What's in it for you
So why would you opt for a certificate like the Agile Practitioner? Well…we believe that by taking an exam which is independent of any particular agile framework, method, or practice, you are (almost) completely free to explain what makes YOU an agile leader.
You will first reflect on the image you have of yourself by writing a synopsis about your agile experience. If you do well, not one but TWO highly experienced examiners (who are also Agile Practitioners, both certified and professional) will challenge you to prove your agile worth.
Most candidates that pass the exam and receive their certificate say that both writing the synopsis and attending the oral exam are highly inspiring and challenges them to do an even better job when they are back at work.
You also gain access to a community of Certified Agile Practitioners and are invited to join special events and work groups.
Choose your best path
The Agile Practitioner Certificate is meant for people who have at least 1 year of practical experience with (any) agile frameworks, processes and practices and especially the agile principles. You continuously strive to become better at what you do and contribute.
The idea behind the Agile Practitioner Exam, which preceeds the granting of an Agile Practitioner Certificate, is that you thoroughly reflect on your behaviour while being part of an agile team or project. Doing so may reveal many opportunities for continuing excellent behaviour and for further improvement.
If your work already includes changing an entire organization towards more agility, then the next level in the Agile Certification Roadmap is the Agile Master Certificate. You are not required to have obtained an Agile Foundation nor an Agile Practitioner certificate to apply for the Agile Master, although it may help you a lot.
Are you up for the challenge?
So…are you an Agile Practitioner? Honestly answer the questions below to yourself and find out!
- I am a person who ensures improvements of my team’s processes and way of working.
- I am able to challenge the people around me to think and act out of their comfort zone and remove impediments and waste.
- I understand how my team delivers customer value and how architecture and quality assurance influence that value.
- I am able to regularly demonstrate working software that is potentially shippable.
- I use risks and uncertainties as a guide for setting priorities.
- My team works transparently and reflects continuously. By doing this, I am able to adapt and achieve increasingly better results.
- I stimulate leadership in myself and people around me which increases my team’s performance.
- I make sure team members collaborate well and build on each other’s strengths.
- By collaborating intensively with stakeholders, I achieve an optimal combination of customer satisfaction and other product requirements.
And…? How about it?
Take a look at the exam schedule to see when we take exams or just contact us either by e-mail of phone. Our contact details are at the bottom of this page!
The Agile Practitioner exam currently costs 425 euros excl. VAT. Members of the Agile Consortium get a 20% discount, bringing the price down to a mere 345 euros excl. VAT.
NOTE: The price for this exam will go UP significantly in 2018. Apply now to benefit from the 2017 price!
Please note that at this time the nature of the (oral) exam requires you to be present in The Netherlands.
You are free to define your personal investment with regard to how you prepare for the exam. Please take note of the preparation requirements for the exam. If you get lost, please contact us for help or find other Agile Practitioners to help you.
Retaking an exam
If you have previously written a project synopsis and received a “defer”, you will have one opportunity to redo your synopsis within one year and taking into account any instructions and prerequisites given to you by your examiners.
If you received a “pass” on your synopsis, but did not manage to pass the oral exam, you may take the oral exam again within one year. In this case you also have to take into account any instructions and prerequisites given to you by your examiners which may or may not include that you will have to write a new synopsis.
You will receive one redo for either your synopsis or oral exam for free. If you receive a second defer or cannot redo your part of the exam within one year, you will have to re-apply.
The entire procedure in a nutshell
Step 1: Applying for the Agile Practitioner Exam
To apply*) for an Agile Practitioner exam, please fill in the application form and send it to our office together with your curriculum vitae.
You will be allowed to enter the Agile Practitioner Program if your application form and CV clearly reflects experience with agile projects or agile teams. There is no limitation as to which agile method you use or ‘school’ you belong to. However, we recommend at least 1 year of experience.
The required language for your application form, CV, writing the synopsis and for taking the oral exam is either Dutch or English.
Step 2: Writing your project synopsis
After we have received your application form and CV, your application as an Agile Practitioner Exam candidate will either be granted or deferred.
If your application is granted, you will receive a request to write a project synopsis which reflects your experience, knowledge, skills and attitude towards the agile way of working, your project(s) or team(s), your organization and your peers. Please refer to the reference card for full details about the topics you need to cover. Use the synopsis template to write your synopsis. We expect you to send it to us as a printable MS Word document or PDF.
When your project synopsis is received from you, your examiners will assess it. You will either receive either (1) a pass or (2) a defer.
