Certification FAQs

General:

What is the cost of attaining an IIBA® certification?

The application fee is $125 USD and is not refundable (i.e. regardless of whether your application is approved or declined). The exam fee is $325 USD for IIBA members and $450 USD for non-members.


Are there companies that formally recognize IIBA certifications?

Yes, there are companies that formally recognize the CBAP® certification for their employees. A list of these companies is posted on our website at Industry Recognition. We fully expect similar recognition for the CCBA® designation.


Do I need to be a member of IIBA to apply for certification and recertification?

No, you do not need to be an IIBA member, although there are many benefits to being an IIBA member including, but not limited to, discounts off of the certification exam fee and the recertification fee.


Application Process:

How much time is needed to complete the application process and prepare for the exam once approved?

It really depends on the individual however, some feedback we've received includes:

  • Rely on your work experience to get you through it...you can't simply memorize definitions, content, or A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide. You have to partner the BABOK® Guide with your practical application/ knowledge to be successful.
  • The qualifications to take the test are not just ceremonial; they are in fact pre-requisites to passing the test.
  • Use the application process as the first stage in studying, and acknowledge that translating your experience based on the BABOK® Guide is a reflective process that can take time.
  • Attend training courses by IIBA Endorsed Education Providers (EEPTM) 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 CBAP® Study Prep books, which are widely available.
  • Discuss chapters with study partners when studying. Use plenty of examples to provide context where needed.
  • Take your time filling in the application and use it as part of your studying.
  • Allow three to four months for studying, at least eight hours per week split between reading the BABOK® Guide and other support information, and completing practice tests. Everyone's study habits are different, but this is a suggested minimum in combination with other work and home life commitments.
  • 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 memorise information.
  • Know your job well: the practical application of the BABOK® Guide information is a great asset.
Note: IIBA does not, in any way, represent that completing the above guarantees success at passing a certification exam.

One of my references claims that he did not receive the email regarding my reference request. Is there a way to re-send it?

This applicant has 2 following options:

  1. If the email address entered for the reference is correct:
    On the References page, click on the "Edit" link next to the reference that has not received the email notification. Once in the Reference Details page click on the "Update" button. The email will be re-sent to the email address mentioned in the form. If the reference does not receive it then the problem is due to the reference's firewall stopping the email from getting to him/her. In this case, the applicant will need to replace the reference's email address with a different one (personal email addresses tend to not block emails as much) or replace the reference altogether as outlined in step 2 below.
  2. If the email address entered for the reference is incorrect:
    On the References page, click on the "Remove" link next to the reference that has not received the email notification. Confirm by clicking on the "Remove" button. Add a new reference with the correct email address and click on the "Save" button.

Contacts for many of the projects I have worked on over the past 7 or 10 years are no longer available. How do I document this in such a way that I can still get credit for the hours performed?

Please indicate the situation in the description field for the specific project in question (i.e., that you are not able to provide contact information for the person you reported to) and minimally, provide the name and contact information of a person who can verify your employment with that organization. However, this cannot be the case with all projects submitted as we need some projects for which we can validate the tasks, hours and dates with the appropriate contact for audit purposes.


Have you considered having a reduced total hour requirement for the applicants who possess post-secondary education such as a University degree or a College diploma?

While we do agree that this education/training is valuable to any business analysis practitioner, this is the reason we have the requirement for Professional Development when applying for the CCBA® and CBAP® designations. Having said that, the focus is on the skills, experience and expertise gained from real-world BA work experience. The requirements were developed based on the fact that working as a BA offers experience that cannot be gained in an educational setting, no matter what the area of study. In addition, the exams have been developed in such a way as to require BA work experience, not taking advanced education into account.


Are there any possible substitutions to the application requirements?

No, you must meet all of the requirements as outlined in the CCBA® Handbook or the CBAP® Handbook (as applicable) to be eligible to write the respective exam.


Will IIBA be very severe verifying experience?

