How is a PSM through Scrum.org different from a CSM through the Scrum Alliance?

Scrum.org and the Scrum Alliance are separate organizations with different leadership, missions, focus, and approaches. A few of the key differences can be seen in our courses and certifications. 

Differences in the certifications:
  • PSM I (through Scrum.org) requires that a student demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Scrum through a rigorous assessment. PSM I certification is detached from the course. It is not proof of attendance, but is rather proof of Scrum knowledge. The PSM I and the PSM II assessments and corresponding certifications do not require attendance in a Scrum.org class. Scrum.org certificates are lifelong, and do not require any additional payments or renewals.
  • CSM (through the Scrum Alliance) requires a student attend a course through the Scrum Alliance and then take an “exam” in which the passing score needed is only 69%. This certification is little more than a certificate of attendance, and requires credential holders to pay renewal fees in order to keep their certifications active.

Differences in the courses:
  • Scrum.org creates and maintains standardized curriculum, context and depth for all Professional Scrum courses and selects only the most qualified instructors to deliver them. Each instructor may have his or her individual experiences and areas of expertise, but all students learn the same core course content. This improves a student's ability to pass the Professional Scrum assessments and apply Scrum in their workplaces. You can be confident in the quality and value the training will provide. Those who attend a Scrum.org course will also receive a complementary password to attempt one of our professional-level assessments for certification. Detailed information regarding the types of courses we offer, their intended audience, and recommended prerequisites can be found on our Courses page. 
  • The Scrum Alliance does not have any standardization for its courses or content. The course materials are created by the individual trainers, and are limited by that particular trainer's experience and opinion. Attendance in a Scrum Alliance course is required for earning a CSM, CSPO or CSD certification.
If you are interested in attending a public Scrum.org training, we have a list of open classes where you can narrow down your search by country, type of class, or trainer. Please click on the course link for class specifics (venue, fees, etc.), or to contact the trainer with a question about the class.

If you are interested in scheduling a Scrum.org training on-site at your organization, or if you are unable to find a course in a location that suits your needs, please contact one of our trainers directly. Our Professional Scrum Trainers are responsible for setting class dates, locations, training fees, etc., and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the classes they teach. Click on "More Info" to send a trainer an email with your inquiry.

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