IIBA Certification Program Frequently Asked Questions
Multi-Level, Competency-Based Certification Program
Why did IIBA® enhance its certification program?
To meet the growing demands of the global marketplace in the field of business analysis, IIBA has developed an enhanced BA Gold Standard Certification program.
IIBA has introduced a new multi-level, competency-based certification program in order to stay current with ever growing workplace demands, to stay up to speed with the ever evolving nature of business analysis and to continue to uphold the highest global standards of practice. IIBA is the leading global organization in providing networking, learning and resources to the global BA community. The marketplace is changing and our redesigned program builds on the input of our global community, further enabling us to meet the needs of both our BA professionals and employers. It also guides the BA professional through their career progression, supporting more opportunities for growth and development.
In addition, we have enhanced the certification program for better alignment with organizational needs, professional development needs, as well as BABOK® Guide v3 and other leading business analysis publications. As a result, the enhanced certification program will elevate the recognition of certification in the BA career progression.
Why did you redesign the Certification program to create four levels?
The four levels of the certification program recognize the increasing levels of maturity of the BA as they progress through their career. The enhanced program paves a smooth road for BA professionals to travel along with globally recognized levels to support a life-long career progression.
This new BA certification progression will encourage BA professionals to grow and develop in their profession and be recognized for growth and development from the start of their career through to retirement. Therefore, this enhanced certification program will provide opportunities where there were none previously.
How will the multi-level certification impact current CCBA® and CBAP® holders?
Current CCBA® and CBAP® will map to levels 2 and 3 respectively in the multi-level enhanced certification program and, therefore, will not be required to take the levels 2 and 3 exams. These two levels continue to represent the global standard of practice for BA professionals. In addition, we have enhanced the certification program for better alignment with organizational needs, professional development needs, as well as BABOK® Guide v3 and other leading business analysis publications. As a result, the enhanced certification program will elevate the recognition of certification in the BA career progression.
Why is the enhanced certification program competency-based?
As an applicant progresses through the levels, an applicant’s competencies will grow and develop. At each level, an applicant will have developed or gained a different level of competency, thus providing a clear differentiation between certification levels. The level encourages a BA professional to seek growth through specific learning and development to support them in achieving the desired level. Therefore, the enhanced certification program will assess and measure an individuals’ competencies at any given level thus ensuring the BA professional and employer knows what is expected at each level.
What are the four levels of the enhanced certification program and how do I know which one I qualify for?
The enhanced certification program consists of:
Level 1 provides individuals with a certificate that recognizes their entry into the BA profession, and will be exam based.
Level 2 recognizes BA professionals who have two to three years of business analysis experience. Level 2 will require 3000-4500 hours of experience and is also exam based. Current professionals with their CCBA® designation will be grandfathered into level 2.
Level 3 recognizes BA professionals who manage and lead with over 5 years of business analysis experience. Level 3 will require 7,500-10,500 hours of experience and is also exam based. Current professionals with their CBAP® designation will be grandfathered into level 3.
Level 4 recognizes BA professionals whose expertise in the BA field is well sought after, have over 10 years of business analysis experience, are industry thought leaders, give back to the community and contribute to the evolution of the BA practice. Level 4 will require a minimum of 15,000 hours, and is assessment based.
What is the difference between a Certification and a Certificate?
Professional certification is a designation earned by an individual identifying that they have demonstrated a standard level of skills, experience, and expertise within their field. Level 2 – CCBA®, Level 3 – CBAP® and Level 4 – CBALT™ are considered professional certifications because they have each a unique work experience requirement to be eligible and the exam tests their application of the competencies required at each level. Those who achieve certification receive a certification license number.
Level 1 – ECBA™ is a certificate because it does not require work experience and it only requires professional development hours.
What is the difference between BABOK® Guide Version 2 and BABOK® Guide Version 3?
In BABOK® Guide Version 3:
The new version expands the scope of business analysis, providing essential direction and support for practitioners in areas such as agile, business intelligence, information technology, business architecture and business process management.
BABOK® Guide v3 provides users with greater value and support as it expands the scope of business analysis beyond information technology projects, and outlines the skills and knowledge professionals need to create better business outcomes and drive business success.
