Top 10 Team Lead Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for team leads, including the requirements and benefits of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for team leads in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers look for. Certifications also provide validation that a team lead has the skills and abilities necessary to perform their job duties. By having certifications, a team lead can showcase their dedication to professional development, which may make them stand out from other candidates in the job market. Additionally, certifications can be used as evidence during salary negotiations, which could help secure better compensation for the position.

The article reviews the top certifications for Team Leads and explains how they can help advance their career in order to better equip them for success.

What are Team Lead Certifications?

Team lead certification is a type of professional development program that helps individuals gain the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to become effective team leaders. The certification focuses on topics such as communication, motivation, problem solving, conflict resolution and team dynamics. Through the program, team leads can develop their leadership capabilities and learn how to manage teams more effectively.

By completing a team lead certification program, individuals can gain the expertise needed to take on leadership roles in their organizations. They will be able to better understand the complexities of leading a group of people and managing projects or tasks. Team leads will also be able to make decisions with confidence and develop strategies for achieving project goals. In addition, they can learn how to effectively delegate tasks and build trust among team members. With these skills, they will be better equipped to create an environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated. This will ultimately result in increased morale and productivity within the workplace.

Pro Tip: Before pursuing a team lead certification, it’s important to consider the specific qualifications and experience required. Many certifications require applicants to have a certain amount of leadership experience and/or education, so review the prerequisites carefully before committing to a program. Additionally, look into the cost and time investment involved in completing the certification process – this may vary depending on the institution offering the certification.

Related: What does a Team Lead do?

Top 10 Team Lead Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Team Leads today.

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PMP certification is the most widely recognized and respected project management credential in the world. It is designed to demonstrate a professional’s ability to successfully manage projects of any size and complexity.

To get the PMP certification, you must have at least 4500 hours of experience leading and directing projects, 35 hours of formal project management education, or an equivalent combination of both. You must also pass an exam that tests your knowledge and skills in project management.

The cost for taking the PMP exam varies depending on where you take it, but typically ranges from $405-$555 for members of PMI and $555-$705 for non-members. The exam takes four hours to complete.

Once you have passed the exam, you will be awarded your PMP certification which is valid for three years. To maintain your certification, you must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years by participating in activities such as attending conferences, taking courses, teaching classes, or volunteering with PMI chapters or other organizations related to project management.

2. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is a professional certification program for individuals who wish to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the Scrum framework. The CSM certification is administered by the Scrum Alliance, which is an international organization that promotes and supports the use of Scrum in software development.

The CSM certification requires candidates to attend a two-day training course and pass an online exam. The training course covers topics such as the fundamentals of Scrum, roles and responsibilities, planning and estimation techniques, and how to facilitate effective team collaboration. After completing the training course, candidates must pass an online assessment in order to receive their CSM certification.

The cost of the CSM certification varies depending on where you take the training course; however, it typically ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD. It usually takes between two to three weeks to complete the entire process from start to finish.

In addition to attending a two-day training course and passing an online exam, candidates must also agree to abide by the Scrum Alliance Code of Conduct in order to maintain their CSM status.

3. Certified Agile Leader (CAL)

Certified Agile Leader (CAL) is a certification program designed to help individuals and organizations understand the principles of agile leadership. The CAL program helps individuals become more effective in leading agile teams, projects, and organizations. It provides an understanding of the core values, principles, and practices that form the foundation of agile leadership.

The CAL program consists of two parts: an online course and a hands-on workshop. The online course covers topics such as agile values, principles, practices, tools, techniques, and frameworks. The hands-on workshop focuses on applying these concepts to real-world scenarios in order to develop practical skills for leading agile initiatives.

It typically takes around 8-10 weeks to complete the CAL program depending on the individual's availability. To get certified as a Certified Agile Leader (CAL), one must first register for the online course and then attend the hands-on workshop. After completing both components successfully, one can apply for certification by submitting a written application along with proof of completion of both components.

The cost for taking part in the CAL program varies depending on where it is taken from but typically ranges from $2,000-$3,000 USD including all materials and fees associated with taking part in both components of the program.

4. Certified Team Leader (CTL)

Certified Team Leader (CTL) is a professional certification program designed to help individuals develop and demonstrate their ability to lead teams. The CTL certification is offered by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and is recognized globally by employers, organizations, and universities.

