Why Should I Become a CBAP?
Last updated on 01st Oct 2020, Artciles, Blog
Business Analyst Certifications
Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA™): This is the first level in the Business Analysis certification framework provided by the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®).
This certification is for the individuals/professionals who would like to jump into the field of Business Analysis. This certification is designed to test the individual skills and proficiency of Business Analysis skills at the beginner’s level.
Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA®): CCBA is designed for individuals with knowledge of business analysis. It is a professional certification for persons having good experience in the Business Analyst role.
This is one of the rapidly growing professional certifications with more people trying to understand its value. An individual with CCBA certification will add more value to an organization and will also open prospects for growth and new job avenues.
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Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®): CBAP is a professional certification for individuals with extensive Business Analysis experience. CBAP helps an individual to advance the career by creating a separate and distinct career path within the information technology industry and the business community.
Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader (CBATL): This is the final level of certification and is designed for BA professionals with more than 10 years of experience and this is yet to be launched by IIBA.
Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA): This is like the ECBA certification conducted by IIBA. CFLBA is also for the entry-level. The Foundation level is suitable for Business and System Analysts, product owners, and product managers.
Experience in providing solutions, design, or development is the main requirement to go for the Foundation level. This certification includes 2 more levels. Once the Foundation level is clear then you should go for Certified Advanced Level Business Analyst (CALBA) and Certified Expert Level Business Analyst (CELBA).
Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE): This is an internationally accepted qualification for Requirement Engineers and Business Analysts. It is best suited for those who are in development roles and have to liaison with business users as a part of the IT solution development process.
This certification is a three-level certification. The other levels include CPRE-AL – Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering – Advanced Level and CPRE-EL – Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering – Expert Level
Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA): If you are working as a Project manager and handling teams as well as managing requirements then PMI-PBA is the right certification for you. The main focus of this certification is on business analysis training and it provides hands-on projects and testing on business analysis principles.
Now the question arises as to which certification is good for a BA and what should be considered while going for a certification. Well, the answer is not easy for this question, however, we will try to provide as much information as possible so that it can be easy for all the readers to select the right certification.
What Is The CBAP Certification?
An individual with extensive business analysis experience can opt for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP).
Who Can Apply For CBAP Certification?
- Any CCBA certified individual
- BA consultants and trainers can take this certification.
- Process improvement executives
- Non-BA Consultants
- System Analysts
What Are The Eligibility Criteria?
As per the IIBA website, the eligibility criteria for the CBAP Certification examination are:
- 1. One should have a minimum of 7500 hours of BA work within 10 years.
- 2. Must complete 35 hours of professional development training in the last four years.
- 3. To become eligible for CBAP, you need two references from the manager, your client, or from a person who is CBAP certified.
- 4. There are 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK guide. One should have a minimum of 900 hours of experience in the 4 of 6 knowledge areas.
- 5. Agreement with the CBAP Code of Conduct.
CBAP Exam Information
The duration of the CCBA exam is 3.5 hours and it consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. The exam will be based on scenarios and case studies. Most of the questions will be based on a case study and can be 1 to 1.5 pages long. This exam is based on BABOK® Guide Version 3.
To take this exam you just need a desktop/laptop, a webcam, a government-issued ID with a photo (photo will be captured at the start of the exam), and a microphone.
Given below is the weightage given by IIBA for the following knowledge areas:
|Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring
|Elicitation & Collaboration
|Requirements Life Cycle Management
|Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
CBAP Exam Application And Fees
There are 2 categories for the exam:
#1) For IIBA Members: If you are an IIBA member then you have to pay $125 as Application fee and $325 as Exam fee.
**Application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.
#2) For non-IIBA Members: If you are not an IIBA member then you have to pay $125 as Application fee and $450 as Exam fee.
If you had taken an exam and was not able to clear it or want to take it again due to any reasons then you need to pay the fees as below:
- For IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $250
- For non-IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $375
How To Apply For CBAP Certification?
