Knowing the difference between Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) training versus Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) training is important. After all, A-CSM certification requirements can be intensive, and it’s a bigger training time commitment, so it’s reasonable to wonder if Advanced Certified Scrum Master certification is worth it.
In order to become an A-CSM, you need to hold a current Scrum Master certification, complete Scrum Alliance accredited coursework and training, and have at least 12 months of work experience in the role of Scrum Master within the past five years. A-CSMs have a deeper knowledge of effective applications of Scrum, Agile, and Lean frameworks and techniques, whereas CSMs typically receive only a basic introduction to the Scrum Master role.
What’s the Difference Between Certified ScrumMaster training and Advanced Certified ScrumMaster training?
Most people start their Scrum education by obtaining their Certified ScrumMaster certification. The CSM training provides a solid foundational understanding of the Scrum framework, Scrum roles (aka accountabilities), and Scrum events. The CSM is an introduction to doing Scrum well and it gives you a starting point to learn more.
The A-CSM is intended for people who want to deepen their Scrum practice. Advanced Certified ScrumMaster training takes initial Scrum knowledge much further, with an emphasis of putting your learning into practice.
Requirements for CSMs Versus A-CSMs
The requirements for earning a certification as a Scrum Master are significantly different from the requirements for Advanced Certified ScrumMasters.
CSMs must attend a course by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) that consists of at least fourteen hours of live online or in-person training. A-CSMs, on the other hand, must:
- Hold an up-to-date CSM title from the Scrum Alliance
- Successfully complete the requirements of an accredited A-CSM course
- Validate a minimum of twelve months of working experiencing in the role of a Scrum Master within the past five years
Both CSM and A-CSM certifications require that you actively participate and demonstrate a solid understanding of the training concepts.
The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster Training Course
Certified ScrumMaster coursework is intended to be a basic overview of the Scrum framework and Agile Mindset, focusing primarily on understanding the basics, using practical and proven practices to get you started. CSM courses focus on the overview of Scrum, its foundation, roles, and the human side of Scrum.
Whereas the Advanced (A-CSM) coursework is intended to teach Scrum Masters how to implement strategies, troubleshoot in a variety of ways, and scale Scrum and Agile beyond their team. A-CSM courses are more in-depth, focusing on the nitty-gritty behind Lean, Agile, and Scrum. In these courses, students will:
- Learn and practice techniques to increase productivity and efficiency in teams
- Practice facilitating dialogue with Development team members, Product Owners, stakeholders, and more
- Identify ways to scale Agile and Scrum beyond just your team
- Learn how to deal with differences in motivations and personalities amongst team members
- Build a toolkit for coaching games, exercises, and tools
- Learn ways to work through relationship dynamics within this framework
A-CSM training focuses on understanding how these principles and framework can take shape in real-world contexts, tangible actions you can take, and how what you learn in the course applies to your organization.
Who Should Attend Advanced Certified ScrumMaster training?
- Scrum Masters
- Agile coaches
- Team leaders
- Project managers
- Agile team facilitators (including others assuming this role)
While others are certainly welcome (and encouraged) to pursue A-CSM certification, those in leadership positions should be educated and equipped for Scrum and Agile frameworks and practices.
What Continuing Education Requirements are Required for Advanced Certified ScrumMaster?
The Scrum Alliance requires that Advanced Certified ScrumMasters demonstrate and maintain their commitment to ongoing learning and development by completing a minimum of 30 Scrum Education Units (SEUs) during each two-year certification period. One hour spent educating yourself in Scrum equals one SEU. By logging the required SEUs and paying the renewal fee, your Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification can be renewed every two years.