The CTL certification program consists of three levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each level requires completion of a series of courses and assessments in order to earn the certification. The courses cover topics such as team dynamics, communication skills, conflict management, problem solving, decision making, and leadership techniques.

Level 1 typically takes about two weeks to complete while Levels 2 and 3 take approximately four weeks each. The cost for the entire program varies depending on the provider but can range from $2,000 - $4,000 USD.

In order to get certified as a CTL one must first register with IAF and then complete all three levels of the program. Once completed they will receive an official certificate from IAF that proves they have achieved the CTL designation.

5. Six Sigma Green Belt

Six Sigma Green Belt is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the application of Six Sigma methodology. The green belt certification is an intermediate-level credential for professionals who are knowledgeable about the principles and practices of Six Sigma.

The Six Sigma Green Belt certification typically requires three to four weeks of training, depending on the provider and the type of course taken. Training can be completed through online courses, in-person classes, or self-study. Most courses cover topics such as process improvement, data analysis, problem solving, project management, and customer service.

To become certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt, candidates must pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as ASQ (American Society for Quality). The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and covers topics related to Six Sigma principles and practices. Candidates must also demonstrate their knowledge by completing a project that applies Six Sigma tools and techniques to improve an existing process or develop a new one.

The cost of obtaining a Six Sigma Green Belt certification varies depending on the provider and type of course taken. Online courses typically range from $500-$1,500 while in-person classes may cost up to $3,000 or more. Exam fees are usually separate from the course fee and can range from $200-$400.

6. ITIL Foundation Certification

ITIL Foundation Certification is a globally recognized certification that demonstrates an understanding of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. It is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage IT services in any organization.

The certification consists of two parts: a multiple-choice exam and a practical assessment. The multiple-choice exam must be taken at an accredited testing center and can take up to 90 minutes to complete. The practical assessment requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to apply the principles of ITIL in a real-world situation. This assessment can take up to four hours and must be completed at an accredited training center or online through an approved provider.

To get ITIL Foundation Certification, you will need to attend a course or self-study using official materials from AXELOS, the governing body for ITIL exams. You can find courses offered by accredited training centers or online providers, which typically range from one day to five days depending on the level of instruction desired. The cost of these courses varies widely depending on the provider, but generally range between $500-$2000 USD.

Once you have completed your training, you will need to register for and pass the ITIL Foundation Exam before you can receive your certification. The cost of taking this exam is usually around $200 USD, although some providers may offer discounts if you purchase their course material as well.

Overall, it typically takes between two weeks and three months to earn your ITIL Foundation Certification depending on how quickly you are able to complete your training and pass the exam.

7. Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is a certification program designed to help individuals gain the skills and knowledge necessary to lead and manage complex improvement projects. It is a comprehensive approach that combines Lean and Six Sigma philosophies, tools, and techniques to drive process improvement.

The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt program typically takes between four to six months to complete. The program consists of two parts: classroom training and project work. During the classroom training, participants learn the fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma, including problem-solving techniques, data analysis methods, and how to lead successful projects. After completing the classroom training, participants must complete a project that demonstrates their mastery of the material.

To get certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, you must pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as ASQ or IASSC. The exam covers topics such as process analysis, data collection methods, statistical analysis techniques, project management principles, and more.

The cost of obtaining a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification varies depending on the organization offering it. Generally speaking, most organizations charge between $2,500 - $4,000 for the entire program (including both classroom training and exam fees).

8. Certified Quality Manager (CQM)

Certified Quality Manager (CQM) is a certification program developed by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate excellence in quality management and leadership. The CQM certification is intended for professionals who want to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in quality management, including topics such as quality assurance, quality control, process improvement, and customer satisfaction.

To become certified as a CQM, an individual must pass an exam administered by ASQ. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover all aspects of quality management. To be eligible to take the exam, applicants must have at least five years of work experience in a related field or hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and costs $450 USD. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CQM certification within two weeks.

In order to maintain the CQM certification, individuals must complete 30 continuing education units (CEUs) every three years. CEUs can be obtained through attending conferences, seminars, workshops, and other activities approved by ASQ.

9. Microsoft Project Certification

Microsoft Project Certification is a professional certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of those who use Microsoft Project, a project management software. The certification is offered by Microsoft and can be obtained through an online exam.

