Difference between CSM & PSM certification ?

Scrum can be defined as the iterative framework or work management system that helps to meet the objectives in an appropriate manner. Scrum now is not only limited to the workshops or seminars. It has become a full-time profession, and there are actual scrum masters who are creating Scrum frameworks for the organizations. Since it has become a job, many questions and confusions have been started to build up on the Scrum. One of the question that most of the people are asking nowadays regarding scrum is the difference between the Certified Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Master.

alignleftLet’s get back in the history when the Ken Schwaber co-developed the Scrum process with Jeff Sutherland. It was the early 90s when the engineers in the companies were failing to provide the on time deliveries of the consignments. The companies back then felt the necessity of finding a way through which they can not only decrease the production time but can also increase the productivity of their staff. Thus, Ken and Jeff the two software engineer came up with this iterative framework and later on in 2002 they found Scrum Alliance and set up the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Program and its derivatives. Then the Ken let the Scrum Alliance and form another Scrum program called Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Both of these programs are formed by the same guy, but both of them have their own qualities and specialities that are listed below.

Points of Differentiation:

In the next lines, I have compiled the what, why and how’s of the CSM and PSM which will make you clear about the differences of both of the Scrum Masters programs and will help you to choose anyone from them according to your need.

  1. How to get certified?

As far as CSM is concerned, CSM is just like any other diploma or degree program where you have to be enrolled in the institution and have to attend the classes and all the assignments. In the end, you have to pass the CSM test, and you have only two attempts for taking the test. On the other hand, PSM is entirely different from CSM. There is no need to attend any classes for this program neither any test for the PSM 1 and PSM 2 both.

  1. What is the passing grade?

For the CSM, you have to take at least 69% marks or 24 out of 35 to get passed in the Certified Scrum Master program which is very low as compared to the PSM. In the PSM, the passing criteria is quite tough. You would get 80 questions and have to complete it in only 60 minutes. You have to be accurate in the answers because only those attendees with the final marks of 85%+ will pass the test and will get the Professional Scrum Master certificate.

  1. What is the exam format?

The exam format of CSM is quite simple. The test paper of CSM is only based on multiple choice of question and they also allows you enough time to fill it twice. On the other hand, there are two levels in Professional Scrum Master Certification program. One is PSM 1 which is also based on the multiple choice questions and the other one is PSM 2 which is also not only based on MCQ’s but you also have to write essay in it.

  1. How difficult is the exam:

This is the question that almost every student ask. The Certified Scrum Master program test is relatively easier than the PSM 1 and PSM 2. The reason behind is the weekly classes and the tests that you have attended on these classes prepares you for the final exam. However, PSM doesn’t have any scheduled classes systems that is why students find hard to pass the exams. Moreover, the PSM 2 is much harder to pass as compared to the PSM 1 that is why people always leave the PSM program after taking PSM 1 certificate.

  1. How much does it cost?

There is no standard fee of CSM. The CSM is attached to the course, and many different institutions offer this certificate program. However, the general fee of CSM starts from the US$400 to US$2,500 based on the tuition fee.

Since there is only one body that offers Professional Scrum Master Program that is why they have a standard fee of PSM. The PSM 1 only US$100 and the PSM 2 cost only US$500. Moreover, the students of PSM also given one free attempt for the PSM 1 exam for the assessment.

  1. What is the Renewal Duration?

You have to renew your CSM credential after every two years. The first two years from you get the degree, the fee of the credential would be added in the tuition fee. Later on, you have to renew it by paying only $100 for every two years. This fee is subjected to change on the authority of the institute from where you get your CSM degree.

On the other hand, there is no need to renew your PSM credentials. Once you got this, this is yours for all of your life, and no one can take it from you.

  1. How consistent is the both program’s content?

Because many institutes are providing CSM program that is why the program content varies from institutes to institutes and trainer to trainer. Whereas PSM has only one body, and all the teachers of that body follow only one content. However, the interpretation of the trainers may vary.

  1. What is the reliability of the Program content?

Because the program content in the CSM varies from trainer to trainer, that is why it is hard to keep the reliability of the program content at its top. Every Scrum trainer creates its own program content and also its interpretation. That is why it is impossible to maintain the monotonous or the quality of the program content. Whereas only one body provide Professional Scrum Master program and their trainers follow only one content, that is why the reliability of the PSM program is at its highest, and there is no comparison between CSM and PSM contents.

Last Words:

Both of the programs are highly compatible, and both have their own importance. CSM may look back in the race but its originality and the history of this program makes it equal to PSM. However, aspects like no renew, content reliability and the tuition fee of PSM makes it a better choice to take if you want to be a Professional Scrum Master with the certificate.

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