So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and do an Agile certification. Great! Where do you start? Well, if you’ve looked around on the internet for Agile certifications, you’ll have found that there is a wide variety of different types and formats of training, exams, and certifications that you could do. With so many options, it might be hard to figure out what the difference is between them and which one would be best for you and your needs.
To help you, we created this article to summarize what sets the EXIN Agile Scrum program apart and how it compares to other Agile and Scrum certifications out there. It will cover what type of content you can expect in the certification, the different levels of certification, and the practical side of getting certified. EXIN also offers Career Path certifications that help create a structure for your long-term development.
At the end of this article, you’ll find an overview of the most popular certifications available and how they compare to the EXIN program.
Structure of the Program
The EXIN Agile Scrum program consists of 5 certifications. Each of these certifications aligns with a role in a Scrum team. A Scrum team includes (development) team members, a Scrum Master, a Product Owner, and (not always) an Agile Coach. EXIN has a certification suited to each of these roles to ensure that a professional who takes an EXIN certification can immediately step into a specific role in their team.
Many of the programs offered by other providers start with the Scrum Master certification. However, if you’re starting in Agile, you probably wouldn’t begin as a Scrum Master straight away. That’s why we created the EXIN Agile Scrum Foundation certification. This entry-level certification aims to provide all professionals who are new to Agile with the information they need to integrate into a Scrum team seamlessly. The exam covers core concepts, processes, and practices. It is ideal not only for development team members but also for anyone who needs a basic understanding of what Agile is and how it can be applied to improve working processes.
As you progress in your Agile career, you have the choice between becoming a Scrum Master, Product Owner, or Agile Coach.
The Scrum Master is responsible for supporting and facilitating the Scrum Team. They do this by facilitating the different Scrum events and removing obstacles for the team. EXIN Agile Scrum Master certified professionals will have a solid understanding of how to train, coach, and support their team in their work.
When you’ve gained enough experience, you might want to consider the next step in your career. A typical move for Scrum Masters who want to take on more responsibility is to become a Product Owner. The Product Owner focuses on the needs of the customer and the business. Their role is to maximize business value. They are also responsible for the Product Backlog and making sure that the user stories on it are clear for the Scrum team.
The EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner certification covers all of the required knowledge and skills. It also features practical assignments so that once you’ve taken the certification, you can step straight into the role of Product Owner. If you have already become a Scum Master, you can build on your existing knowledge with the EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner Bridge certification. At EXIN we recognize that this is a logical next step and as such, we have made it easy for Scrum Masters to move towards a Product Owner role by just assessing their business skills. In this way, you don’t have to repeat exam content that you’ve previously studied as a Scrum Master.
The highest level in the EXIN Agile Scrum certification program is EXIN Agile Coach. As the name implies, this certification focuses on Agile only. It looks at agnostic Agile, Agile practices, how to facilitate change and coaching techniques. Professionals go through a thorough assessment session, which aims to validate their practical experience.
The Building Blocks of T-Shaped Professional
Over the past decade, the relevance of ‘T-shaped’ skills has increased dramatically. They have become more important because, through the digitalization of different domains, everyday roles are becoming more complex. You no longer only need to know about your specialist area, but you also need to understand how your specialism relates to others around it. To be able to understand the broader context, you need to become a T-shaped professional.
The vertical bar of the T represents your specialism. To become a T-shaped professional, you need to extend your knowledge to the domains around it so that you can put your specialism into context. This contextual knowledge makes up the horizontal bar of the T.
EXIN has created two new types of certification paths to support you in attaining your T-shaped skills. EXIN Certified Integrators focus on the contextual knowledge you need of the specialisms that connect to yours. On the other hand, EXIN Career Path certifications will help you work towards the long-term specialism of your choice by focusing on a role.
There are 2 of these certifications that align with the Agile program. If you want to build up your broader knowledge around Agile and Service Management, you can choose to work towards EXIN Certified Integrator Agile Service Projects. If you already work in Service Management and want to take on a more specialist role, you could choose our EXIN Agile Service Manager certification.
Training Around the World
For EXIN Agile Scrum Master and EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner, you will have to take a training with an EXIN accredited training provider. There are currently around 200 organizations worldwide with whom you can take a classroom or online training.
As part of these higher-level exams, you will have to complete a practical assignment. The trainer will include this as part of the course material during your training. By doing a practical assignment, EXIN can validate your ability to apply what you have learned in a real-life scenario. For example, you can practice your understanding of the Scrum values and roles or create and manage a product backlog.
Of course, if you opt to do the Agile Scrum Foundation, you won’t have to take part in training if you don’t want to. You can take training if you prefer, but you can also choose to study for the exam independently.
Take your Exam your Way
Once you’ve followed your training or studied the required reading materials, you can take your exam in one of two ways. Online with EXIN Anywhere or offline with a trainer or at a test center.
If you opt for online, you’ll be taking an online or live proctored exam. What this means is that once you’ve finished studying and are ready, you can book your exam online through the EXIN website. As soon as you have paid, you’ll be able to set your test date within 21 days. Before you take your exam, you’ll have to choose between video or live proctoring. Video proctoring means that your exam session is recorded. This footage is then reviewed by a proctor to check that you kept to the exam guidelines. With live proctoring, a proctor monitors in real-time while you take your exam.
When you’re taking training with an EXIN partner, you’ll take your exam under their supervision at the end of the session. If you happen to live in the Netherlands, you can also choose to take your exam at a test center, even if you haven’t followed training.
When you successfully pass your exam, you’ll also receive a digital badge. This badge is a digital credential that includes verifiable information about the certification and the skills you’ve acquired. After you’ve received your badge, you can easily share it with your network by adding it to your LinkedIn profile or sharing it via Facebook or Twitter. Sharing your badge also means that you can immediately get recognition for your hard work!
As a bonus, unlike some Scrum certifications, none of the EXIN certifications are subject to a renewal fee. Once you’ve passed, you’ll always be EXIN Agile Scrum certified.
Exams in Many Languages
To ensure that professionals all over the world can take their exam in the language they prefer, EXIN offers Agile Scrum certifications in a wide range of languages (except for Agile Coach which is only available in English):
- EXIN Agile Scrum Foundation is available in English, German, Polish, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin American Spanish, French, Japanese, Czech, Chinese, and Spanish.
- EXIN Agile Scrum Master is available in English, French, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Chinese, German, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese.
- EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner is available in English, Dutch, Latin American Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, German.
- EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner Bridge is available in English, Dutch, Latin American Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, German.
Interested in finding out more about what agile can bring you? Such as career potential or salary expectations. Then subscribe to our short introduction to Agile and Scrum.
Or would you like to know more about the different certifications in the EXIN Agile Scrum program? Then select a certification below!
Are you part of a training organization that is looking to expand their portfolio? Then get in touch with our Customer Success team.