Exam candidates and designation recipients may be audited to verify/validate work experience and other information provided in the application.


What are the criteria used to validate experience?

Work experience must be related to business analysis, performing tasks as per A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide). See the CBAP® Handbook or the CCBA® Handbook for complete guidelines.


My work experience includes tasks other than those meeting the certification requirements. Should I include all my experience from the present back to my first business analysis (BA) experiences within the last 7 (for CCBATM) or 10 (for CBAP®) years?

As per the instructions in the application, only business analysis specific work experience aligned with the BABOK® Guide is considered. During the application assessment process, work experience that is not aligned with the BABOK® Guide and its corresponding hours are deducted which can reduce the total hours required below the minimum. Therefore, documenting more hours than the minimum required is recommended. In addition, 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 involve 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.


I can provide the details or certificate for Professional Development courses but am unable to enter details online such contact name, phone number and email, etc. How should I proceed with that? Shall I put my information?

No, contact information must be entered for someone else other than the applicant. It must be someone who can validate that they took the course in the event the application is audited by IIBA. 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.


I understand that delivering training is not considered as acceptable hours towards the work experience requirement. However, I am currently teaching BA workshops and, during the course of most workshops, I work with clients on their projects as a mentor, performing a wide range of BA consulting services. This is above and beyond the actual class discussions and accounts for approximately five hours per week. Over time, this activity adds up and is spread across various organizations nationwide. Can I account for this time as work experience? If so, what is the best way to document the time?

Any general coaching provided during a training session would be considered training time and therefore, does not qualify. However, follow-up coaching and consulting outside of the training course for a student's specific project would count. Combine all hours into one project and select the BABOK® Guide aligned tasks and corresponding time spent supporting students with their specific questions outside the course. As part of the contact information for this project 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 spend on the selected tasks.


What qualifies for the 21 hours of required training in the past four years?

All IIBA endorsed courses qualify for the Professional Development requirement. Other courses may qualify as long as they meet the professional development criteria specified in the handbooks.


Is it safe to assume that when the handbook refers to Professional Development hours (and Credit Hours in the application form), that it is referring to Professional Development Units (PDUs) or CDUs/CEUs?

For initial certification, the term IIBA® uses is Professional Development (PD) hours when referring to this requirement. IIBA is very specific as to what qualifies for PD (details can be found in the CCBA® Handbook and CBAP® Handbook). On the application form, for the professional development section, the applicant is asked to fill in the number of Credit Hours for the course. 1 hour of classroom/contact time of Professional Development = 1 Credit Hour in the application form.

For recertification, the term IIBA uses is Continuing Development Unit (CDU). As with PD, IIBA is very specific as to what qualifies for CDUs (details can be found in the CBAP® Recertification Package). One (1) hour of classroom/contact time of continuing development = 1 CDU. CBAP® recipients are required to track their own CDUs and submit their recertification application and fee by their recertification due date.

Note: IIBA never uses or refers to "PDU" or "CEU", which are terms used by other organizations.


Do online courses hold as much weight as the classroom courses to meet the 21 PD hours requirement?

Online courses do hold the same weight as classroom courses for the Professional Development (PD) requirement; however, all courses must meet the PD criteria that are described in the handbooks. In addition, for online courses, you must be able to provide proof of taking the course in case you are audited. As with all courses (online and classroom), if it is endorsed by IIBA then it automatically qualifies towards the 21 hours of PD. If it is not endorsed, it does not automatically qualify and will have to be assessed at the time of application to ensure it meets the PD requirements.


What kinds of requirements are needed for trainers of courses I submit as Professional Development? Can they be outside vendors or internal to our organization?

There are no requirements for a trainer. Trainers can be external vendors or internal to an organization. You will need to provide proof of completion (if audited) and may be asked to provide a course overview if we have questions about the Professional Development submitted.


Does training in Microsoft (MS) Project or Visio count towards the training requirement?

