Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
Welcome to the most widely recognised Agile training programme. This has been offered by Scrum WithStyle for 14 years!
There are many imitators but this is the original Scrum certification course with accreditation from the most influential professional development body that was founded in 2001 – Scrum Alliance. With the largest network of professional Scrum practitioners in the world, it is the most established certification organisation in the Agile community.
Become a Certified ScrumMaster if you want to understand what good Scrum is and how you can play your part in the Scrum game effectively. Also to prepare you to take your first steps into the challenging but very rewarding role of ScrumMaster.
What is CSM Certification?
The CSM certification is a globally recognised accreditation established in 2003 by Scrum Alliance. It has since become the most popular and recognised Agile training offering worldwide.
After completing the required pre-reading, the CSM training course is the second of three steps in gaining the CSM accreditation from the Scrum Alliance.
The final step to become a Certified Scrum Master is to successfully complete the CSM certification exam. For further information on Scrum framework or CSM exam, see the official resource.
This Scrum Master course may qualify Project Management Professionals (PMPs) for 14 PDUs as approved by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
About The CSM Certification Course
Our Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course is an intensive deep dive into the world’s most popular Agile method: Scrum. It is an immersive learning experience emphasising hands-on participation through a mix of interactive seminars, group discussions, team activities, games and role-plays.
Although CSM is likely to be your first Scrum certification, we use highly immersive adult learning techniques such as visual modelling, simulations, role-plays and ‘Training from the Back of the Room’ activities to enable self-directed learning and enhanced retention.
This course is organised and run using Scrum as a management framework. This allows for feedback and flexibility as well as experiencing Scrum in action throughout the course.
Reviewing the learning objectives for the course is an excellent and in-depth way to find out what participants will be learning out during the course. Scrum Alliance define the learning objectives that learners are to work to in all Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) offerings. For CSM course, this includes both – learning Scrum Foundations and ScrumMaster specific values, principles and practical framework implementation details.
Learning Objectives and Course Content
- Scrum Framework
- Foundational Concepts
- Events – iteration 1
- Roles – iteration 1
- Scrum Experience
- Sprint Experience – initiation
- Sprint Experience – Sprint 1
- Roles – iteration 2
- Scrum Game Show
- Implementing your Scrum
- Definition of Done
- Events – iteration 2
- Core Scrum Master Competencies
- Product Backlog Refinement
- Continuous Improvement
- Scrum Experience – Sprint 2
- Impediment Resolution
- Preparing for your Certification Test
- Next Steps
Why Get Scrum Certification With Us?
- Fourteen Years of Refinement. Your trainer – Rowan Bunning – has delivered over 500 Scrum Certification courses and has inspected and adapted this course frequently for over the last 15 years.
- Recommended Again and Again. Many participants choose us based on word-of-mouth recommendation such as those below in the “What others are saying about this course” section.
- Emphasises the Impactful Why? Unlike courses that stop at the process “mechanics” and spoon feed you tactical tips, this course focuses on the principles and deep insights. These allow you to navigate your own situationally appropriate tactics relative your context levering values and principles – something that is necessary for sustainable Agile.
- Stories From 22 Years of Experience. Rowan brings the principles alive with (often dramatic) Agile adoption stories from the trenches in a wide variety of organisations both down under and in Europe since 2001.
- Learn from the region’s first Path to CSP Educator. Rowan is the first trainer in Australasia to be approved to teach Advanced CSM courses. This CSM course prepares you to take the Path all the way to Certified Scrum Professional – ScrumMaster (CSP-SM) – the ultimate accreditation for a ScrumMaster – with a consistent learning programme.
- Rich Mix of Learning Approaches. We use highly immersive adult learning techniques such as problem solving discussions, visual modelling and neuroscience-aligned Training from the Back of the Room activities to enable self-directed learning and enhanced retention.
- Comprehensive Workbook. You will receive a comprehensive course workbook including worksheets on key topics, detailed information on the Scrum Roles not found elsewhere, recommended reading and further resources to assist you post-course, including in your CSM Test preparation.
