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Top 10 Agile Project Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for agile project managers, including requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications for an agile project manager are important in the job market because they provide a way to demonstrate one's knowledge of agile methodology, as well as their commitment to professional development. Certifications indicate that an individual has taken the time to learn and gain experience in the field, which is attractive to employers looking for qualified candidates. Additionally, certifications can give project managers a competitive edge by helping them stand out from other applicants and providing evidence of their expertise. Finally, certifications can also provide continued learning opportunities and allow project managers to build their skillset and stay up-to-date on industry trends.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Agile Project Managers and explains how they can contribute to an agile project manager's career.

What are Agile Project Manager Certifications?

Agile project manager certification is a type of professional certification that recognizes an individual’s expertise in agile project management. It indicates that the holder has been trained and certified to use the agile methodology for managing projects. A certified agile project manager is knowledgeable about the principles and practices of agile, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, XP, Crystal, FDD, and DSDM.

The benefits of becoming an agile project manager are numerous. By obtaining an agile certification, individuals demonstrate their commitment to continuously learning and improving their knowledge in the field of project management. This helps them stand out from other job applicants who may not have such credentials and can make them more attractive to employers. Additionally, having a credentialed background in agile methodologies can help improve an individual's chances of securing higher-level positions or promotions within their current organization. As well as providing recognition for those with experience in agile methodologies, certification also provides tangible evidence that they possess specific skills and abilities required to manage projects successfully using the agile approach.

Moreover, having a certified background in agility can open up opportunities to take on more complex projects or even move into leadership roles where they will be expected to lead teams in adopting new approaches to project management. Finally, certifications provide individuals with a sense of pride and accomplishment for being able to achieve something difficult through hard work and dedication.

Pro Tip: When considering agile project manager certification, look for certifications that focus on the most current industry standards. This will ensure you stay up-to-date on best practices and have the skills necessary to manage successful projects. Additionally, look for certifications that are accredited and/or recognized by professional organizations in your field.

Related: What does an Agile Project Manager do?

Top 10 Agile Project Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Agile Project Managers today.

1. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a professional certification program for individuals who want to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the Scrum framework. It is designed to help professionals gain an understanding of the core principles and practices of Scrum, as well as how it can be applied in different contexts.

It typically takes two days to complete the CSM training course, which includes lectures, interactive exercises, and case studies. After completing the course, participants must pass a 50-question multiple-choice exam in order to become certified.

In order to get certified, you must attend an official CSM training course offered by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). The cost of the course varies depending on the trainer and location, but typically ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD.

Once you have successfully completed your CSM training course and passed the exam, you will receive a two-year membership with the Scrum Alliance that includes access to exclusive resources and discounts on future trainings. You will also receive a digital badge that can be used on your resume or website to showcase your certification status.

2. Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the Scrum framework and its applications. CSPOs are responsible for ensuring that products are delivered on time and within budget while meeting customer expectations.

The CSPO certification takes two days to complete and consists of an online assessment, classroom training, and a final exam. The course covers topics such as product backlog management, sprint planning, release planning, stakeholder management, and product visioning.

To become a Certified Scrum Product Owner, you must first attend an official CSPO course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). Once you have completed the course, you will be eligible to take the online assessment. Upon passing the assessment with a score of 80% or higher, you will receive your CSPO certification.

The cost of becoming a Certified Scrum Product Owner varies depending on where you take the course. Generally speaking, it costs between $1,000-$2,000 USD for tuition and materials.

3. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that recognizes professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in agile principles, practices, tools, and techniques. The PMI-ACP certification is designed to provide professionals with the skills needed to successfully deliver projects using agile methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming.

It typically takes about three months to prepare for the PMI-ACP exam. During this time, candidates should become familiar with the PMI Agile Practice Guide and other resources related to agile project management. They should also review their own experience with agile project management and practice answering sample questions.

To get the PMI-ACP certification, candidates must meet certain educational and professional prerequisites: they must have 2,000 hours of general project experience in the last five years; 1,500 hours of agile project experience in the last three years; 21 contact hours of training in agile practices; and pass an exam consisting of 120 multiple choice questions.

The cost of getting the PMI-ACP certification varies depending on where you take it. The exam fee is $435 for members of PMI or $495 for non-members. In addition to this fee, there may be additional costs associated with taking courses or attending workshops related to the PMI-ACP certification.

4. Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM)

Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM) is a certification program that is designed to help project managers demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Agile project management. It is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and provides recognition to those who have mastered the principles, practices, and tools associated with Agile project management.

The CAPM requires a minimum of 23 hours of formal education in Agile project management. This can be achieved through online courses, workshops, or other accredited programs. To become certified, applicants must also pass a three-hour exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers topics such as Agile values and principles, team dynamics, product development cycles, planning techniques, and risk management.

The cost for the CAPM certification varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $400-$500 USD. The PMI also offers an annual membership fee which must be paid in order to take the exam.

In order to maintain certification status, individuals must complete 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. PDUs can be earned through participating in activities such as attending conferences or webinars related to Agile project management or completing relevant training courses or projects.

5. International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) Agile Project Manager Certification

The International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) Agile Project Manager Certification is a certification program designed to help project managers gain the skills and knowledge necessary to lead agile projects. The certification is intended to demonstrate that a project manager has the ability to effectively manage agile projects.

The IAPM Agile Project Manager Certification consists of two parts: an online exam and a practical assessment. The online exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and must be completed in two hours or less. To pass the exam, candidates must achieve a score of 70% or higher. The practical assessment involves demonstrating the ability to apply agile principles and practices in real-world scenarios. Candidates must also complete an application form prior to taking the exam and practical assessment.

The certification process typically takes four weeks from start to finish, including preparation for the exam and completion of the practical assessment. During this time, candidates should review all relevant material related to agile project management, such as books, articles, webinars, videos, etc., in order to prepare for the exam and practical assessment.

In order to get IAPM Agile Project Manager Certification, interested individuals must first register with IAPM by submitting their contact information, payment details, and other required documents/information. Once registered, they will receive access to all materials needed for preparation for both parts of the certification process. After completing both parts successfully, they will be awarded with an official certificate from IAPM confirming their achievement as an IAPM Agile Project Manager Certified Professional (IAPM APMC).

The cost of getting IAPM Agile Project Manager Certification varies depending on whether you are registering as an individual or as part of a group/organization. For individual registration fees range from $500 - $600 USD; whereas group/organization registration fees range from $1,000 - $2,000 USD depending on size and number of participants.

6. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification for Agile Project Managers

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification for Agile Project Managers is a professional certification program designed to help project managers and other professionals in the field of agile project management gain an understanding of Lean Six Sigma principles and tools. The certification is designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of projects by helping project managers apply Lean Six Sigma principles and tools to their work.

The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is offered by many organizations, including the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC). It typically takes between 8-12 weeks to complete the program depending on the organization offering it. To get certified, you must pass both a written exam and a practical application exam. The cost of the certification varies depending on the organization offering it but generally ranges from $500-$1,500 USD.

To become certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt for Agile Project Managers, you must first have at least two years of experience in agile project management or related fields. You must also have completed training in Lean Six Sigma principles and tools prior to taking the exams. After passing both exams, you will receive your official certificate from IASSC or another certifying body.

7. SAFe® 4 Agilist

SAFe® 4 Agilist is a professional certification program designed to help individuals and organizations learn how to scale agile practices across the enterprise. It provides an understanding of the principles and practices of Lean-Agile software and systems development at scale. The SAFe® 4 Agilist certification is offered by Scaled Agile, Inc., the leading provider of Lean-Agile training, consulting, and certification services.

The SAFe® 4 Agilist certification requires completion of a two-day course in which participants learn how to lead a Lean-Agile transformation by leveraging the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®). Participants must also pass an exam that covers the material presented in the course. The exam consists of multiple choice questions and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.

To get certified as a SAFe® 4 Agilist, you must attend an authorized training class and pass the accompanying exam. The cost for attending an authorized training class varies depending on location; however, most classes range from $1,000 - $2,500 USD per person. Once you have successfully completed your training class and passed the accompanying exam, you will receive your official SAFe® 4 Agilist certification.

8. DSDM Atern Foundation Certificate

DSDM Atern Foundation Certificate is an internationally recognized certification that provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of DSDM Atern, which is an agile project management framework. It is designed to help project teams deliver successful projects on time, within budget and with high quality results.

The DSDM Atern Foundation Certificate takes two days to complete and can be taken in either a classroom or online format. The course covers topics such as the fundamentals of DSDM Atern, the roles and responsibilities of team members, how to plan and manage projects using the framework, and how to apply best practices for successful project delivery.