MS Project does not count since it is a Project Management tool and it is not required to perform business analysis. Visio does count since it is used for business analysis work such as modeling and diagramming. The same concept would apply to other products/tools.


If the application reviewers identify a task that the applicant selected that is not aligned with the BABOK® Guide, how will they know how much time to deduct when the hours are provided at the project level and percentages provided at the Knowledge Area level and not the task level?

As per the instructions in the application itself and in the handbooks, tasks selected that are not aligned with the BABOK® Guide will be deducted and have hours deducted for them based on the percentage submitted for the specific Knowledge Area. Each task selected within a Knowledge Area for a given project carries equal weight. This is as close as it gets to identifying hours at the task level which is the reason we encourage applicants to only select tasks that are aligned with the BABOK® Guide thereby avoiding deductions in the first place.


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 and results emailed to applicants within two (2) weeks business days of IIBA receiving the complete application and the application fee.


Exam Registration

How do I sign up for the exam?

The exam is the final requirement to achieving an IIBA designation. Individuals interested in taking either the CCBA® or CBAP® exam must first complete and submit the respective application with payment and be approved - this is the initial screening process for IIBA designations. Once an application is approved and the applicant has paid the exam fee to IIBA, the applicant is eligible to take the exam. The eligible exam candidate will then receive an email notification to register online for the exam.


How and when are exams offered?

The exams are offered via computer based testing (CBT) at dedicated test centers around the world. Exam locations can be found at CBT Locations. Most test centers offer exams at various dates and times on a monthly basis. This listing includes locations outside of North America.


Once my application is approved and I am registered for an exam, when do I find out about the exam logistics such as exact location, room, directions, time, etc.?

Once you have registered online for the exam, you will receive a confirmation notice via email with the exam logistics almost immediately.


If I'm not able to write the exam within the specified timeframe, do I have to reapply and pay again?

Exam candidates have one year from the time their results email is sent by IIBA to take the exam. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure their application does not lapse. If an application lapses, the candidate must reapply and repay the non-refundable application fee.


Exam Preparation

We are currently reviewing providers to provide training support for our staff seeking certification. Would you have any suggestions on such training providers?

We are proud to have many Endorsed Education Providers (EEPTM) that have submitted their business analysis courses to IIBA® for review to ensure they are aligned to the BABOK® Guide. We encourage you to investigate the EEP endorsed courses and determine for yourself which ones might best meet your certification program needs. IIBA® has no basis on which to recommend one EEP over another.


How can I prepare for the exam?

To prepare for the exam please refer to the BABOK® Guide and the references identified. The exam is also based on experience. You may also want to look at the Endorsed Education Providers (EEPTM) listing for any additional training you may require or contact your local IIBA Chapter about scheduled study groups.


Can you tell me what material I need to review or course I should take to prepare for the exam?

There is no exam syllabus and we do not require you to take a prep course to qualify for the exam. As long as your application is approved, you are eligible to take the exam. We strongly recommend that you review the BABOK® Guide which is also posted on the website.


Do you have examples of exam questions?

No, we do not provide sample exam questions. However, a number of EEPs do offer practice exams.


Examination

How many questions are on the exam?

The CBAP® and CCBA® exams each have 150 questions.


What kind of questions are they?

All the questions are multiple choice with four possible answers from which to select. Some questions are based on "comprehension" (e.g., definition, recall, etc.) and others are based on "situational analysis" (e.g. given a scenario, which is the best course of action) where the applicant must perform analysis to arrive at the answer. It is neither all of one type or the other but covers a range of Blooms taxonomy.


What is the exam based on?

The exam is based on the BABOK® Guide; however, it is not the sole source of questions on the exam. In addition to the BABOK® Guide itself, the exam also tests candidates' knowledge of sources referenced by the BABOK® Guide and candidates' business analysis experience.


How long will I have to complete the exam?

Candidates will be given three and a half hours to complete the exam.


What is the minimum score necessary to pass the exam?

