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Top business analyst qualifications

By Simon Buehring on 20 Mar 2020


Business analysis qualifications.

Business analyst qualifications in the UK

To become a business analyst, you need to study for a Business Analysis professional qualification. Business Analyst job descriptions in many companies require you to have a qualification in business analysis.

You can study business analysis and gain a professional qualification with one of these three accreditation bodies:

  • BCS (The Charted Institute of IT);
  • APMG International;
  • IIBA® (The International Institute of Business Analysis).

BCS (The Chartered Institute of IT)

BCS business analysis qualifications

BCS offers business analyst qualifications from foundation to expert level. Each level is mapped according to the SFIA industry-standard framework.

Foundation level

The BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis course is for delegates who want to understand the basics of business analysis. Hence, there are no entry pre-requisites for this certification.

You will learn and study:

  • The definition of business analysis;
  • The competencies of a business analyst;
  • The functions and processes of business analysis;
  • The business analysis process model, stakeholder analysis and management;
  • Business and financial cases;
  • Data and system analytics;
  • Research methods;
  • Requirements establishment;
  • The business solution delivery.

The exam is 40 multiple choice questions for one hour and the pass mark is 26/40 (65%).

Practitioner level

Once you pass the Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis, you are qualified to study the Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis Practice course.

You will learn in this course:

  • How to develop a business strategy;
  • How to explore a business issue;
  • How to apply business analysis techniques.

The exam is a one-hour scenario-based written examination. The pass mark is 25/50 (50%).

International Diploma in Business Analysis

To earn this qualification, you need to sit a 50-minute oral examination and pass four modules:

  • A knowledge-based module, and that can be Business Analysis Foundation (above);
  • Two core modules which are Business Analysis Practice (above) and Requirements Engineering;
  • A practitioner module, which could be for example Modelling Business Processes.

This is for business analysts who want to demonstrate they have a detailed understanding of business analysis.

Professional level

In the professional level, you get to study the following modules:

A. Analytical skills specialisms:

  • Business Architecture
  • Advanced Requirements Engineering
  • Data Analysis
  • Agile Business Analysis

B. Business skills specialisms:

  • Business Finance
  • Benefits Planning and Realisation

C. People Skill Specialisms:

  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Team Leadership

Consultant level

You could be awarded an Advanced International Diploma in Business Analysis if you:

  • Have a minimum of five years’ experience in business analysis;
  • Contribute to the BA community;
  • Pass an oral exam;
  • Complete four professional level modules from the following:
    1. One analytical skills specialism
    2. One business skills specialism
    3. One people skill specialism
    4. One analytical or business skills specialism of your choice.

This is for senior business analysts and it recognises business analysis experience and expertise.

Expert level

To gain the Expert BA Award, you can go through:

  • A formal assessment;
  • A project assignment;
  • An interview.

This is award is the highest level in business analysis. It recognises your high skills and expertise. It validates a business analyst’s ability to:

  • Conduct complex business analysis activities;
  • Engage with senior stakeholders;
  • Improve the organisation at a strategic level. [2]

APMG International

Business analysis certifications

Since agile methods are becoming popular in executing projects nowadays, APMG has developed a qualification that blends agile practices with business analysis.

AgileBA® aims to develop a candidate’s skills to become an agile business analyst. The right candidate for this certification is someone currently working as a:

  • Business analyst;
  • Change analyst;
  • Project manager;
  • Agile developer.

This qualification will certify your ability to manage your role in an agile project delivery. AgileBA® has two levels:

Foundation level

You will learn in this course:

  • Agile processes, principles and practices;
  • Roles and responsibilities within an agile project.

The exam is 50 multiple choice questions for 40 minutes. The pass mark is 25/50 (50%).

Practitioner level

After you pass the foundation course, you will be eligible to sit the practitioner exam. This is recommended if you really want to boost your CV as an agile business analyst.

You will study the DSDM Agile Project Framework. You’ll learn how to put agile methods into practice, such as MoSCoW Prioritisation.

The exam is 4 complex multiple-choice questions worth 20 marks each for 2.5 hours. The pass mark is 40/80 (50%).

IIBA® (The International Institute of Business Analysis)

Business analysis certifications

Based in Canada, IIBA® has become one of the world leading associations for the business analysis profession. [3]

Like BCS, IIBA® has qualification levels from an entry level up to an advanced degree. They use the BABOK® Guide as their manual. It ensures business analysts achieve the necessary competencies for each level.

There are 4 levels in total:

Level 1: ECBA™ (Entry Certificate in Business Analysis™)

This qualification is for individuals who are entering business analysis for the first time. You will need 21 hours of studying to have general awareness and practical knowledge of the six knowledge areas. Those areas are:

  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring;
  • Elicitation and Collaboration;
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management;
  • Strategy Analysis;
  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition;
  • Solution Evaluation.

The exam is 50 multiple choice questions for one hour.

Level 2: CCBA® (Certification of Capability in Business Analysis™)

To earn this qualification, you will need:

  • Two to three years of practical business analysis work experience;
  • 21 study hours of the requirements for this qualification.

This level requires from you to be skilled in:

  • Recommending action;
  • Applying the knowledge;
  • Modifying the rules of the six knowledge areas by using key behaviours like:
    1. Creative thinking;
    2. Decision making;
    3. Verbal & von-verbal communication.

The exam is 130 scenario-based multiple-choice questions for three hours.

Level 3: CBAP® (Certified Business Analysis Professional™)

To earn this qualification, you will need:

  • Two to three years of practical business analysis work experience;
  • 35 hours of study.

In this level, you will be able to:

  • Create the rules;
  • Guide the practice;
  • Excel in skills like:
    1. Written communication;
    2. Problem solving;
    3. Conceptual & system thinking.

The exam is 120 case study-based multiple-choice questions for 3.5 hours.

Level 4: CBATL™ (Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader™)

TThis is a new accreditation from IIBA® and is like the BCS’s Expert level. It recognises advanced BA professionals who have over 10 years of experience. IIBA® will announce the requirements soon.

BA qualifications in a nutshell

There are many options to choose from. What you need to do is map exactly where your business analysis knowledge and skills are. If you are a total beginner, starting a foundation/entry level course is the best choice for the time being. Then you can study your way up.

Accreditation bodies may help you with the advanced levels of certification if:

  • You have more working experience;
  • You want to be recognised as a professional business analyst.

In general, business analysts will benefit from studying these qualifications. As they will:

  • Enhance the success of your career path;
  • Make your resume stand out in the crowd;
  • Let you perform your BA duties in confidence;
  • Make a difference in the business analysis community;
  • Recognise your education level in business analysis;
  • Boost your confidence in front of employers.

Knowledge Train® offers the BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis as an online course that is:

  • Easy to understand;
  • Interactive;
  • Full of sample exams to help you to pass the exam.

If you have a computer, laptop or even a tablet, you are good to go!

Why don’t you contact our helpful team for more information or try the demo?

IIBA®, BABOK® Guide and Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®, are registered trademarks owned by International Institute of Business Analysis.

CBAP® and CCBA® are registered certification marks owned by International Institute of Business Analysis.

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis™, Certified Business Analysis Professional™, Certification of Capability in Business Analysis™, Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader™, ECBA™, and CBATL™ are trademarks owned by International Institute of Business Analysis.


[1] Unknown. (Unknown). History of BCS. Available: Last accessed 20/08/2018.

[2] Unknown. (Unknown). Expert BA Award. Available: Last accessed 20/08/2018.

[3] Unknown. (2014). History of IIBA. Available: Last accessed 22/08/2018.

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