- Ongoing Support. Have a question (or three) later on? This course gains you access to the Scrum WithStyle Alumni community which has an active discussion forum on Slack where the trainer and many other experienced practitioners respond to your ongoing queries. You will have already received a substantial post-course email packed with resources and customised to the questions raised during the course.
- Detailed Next Steps. Since we teach the next course after CSM – Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) – we offer detailed information on how you can prepare for taking the next major step in your professional development as a ScrumMaster.
Who Should Attend The Course?
What is CSM?
- familiarity with foundational Scrum concepts before
- participating in an interactive CSM training course, and
- passing the online CSM Exam.
CSM is not just for Scrum Masters, it covers all Scrum Roles and is for anyone wishing to understand Scrum for application in any industry.
CSM certification is awarded by the global nonprofit Scrum Alliance who have accredited over 1.2 million people since 2003.
For more information see:https://www.scrumalliance.org/get-certified/scrum-master-track/certified-scrummaster
Who awards CSM accreditation?
Scrum Alliance is the only member-driven nonprofit certifying body in the Agile space. Their vision is to be a trusted ally for members as they create a world of work that is joyful, prosperous and sustainable.
How do you become a Scrum Master?
To become a Scrum Master you need to follow the below steps:
Step 1: Scrum training to understand Scrum and the Scrum Master role
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) covers the practical application of Scrum as well as knowledge about the Scrum framework. It teaches you what good Scrum looks like and what the Scrum Master role involves. As such it is excellent first training if you are interested in the Scrum Master role or trying to decide whether to pursue it. It also provides you with the most sought-after certification globally in the Agile-related jobs market.
Step 2: Gain experience on a Scrum Team
Apply what you learned on CSM training as a member of a Scrum Team. If you play a role other than Scrum Master initially, observe how an experienced Scrum Master operates. Ideally seek mentoring toward becoming a Scrum Master from your Scrum Master or an Agile Coach.
Step 3: Look for opportunities to serve as a Scrum Master
Be creative about how you explore opportunities to serve as a Scrum Master or servant leader outside of work. For example with a charity or community organisation, coaching your kid’s sports team or using visual management and Scrum Master skills to help your family to self-organise. The initiative-taking and ability to apply Scrum principles to varied contexts are likely to be particularly compelling to employers.
If your organisation is pursuing an Agile adoption, find out how Scrum Masters are recruited and make it known that you are interested. Finding an opportunity to work as a Scrum Master within your organisation for a year or two will increase your employability as a Scrum Master in the job market.
Step 4: Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) training to deepen your skills and advance your career
Your employment prospects, as well as confidence and effectiveness as a Scrum Master, will be greatly enhanced by earning an Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) certification. The ideal time to do this is 12 months after you begin serving in a Scrum Master role. A-CSM provides an expanded toolkit to lead Scrum Teams to be increasingly effective, even in a challenging environment.
How much do Scrum Masters earn?
Scrum Masters earn differently based on their location. In Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand) Scrum Master earn an average of AUD $196,000 annually (based on USD $149,507) according to the 2019 Scrum Master Trends report.
Is the Scrum Master test difficult?
No, Scrum Master’s test is not difficult for a candidate who has paid attention during their CSM training and read The Scrum Guide carefully. It is not something that requires weeks of study.
The CSM exam is a multiple-choice test taken online within 90 days of completing a CSM training course. The questions in the CSM Exam focus on understanding the Scrum framework and the basics of the Scrum Master role.
Participants on Scrum WithStyle’s CSM courses have the opportunity to practice for the CSM Exam through multiple quizzes and discussion of answers during the course. These quizzes are more difficult than the CSM Exam and help participants to do exceptionally well at the CSM Exam.
The pass mark for the current CSM Exam is 37 out of 50. Scrum WithStyle’s CSM graduates have an average score of over 49 out of 50 and a pass rate of over 99% since the CSM Exam was introduced.
Which Scrum Master certification is best?
Of all the Scrum certification bodies that have emerged in recent years, only Scrum Alliance and scrum.org are both widely recognised and held in high regard by experienced Scrum professionals. One reason for this is the material taught in programs by these organisations is aligned to true Scrum as per The Scrum Guide by the creators of Scrum. Organisations that use their own definitions of Scrum teach something that is not considered Scrum by Scrum’s creators.
The Scrum Master certification programme from Scrum Alliance starts with: Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and progresses through Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) to Certified Scrum Professional-ScrumMaster (CSP-SM).
The Scrum Master certification programme from scrum.org starts with Professional ScrumMaster (PSM I) and progresses through PSM II to PSM III.
The CSM and PSM I certifications differ in several ways including the following.
CSM certification emphasises the demonstration of learning, including through practical application. PSM I certification emphasises passing a knowledge-based multiple-choice test. If you are seeking practical techniques for enacting Scrum then CSM is the best choice.
Interactive training requirement
CSM certification requires interactive training, PSM I certification does not. You can attain a PSM I without doing any Scrum training and without meeting anyone who has practised Scrum. CSM certification indicates to employers that you have participated in Scrum training with a highly qualified Certified Scrum Trainer.
Trainer teaching skill variability
An optional PSM I test preparation training can be taught by anyone whereas CSM can only be taught by a highly skilled trainer who has been awarded a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) designation by Scrum Alliance.
Many PSM I preparation courses are taught by Professional Scrum Trainers (PSTs) vetted by scrum.org, however, these credentials differ in the level of training experience and adult learning skills required to achieve them.
Becoming a CST who teaches CSM courses is widely considered to be considerably more difficult than becoming a PST who teaches optional PSM I test preparation courses.
Ongoing professional development
CSM certification requires an active pursuit of further professional development to remain active, PSM I does not. You can retain a PSM I for life without ever practising Scrum or doing any Scrum or Agile related training. To retain a CSM beyond its initial term of 2 years you must log a minimum of 20 Scrum Education Units worth of professional development activity over that period. This demonstrates to employers and others a more significant commitment to ongoing learning than a PSM I.
Scrum beyond software
CSM certification addresses the use of Scrum in varied contexts including those outside of software development. PSM I is focused on the use of Scrum in software development.
Where your money goes
A financial investment in CSM goes to a not-for-profit organisation to reinvest in the Agile community. A financial investment in PSM I goes to the shareholders of a for-profit company.
How much does CSM cost?
CSM cost varies per country. In Australia, the market rate for an in-person public CSM course has for many years been approximately AUD $1,600 inc. GST. In New Zealand, this has been NZD $1,800 inc. GST.
In 2020, Scrum Alliance began permitting CSM courses to be offered online as live interactive virtual training experiences. The pricing for this is around AUD $1,300 – $1,400 inc. GST since costs are lower. Online CSMs cover the same learning objectives as in-person courses and use state-of-the-art collaboration tools extensively.
Early bird discounts may be available for booking multiple weeks prior to the course and when booking multiple participants together. If there are many people in your organisation interested in CSM training then having everyone learn together on a private course just for your organisation may be a choice.
Your Certified ScrumMaster Trainer
Trainer, Coach & Org Design Consultant
Rowan Bunning is a pioneer of Scrum in Australia. He became one of Australia’s first Scrum Masters in 2003 when he led an organisation-wide Scrum + eXtreme Programming adoption.
He was hired by the United Kingdom’s leading Scrum consultancy in 2007, working as a Scrum Master to recover a challenged project and take it to a successful launch and subsequent business profitability.
Rowan has been delivering Certified ScrumMaster courses since 2008 in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the USA making him one of the most experienced Scrum trainers in the Asian region. Many participants on Rowan’s courses are referred by word-of-mouth by our alumni.
Rowan has worked in developer, Scrum Master and Product Owner roles with genuinely high-performing teams in both project and long lived product development environments. He is particularly interested in organisational design for customer-centric agility, learning organisations, scaling – particularly with Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS), innovation, high performing teams and organisational culture.