Obtain a copy of BABOK® Guide v3
. IIBA Members gain access to a free PDF version of BABOK® Guide
v3. Join IIBA now
Is there an agile extension to BABOK® Guide v3 or a compendium/additional document that aligns the current extension with version 3? Or has the current agile extension been incorporated within BABOK® Guide Version 3?
In July, IIBA and Agile Alliance announced a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines their collaboration on the development of value-add publications, events and engagements for the benefit of the practitioner community and the broader business analysis and corporate community. An important initiative of this new collaboration is the development and publication of a revised edition of the Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide, which was first published in 2013. The revised edition will provide guidance and insight on the effective practice of business analysis in an Agile context both at the practitioner level and enterprise level. The revised extension will include new techniques and approaches and will involve the engagement of volunteer subject matter experts from around the globe. The new Agile Extension will be launched in 2017.
If you meet the eligibility requirements of the next level of certification, you will need to complete that certification’s respective application and if your application is approved, pass the respective level's certification exam. You will be able to reuse your prior work experience and professional development provided with your past application provided they still meet the next level eligibility requirements.
For all Certification Levels
Do I need to be a Member of IIBA to apply for certification or recertification?
No, you do not need to be an IIBA member to apply for certification, although there are many benefits to being an IIBA Member. These include, but not limited to, discounted certification exam fees, discounted recertification fees, a free PDF copy of the BABOK® Guide
, eligibility to join a local Chapter and much more. To learn more about the many benefits of becoming an IIBA Member, please visit Member Benefits
. Join now
I am unable to enter details such contact name, phone number and email, etc. for my professional development courses. How should I proceed with that?
Contact information of someone who can validate that you took the course, in the event your application is audited by IIBA, must be entered. If it's an online course, then you may have registered through your company's HR system or such so you can provide us with the HR person's contact information.
After I submit my application how long will I have to wait to find out if I'm approved to sit for the exam?
Applications are assessed immediately upon submission and payment of the application fee
You will not be able to submit your application unless you have met all of the eligibility requirements. Once your online application shows that all requirements have been met (i.e. there is a green check mark in each of the requirements sections), you will be able to submit your application and pay the application fee. Upon successfully completing payment of the application fee, you will immediately receive an email saying that you are either approved OR approved pending audit. If you are approved, the e-mail will contain instructions on how to pay IIBA for your exam and schedule it.
What if I am selected for an audit?
Random audits are performed for all levels of the certification framework. Audits include validating the work experience, professional development and references submitted in your application. More details on the audit process.
How do I request for an application extension?
You can request for an application extension by e-mailing email@example.com
, but only extenuating circumstances with the appropriate supporting documentation will be considered. Complete procedure
What is an extenuating circumstance?
An extenuating circumstance is an event or hardship that would lead you to request an application extension, to reschedule or cancel an exam at no charge, or an extension to your recertification cycle. More details
For CCBA® & CBAP® Only
Why does my reference section have X’s on them, even though I completed it?
After you complete your reference sections, an e-mail is sent instantly to them in order to seek their endorsement. We require receipt of two endorsements in order to these sections to be considered complete.
One of my references claims that he/she did not receive the email regarding my reference request. Is there a way to re-send it?
First, you must check if the reference’s e-mail is correct.
If the e-mail is correct, then ask the reference to check their SPAM or Junk e-mail. Our e-mails have a tendency to be captured by them. The problem could be due to the reference’s firewall.
If they still haven’t received them, send notify certification or you can enter a different e-mail for your reference by recreating the reference entry. (personal email addresses tend to not be blocked as much)
If the e-mail is incorrect, to fix it, you must drop and re-add the reference to your application with the correct information.
These e-mails should arrive instantly. All reference emails from IIBA are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org
My work experience includes tasks other than those meeting the certification requirements. Should I include them?
Only business analysis specific work experience aligned with the BABOK® Guide should be included within your application. Gaps in work experience years are not considered as long as the requirement is met. Overlaps in work experience and/or extra hours are reviewed to ensure the number of hours is appropriately documented and feasible.
