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Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM I®) certification

Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM I®) certification is for Scrum Masters and for anyone coaching a Scrum team toward increased efficiency and effectiveness.

Professional Scrum Master certification from Scrum.org shows you have a good understanding of Scrum theory and how to apply it in a Scrum Master role.

This course also allows you to take the Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM I®) certification examination two times.

Accreditation Accreditation: Scrum.org
Pre-requisites Pre-requisites: None
classroom virtual classroom Format: Live or virtual classroom
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Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO I®) certification

Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO I®) certification is for Scrum Product Owners wanting to learn to maximize the value of products.

Professional Scrum Product Owner certification by Scrum.org shows you have a good understanding of how to drive value from your products by conducting early stakeholder management and by planning releases and delivery.

The course also enables you to take the Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO I®) certification examination two times.

Accreditation Accreditation: Scrum.org
Pre-requisites Pre-requisites: None
classroom virtual classroom Format: Live or virtual classroom

More information about Scrum certification

Scrum certification choices

Scrum is an agile product delivery method. It speeds up product delivery and improves the quality of products. Scrum certification is useful if you work on Scrum projects in any industry.

There are many Scrum qualifications available from a wide range of certification bodies. The two best known Scrum certification bodies are Scrum.org and Scrum Alliance®. Each Scrum certification body offers its own Scrum qualification based on best practice from The Scrum Guide™.

Scrum Alliance certification

Scrum Alliance was the first organisation to offer Scrum certification. It was established in 2001 by two signatories of the Agile Manifesto – Mike Cohn and Ken Schwaber. Ken authored The Scrum Guide™.

Scrum Alliance offers certifications to 5 Scrum and Agile target groups:

  • Scrum Master
  • Scrum Product Owner
  • Scrum Developer
  • Scrum and Agile trainers and coaches
  • Those in an Agile leadership role.

Scrum certification from Scrum Alliance requires candidates to obtain Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and pay a renewal fee every 2 years. The quality of Scrum certification from Scrum Alliance is varied and perceived by employers to be low. That is because some of its agile Scrum certifications do not even require a candidate to pass an exam. You can gain Scrum Alliance certification merely by attending a course.

For this reason, Scrum Alliance certification is seen by many people as a low-quality Scrum certification. The certification is often seen purely to make money for the Scrum Alliance, rather than training people with the skills they need to use Scrum effectively.

Scrum.org certification

Scrum.org was established in 2009 by Ken Schwaber. He broke away from Scrum Alliance to offer a range of more rigorous Scrum qualifications. Scrum.org certification needs no maintenance or renewal fees.

Scrum Alliance offers certifications to 6 Scrum and Agile target groups:

Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM)

PSM certification is aimed at Scrum Masters and is available at 3 levels

Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM I)Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM II)Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM III)
Suitable forCurrent/aspiring Scrum team members, or anyone looking for a solid understanding of Scrum.Experienced Scrum professionals wanting to demonstrate their ability to apply the Scrum framework to solving advanced, complex problems in the real world.Experienced Scrum professionals wanting to demonstrate an advanced mastery of Scrum and have the ability to apply Scrum in a variety of complex team and organizational situations.
Exam duration60 minutes90 minutes150 minutes
Questions80 multiple-choice30 multiple-choice30 multiple-choice and essay
Pass mark85%85%85%
Pre-requisitesNonePSM IPSM I and PSM II

Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO)

Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO I)Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO II)Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO III)
Suitable forCurrent/aspiring Scrum team members wanting to prove their knowledge of the Scrum framework and ability to support value creation and delivery.Experienced Scrum professionals wanting to prove their advanced knowledge of Professional Scrum Product Ownership, the Scrum framework, and delivering valuable products.Experienced Scrum professionals wanting to demonstrate their ability to apply the Scrum framework to solving complex problems regarding product ownership in the real world.
Exam duration60 minutes60 minutes120 minutes
Questions80 multiple-choice40 multiple-choice35 multiple-choice and essay
Pass mark85%85%85%
Pre-requisitesNoneNonePSPO I and PSPO II

Other Scrum.org certifications

Professional Scrum Developer™ (PSDI)Scaled Professional Scrum™ (SPS)Professional Scrum With Kanban™ (PSK)Professional Agile Leadership™ (PAL)
Suitable forSoftware developers wanting to show their ability to build software according to the Scrum method.Scrum professionals wanting to show their ability to scale Scrum using Nexus.Scrum professionals wanting to show their ability to use Scrum and Kanban together.Agile leaders wanting to show their understanding of agile, how it benefits organisations and how to lead an agile team.
Exam duration60 minutes60 minutes60 minutes120 minutes

Which agile Scrum certification?

This table compares the agile Scrum qualifications from Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org.

Accreditation bodyTraining necessaryExam necessaryCertificate maintenance
Scrum AllianceYes. You need to attend training to get certified.Not always. Experience & education often suffice.Yes. You need to pay to renew your certificate after 2 years. You also need to gain Scrum Education Units (SEUs).
Scrum.orgNo. You can take exams without proof of training.Yes. All certifications require you to pass an exam and/or write an essay.No. Once certified it never expires. You do not need to pay to renew or accrue education units.

Scrum Alliance courses do not need to be approved, so the quality varies between providers. Over the years this has attracted criticism of the Scrum Alliance.

This was one of the reasons why Scrum’s founder – Ken Schwaber – left Scrum Alliance to set up Scrum.org. Its courses are more rigorous and therefore more respected by employers. Training materials on Scrum.org courses are standardized. No matter where you take a course, the course materials will be the same.

Best Scrum Certification

We think the best Scrum certification is offered by Scrum.org. This is for 5 reasons:

  1. Its courses offer consistency
  2. Its qualifications are of a higher standard
  3. Training is not mandatory to become certified
  4. No renewal fees to pay
  5. No education units to accrue.

Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Product Owner, Professional Scrum Developer, Scaled Professional Scrum, Professional Scrum with Kanban and Professional Agile Leadership are trademarks of Scrum.org and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries.

Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master is a trademark of Scrum.org and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries.