Best Agile Certifications

In recent years, there is a revolution that started for the creation of new software products. This revolution drove both software development and software testing industries to the peaks. The new way of software revolution is called Agile, as per version One's Gartner state report, Agile is now used by 97% of software companies. The term "Agile" was developed in the year 2001 at the ski resort in Utah. In the 1970s only the Agile was originated when an author called Dr. Winston W. Royce reported in the book, named "Managing the developments of large software systems". In that book, he spilled a bean that development of software methodologies can be changed from the traditional way of assembling them into different integrated parts. In 1997, authors called Michael and Richard published a paper "How Microsoft builds software products". This book explains how waterfall models are gradually losing their capacity because many top companies wanted to build better software products. All these reasons cause the development of newer software methodology that is "Agile”.

Why should you obtain an Agile Certifications?

According to the 12th state Agile survey reported that many organizations are achieving in producing a better outcomes by adopting Agile methodology.  That survey indicated that adoption of agile methodology is growing rapidly, and deeply. The top primary reasons for adopting agile methodology in any organization are, Agile offers accelerated delivery of any software product, improves the version of predictable delivery, improves the IT or any business alignment, and reduces the project cost. These reasons made the rapidly growing demand for IT professionals, who are having a strong skillset in Agile principles and its applications.

The following diagram explains the important factors about the popularity of Agile methodology

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Agile Certifications

The following are the multiple advantages of getting Agile certifications:

Slushpile in shortlist of the resume: the agile certifications play a key role in getting through the search of your resume by the recruiters easily. We all know that recruitment databases have thousands of profiles, and processing the correct agile certification catches the recruiters' eyeball.

Huge compensation:  any real-time experienced professional with real-time experience will be added advantage in one's career. Anyone who can use the proven experience in industry-oriented real-time projects with in-demand agile certifications will increase the chance of getting huge compensation related to the opportunity to work in a real-time agile world.

Moving up the career ladder: in recent years, the agile recruitments have become tougher and risky, because of the nature of work, business organizations, and customer demands. Holding any agile certificate will navigate the delivery and seamlessness of any business or clients.

Top Agile certifications complete overview

The following are the main Agile certifications, which play a key role in getting into the top companies as well as huge salary offers.

1. Certified Agile Scrum Foundation certificate:

The agile scrum foundation Certification is offered by EXIN center, which is a topmost exam and certification centers in the world. This EXIN center has certified millions of working professionals to deploy them in the digital domain.

This agile scrum foundation certificate testes your complete understanding of agile principles, methodologies, and also scrum agile frameworks. To take this certification exam, the candidate should be aware of agile core concepts, combining agile service framework, managing and practices of frameworks, and developing projects.

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: 60 minutes/ 1 hr.
  • Total number of questions included: 40 questions ( multiple choices)
  • Minimum pass percentage: 65% and above.
  • Additional requirements: successful completion of EXIN’s offered agile scrum foundation coaching.

2. Agile scrum master certificate (ASM®):

The agile scrum master certification provided by EXIN institute is considered as the best certification for management-level professionals who are working in fields like IT software management, development of Software, business management field, and IT software service management. This Agile scrum master certification works on the combination of agile methodologies, scrum framework practices, and software practical assessments. This exam is ideal for the candidates who are having the ability to function as a team leader, manager-level roles, team coach and working with high-level cross-functional teams. 

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration : 90 minutes/ 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total number of questions available:   40 questions ( multiple choice questions)
  • Average passing percentage: 65% ( minimum)
  • Additional requirements: successful completion of Agile scrum master training offered by EXIN institute.

Related Article: Agile Scrum Methodologies

3. Scrum master certification ® (CSM):

The Scrum Master certification is provided by Scrum Alliance institutes, this is one of the largest, and influential membership centers. The Scrum alliance institute is described as most established, and also works as a certified organization in the agile community. This certification organization was adopted by Ken Schwaber, and Jeff Sutherland, the co-founders of Scrum as their study program for the guidance.

To take this certification exam, you should know about the Scrum and its responsibilities. The responsibilities may include are Scrum Master, Product owner management, and Development teams. Other than these roles, you should be aware of a few additional roles such as ceremonies, sprint planning methods, Backlog Refinements, Sprint Retrospective techniques, Sprint methodologies, Sprint demo, product backlog incremental, Sprint and product owner backlog. One important thing is that Integration with Scrum it's not an easy task compare to Agile, it takes a lot of effort, consciousness, and commitment towards producing an effective outcome.

The Certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam Duration: 1hr/60 minutes
  • Total number of questions available: 50 questions (only multiple choice)
  • Average percentage to pass: 74% minimum
  • Additional requirements: 16-hour in-person training provided by a certified Scrum master center.

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4. Certified Scrum master professional (PSM):

The certified Scrum master professional is offered by this is an organization that provides the top-notch broad training facility, tests conduction, and finally acknowledges with Certifications to help the professionals to reach the high peak in their career. The professional scrum training community which is also equivalent to certified scrum trainers by Scrum Alliance. This certification exam is available for those who want to validate their in-depth knowledge in the agiled scrum framework. The certification is divided into levels, to clear the PSM 1 first level you should have a skill related to fundamental levels of Scrum mastery frameworks. One more important thing is that a working professional considers this one as the toughest among all other certification exams because this course consists of the complex syllabus, higher passing percentage, and tough pattern of the exam.

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: 1hr/ 60 minutes
  • Total number of questions available: 80 questions (multiple choice and true/false type)
  • Percentage to pass: 85%
  • Additional requirements: no need for any training.

6. Certified Scrum product owner ® (CSPO):

The certified Scrum product owner certification exam is provided by the Scrum alliance. To take this certification exam, you should have the basic knowledge to understand the things like the software business side of the software projects. Once you become a certified Scrum product owner, you will work on the product visions, catalog the product, customer backlogs, and deliver the most valuable product features, user stories, and responsibility to maximize the ROI. Along with this certificate credentials, you will also receive a two-year membership with a alliance institute, which you can top join any scrum community, group, and also agile forums. This membership credential also helps you to access discounts on any Global or local level institutes.

Related Article: Top Agile Project Management tools

Check the link for further details

The certification exam details are as follows.

  • Exam duration: No exam needed
  • Total number of questions available: not applicable
  • Percentage to pass: not applicable
  • Additional requirements:  16- hours of in-person training offered by professional scrum trainers.

7. PMI- Agile certified practitioner (ACP®):

The Agile certified practitioner is provided by a Project management institute to testify your Agile Manifesto skills, agile principles, and agile methodologies. This PMI's Agile certified practitioner training covers topics like length and breadth of many Agile approaches such as Scrum frameworks, Kanban (lean) principles, extreme programming methods, crystal, and DSDM. PMI's Agile certified practitioner is proof of real-world experiences in agile related projects, skill sets, and techniques. The agile certified practitioner exam is rigorous when compared to other agile certifications. Because this certification exam tests the theoretical knowledge, and real-time experience along with basic agile skills. The link as follow;

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: 3 hours/ 180 minutes
  • Total number of questions available: 120 questions (only multiple choice)
  • Passing percentage: there is no specific passing percentage mentioned by the project management institute (PMI), but a minimum of 70% of the score will help you to pass the certification exam.

Additional requirements:

  • You will earn a total of 2000 hrs of project management experience
  • Approximately 1500 hrs working on complete agile projects, and agile methodologies.
  • Handling cross-functional teams
  • More than 21 hours of training will be only focused on agile practices and project techniques.

8. IC Agile certified professional:

The IC Agile Certified professional is offered by the agile international Consortium. This IC Agile certified professional will testify your Agile foundation and IC Agile tacks skills. This Certification is ideal for those who want to start their career as an Agile professional, and also for those who want to change their domain. Under this Certification, you will be able to learn, Agile methodologies values, adopting Agile, feedback reviewing, Inspection of principles, and also enable you to work with cross-functional teams. The original link is as follows;

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: No exam required for this certification
  • Total number of questions available: not applicable here
  • Percentage to pass: No mandatory percentage calculated here
  • Additional requirements: 16-hour in-person training will be provided by Authorized IC agile training institutes.

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9. ICP –Agile Certified Coach:

The ICP agile certified coach is offered by Agile international Consortium, and it is considered to be one of the top-notch agile certifications on the base of coaching agile tracks. Under this certification training, you will be able to learn primary roles and responsibilities, and also you can learn the mindset of any agile coach. Once the successful finish of the Agile certified coach, individuals will be able to learn the differences between the monitoring software products, coaching tracks, teaching, and facilitating of roles. As a Certified Agile coach professional, you will also learn how to design an environment for the collaboration of the software product, and form a resolution within the team. Totally this certificate enhances one's teaching coaching ability and team development skills in any organization. 