How can I provide experience in the application that involves sensitive or company proprietary information?
Indicate in the description field for the project that it involves sensitive company information and then provide only as much information as possible without breaching the privacy.
For all Certification Levels
What course do I need to take in order to apply for a certification exam?
To apply for the certificate or any certification, you do not need to take a course, unless you require Professional Development (PD) hours to meet the PD eligibility requirement.
What is Professional Development?
Professional Development refers to the hours spent taking courses (classroom or online; external or internal to your organization) to better enhance your current BA knowledge.
Are Professional Development hours (or Contact Hours in the application), the same as Professional Development Units (PDUs)?
IIBA does not use or refer to professional development hours as Professional Development Units (PDU). For the PD eligibility requirement, the term IIBA uses is Professional Development (PD) hours. On the application form, within the professional development section, the applicant is asked to fill in the number of Contact Hours for the course. 1 hour of classroom/contact time of Professional Development = 1 Contact Hour in the application form.
How do I know if a course qualifies towards the Professional Development requirement?
For a course to qualify towards the Professional Development requirement, it must meet the following criteria:
It must be moderated/facilitated similar to a formal course (i.e., there must be a moderator for the session, or a facilitator/instructor who leads the group/individual through the material).
There must be a measurable learning objective (or set of objectives), and those must be directly applicable to the role of the business analyst (i.e., in terms of either changing behaviour or improving skills).
It cannot simply be a presentation on a specific topic:
There must be the opportunity for students to interact with the material (e.g., be able to ask questions, make the learning meaningful)
An opportunity to practice the task or objective being presented and, be assessed by the facilitator/moderator.
The subject matter must be directly aligned with the BABOK® Guide.
To qualify, courses must also be completed by the application submitted date.
All courses that are part of our Endorsed Education Provider (EEP™) program automatically qualify towards the professional development requirement for the certificate or for any certification. This is because they have already been assessed and validated by IIBA to ensure they meet the above criteria.
To verify if any courses already taken are a part of our Endorsed Education Provider (EEP™
) program, you can perform a search on our website
Do online courses hold as much weight as the classroom courses to meet the professional development requirement?
Online courses hold the same weight as classroom courses for the Professional Development (PD) requirement. All courses, whether classroom or online, must meet the professional development criteria, described above and within the handbook, and you must be able to provide proof of taking the course in case you are audited.
Will IIBA verify professional development or work experience?
Applicants and recipients may be randomly selected for audit to validate work experience and other information provided in the application.
For CCBA® & CBAP® Only
I am currently teaching business analysis workshops and, during the course of most workshops, I work with clients on their projects as a mentor, performing a wide range of business analysis consulting services. This is above and beyond the actual class discussions and is spread across various organizations nationwide. How can I account for this time as work experience?
Delivering training and general coaching provided during a training session, which would be considered as training, cannot be counted as work experience in the application. However, follow-up coaching and consulting outside of the training course for a student's specific project would count.
The best way to document this, since it is spread across various organizations would be to combine all hours into one project. As part of the contact information for this line entry, you will need to provide the name of a person at your organization that can (1) verify you provided this service to students and (2) how much time you generally spent.
For all Certification Levels
What methods can I pay for the application and exam fee?
The available payment methods are as follows:
By PayPal or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Amex) via the shopping cart on our website
By mailing in a cheque or international money order. Please include a copy of your invoice and mail it in with your payment. Your invoice is available by clicking on the “Orders” option under your Profile Tab.
What are the fees for the levels of certification?
For all Certification Levels
How much time is needed to prepare for the exams and how does one best prepare for the exams?
It really depends on the individual. The following, however, are some exam preparation tips includes:
Study the BABOK® Guide and its referenced sources.
Reviews sample questions located on each level’s respective site.
Review IIBA Certification Competency Guide
Attend training courses by IIBA Endorsed Education Providers (EEP™) in those areas you feel that additional knowledge would help benefit your study efforts.
Use online resources.
Use practice exams online as this simulates the environment in which you'll be tested.
Use Study Prep books, which are widely available.
Discuss chapters with study partners when studying. Use plenty of examples to provide context where needed.
