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If you work in project management or product development, or are looking to play a central role in enterprise-level Agile transformations of large organizations, a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) certification can help you gain the skills and expertise needed to advance your career and lead the charge.
This guide highlights some of the best SAFe certifications in terms of their benefits, requirements, and more so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Implementing SAFe with SAFe Practice Consultant (SPC) certification
The Implementing SAFe with SPC certification provides a practical and comprehensive understanding of implementing the Scaled Agile Framework. It can help project managers better understand the different roles in the SAFe organization and give you the knowledge needed to plan and guide a SAFe transformation. Whether you want to better understand the Scaled Agile Framework, teach SAFe courses in the future, or aspire to lead a Lean-Agile transformation, this certification is for you.
Some details covered by the Implementing SAFe certification include:
- Supporting a SAFe transformation
- Launch of Agile Release Trains (ART)
- Strengthening Lean Portfolios
- Organize around value streams
- Create solutions with Agile product delivery
After completing the course, you will know how to promote and display your business agility expertise and create effective solutions using Agile product management skills and principles. Most importantly, you will become certified as a SAFe Practice Consultant.
To become a SAFe Practice Consultant, you must complete a four-day interactive course (32 hours total) and pass the SAFe Practice Consultant certification exam. Typical registrants include Agile working groups, managers, directors, business and technology leaders, internal change agents, and professional services consultants.
The cost of certification depends on the provider and location and can be around $3,000. While anyone interested in better understanding the SAFe environment is welcome to take the course, top candidates meet the following prerequisites: at least one relevant Agile certification, 3+ years of Agile experience, and 5+ years of experience in project or product management, business analysis, testing or software development.
SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) Certification
The SAFe Scrum Master certification is for anyone wishing to become a certified Scrum Master. It can equip project managers or team leaders with the skills needed to become an effective Scrum Master in a SAFe organization, help you empower and lead Agile teams, and teach you how to work in remote environments with distributed teams.
SAFe Scrum Master participants will learn:
- How to coach teams to constantly improve
- How to Achieve Continuous Flow and Delivery by Implementing DevOps
- How to support program increment (PI) execution
- How to Facilitate Scrum Events
Becoming a SAFe Scrum Master certified involves completing 16 hours of live, online, interactive training over two days. Typical participants include Scrum Masters, Program or Project Managers, Release Training Engineers, Business Analysts, Agile Coaches, and Team Leads. The cost of certification depends on the provider and location, with an average price in the $500 range.
Although there are no prerequisites for the SAFe Scrum Master course, it is helpful to have knowledge or experience with software and hardware development, Scrum, Kanban and Extreme Programming, as well as Agile concepts and principles .
SAFe Advanced Scrum Master Certification
The SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) certification is for project managers, product managers, product owners, program managers, release train engineers, and Scrum Masters looking to take their leadership skills to the next level.
Some of the skills you can learn through this certification include:
- Scrum integration in business
- Evolving Scrum and Kanban
- Lead and facilitate change
- Train and coach Agile teams
- Lean-Agile Management
- Addressing Scrum Anti-Patterns
- Resolve obstacles
- Establish high performance
SASM certification can also help you show your commitment to continued excellence, achieve promotions, network with Agile professionals and industry leaders, and demonstrate your mastery of SAFe.
Although all professionals, regardless of experience, are welcome to take the SAFe Advanced Scrum Master certification course, it is recommended to have at least one of the following certifications: SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification, Certified ScrumMaster certification ( CSM) or certification. Professional ScrumMaster (PSM) certification. The course lasts two days (16 hours) via live online training, and you will need to pass the Certified SAFe Advanced Scrum Master certification exam.
The cost of the course depends on the provider and location. Expect to pay around $900 or more to get your SASM certification.
SAFe/Safe Agilist leader certification
The Leading SAFe/Safe Agilist certification is ideal for project managers, executives, Agile coaches, Scrum Masters, senior software engineers, senior product managers, service delivery managers, and other professionals looking to scale Agile across multiple teams and to advance their careers. Some skills learned during this certification include:
- Effective Lean and Agile Scaling
- How to become a Lean-thinking manager
- The seven key skills of SAFe
- Lean-Agile leadership and transformation
- Lean portfolio management
To become a certified SAFe Agilist, you must complete the two-day Leading SAFe course and pass the exam. The cost of the course is approximately $500 and depends on your provider and location. Anyone interested in becoming a SAFe Agilist can take the course, but recommended prerequisites include prior Scrum experience and at least five years of experience in product or project management, business analysis, testing, or software development.
SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) certification
Professionals looking to become effective SAFe Release Train engineers in Lean businesses should consider SAFe RTE certification. Obtaining certification can give you the skills employers seek in RTEs, including:
- How to facilitate ART processes
- How to simplify complex scenarios
- How to schedule PI events
- Coach leaders and stakeholders
- Create and drive momentum
- Stakeholder management
- How to improve ART
- Effectively lead and implement change
To obtain SAFe RTE certification, you must complete a three-day (24-hour) online course and pass the SAFe Release Train Engineer exam. There are no prerequisites for taking the course, but it may be helpful to be familiar with Agile principles and practices, have prior experience working within a SAFe team, and have SAFe certification anterior. Typical participants in SAFe RTE certification courses include Scrum Masters, Solutions Training Engineers, Program Managers, Project Managers, Agile Coaches, and SPCs.
The cost of certification depends on the provider and location, but you can expect to pay around $2,500 to obtain SAFe RTE certification.
Learn more about the SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) certification.
SAFe DevOps Practitioner Certification
The SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification is for professionals looking to gain the skills needed to support an enterprise-level SAFe DevOps transformation. Some topics covered in the SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification training include:
- Agile product delivery
- Cultivate the DevOps mindset
- Continuous Delivery Pipeline
- Available to customers on request
- Continued exploration
To become certified as a SAFe DevOps Practitioner, you must complete the two-day (16-hour) course and pass the exam. The course has no prerequisites, but experience in operations or development environments is required for the exam. Typical participants in the SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification course include team leads, Scrum Masters, release engineers, Agile coaches, SAFe practice consultants, and business analysts.
The cost of the online course and certification varies by provider and location. Expect to pay around $650 or more to get SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification.
Learn more about the SAFe DevOps Practitioner Certification.
Final Thoughts on SAFe Certifications
SAFe certifications can help project managers, product owners, Agile coaches and practitioners, Scrum Masters, DevOps professionals, and others involved in large-scale software development gain the skills and knowledge needed to lead Agile transformations, gain credibility and competitive advantage, and advance their careers. Before choosing one of the SAFe certifications listed above, make sure it fits your budget, schedule, experience level, career goals, and organization needs to ensure you make the right choice.
Read: Best Scrum Certifications