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PSM versus CSM

Last post 10:26 pm January 25, 2017
by Deepak Chaudhary
8 replies
01:09 am October 17, 2013

Evening all, I am brand spanking new to but after doing some poking around and what not believe this is where I want/need to be. I apologize if this question has been asked but I can't seem to find it so am throwing it out there.

Can anyone give me some insight as to the difference between CMS vs PSM. How they are perceived, are they equal? One better? Pros/Cons?

I am finding it more important to have some kind of "backing" to support that I know what I know and was pleased to find I could take the test without having to sit through the two day CSM training (plus I don't have that kind of cash laying around at the moment).

Is the PSM well received? Recognized? It seems to be more real world - in practice and less proof of training, but that could just be wishful thinking on my part.

Any information would be greatly appreciated and helpful.


06:52 am October 17, 2013

Many of us have certified under both schemes. I'm not going to get into the politics as to which is better, since much depends upon individual needs at a given moment in their career, but I'll assert that PSM is certainly *no less* respected than CSM.

Also, it is possible to sit PSM Level 1 a number of times for the price of a course.

04:32 am October 25, 2013

Having done both I can safely say that there really is no difference between the two. After all Scrum is the same whatever be the organization certifying you.

In general certifications still aren't foolproof enough to weed out success via rote memorization and both the CSM and PSM1 certifications are no exception

At the end of the day a certification places you at the starting blocks. How you run the race after that is entirely upto you.

08:06 am January 15, 2014

I wouldn't say they are the same. They are different and PSM is better. Not because I said it but because many people who has got both certificates have said so. I have summarised it here:…

08:17 am January 15, 2014

Prabhu, unfortunately Scrum is not the same everywhere. I would love to see 100% the World referring to Scrum Guide. But that's not the case now (soon will be :)) If you look at the Scrum Core (Scrum Alliance) and Scrum Guide ( - they're quite different. We consider Scrum Guide is the primary source of knowledge as it was created and sustained by creators of Scrum: Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Regarding the certifications - CSM is just a weak shadow of PSMI. CSM can be compared with PSF (Professiona Scrum Foundations). PSM course is more advanced level. Also it's very hard not to pass CSM 'exam' and it's really hard to pass PSMI.

04:22 pm January 24, 2014

I will add that PSM II is much more difficult and interesting than CSP.

PSM II also give me a lot of very valuable feedback and helped me to improve my understanding of Scrum.

CSP (as a proctored exam) is still "just" a multiple-choice test, without any feedback but your score. The phrasing was also very poor, which make the test difficult for no-english native people.

01:50 pm September 15, 2015

Being a CSP, CSM, CSPO, and PSM I I will speak to my personal experience with those alone.

I think that passing a scrum.orgs assessments to be a much better indicator of scrum knowledge then the CSM or CSPO courses (and CSM assessment). At least I can say that I learned a lot studying for the PSM I that i didn't understand fully through my CSM or CSPO courses. The CSP requires 3 years expirience and 70+ education credits that can be earned by attending courses, reading books, attending Scrum user groups, etc. . I found the user group meetings in my area to be probably the most helpful thing for me in building my knowledge, understanding, and practical experience of Scrum. I think you could get a CSP without much Scrum knowledge if you really wanted to, but for me it was a very good learning experience/opportunity.

So from a learning perspective i would rate CSPO < CSM < PSM I < CSP . I will have to see where the PSM II falls if i take it - which i am motivated/challenged to, because i feel like i would learn a lot through the process.

Another thing to consider is if you are looking for a community to be involved with. i would look at the available classes and user groups for each or Scrum Alliance in your area as they can be vastly different. Scrum Alliance's presence is 10x greater in my area so for a community to become involved with it had a lot more courses and opportunities. I think Scrum Alliance certifications are typically better known by US companies as well (vs Europe where has a much bigger presence).

12:40 pm October 3, 2015

Being a CSM, CSPO, CSP, SPC, CLKF, ICP-ATF, PSM I I would definitely rate PSM > CSM.

10:26 pm January 25, 2017

Hello Everyone, I have been reading a lot as which certification is better than another one. After reading all the responses above and other web pages, it makes me clear and confident that I will start my first Scrum certification with PSM1 and thanks for all your above messages. I will enroll for assessment on but for studying and prepare for the examination which other resources shall I use if I would like to avoid a big fee of $1200 or above.