Attend events hosted by the IIBA chapter in your area. This may not always be possible, but they may be very helpful with study preparation.
Participate in study groups. Study groups can help with your understanding by leveraging everyone's experience to provide context. This will ensure a more thorough understanding, rather than trying to memorize information.
Particular to CCBA® and CBAP®: Rely on your work experience to get you through it. Don’t simply memorize definitions, content, or the BABOK® Guide. You have to partner the BABOK® Guide with your practical application/ knowledge to be successful.
Note: IIBA does not, in any way, represent that completing the above guarantees success at passing a certificate or certification exam.
Are the Techniques chapter in the BABOK® Guide included in the certification exams?
There is no question specific to a given technique, however, techniques are referenced in questions that specifically test the competencies expected within the Knowledge Areas.
Will the BABOK® Guide chapter on Perspectives be tested in the certification exams?
There will not be specific exam questions that test on the Perspectives, but some questions will infer an understanding of the Perspectives as they relate to the Knowledge Areas.
We are currently reviewing providers to provide training support for our staff seeking certification. Would you have any suggestions on such training providers?
IIBA is a not a training provider, however we proudly have an Endorsed Education Provider Training Program (EEP™
), which is a collection of training providers whose courses have been assessed and validated by us to ensure they meet the above mentioned professional development criteria. To search through the training providers and courses within our EEP program in order to determine which one best suits your training needs, please visit the Endorsed Education Provider Training site
. IIBA has no basis to recommend a particular EEP over another.
For all Certification Levels
Where can I find everything I need to know about my ECBA™ exam?
This site includes information on verifying system compatibility, exam registration, identification verification procedures, exam rules, cancellation/rescheduling policy and much more.
How do I sign up for the exam?
Once your application is approved, you need to pay the exam fee in order to be eligible to schedule the exam. Once your exam payment is received by IIBA, you will receive an e-mail from us. At this point, you can proceed to schedule your exam with PSI
. For CCBA®
: to schedule your exam with Prometric, you will require the Eligibility ID number found within the e-mail sent to you from us.
How and when are exams offered?
The exams are offered via online proctoring through PSI for the ECBA™
or via computer based testing (CBT) at dedicated Prometric test centers around the world for CCBA® and CBAP®
How do I request for a special accommodation for the exam?
What happens if I don’t pass my certification exam or don’t schedule my exam within the one-year timeframe of my application?
From the day your application has been approved, applicants have one year to pass their exam. If your application expires and you have not passed or schedule your exam, you must resubmit your application with new reference endorsements and repay the non-refundable application fee.
How do I reschedule my exam?
How do I request for a refund of my exam or exam rewrite fee?
If your exam has not been scheduled or has been cancelled through the testing provider, you can request for a refund of your exam or exam rewrite fee by e-mailing the Certification Team
. Please provide us with a reason for your refund request.
Please note: the application fee is non-refundable.
How many times can I take the exam?
You have one (1) year to successfully pass the exam from the day you received notice that your application has been approved. A candidate can only attempt the exam three times, each at a fee, within the one-year period of your application. If within that one-year period you do not successfully complete or schedule your exam, on the day after your application expiry date, you will have to resubmit your application with new reference endorsements and repay the application fee.
How can I schedule my rewrite exam?
To schedule your rewrite exam, you are required to pay your rewrite exam fee. For CCBA® and CBAP®: Once IIBA successfully receives payment of the rewrite exam fee, a new Eligibility ID number will be generated, which you will use to schedule your exam. You must wait for IIBA to receive your score from the testing provider and upload it into your IIBA profile account before you can pay and schedule for your rewrite exam. This may take up to 24 hours from your exam day. As soon as your score is uploaded into your IIBA profile account, you will receive an e-mail from us instructing you on your next steps.
I passed my certification exam. When will my profile be updated?
From your exam date, it can take up to 24 hours for IIBA to receive your score from the testing provider and upload it into your IIBA profile. Once we have uploaded your score into your profile, you will receive an e-mail from us and online proof of your achievement can be seen through the following methods:
Within your IIBA profile, under Certification, this screen will show you that you’ve been certified, when you received your certification and your next recertification date.