- 1. To apply for the exam, the eligibility criteria should be met.
- 2. Please note that IIBA will send a link to the references provided by you and the references are supposed to complete the form. Your application will not be approved until your references provide all the information and it has been reviewed by IIBA.
- 3. Once the above step is complete, Go to https://portal.iiba.org/user/login and complete the application.
- 4. After submitting the application, pay the application fees.
- 5. Once the payment is done, you will get an email indicating the status as “approved”, or “approved pending audit”.
Note: “approved pending audit” status means your application will be audited within ONE month.
- If your application status is approved, then you have completed one year to take the exam (This one year starts from the date when you get an application approval email).
- Make a note of the Eligibility ID number you get in the confirmation email.
- Visit www.prometric.com and select a location and date for your exam.
Exam results will be declared immediately upon completion of the exam. IIBA will share the exam results on email within 24 hours including a pass/fail indicator and performance feedback.
Note: In the exam results, the actual exam score attained by you, and the minimum passing score will not be shared.
Benefits from CCBA Certification:
- You will be part of a recognized professional group.
- More professional opportunities for a certified BA.
- CBAP provides recognition of your skills and competency.
- You will be an expert in the principles and practices of business analysis.
- Industry-standard business analysis practices can be demonstrated to all the stakeholders.
- Overall performance and market opportunities can be improved.
Are you interested in earning your CBAP® but not sure where to get started? CBAP® stands for Certified Business Analysis Professional™ and is the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®) Level 3 certification.
Professionals with a certification in business analysis from one of the world’s leading professional associations – the International Institute of Business Analysis and the Project Management Institute – find themselves in higher demand, more respected, and that it’s easier to get credibility for their business analysis work.
For me, earning my CBAP back in 2011 was about being sure I had all the credibility and authority pieces in place that I needed to offer the highest value training programs, like we do here at Bridging the Gap. And also being sure I earned this certification while I had the recent and necessary amount of experience, before I took some planned time off while I raised my 2 young daughters.
While there is no one path to becoming a CBAP® and the path you take depends heavily on the time you wish to invest, your budget, and your timeline for becoming certified, there are some general phases of preparation that each individual seems to pass through. For some, all of this happens in a week or two with a Boot Camp type class. For others, this process is spread out over a year or two as they use their CBAP® preparation time to become a better business analyst.
Step 1: Confirm Your Business Analysis Experience
Applying for the CBAP® requires 5 years (7,500 hours) of business analysis experience, as defined by the BABOK® Guide. You must also demonstrate 900 hours of experience across at least 4 of the 6 knowledge areas.
Many professionals that have been working in a business analyst capacity for a long time, but have not been aware of the BA profession are surprised to learn that they can apply to sit for the CBAP®.
- 1. Read Aaron Whittenberger’s story of awakening to discover he’s a business analyst and deciding to sit for the CBAP® instead of the PMP®. Others find their previous roles have such a mix of non-BA responsibilities or are limited in some fashion, that even though they have held the BA title for years, they have not accumulated the appropriate experience.
- 2. Doug Goldberg shares his story of documenting his business analyst experience. His story mirrors many I’ve heard from other professionals, although they face the application with some trepidation, they find there is great value in combing through your career history and matching your experiences to a standardized professional body of knowledge.
- 3. My experience was similar – through the process of finishing the “dreaded” work history section, you become more self-aware of yourself as a business analyst professional. I was surprised to find I could document 10,000 BA hours. And, once I got started recounting projects, it was actually difficult to stop.
Documenting your experience, in and of itself, builds confidence.
Many professionals exploring the profession start by researching the CBAP® only to get this step and realize they don’t meet the experience requirements. Instead, you may want to consider the IIBA® Certification of Competency in Business Analysis™ (CCBA®) (Level 2 certification) or Entry Level Certificate in Business Analysis™ (ECBA™) (Level 1 Certificate). Another option is the Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)℠ certification offered by Project Management Institute (PMI)®.