The certification consists of two levels: Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and Microsoft Certified Expert (MCE). To become an MCP, you must pass a single exam that covers the basics of Microsoft Project. To become an MCE, you must pass two exams that cover advanced topics in project management.

The exams are administered online and take approximately two hours to complete. The cost for each exam is $150 USD. After passing both exams, you will receive your official Microsoft Project Certification certificate.

To prepare for the exams, it is recommended that you take a course or study guide on the topics covered in the exams. Additionally, there are many practice tests available online that can help you prepare for the actual exam.

Overall, obtaining your Microsoft Project Certification can take anywhere from one week to several months depending on how much time you dedicate to studying and preparing for the exams. It is also important to note that although there is no expiration date on your certification, it may need to be renewed if there are any changes in the version of Microsoft Project being used or if new features have been added since you took the exam(s).

10. PRINCE2 Foundation Certification

PRINCE2 Foundation Certification is a globally recognized qualification for project managers. It is based on the PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) methodology, which is a structured approach to project management that helps organizations deliver successful projects.

The PRINCE2 Foundation Certification requires participants to demonstrate their understanding of the principles and terminology used in the PRINCE2 methodology. The certification covers topics such as roles and responsibilities, planning, monitoring and control, risk management, and more.

It typically takes around 20-30 hours of study to prepare for the exam. There are several online courses available that provide an overview of the PRINCE2 methodology and help you prepare for the exam. There are also books available that cover the material in greater depth.

The exam itself consists of 75 multiple choice questions and lasts two hours. To pass, you must achieve a score of at least 55%. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your certification from AXELOS (the organization responsible for administering PRINCE2).

The cost of taking the exam varies depending on where you take it; however, it typically costs around £300-£400 (USD $400-500).

Do You Really Need a Team Lead Certificate?

When it comes to the question of whether or not one needs a team lead certificate, the answer depends on several factors. The most important factor is the individual’s experience and qualifications in leading teams. If an individual has extensive experience in managing teams, they may not need a team lead certificate. However, if they lack the necessary skills or knowledge, then a team lead certificate can be extremely beneficial in helping them become more effective at leading teams.

A team lead certificate can also be beneficial for those who are new to leading teams or those who want to brush up on their leadership skills. It provides an overview of best practices and strategies for successfully managing teams and provides individuals with the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in the field. It also gives them a chance to demonstrate their commitment to becoming better leaders and develop their own unique style of leadership.

In addition, having a team lead certificate can help individuals stand out from other applicants when applying for a job or promotion that requires strong leadership skills. It shows potential employers that you possess the necessary skills and knowledge needed for success as a leader and that you have taken steps to develop these skills further. It also demonstrates your commitment to your own professional development which can only be seen as a positive thing.

Overall, whether or not one needs a team lead certificate really depends on their existing qualifications, experience and goals. If an individual has limited experience in leading teams but wants to gain more knowledge or demonstrate their commitment to developing their leadership abilities, then obtaining a team lead certificate could prove extremely beneficial.

Related: Team Lead Resume Examples

FAQs About Team Lead Certifications

Q1. What is a Team Lead Certification?

A1. A Team Lead Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual's knowledge, skills, and abilities in leading and managing teams effectively. It validates the ability of a team leader to lead, motivate, and inspire their team members to achieve desired goals.

Q2. What are the benefits of obtaining a Team Lead Certification?

A2. Benefits of obtaining a Team Lead Certification include increased competitive advantage in the job market, improved leadership skills, higher confidence levels when leading teams, enhanced credibility among peers and superiors, and better career prospects overall.

Q3. How long does it take to get a Team Lead Certification?

A3. The length of time required to obtain a Team Lead Certification depends on the specific program chosen by the individual; however, most programs can be completed within six months to two years.

Q4. What types of courses are included in Team Lead Certifications?

A4. Courses included in Team Lead Certifications typically cover topics such as team dynamics and communication, conflict resolution strategies, problem-solving techniques, project management principles, leadership styles and development methods, organizational change processes and more.

Q5. Is there an exam required for obtaining a Team Lead Certification?

A5. Yes – most certification programs require individuals to pass an exam in order to become certified as a team lead. The exam typically covers topics related to what was learned during the coursework phase of the certification program.