What To Expect When Deciding On A Certification Process?

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on March 16, 2023

What Different Types of Certificates are Available to Pursue? - Graduate Programs for Educators

Have you been contemplating the idea of obtaining an Agile certification?

The list of certifying organizations may seem overwhelming. Therefore, it is important to reflect on the essential elements that make up a reliable certification program and how it aligns with your aspirations and objectives. While the focus here is on Agile Certifications, these considerations apply to most professional and occupational certifications. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence could serve as a valuable resource to initiate your research. They have outlined some of their crucial standards below.

Evaluation criteria for certification organizations

  • What’s the focus of the program? Does it offer an impartial evaluation of your expertise or abilities that are necessary for proficient execution?
  • Specify the content of the program: Does it correspond to the current industry or professional norms and standards?
  • Training requirements and prerequisites: Does the program deliver the intended learning results and outline the necessary prerequisites for the course?
  • Assessment: In what format is the evaluation conducted: formal tests, instructor evaluations, or demonstrations of competence?
  • Credential maintenance: Does the credential have a time requirement? What is required to sustain it: payment of fees, completion of supplementary courses, or engagement in professional activities such as attending conferences?
  • Identification and student tracking: Is it possible for a prospective employer to authenticate your certification completion?

What are your evaluation criteria?

Which certifications offer the most significant return on investment in the job market? As a working professional, your personal capital is your most valuable asset. Therefore, it is crucial to factor in your available resources and spare time. Below are some aspects to ponder:

  • Reflect on the benefits of adhering to a single certifying organization. This can reduce maintenance expenses and enable you to delve deeply into one organization rather than spreading yourself thin across multiple organizations.
  • What is the expense involved in obtaining and sustaining the certification? Certain certifications can be quite pricey, necessitating attendance in instructor-led classes, payment of annual maintenance fees, or completion of continuing education units.
  • Is there an alternative for self-study with solely an examination fee for the certifications?
  • Do you fulfill the experience requirements to be eligible for the certification? Certain certifications entail a rigorous assessment procedure that necessitates several years of board-sanctioned professional experience.
  • Is your employer willing to cover the cost of your certifications? It is beneficial to have your certifications paid for by your employer.
  • Are you capable of self-directed learning, or do you prefer a more structured learning environment? Both approaches have their advantages, as we all have unique learning styles.

Certification organizations

Which type of certification organization suits you best? In this conversation, we will divide them into several categories. Please note that these categories are based on my own observations, and you may notice some similarities and differences. The essential point to remember is to explore all options without disregarding any possibilities.

Non-profit institutions

Non-profit institutions, such as the Scrum Alliance, have a mission to elevate the standards of the Agile community and overall professionalism. Consequently, they are generally less expensive.

These organizations typically provide an array of resources, including various certifications, white papers, training, blogs, and even conferences. There are substantial benefits to joining a community of like-minded individuals. If you plan on obtaining multiple certifications, it is worthwhile to consider remaining within the same certifying organization. Doing so could save you both money and effort.


  • This certification enjoys broad acceptance among both industry and government.
  • Affiliates provide training at numerous locations and on various dates.
  • Cheaper than other options
  • Self-study and examination fee options are usually available


  • Usually has initial membership fees and maintenance fees
  • Continuing education unit requirements may also be required
  • Check on any restrictive prerequisites for their advanced certification

For-profit institutions

For-profit institutions have different intentions and pricing compared to non-profit organizations. As they are profit-oriented, their prices tend to be higher, and their focus may vary.

For instance, Scruminc specializes only in Scrum, while Kanban University concentrates solely on Lean Kanban. Some organizations provide a proprietary framework, such as SAFe.

Additionally, geography can also be a factor, with some certifications available through international institutions and others specific to the United States.

Just like non-profit organizations, it is important to research your alternatives carefully. Check the availability of training and the breadth of their certification offerings.


  • Specialist credentials might better meet your demands.
  • Depending on the certifying body, training could be widely available.
  • Options for paying for self-study and exams may be offered.
  • For your nation, an international certification would be more appropriate.


  • Perhaps not generally embraced by business and government
  • Maybe somewhat expensive in comparison to other choices
  • There might not be training offered in your area.
  • Restrictive requirements for advanced certification, such as several years of experience, may apply.

Academic or trade schools

You may want to explore the possibility of attending certification programs at local colleges, universities, trade schools, or adult learning centers. This option could offer more convenient locations, schedules, and affordable pricing. It’s worth checking with your human resources department to see if they offer any reimbursement for these programs.


  • Centered on the requirements of your sector
  • Provides assistance after graduation in the form of mentoring, career leads, or refresher courses.
  • Credentials from recognized institutions are available upon request.


  • Most likely a standalone certification
  • Potentially too narrowly focused for your needs
  • Due to a lack of instructors, the program may end early or be short-lived.

Vendor certifications

Certain certifications are geared towards particular products, such as Microsoft’s Azure or Atlassian JIRA. These are specialized tools, and if proficiency in a specific tool is advantageous, then it may be worth considering them.

Certain vendor-specific certifications can be very demanding, which may enhance their market value. It’s also worth considering that certification in one tool may not be of much interest if your organization has already committed to its rival.


  • The advantage over competitors that use its products
  • Depending on your area of expertise, your clients or business might appreciate you highly.
  • Focused skills result in a low learning curve on-site.


  • Offers a small benefit if your store doesn’t utilize that technology.
  • These could require more work to obtain than other certificates.
  • May only have a few training facilities, sites, or dates available.

Company-specific certifications

It is uncommon to come across an organization that meets the requirements of a certification program. If your employer does meet these standards, it can be considered a certification program. Keep this in mind when evaluating the available training options for your job.


  • Free and on business time is a positive.
  • Does it give your business a competitive advantage?
  • The learning curve for new projects will be lowered by acquiring focused abilities.


  • It’s possible that people won’t recognize it, especially rivals.
  • May be tailored to your business to focus on particular policies or a significantly altered structure.
  • The standard of the information and teaching will differ significantly.


When deciding on a certification process, it is important to consider several factors. These include the intended learning outcomes, the form of assessment, the cost and maintenance requirements, and the availability of self-study options. It is also important to consider whether the certification is widely accepted and recognized by industry and government, as well as whether it is offered by a non-profit or for-profit organization. Niche certifications focused on specific products may be beneficial for those seeking expertise in a particular tool, but it is important to consider whether the certification will have value within your organization.

Additionally, organizations themselves may offer training and certification programs, which can be a valuable option to consider. Ultimately, carefully evaluating these factors can help you choose a certification process that aligns with your goals and supports your professional development.


Here at CourseMonster, we know how hard it may be to find the right time and funds for training. We provide effective training programs that enable you to select the training option that best meets the demands of your company.

For more information, please get in touch with one of our course advisers today or contact us at training@coursemonster.com

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