Cut scores are developed using psychometric procedures led by our exam administrators. The process for creating the certification exams is as follows:

  1. An item writing session is facilitated with CBAP® volunteers who develop the exam questions or 'items'.
  2. Another group of CBAP® volunteers review and rate the level of difficulty of each question.
  3. The exam is launched.
  4. After a number of exam candidates take the exam, the cut score is calculated based on the cumulative performance of test items. Once set, the cut score does not change throughout the life of the exam, although it is monitored to ensure the effectiveness of the exam.
The IIBA Certification Body will not publicly reveal the cut score or the pass rate for any exam. Raw scores are normalized to a standard scale. 500 is the minimum score needed to pass, not the maximum possible score and is mentioned in the failed exam result.

If I don't have experience in Enterprise Analysis for example, should I apply and would I have a chance of passing the exam. Does it matter in which subject area I may have a lack of experience?

The Exam Blueprint identifies the relative weight of each BABOK Knowledge Area in regards to the number of applicable questions on the exam.


What happens if I don't take the exam on the date I registered for?

If you missed the exam date without cancelling in advance and/or paying the rescheduling fee to the test provider as per their online registration process and cancellation policy, you are considered a no-show and you forfeit the exam fee. However, if there were extenuating circumstances such as a medical emergency, these will be considered with the proper documentation such as a doctor's note. Every case is assessed on an individual basis.  Specifics on the exam cancellation and rescheduling policy are described here:  CBT Locations.  


Can you clarify the breakdown of what is really necessary to pass the exam? Do you need to pass in each knowledge area or is it a cumulative total?

The exam score is based on a cumulative total.


Is a test taker better off skipping questions or answering them all, whether they are right or wrong?

Questions that are answered wrong or are skipped entirely are not treated differently from one another - both actions will impact the score. In addition, 'marking' and 'unmarking' will not have an effect on the score.


How will I know if I passed the exam?

Exam candidates will be notified immediately on screen once they have submitted their computer based exam. For those who fail the exam, they will be provided with additional information, specifically the Knowledge Areas that require their attention. (Please note that with the launch of a new exam, immediate scoring is not available until the Cut Score study is complete, about two months after the launch of the exam.)


How many times can I take the exam?

Upon receiving notice that your application has been approved, you have one (1) year to successfully pass the exam. If you fail the exam on the first attempt, you may retake the exam once, after paying the rewrite fee and waiting three (3) months from the date of your initial attempt.
If you do not successfully pass the exam within one year of your application approval (either because you did not pass the exam after one or two attempts, or because you did not sit for it), you must reapply and pay the full fee.


If I don't sit for the exam until more than nine months after receiving my approval email and I fail, am I out of luck for retaking the exam?

Yes. You must pass the exam within one year of the approval of your application or two exam attempts, whichever comes first. After this, you must once again complete the application process (including paying the non-refundable application fee and exam fee) and, be approved to be eligible to take the exam.


If during the exam, the computer stops working and locks up, will this affect my score?

No, it won't change the score. The candidate responses to each question are stored automatically on the test administrator’s server as soon as the response is entered. There is nothing stored on the testing computer itself because we are receiving the test as the tester is answering each question. A lockup or even a log out will not affect responses that the tester has already entered, nor will it change the tester's examination time used (i.e. extra time will be added to the end for any time lost due to system problems).


Recertification

Will training provider's Professional Development Units (PDUs) count towards maintaining CBAP® status? Will attending chapter meetings count towards the recertification requirements?

Details on the requirements for recertification can be found in the CBAP® Recertification Handbook.


What happens if I am off of work due to illness or maternity leave during my recertification period?

IIBA® recognizes that extenuating circumstances may arise. CBAP® recipients who are incapacitated due to illness, on maternity leave, or who are military personnel called to active duty can request an extension to their recertification cycle. Requests can be made to certification@iiba.org.


What are the Recertification Fees?

The current renewal fee for IIBA members is $85 USD and $120 USD for non-members (plus GST/HST for Canadian residents) and is non-refundable.