Assessing Scrum Certification Providers: Scrum.Org And Scrum Alliance

Overview of and Scrum Alliance and Scrum Alliance are two of the most reputable providers of Scrum training, certification, and resources. Founded in 2009 by Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber, offers a suite of Scrum-focused courses and credentials. The Scrum Alliance was founded in 2001 and has trained over 1 million Scrum practitioners globally. Both organizations have helped drive adoption of Agile and Scrum practices. takes a purist approach, providing training and assessments focused specifically on Scrum as outlined in the Scrum Guide. The Scrum Alliance offers Scrum-related education with a broader Agile perspective. The core purpose and principles of both bodies is to improve the profession of software development by teaching Scrum values and practices.

Comparing Training and Certification Programs

The training and course material for Scrum certification exams offered by and Scrum Alliance share similarities but have points of differentiation. provides the following learning paths:

  • Professional Scrum Foundations
  • Professional Scrum Master
  • Professional Scrum Product Owner
  • Professional Scrum Developer
  • Scaled Professional Scrum

The courses use a consistent structure, with educational objectives mapped to specific Learning Outcomes around the Scrum framework. Courses comprise modules with lessons, exercises, and knowledge checks to reinforce key concepts.

Training is theory-focused, teaching Scrum principles and practices directly from The Scrum Guide. Upon completing training, students can attempt certification assessments which test both knowledge and applied principles.

Scrum Alliance

Scrum Alliance provides various course levels, including:

  • Scrum Foundations
  • Certified ScrumMaster
  • Advanced Certified ScrumMaster
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner
  • Certified Agile Leadership
  • Evidence-Based Management

Courses blend educational instruction with interactive elements to solidify learning. There is greater emphasis on application of Scrum in real-world scenarios. Training covers the Scrum framework and expands to related Agile concepts and principles.

Scrum Alliance focuses on preparing students to apply Scrum practices. Certification assessments test ability to put Scrum knowledge into practice in client situations.

Assessing Exam Structure and Content

The certification assessments from and Scrum Alliance differ in structure, content scope, knowledge areas, and question types. Assessments

  • 60-minute duration
  • ~60 questions per assessment
  • Hands-on Scrum application questions
  • Knowledge and analysis questions
  • Focused on Scrum Guide framework
  • Challenging exams require Scrum fluency

Assessments are rigorous and demanding. They validate depth of Scrum knowledge across defined Learning Objectives. Test questions are nuanced and scrutorically assess mastery of Scrum theory, values, and practices.

Scrum Alliance Assessments

  • 90 ~ 180-minute duration
  • 35-50 questions per assessment
  • Scenario-based application questions
  • Test breadth of knowledge
  • Cover Agile practices beyond Scrum
  • Assess ability to practice Scrum

Exams have broader scope across Agile, lean, and related frameworks. Test questions present real-world situations with challenges and ask how a Scrum Practitioner would manage them. This tests diagnostic skills and holistic thinking.

Evaluating Reputation and Industry Recognition

Both Scrum certification bodies have strong reputation and widespread recognition. However, there are some perception differences.

  • Aligned fully to Scrum values & framework
  • Considered more prescriptive and ‘purist’
  • Certifications directly mapped to Scrum roles
  • Assessments rigorously test Scrum knowledge
  • Well-regarded for depth of understanding is seen as demanding uncompromising standards around core Scrum principles. Certification holders are recognized for Scrum mastery and fluency.

Scrum Alliance

  • Broader Agile perspective
  • Focus on real-world application
  • Emphasis on practitioner skills
  • Tests holistic thinking and judgement
  • Industry reputation for usability

The Scrum Alliance has an strong brand reputation built over years. Its community & resource network provides good industry visibility for credential holders.

Considering Costs and Accessibility

There are pricing and accessibility considerations around opting for credentials from either body.

  • Exam fees from $150 – $200
  • No required courses
  • Self-study learning options
  • Online anytime assessments
  • 2 tries at exams for fee assessments can be accessed directly without requiring training courses. This allows self-directed learning at lower cost. Exams have limited number of retries.

Scrum Alliance

  • Bundled course & exam pricing
  • Course attendance required
  • In-person and virtual classes
  • Higher cost investment
  • Community membership option

Scrum Alliance has structured learning paths tying courses to credentials. This bundles costs into overall fees. There are member community options with fuller benefits and resources.

Key Differentiators and Unique Selling Points

While both certification bodies have credibility in the Agile domain, there some unique value propositions to weigh up.

  • Directly created by Scrum co-creator
  • Aligned to precise Scrum framework
  • Rigorous, highly demanding assessments
  • Globally consistent evaluations
  • Know exact syllabus for exams sells discipline mastery, transparency over assessments, and an uncompromising standard for foundational Scrum knowledge. Great choice for purist Scrum practitioners.

Scrum Alliance

  • Broader Agile perspective
  • Focus on practical application
  • Large member community globally
  • Industry networking opportunities
  • Ongoing learning resources

With strong brand recognition, Scrum Alliance offers wider connections to resources and community. It differentiates itself in building applied skills. Best for those seeking practitioner development in the workplace.

Making the Right Choice for Your Needs

Both and Scrum Alliance offer reputable certification pathways backed by high-quality training materials and assessments. Choosing the right option depends on your specific professional development needs and desired outcomes in gaining Scrum credentials. Those wishing to deeply master theoretical Scrum may benefit more from’s focused training and challenging exams. Practitioners wanting to gain broader Agile skills to apply Scrum techniques in client situations may prefer Scrum Alliance’s interactive courses and holistic assessments approach.

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