This page contains information relevant to the CSP Beta program prior to its official launch in September, 2011. Please visit this page for the most current information about our CSP program.
CSP Beta Program Information and FAQs
As part of the organization’s long-term strategy, Scrum Alliance is in the process of transforming the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) program into a certification program that meets worldwide standards for structure and testing required for accreditation. In today's competitive job market, primary credentialing is an important way to identify industry professionals with a full understanding of Scrum and how to apply its principles in the workplace. The intent behind the CSP certification program is to offer a clearly defined and well-respected credential in the Agile community, recognized as the primary credential for Scrum Professionals and sought by the employers who hire them. While final eligibility requirements for the program are still under review, the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) credential will remain an essential component.
Since early spring 2011, Scrum Alliance volunteers, staff, and the professional certification experts at Castle Worldwide have conducted a Scrum-specific analysis that included in-person meetings with Scrum Alliance community members as well as a worldwide member survey. See the complete CSP Analysis Report [PDF] for details. Next, Scrum Alliance volunteers developed and validated hundreds of multiple-choice test items. These items have been assembled into a beta test that is being conducted in October 2011 to assure that the CSP examination meets accreditation requirements and that it is theoretically and technically sound.
Here’s how to determine your eligibility to participate as a CSP Beta Tester and find resources to prepare and register:
You are eligible to participate in the CSP beta test if you currently hold either the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) credential AND have a minimum of one year of experience using Scrum processes in your work. By participating in – and passing – the CSP beta test, you will earn the designation Certified Scrum Professional, a credential renewable every two years.
To help you prepare for the beta test, we have prepared a CSP Beta Candidate Handbook [PDF] that includes an outline of the content that will be addressed on the exam and recommended resources with which to review and prepare for the test. It also includes some helpful tips on test preparation and test-taking strategies. In addition, the Content Classification System [PDF] outlines the broad domains of understanding to be covered on the exam, as well as the knowledge, skills, and tasks that are addressed in the test items.
To register as a CSP candidate, please visit the online registration form. We have discounted the registration fee by $50 for the 200 applicants we seek for the CSP beta test (registration is first-come, first-served for those who complete the registration form, are determined to be eligible, and whose payments are confirmed). In addition, those who pass the beta test will be eligible for a $50 discount on their first CSP renewal fee, for a total savings of $100. The beta test window is scheduled from October 1-31, 2011. During this time period, each candidate will be required to register to take the beta test at one of hundreds of proctored test centers around the world. To pose questions or offer comments, please send an email to CSPBeta@scrumalliance.org.
The Content Classifcation System from which the CSP examinaton items were developed is available on the Scrum Alliance web site and linked from this handbook.
CSP Beta Test FAQs
Q1: Is the Exam Beta program now the ONLY way to apply for CSP? If not, how much longer will the application-only process be in place?
A1: The CSP beta test is another step toward the legally defensible CSP program Scrum Alliance plans to have completed by January 1, 2012. During the beta period, members may apply for the CSP designation using the existing process. Scrum Alliance seeks 200 volunteers who are willing to participate in the CSP beta exam as we work to reach our January 1, 2010 goal.
Q2: If a candidate submitted their CSP application before the announcement (August 5, 2011), are they grandfathered into the old process, or must they re-apply?
A2: If a candidate submitted a CSP application before the August 5, 2011 beta test announcement, the applicant will have the option to participate in the beta test or proceed with the existing application. Any Scrum Alliance member who qualifies for the beta test may register (see eligibility requirements above).
Q3: If the exam beta program is now the ONLY process, when will the online application be up and running?
Q4: Once candidate applications have been approved, how do they schedule their exams?
A4: Once CSP beta candidate applications have been approved, candidates will receive an email invitation from Castle Worldwide (from email@example.com) with a link to the exam registration form, which includes access to the list of locations, dates and times available for the CSP beta exam. The list of proctored testing sites is also available.
