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Scrum Certifications: Top options to consider

Scrum Certifications

There is a variety of Scrum certifications that cater to different aspects of project management, agile practices, and Scrum expertise, allowing professionals to choose based on their career goals and organizational requirements.

Certifications like PMP and PMI-ACP from PMI cover project management and agile principles. offers Scrum-focused certifications, including PSM for Scrum Masters and PSPO for Product Owners. Scrum Alliance, on the other hand, provides practical Scrum certifications such as CSM and CSPO, emphasizing hands-on Scrum application.

What’s the difference between these certifications and which better suits your needs and career path? Keep reading to explore each certification in detail.

Scrum Certifications by is an organization that provides training, certification, and resources related to Scrum. It was founded by Ken Schwaber, one of the co-creators of the Scrum framework, in collaboration with other experts in the field. offers a variety of certifications, including:

  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM): PSM I, PSM II, and PSM III
  • Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO): PSPO I, PSPO II, and PSPO III
  • Professional Scrum Developer (PSD): PSD I
  • Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS)
  • Professional Agile Leadership (PAL): PAL I
  • Professional Agile Leadership (PAL-EBM)
  • Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills (PSF)
  • Professional Scrum with Kanban (PSK): PSK I
  • Professional Scrum with User Experience (PSU): PSU I

Professional Scrum Master (PSM)

PSM is designed to validate your understanding of Scrum principles and your ability to apply them in real-world situations as a Scrum Master.


PSM has 3 different levels: PSM I, PSM II, and PSM III, each representing a different level of expertise and experience. PSM I is the entry-level certification.

  1. PSM I is designed to validate your understanding of Scrum principles, roles, events, and artifacts, as well as your ability to apply Scrum in real-world scenarios. PSM I focuses on foundational Scrum knowledge, roles, events, and artifacts. PSM II and PSM III delve into more advanced topics, including coaching, scaling Scrum, and organizational change.
  2. PSM II is designed for Scrum Masters with advanced knowledge and experience. It focuses on the application of Scrum in complex and real-world situations.
  3. PSM III is designed for experienced Scrum Masters who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the principles and practices of Scrum and have a wealth of practical experience.


The Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certifications, including all levels, have a lifetime validity and do not require renewal.

Exam Details

PS: For some questions in the PSM II exam, you can earn points even if your answer is partially correct.

Professional Scrum Certification Certification (PSPO)

PSPO is Designed to validate the knowledge and skills of individuals serving as Product Owners in Scrum teams. It emphasizes the role’s responsibilities in maximizing the value of the product.


Similar to the PSM certification, PSPO has different levels, including PSPO I, PSPO II, and PSPO III, each representing a different level of expertise. PSPO I is the entry-level certification.

  1. PSPO I is designed to validate the knowledge and skills of individuals serving as Product Owners in Scrum teams. It emphasizes the role’s responsibilities in maximizing the value of the product.
  2. PSPO II certifies your comprehension of advanced concepts in Professional Scrum Product Ownership, encompassing a deep understanding of the Scrum framework and the ability to deliver valuable products.
  3. PSPO III assesses your capability to effectively apply the Scrum framework for resolving intricate challenges and delivering valuable products in practical scenarios. Individuals pursuing PSPO III should possess extensive experience in both Scrum practices and the role of a Product Owner. Achieving PSPO III requires a profound understanding of Scrum principles and substantial experience in optimizing value as a Product Owner.

Exam Details

Scrum Certifications by Scrum Alliance

Scrum Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides education, resources, and support for individuals and organizations interested in adopting and scaling the Scrum framework. Scrum Alliance was founded in 2001, and it has played a significant role in promoting and advancing the principles of Scrum globally.

Scrum Alliance offers the following certifications:

  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
  • Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM)
  • Certified Scrum Professional – ScrumMaster (CSP-SM)
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
  • Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO)
  • Certified Scrum Professional – Product Owner (CSP-PO)
  • Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
  • Certified Scrum Professional – Developer (CSP-D)
  • Certified Agile Leadership (CAL)
  • Certified Agile Coach (CAC)

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

This certification is designed for individuals involved in Scrum teams who wish to enhance their understanding of Scrum principles and practices.

Training: To become a Certified ScrumMaster, individuals are required to attend a two-day CSM training course conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). The course covers the fundamental concepts of Scrum and includes practical exercises to reinforce learning.

Exam: After completing the training, participants need to pass an online CSM exam to earn the certification. The exam aims to assess your understanding of basic Scrum concepts.

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

This certification focuses on empowering individuals to effectively play the role of a Product Owner in a Scrum team, to maximize the value of the product and ensure that the development team delivers features and functionalities that meet the needs of stakeholders.

Training: To earn the CSPO certification, individuals must attend a Certified Scrum Product Owner training course facilitated by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). This course covers essential aspects of Scrum, the responsibilities of a Product Owner, and practical tools and techniques for effective product ownership. You are not required to pass a separate exam to obtain the certification.

Scrum Certifications by PMI

PMI is a global professional organization that focuses on project management. PMI has embraced Agile methodologies to meet the evolving needs of projects.

PMI offers the following certifications:

  • Project Management Professional  (PMP)
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)
  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)

Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification validates professionals’ expertise in Agile methodologies, including a significant focus on the widely adopted Scrum framework. It equips individuals with the skills needed to navigate and lead Agile projects effectively, emphasizing practical application in real-world scenarios.

Exam Details

Project Management Professional (PMP)

This globally recognized credential emphasizes proficiency in traditional project management methodologies as well as knowledge of Agile and Scrum principles. The PMP certification, though rooted in traditional project management, recognizes the significance of Agile and Scrum practices, aligning project managers with a versatile skill set suited for both predictive and adaptive project management approaches. PMP certification offers a balanced approach by dedicating 50% to predictive methods and 50% to hybrid and Agile methods.

Exam Details

Finally, which Scrum certification you should pursue depends on your career objectives, current skill set, and the specific requirements of the roles you’re interested in. Therefore, you should consider how these certifications align with your professional goals (Enhanced Employability, Deeper Understanding of Scrum, Career Advancement, Networking Opportunities, Global Recognition, Continuous Learning, etc.) before making a decision.