To get the DSDM Atern Foundation Certificate, you must attend a two-day training course provided by an accredited training provider. You will then need to pass an online exam in order to receive your certificate.

The cost of the course varies depending on the training provider but typically ranges from £400 - £600.

9. PRINCE2® Agile Practitioner

PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner is an accreditation that provides a comprehensive understanding of how to apply the principles, processes and techniques from both PRINCE2 and Agile frameworks. It is designed for those who have a good understanding of the PRINCE2 methodology and wish to gain an appreciation of agile concepts and how they can be used in a project environment.

The course typically takes three days to complete, with an additional exam on the fourth day. The course covers topics such as agile project management, product delivery, agile leadership, stakeholder engagement, risk management, planning and control, team dynamics and more.

You can get PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner certification by attending an accredited training course or by self-study. The cost of the certification varies depending on the provider you choose but typically ranges from £1,000-£1,500.

10. Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant (SPC4)

The Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant (SPC4) is a certification program that provides training and guidance on how to implement the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). SAFe is an agile software development framework designed to help organizations scale their agility across multiple teams. The SPC4 certification program is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead and support SAFe implementations.

The SPC4 certification program consists of two parts: an online course and a live exam. The online course covers topics such as Lean-Agile principles, SAFe implementation strategies, and best practices for leading successful SAFe implementations. The live exam tests your knowledge of the material covered in the online course.

It typically takes about 8-10 weeks to complete the SPC4 certification program. To get started, you must first register for the online course through Scaled Agile’s website. Once you have completed the online course, you will be eligible to take the live exam at a local testing center or remotely via ProctorU.

The cost of the SPC4 certification program varies depending on where you take it and which version you choose (standard or premium). The standard version costs $995 USD while the premium version costs $1,495 USD.

Do You Really Need a Agile Project Manager Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual and what they hope to gain from obtaining an Agile Project Manager Certificate. The certificate itself is a credential that shows that the holder has successfully completed training in project management using Agile methodology. This certification can be beneficial for those who want to demonstrate their knowledge and experience working with Agile projects.

For some, having such a certification may open up more job opportunities or help them secure promotion within their current organization. For others, it may simply be a way of demonstrating their commitment to continuing professional development and keeping up with the latest industry trends. It can also provide evidence of expertise in Agile methodology, which many employers are increasingly looking for in potential candidates.

Ultimately, whether or not someone should pursue an Agile Project Manager Certificate will depend on their own reasons for wanting one and the benefits they believe it would bring. If you think that the certificate could help your career prospects and you have the time and resources available to complete the necessary training, then it could definitely be worth considering.

Related: Agile Project Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Agile Project Manager Certifications

Q1. What is an Agile Project Manager Certification?

A1. An Agile Project Manager Certification is a professional certification that validates the knowledge and skills of a project manager in the agile methodology. It typically involves passing a written exam, as well as demonstrating experience and proficiency with agile principles and practices.

Q2. How do I become certified as an Agile Project Manager?

A2. To become certified as an Agile Project Manager, you must first complete a recognized training program in agile methodology, such as those offered by the International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) or PMI's Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) program. Once you have completed the training, you can then sit for the certification exam to demonstrate your proficiency in the agile methodology.

Q3. How long does an Agile Project Manager Certification last?

A3. The duration of an Agile Project Manager Certification varies depending on the organization offering it; however, most certifications are valid for two years from the date of completion. After this period, you will need to renew your certification by taking a refresher course or sitting for a new exam if one is available from your certifying body.

Q4. What types of jobs can I get with an Agile Project Manager Certification?

A4: With an Agile Project Manager Certification, you will be qualified for many roles within project management, such as Product Owner, ScrumMaster or Team Lead in organizations that use agile methodologies to manage their projects and teams. You may also be qualified to lead initiatives at larger companies that embrace more traditional forms of project management but are looking to transition into more modern processes such as agile development methods.

Q5: Is there any way to prepare for the Agile Project Manager Certification Exam?

A5: Yes! There are several courses and resources available online that can help you prepare for your certification exam including practice exams and study guides from organizations like IAPM or PMI-ACP programs. Additionally, many certifying bodies also offer online tutorials and webinars to help candidates better understand key concepts related to agile methodology before taking their exam.