The link is as follows;

The certification exam details are as follow:

  • Exam duration: No exam conducted
  • Total number of questions: not applicable here
  • Passing percentage: No mandatory percentage
  • Additional requirements: 21-hours of in-person training conducted by an authorized IC agile training institute.

10. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) agilist certification:

Scaled Agile framework agilist certification is provided by Scaled Agile central academy, this is one of the leading agile framework organizations. This Academy is famous for offering fully scaled framework agility training. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) certification will help the individual to organize the scale lean, agile developments, execute the program incrementally, deliver effective business values, and lean-agile budgeting. One more important thing is that the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is widely accepted by fortune 500 companies. Once the successful completion of the certificate, you will be able to perform a successful transformation of any organization into lean-agile framework enterprises.

The link is as follows;

The certification exam details are as follows:

  • Exam duration: 1 and half an hour/ 90 minutes
  • The total number of questions available: 45 questions (multiple choice questions)
  • Percentage required to pass: minimum 75%
  • Additional requirements: 21-hours of in-person training conducted by authorized Scaled agile framework academy.

The top three reasons to do Agile Certifications

The following are the top three reasons explain to you why you need to take Agile certification to reach a higher peak in a professional career. I would like to mention few of them:

Increase in demand for Agile adoption:

As is discussed earlier, almost 75% of fortune 500 companies are showing a keen interest in adopting Agile approaches and methodologies. As per the Forbes report, most of the companies believe that the overall organizational integrity plays a crucial role in business success. In 2018, Scrum state reports say that more than 60% of respondents are involved in agile transformations, and changing the future scope. Then 80% of the companies based in the Netherlands and Belgium believe that Agile implementation will overtake all the waterfall projects by the end of 2020.

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Multiple agile methodologies are used by the organizations depending on the nature of work:

Overall 28.7% of both manufacturing and automation organizations are depending on sole agility, remaining organizations on combined cross-functional agility implementations. These methodologies help enterprises to climb up the ladder and also get deployed into varieties of Agile projects. There is a continuous demand for agile professionals like agile project manager, director of agile PMO, Agile coach specialist, and scrum master. According to the job portal around 50,000 jobs available worldwide for agile management skills.

Newer perspectives

1. More scope of delivered work: QSM academy has assessed the overall performance of Scaled agile developments. There are 8000+ of primarily agile traditional projects available on the base of 3 major key areas, a) productivity, b) marketing time, and c) quality of the product. It was a known fact that the team that using agile is 60% faster than any integrated system, and 30% more productivity.

2. Offers more valuable features (80% of the agile features are written in 20% of the code usage):

One of the recent studies reveals that "only 1.25% of the Microsoft support 32% of attributes usage and all these features "must-have" basic ones". This is the drawback of using Microsoft attributes. The agile management system allows users to implement 80% of the features and ROI.

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How to choose the Right Agile certification?

There are more than 12 agile certifications available for software professionals to learn and gain valuable information. But depending on their skill sets they should select the suitable Agile certification.

Here are the very important suggestions;

If you want to become a certified scrum master professional from any leading scrum institute, you can go with Scrum master Academy from Scrum Alliance. This certification testifies your basic agile skills using Scrum agiled framework through any exams. However, aspirants should attend 16-hours of in-person training conducted by the Scrum alliance academy.

  • Aspirants those who wish to take Scrum master basic skill to higher levels; offers the various levels of scrum certifications like PSM1, PSM 11, PSM 111 levels. These levels indicate the complexity of training. PSM certification is considered to be the toughest among other certifications but helps you to change your domain to a higher level.  
  • Aspirant those who wish to understand the various agile features like Scrum methods, XP, Crystal specifications, and DSDM, then you can go with PMI-ACP certification will be the right fit.
  • If anyone likes to perform scale agility across the business enterprise level to monitoring the agility, then you should go with a scaled agile framework agile certificate (SAFe) will be the right fit.


In this blog, I have mentioned the various agile certifications, and their importance. Getting Agile professional certifications from the leading academy will help you to reach a high peak in your professional career and also enables you to get connect with top-class Agile forum communities. Here I have mentioned ten major Agile certifications, you can select any certification according to individual interests and capabilities. I hope this blog may help a few of the aspirants, those wish to do any agile certifications, and also many Agile social/community forums.

Other Related Article:

1. Agile resume

2. Agile Prioritization Techniques

3. Agile VS Scrum

4. Scaled Agile Framework


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Research Analyst
As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.