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How Competency-Based Certification Measures Up


Business analysis (BA) professionals considering becoming certified should first take the time to accurately and honestly self-reflect on their current skillset, experience level and career aspirations. Then, look for a certification that aligns with your career focus and will position you for success in today’s demanding marketplace.

Today, we are seeing opportunities within organizations for BA professionals with expertise in digital strategy, Agile and design thinking; skillsets are changing and individuals who want to advance in their career need to invest in their skills development.

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The Research and Impact Study conducted by KPMG found the traditional skillsets of BA practitioners have become foundational and more strategic, and enterprise-level insights are required to add value that organizations need to compete and win in today’s ever-evolving, competitive business landscape. KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook and other proprietary research showed that the next three years would be a critical inflection point for businesses. Fast forward to 2019 and we are seeing the role of analysis has created new opportunities to work more closely with business leaders to tackle digital challenges including business data analytics, product ownership and cybersecurity just to name a few.

Expectations are shifting and to remain successful in the future, BA practitioners need to develop their skillsets beyond those traditionally associated with the discipline. The business analysis skillsets organizations will look for include - strategic thinking and analysis; business knowledge; critical thinking and problem solving; leadership; and creative and innovative thinking.

How can employers hire the right BA professional for their organization?

Competency-based certification is one way hiring managers and recruiters can know they are getting the right skills required for a role. “On one team, you may be doing certain tasks, but on another team, you’re doing differing things,” says Cole, an IT Business Consultant. He and his colleague Angela recently had an opportunity to present a Centre of Excellence (COE) initiative to management with the goal of establishing best practices within the organization where he works. “Without IIBA certification, none of this would have happened,” added Cole. Preparing for the CBAP exam helped define what the BA role is responsible for and answered the question, ‘What does a BA (practitioner) do’?

A successful BA career requires the ability to demonstrate that you have mastered the knowledge, skills or competencies for your career level practice. One of the best ways of demonstrating that to yourself and your organization is through certification. IIBA recognizes not all certifications are equal. It’s important to select the one that is right for you and your career.

IIBA offers multi-level, competency-based certifications and recently launched specialized certifications. “We wanted to provide a framework for certification that could really validate an individual’s capabilities to perform a required standard of work,” said Suzanne Bertschi, Director, Global Certifications and Programs at IIBA.

This competency-based framework recognizes the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and experience a practitioner can demonstrate. The exam questions are designed to determine a practitioner’s proficiency level based on their ability to answer scenario-based questions that test an individual’s skills and experience based on their respective experience level and ability to get the job done.

Get started on your career journey today!