Q5: If candidates aren't among the first 200 applicants, can they still apply for CSP, or must they wait until Jan 1?
A5: If interested candidates do not apply in time to become one of the 200 CSP beta test candidates Scrum Alliance seeks, they may still apply for CSP status using the existing process. Scrum Alliance currently plans to roll out the improved CSP program on January 1, 2012, and unless announced otherwise, candidates may apply for CSP status using the existing process until that date.
Q6: May an existing CSP whose certification is due for renewal participate in the Beta program?
Q7: If a CSP Beta candidate has registered and paid but cannot locate a testing location during the October 1-31 testing window, will Scrum Alliance refund the $200 fee?
A7: It is most helpful if the potential CSP Beta candidate reviews the list of worldwide testing centers before registering and paying. Consider locations that are not only near your home or office, but those that may be near a location where you may be traveling for work or pleasure during the month of October 2011. If you have already paid and cannot locate a site during October, Scrum Alliance will refund the $200 fee.
Q8: I have completed the CSP beta registration form and paid the fee. Should I also complete and submit the CSP application form I see on the Scrum Alliance web site?
A8: For those who are able to participate, the CSP beta examination will replace the application and review process in the existing CSP program. After January 1, 2012, when the “new” CSP program is scheduled to be in place, all candidates for the CSP designation will register with standard eligibility requirements as outlined above, pay the fee, and take the CSP exam.
Q9: I understand that I can take the CSP exam online – may I do that from home?
A9: No. The CSP beta - like the CSP program going forward - will include an online exam held only at proctored test sites around the world. The exam will not be available online from your home or work desktop, as it's important for us to assure that the person taking the exam is the person whose name will be on the certification. To find the location nearest your home, work, or travel location, visit the list of proctored testing sites from our testing partner, Castle Worldwide.
Q10: What is the incentive for candidates to choose the more rigorous exam-based process, rather than simply defaulting to the previous application-based process?
A10: You've answered your own question about the incentive to choose the exam-based CSP: Beginning January 1, 2012, this additional rigor will apply to everyone who applies for the CSP certification. It's stated best in the introductory paragraphs of the lead article in Scrum Alliance's July 2011 newsletter.
Q11: When will I get my CSP beta test results?
A11: Shortly after the testing window has closed on October 31, 2011, Castle will conduct meetings to examine the results of all CSP beta exams to determine the passing point using a statistical method called Modified Angoff.
Castle will analyze the exam items to determine how effectively each one discriminates between a test-taker who knows Scrum and one who guessed at the answers. This is an important process in the beta-testing process because it helps to establish validity and reliability of the test forms. Those who take the beta version of the CSP exam will not only test their knowledge of Scrum processes, they will help Scrum Alliance and Castle to "test the test," which will determine what items best distinguish those who understand and use Scrum processes in the workplace from those who are less experienced and may guess on the exam.
Beta candidates will be notified of their test results via email approximately three weeks after the close of the exam window (after October 31, 2011).
Q12: How may I find and schedule my nearest test site outside the United States or Canada?
A12: Follow these steps:
1. Upon receiving your Notice to Schedule (NTS) from Castle Worldwide, log in to the scheduling website. On the right-hand side of the screen you will see a drop-down menu. You may select the country in which you would like to take the examination from this menu.
2. If you do not see the country for which you are searching on this menu, click on the "More International Sites" button. This button will bring up a new page with three drop-down menus and more international sites. You may choose your site from the menus as well as three possible dates on which you would like to test. Within five (5) business days, Castle will issue a confirmation notice for one of the preferred sites/dates. If none of the requested sites/dates are available, Castle will offer an alternate site/date for your approval. Upon approval, Castle will issue a confirmation notice.
3. If you would like to request a location that is not available in either menu, please email Castle at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request. Castle cannot guarantee availability of any international site/date during the designated testing period, nor can Castle guarantee that a location will be established in your requested city.