Welcome to part 2 of our Agile training certifications guide – see part 1 here. This time we cover offerings from the Project Management Institute and the International Consortium for Agile.
PMI Agile Training – Agile Certified Practitioner
Being a PMI-PMP is a great thing to have on your CV/resume given how hard it is to be attained. So, adding a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) really going to make you stand out. That said, you do not have to be a PMP to apply for PMI-ACP. This PMI Agile training formally recognizes Agile knowledge and skills covering common Agile practices – Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Extreme Programming (XP) and Test-Driven Development (TDD)
- Current PMP® or PgMP® or 2,000 hours (12 months) project team experience – within last 5 years
- Additionally, 1,500 hours (8 months) experience of Agile project teams/methodologies – within last 3 years
- 21 contact hours of Agile training
- PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s)
- PMI chapters
- Employer/company programs
- Training companies or consultants
- Distance-learning companies, including an end-of-course assessment
- University/college academic and continuing education programs
- Apply online – 90 days to complete once started. Alternatively, download an application form and mail to PMI
- Reviewed for completeness within 5 days
- Submit fee – discount for PMI members
- Submit audit materials within 90 days
- Take exam within 1 year of acceptance
- 3 hour, 120 question multiple-choice exam
- 7 domain areas
- Pass/Fail result
- Plus proficiency level per topic (see below)
- Moderately proficient
- Below proficient
- Exam can be taken up to 3 times per year
- Exam questions split across topics as below
|Domain||% of Exam|
|Domain I. Agile Principles and Mind-set||16%|
|Domain II. Value-driven Delivery||20%|
|Domain III. Stakeholder Engagement||17%|
|Domain IV. Team Performance||16%|
|Domain V. Adaptive Planning||12%|
|Domain VI. Problem Detection and Resolution||10%|
|Domain VII. Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People)||9%|
- Your name will appear in the online registry and you can use PMI-ACP after your name immediately
- You will be sent a package with your certificate and info on how to maintain the certification.
- PMI-ACP’s need to earn 30 Professional Development Units (PDUs) within 3 years or the certification may elapse. NB: PDU’s earned for the PMI-ACP can be used to maintain PMP and PgMP certifications
International Consortium for Agile
The next certification provider is the International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) – a consortium of 50+ Agile thought-leaders from around the world. To be honest, I’ve never heard of this group before, but it has 10,000+ members globally and some well-known names attached, such as Alistair Cockburn (Agile Manifesto signatory and though-leader) and Lyssa Adkins (Agile Coaching Institute).
ICAgile offer three certification levels:
- Professional – 16 certifications
- Expert – 9 certifications
- Master – 1 certification
As seen in the diagram below, these span 8 discipline ‘tracks’ for specific subject areas (there is 1 more in development too). They also offer an Agile fundamentals certification that is the foundation and pre-requisite of all the professional and expert tracks – the ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP).
The 8 tracks are:
- Business agility
- Enterprise Agile Coaching
- Value Management
- Delivery Management
- Agile Coaching
- Agile Engineering
- Agile Testing
After attaining the ICP certification the specialist tracks allow the learner to progress in skills, knowledge and competence in one or more areas. Within each track there are one or two knowledge-based certifications that, once achieved, allow the holder to apply for the expert qualification for that track.
For example, in the Enterprise Agile Coaching track there are two knowledge-based certifications: Coaching Agile Transitions and Agility in the Enterprise. These provide the learner with the knowledge required to build practical expertise and experience on the subject area in the work-place.
So, to apply for the Expert Agile (ICE) certification in any track the applicant must hold:
- ICAgile Certified Professional
- ICAgile Agility in the Enterprise
- ICAgile Coaching Agile Transitions.
- To apply for any expert certification the applicant must hold the ICAgile Certified Professional certification plus the relevant professional certification(s) for the track
- The applicant must build competence with 1-2 years of agile coaching experience – where 6 months is after earning the appropriate professional certification
- Submit any required supporting materials, such as video evidence for coaching certifications, and part of the application fee to reserve a review session with the panel
- At a panel of experts the candidate must present – video evidence if required – answer panel questions and give live demonstrations of professional practices. They will receive feedback the same day from the panel. The remainder of the fee is paid upon successful completion of the expert assessment.
ICE holders to not pay annual fees, but are required to submit 12 mentoring hours per year. These can be met by helping other IC candidates to prepare and serving on evaluation panels.