If you are looking to start a business analyst career, there are alternative paths you can follow that do not involve certification. I outline many of them in my free career training on how to kickstart your BA career.
Step 2: Earn Appropriate Professional Development Hours (PDs)
To submit your CBAP® application, you must have 35 documented professional development hours. Many business analysis training courses and some conferences qualify for professional development credits.
Bridging the Gap is an IIBA® Endorsed Education Provider™ (EEP™) and our complete line-up of on-demand, online professional development courses qualify for PDs or CDUs.
With Bridging the Gap, you can earn the necessary PDs following either of these paths:
- Choosing 3 of our on-demand, online courses, where you’ll earn 12 PDs each. The advantage of these is that you can go through them on your own timeline, exactly when you want.
- Joining the next session of The Business Analyst Blueprint® . We run these sessions once or twice each year, and you’ll earn all 36 credits with the single program that includes additional accountability and support that comes with a live program.
We often receive questions about how to earn these credits for free. Because of the instructor engagement requirements for PDs, it’s unlikely that you’ll find free professional development units.
Step 3: Prepare and Submit Your CBAP® Application
Applications are submitted to IIBA® and they have a full page on their website listing the entire CBAP® certification process. In addition to work experience and professional development hours, you must provide meet the minimum education requirement (high school or equivalent) and have two references.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, Aaron Whittenberger and Doug Goldberg share some great advice. You can read Aaron’s tips on documenting the CBAP® requirements, as well as Doug’s story about preparing a CBAP® application.
Step 4: Become Intimately Familiar with the BABOK® Guide 3.0
Becoming a CBAP® represents that you are a senior business analyst professional, as IIBA® defines it through A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide). That means preparing for the CBAP® requires you understanding the content of the BABOK® Guide and are able to pass an exam demonstrating your knowledge and application of the material.
The BABOK® Guide is a dense text. It’s likely that several readings will be required to fully appreciate the information contained within it.
Many business analysts report enhanced experience at this stage from joining a BABOK® Guide study group. Study groups can be informal, and focused mostly on reading and discussing the BABOK® Guide contents, or more formal, and focused on exam preparation. Study groups can be hosted by an employer, an IIBA® chapter, or anyone who wishes to coordinate one.
- 1. Doug Goldberg wrote about his experience facilitating a virtual CBAP® study group,
- 2. Linda Erzah shares her story of helping facilitate an IIBA® Chapter CBAP® study group.
- 3. Jennifer Banzon has also started two CBAP® study groups for the Los Angeles IIBA® Chapter. You can read her interview where she shared information about how she decided to focus the efforts of the two CBAP® study groups and the benefits of each type.
Another great resource here is to use exam simulators to test your knowledge and ability to answer the kinds of questions you’ll need to answer on the exam.
Personally, in addition to practically rewriting out the BABOK® Guide to assimilate the knowledge and terminology, I found CBAP® exam simulators to be a critical piece of my preparation. In week 3 of my journey, I share my first brush with exam simulations. By week 9, I became frustrated with exam simulators, but after passing the exam, I realized the simulators I used helped me prepare for the more, shall we say, counter-intuitive aspects of the CBAP® exam.
Step 5: Schedule and Pass Your CBAP® Exam
Once your application is approved, schedule an exam for 2-3 months out. You can always reschedule the exam or, if you take the exam and do not pass, you can schedule to take it again within one calendar year of your application approval. Scheduling an exam promptly helps keep you motivated through the home stretch.
In week 8 of my journey, I scheduled the CBAP® exam for about 1 month out, the week after I finished my CBAP® prep course. (I had dove right into step 7 after submitting my application and so had a running head start.)
Sit for the exam and do your best. If you do not pass the exam the first time, you can schedule a second exam within one calendar year of your application approval.
Take a few days and celebrate your success. You’ve earned it! Stay involved in the profession and in your own professional development. We are grateful to have you serving our profession. We build our profession one business analyst at a time, and success starts with you.
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