSP a bit more and raise peoples awareness of the certification then so much the better.


  1. Congratulations on your CSP! I was looking for information about CSP and found this post. I have just a little question that is anoying me before submiting my application for approval: How long was the answers you gave? I don't fell like writing too much, maybe I need to elaborate more my answers? Thanks!
    - Ivan

    1. Ivan, maybe you'd be interested in reading my CSP experience in my russian blog. I guess you know russian )

  2. @Ivan

    Sorry not come back to you sooner.

    The answers I gave were originally short but as I went back over my application to ensure I'd answered questions I found my answers lacking and so I added a lot more detail.

    My understanding is that the CSP certification process is about to change an there will be an exam to complete, this may be instead of, or as well as, the application.

    I would look to do the CSP as I often hear frequent scorn of the CSM as you only have to do the course to get it.

  3. Hi Nathan
    Could you please tell me how long does it take to get your CSM application reviewed? I have submitted my application a month ago and still haven't heard anything from scrumalliance. Please let me know.

  4. @pravinperumal I submitted my CSP application at beginning of January but didn't get it approved until March, it can take time as its actually reviewed by a person.

    If you don't hear anything in another couple of months I'd definitely chase

  5. Thanks Nathan. (Sorry about the late reply).

  6. Is there no exam?

  7. Hi Peter,

    There have been changes since I became certified where you now have to sit an exam.

    For how long this continues I don't know as, IMHO, it doesn't actually prove anything other than you can remember answers to questions and I'd prefer to see the peer assessment return.

  8. There are certain things about an agile approach like Scrum that are only learned through time, experience, and continous learning.