Skip to content Paving the Road to Certification | Analyst Catalyst Blog

Paving the Road to Certification

Receive free IIBA updates and exclusive content!    

Why does certification matter, and if we choose to attain a certification what does our roadmap look like? Building a roadmap or creating a professional development plan is a great first step in tackling a personal or professional goal like getting a business analysis certification.

Paving the Road to Certification


Let’s Start with Some Fresh Stats on Certification

  • 57% of business analysis practitioners reported more confidence from getting certified
  • 29% stated increased fulfillment and greater career satisfaction at work
  • 13% shared gaining a promotion or career growth as another core benefit of being certified
  • 23% said certification helped them in finding a job

The 2020 Global Business Analysis Salary Survey sheds light on which skills are in high demand and how professional certification plays a crucial role in what employers are looking for. Valuable data like this can be used to shape your action plan to becoming certified. Download this infographic for additional quick facts.

Recently, at the 2020 Building Business Capability Conference, we led a discussion with the global business analysis community on the most commonly asked questions on certification and shared some insights on navigating your journey to certification.

The Top Questions on Certification – Answered!

Is ECBA a pre-requisite for any of the other IIBA certifications?

No, each of the IIBA certifications stand alone and have unique eligibility requirements. One is not required for another. The order of which certifications you pursue depend on your personal career path and level of work experience. The eligibility requirements for each certification are described on IIBA’s website.

How do PD (Professional Development) hours differ from CDUs (Continuing Development Units)?

Professional development hours are required when applying for ECBA™, CCBA®, and CBAP®. These hours refer to training and/or education that is obtained as part of the qualification and taken within the last four years.

Continuing Development Units are units of measurement used to quantify approved learning as well as professional service activities that apply towards recertification for CCBA, CBAP, IIBA®-AAC and IIBA®-CBDA. With some exceptions, one CDU is earned for every hour spent in a planned, structured learning experience or professional activity.

When applying for ECBA, what qualifies towards the Professional Development requirement?

Any of the following activities are acceptable as long as they are aligned with the BABOK® Guide and were completed within the last four years:

  • Classroom and online courses (e.g., Endorsed Education and Training Provider courses)
  • Webinars - live or recorded (e.g., IIBA Webinars)
  • Conference track sessions, tutorials, keynotes and workshops
  • Chapter events (i.e., presentations, study groups, workshops, conference days)
  • Self-directed learning (i.e., reading/reviewing the BABOK® Guide v3.0)

When applying for CBAP and CCBA, what courses qualify towards the Professional Development requirement?

For a course to qualify it must have been completed within the last four years, be aligned with the BABOK® Guide - it cannot be simply a presentation - and 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).
  • Have measurable learning 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).
  • Have opportunities for students to interact with the material (e.g., be able to ask questions, make the learning meaningful).
  • Have opportunities to practice the task or objective being presented and be assessed by the facilitator/moderator.

Courses that are part of the IIBA Endorsed Education and Training Provider program automatically qualify towards the professional development requirement as they have already been assessed and validated by IIBA to ensure they meet the above criteria.

Why Pursue Certification Now?

Recently, unprecedented events have shifted the job market and accelerated the demand for Business Analysis professionals. From data analytics, agile analysis to cybersecurity these skillsets have become progressively important to employers during this pandemic now more than ever.

A professional certification or certificate sets driven business analysis professionals apart, and specifically IIBA’s certifications provide:

  • Global recognition
  • Competitive advantage
  • Improved earning potential
  • Professional credibility
  • Industry recognized digital badges

Did you know IIBA’s 4 Steps to Certification can help you choose which certification is best for you and map out your path to business analysis certification success? Go ahead and take a moment to explore which certification is right for you. If you are ready now, take advantage of IIBA’s limited time 20% exam rebate offer.

Related Reading:

5 Things You Need to Know Before Writing the CBAP Certification Exam

The Value of Professional Business Analysis Certifications

How Certification Digital Badges Can Change your Career

Limited Time Offer

Take advantage of IIBA’s 20%* exam rebate on our full suite of certifications including ECBA™, CCBA®, CBAP®, IIBA®-AAC, IIBA®-CBDA and IIBA®-CCA when the exam is written between November 1 to December 31, 2020.




About The Author:
Isabel Feher-Watters

Isabel Feher-Watters is the Certification Programs Manager at IIBA® and has 20+ years' experience building talent and leadership in the workplace through learning, certification, and credentialing programs and practices. She holds a professional certification as a Certified Association Executive (CAE®), Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP)™, and a Change Management Registered Practitioner (CMRP®). Isabel is passionate about learning and professional development in the Business Analysis community.