- When you receive a pass, you will be invited to the oral exam in which you will reflect on your project synopsis and answer additional questions. Two examiners will challenge you to get the most out of the exam. They will give you some insight in how to prepare for the oral exam.
- When you receive a defer, your synopsis did not contain enough information to invite you to the oral exam. The examiners would have to spend too much time on collecting the evidence from you. In this case you will receive instructions on how to proceed from your examiners.
Step 3: Taking the oral exam
Once your synopsis receives a pass, then the next stage will be the oral examination.
The aim of the oral examination is to confirm you as an Agile Practitioner as stated in the reference card. The same two examiners who passed your synopsis will carry out the oral examination. The examiners will ask you questions to assess your knowledge, understanding and practical application of agile and the change you have been able to create with that. You are not allowed to refer to any documentation or notes during the examination.
The examination takes around 45 minutes. The questioning will be divided approximately equally between the examiners. Part of the examination will focus on questions related to your synopsis; part will focus on your additional practical experience, knowledge and inights. Typically, while one examiner is asking questions, the second examiner will be making notes. Please do not assume that this is any kind of negative indication on your performance.
Please note that oral examinations are typically recorded for quality purposes.
In the examination room, there will always be a flip chart and pens, or pen and paper. So if it would help you to draw a diagram to explain something then please ask the examiners to allow you to do this. However, you will not be able to bring in diagrams or charts you have prepared previously.
The Agile Practitioner examination will give candidates every possible opportunity to give a correct answer, and will come back to questions where something has been missed. The examiners’ objective is to give you every opportunity to succeed and pass the exam.
By the end of the examination, the examiners will ask you to leave the room so that they can discuss. They will then call you back into the room and will give you the result.
When you pass the exam, the examiners will congratulate you and ask if you want feedback. Some candidates are keen to hear the examiners’ comments, whilst others prefer not to be told immediately. It is entirely up to you. Typically, you will receive a letter from the Agile Consortium confirming the result, and giving any feedback within 7 work days. The Agile Practitioner Certificate will then be sent to the address you filled in on the application form.
If you are unsuccessful, the examiners will ask if you want feedback immediately. It is entirely up to you whether to take feedback at this point. The examiners will tell you where you did well, where your knowledge of agile needs further study, and recommend ways to further improve. You will also receive a letter from the AgileConsortium confirming the result, and containing feedback, typically within 7 work days.
How to prepare for the Agile Practitioner exam
Writing your synopsis
Your synopsis should allow your examiners to verify your experience and understanding of agile principles and practices. Moreover, you need to show that you have practiced agile leadership. That means that your synopsis should cover the topics mentioned in the reference card for the exam. In essence, you need to have experience in agile projects or agile teams and prove that you can make a difference using your agile mindset
In your synopsis you reflect on your agile experience and what you achieved within your project(s) or team(s). Your experience need not be continuous, but should show a total of at least that level of experience. We recommend at least 1 year of agile experience to have a better chance to pass the Agile Practitioner exam.
Perhaps not everything you did was in line with what is generally accepted as being “agile”. That’s okay. The aim is to prove that you understand the concepts of agility and what it takes to be an agile leader. The important thing, both in the synopsis and in the oral examination, is to demonstrate your understanding of the problems and risks related to both agile and non agile approaches This is a generic agile qualification, and the core values of agile approaches will be the baseline against which you are being measured.
Whenever you encountered behaviour that was not in line with agile, please mention it in your synopsis and reflect on the impact it had.
The maximum amount of words you can use in the synopsis is 3500. Use them well. If your synopsis contains more than 3500 words, it will be deferred. Just get to the point! 😉
Please refer to the synopsis template for further instructions on writing your synopsis.
The oral exam
When reading your synopsis, your examiners may have highlighted areas which require clarification. They will inform you of any special actionsto take to prepare properly fr your oral exam.
Questions asked during the oral exam will be generic agile questions, rather than being related to one specific agile approach. Questioning will be related to the competencies in the reference card and to the details of your project, as introduced in your synopsis.
During the oral examination, examiners make all possible allowances for candidates who are nervous. To try and set you at your ease, typically the examination will start with some straightforward and simple questions about your project or team.
Make sure you know your story well. You will be expected to look from different angles to the situation you describe in your synopsis, not just as seen from your own role.
When in doubt about how to prepare, please contact us using the contact info at the bottom. Perhaps you can even find other people who have taken an Agile Practitioner exam and ask them how they prepared.