Your name will also appear in our certification registry at this link: http://www.iiba.org/External-resources/get-certifications.aspx
For CCBA® & CBAP® Only
What is my Eligibility ID number and where can it be found?
Your Eligibility ID number is not your IIBA profile user number, but a 16-digit number generated after payment of your exam or exam rewrite fee has been successfully completed, and used to schedule your exam.
Your eligibility ID number can be found at the bottom of the e-mail you receive after you have successfully paid for your exam or rewrite exam fee. A new Eligibility ID number is generated each time you pay for an exam.
Once I am registered for a CBT exam, how do I find out about the exam logistics, including location, room, directions, time, etc.?
Once you have scheduled your exam online, you will receive a confirmation notice from Prometric via email with the exam logistics almost immediately. Prometric sends an appointment reminder email two days prior to the exam date.
I can’t register for the exam as I am getting an error message when I try to register.
For all Certification Levels
Within my exam confirmation e-mail from the testing administrator, my address is incorrect. Will this affect admission into my exam?
No, it will not affect your admission into the exam.
Within my exam confirmation e-mail from the testing administrator, my name is incorrect or incomplete. Will this affect admission into my exam?
Yes, it will affect your admission into the exam. Please notify the Certification Team
What kind of identification do I need the day of the exam?
To find out what type of identification is required on the day of your exam:
How will I know if I passed the exam?
With the launch of a new exam, immediate scoring is not available until the Cut Score is determined, about a few months after the launch of the exam. In order to ensure that IIBA is aligned with certification best practices, we will be conducting a “passing standard study” with the launch of this new exam. A “passing standard study” is conducted whenever a new exam blueprint is introduced to establish a cut score for passing the exam. The study will allow IIBA to review the impact of the new passing standard based on the exam results prior to releasing final results. Therefore, your final exam results will not be available immediately after writing the exam and will be emailed to you once we have completed this study and within the next few months. As an incentive for the first 200 individuals to write their exams within each available certification level, IIBA is pleased to announce a discount of 50% off of the exam fee. Please note, this is available first-come, first served to the first 200 candidates within each certification level to take their exam by end of day November 30. You will be charged the regular exam fee to schedule it and then IIBA will reimburse the discount (by the same method of original payment) following the completion of your exam.
What happens if I miss the exam or arrive late to the exam?
If you miss the exam date without cancelling in advance and/or paying the rescheduling fee, you will be considered a no-show and will have to forfeit the exam fee or rewrite fee, unless there is an extenuating circumstance.
What kind of items are permitted and prohibited within a Prometric examination hall?
A skipped question is considered a wrong answer. Since you have the ability to move forward and backward within your exam, if you skip a question, you can always return to it during the exam time. You also have the ability to change answers during the exam time without causing an effect on your score.
If during the exam, the computer stops working and locks up, will this affect my score?
No, it won't change the score. Your responses to each question are stored automatically on the testing provider’s server as soon as the response is entered. There is nothing stored on the testing computer itself. A lockup or even a log out will not affect the responses that you have already entered, nor will it change your used exam time. Extra time will be added to the end of the exam for any time lost due to system problems.
Does IIBA provide translators?
No, IIBA does not accommodate for translators.
Recertification for CCBA® & CBAP®
What happens if I am off of work due to illness or maternity leave during my recertification period?
IIBA does not uses or refers to continuing development units as CEUs. The term IIBA uses is Continuing Development Unit (CDU). One (1) hour of classroom/contact time of continuing development is equivalent to 1 CDU.
How do I recertify for CCBA® and CBAP®
If you certified originally on the exams aligned to BABOK® Guide v2.0, (i.e. you passed the exam prior o September 30) you should follow the current recertification process for your upcoming recertification date. If you certify on the new competency-based exams aligned to BABOK® Guide v3.0, (i.e. passed the exam on or after September 30) the recertification requirements and process are currently being finalized. Updates will be communicated through our newsletter and on our website in the upcoming months.
If your question hasn't been addressed, please contact the Certification Team
Phone: 1-866-789-4422 (toll free) ext.2