Scrum Master Accredited Certification

Last post 02:47 am December 19, 2019
by Eric Naiburg
22 replies
02:08 pm April 9, 2015

I would like to solicit opinions on getting Scrum Master Accredited Certification from International Scrum Institute. Is this certification truly recognized?

03:25 pm April 9, 2015

Most positions I have seen advertised run with CSM/PSM CSPO/PSPO, you could always ask them for some more information based on what they have on their site around these two points listed below.

Worldwide Credibility and Acceptance of Accredited Scrum Certifications issued by International Scrum Institute.

International Recognition from all industries and from all leading organizations which embrace Agile Software Engineering and Scrum Practices.

06:51 am April 13, 2015

Any organization that's Googles on 'International Scrum Institute' will find that the success rate is 98% and you can retry the assessment 10 times.

If you are serious about Scrum I'd suggest you study and learn a lot and try the PSM assessment. Note it has the reputation of being the hardest Scrum assessment around and that some people tried it several times and still failed.

05:24 am September 28, 2015

I made my Scrum Master and Scrum Product Owner Certification from International Scrum Institute. I can confirm that they do a great job and I am absolutely happy. They provide a smooth interface for their certification examinations, fast customer service for any questions and their service is state-of-art. Their test questions are very interesting and thought-provoking which are at least in the level and usually above the quality of industry standards. I met with them last year in one of their events in Boston and asked why they provide such a useful service for only a fraction of the price of other known providers. Their answer was that: Their mission is to make western standard education and student experience available across the whole world for every kind of budget. Which makes a perfect sense and very inspiring... :)

04:11 pm September 28, 2015

How long does the test typically take?

12:13 pm October 3, 2015

In my view, best Scrum Master Certification available as on date is PSM.

07:02 am October 9, 2015

IMO, If you want to formalize your knowledge on Scrum, its always best to go with scrum org certifications:)

09:26 pm October 9, 2015


08:06 am January 1, 2016

I am not here to name and blame. But Scrum Alliance and Scrum institute I don't see much difference except Scrum Alliance is recognised well and Scrum institute am not really sure about its fame. Scrum Allia infact issue certificates just after attending workshops and it seems anyone can attend 2 day and return with CSM credentials.

What am really looking forward is the popularity and equivalent recognition of and perhaps the nest one among all sooner.. Not for anything but for tough assessments and genuine knowledge ll be proven here

08:32 pm November 9, 2016

I have taken courses for SCRUM as well as Project Management both on my own and funded through my company. The testing and certifications around ISI (International SCRUM Institute) certifications are credible and based directly on AGILE Methodology and SCRUM study guides / examination questions.

The attraction is not that the tests or certifications are not credible or that you do not have to possess the knowledge to pass. The issue for many is quite simple...cost:

The price of a SCRUM Product Owner class is $1,295 U.S. ...then the cost of the exam. Getting certified as a Product owner only tells an employer that you possess the book knowledge to navigate your way around an AGILE/ SCRUM development process. Getting someone to trust your knowledge to bring a product to success and trust that there will be positive ROI is a different story.

PMs with no work experience will always find it best to get the experience and trust from stakeholders by starting as an Asst. PM and getting the experience on their resume to ADD to the certification. That is what ultimately adds clout and validity to your piece of paper.

09:59 pm November 9, 2016

My recollection is that the International Scrum Institute (not SCRUM - it is not an acronym!) was not a very good resource for Scrum. Many threads here in Scrum.Org actually originated from misinformation from that site.

And their accreditation is likewise poor. It only costs $29, and with that you get 10 tries to get 60% out of 50 questions? And even then, their success rate is only 98%?! I would think it should be 100% - that means they actually have some individuals who have taken the exam 10 times and failed to get 60% !!!

Just browsing their Scrum educational information reveals many Scrum misinderstandings:

- Separate DoD definitions are based on different sprints or PBI's as needed
- The Development Team is referred to everywhere in their educational materials as the Scrum Team (the Scrum Team consists of the Dev Team, PO, and SM)
- Scrum Teams are always co-located
- The Scrum Master actively contributes to the Sprint Goal
- One job of the Scrum Master is to cancel the current sprint and start over (no, only the Product Owner has the authority to cancel a sprint)
- The Product Owner defines the Sprint Goal (no, the Scrum Team crafts the Sprint Goal)
- Tasks to complete a PBI should be estimated in person-hours (The Scrum Guide makes no such recommendation about task creation or estimation)

My suggestion: steer clear of the international Scrum Institute.

04:31 am November 10, 2016

There are two points to consider when you go for any certification. First, does it test what it says to test? Second is marketability of the certification. I don’t know much about it. I have not heard about it from HR people or in Scrum community. So I doubt its marketability. With declaring some as knowledgeable when he know just 60% (as pass mark is 60%) of it is certainly absurd. On top of that, in 10 attempts. That is just over-commercialization and ridiculous. No wonder – people have not heard of it.

03:37 pm December 21, 2017

I've been a Scrum Product Owner and active Agile champion within my organization for just over a year. Since training budgets were non-existent, I sought personal training and found the ISI. I think the Scrum guide (free) they provide is decent, and does cover many areas of Scrum and the agile process. However, I think the tests and certs may just be exactly what you pay for $29 - $69 dollar pieces of paper.

The tests are not hard, and in fact I was able to take both the Scrum Master Accredited Certification (SMAC) and the Scrum Product Owner Accredited Certification (SPOAC) yesterday. I passed both within 2 hours of coming to the site, with no reading or studying.

I scored 47 out of 50, and 48 out of 50 respectively. I do have a year + practical experience with both roles, so most of the test questions were aligned to knowledge I possessed. Some were oddly worded or provided questionable multiple choices, but over-all easy to take if you have any real-word experience.

My problem with the test and certs is that I do not feel any sense of accomplishment: I do not feel like the provided learning guide adequately provides for a true understanding of the role of a Scrum Master. The test and guide only scratch the surface. And in fact, about 50% of both tests were the same questions. This made me skeptical. I did like the thought-provoking scenarios of "What If's" that were asked. But they all could have been skipped and you could easily still pass.

So, for the money you get some paper certs that looked pretty good, and you can update your resume for polish if you have real experience to back them up. If you are new, and relying upon these courses to enable you to be able to provide credible knowledge during an interview, this is not the right course path.

As a result of ISI, I have been certified as both a Scrum Master and a Scrum Product Owner, but do not feel comfortable saying I'm professionally certified as either.

11:43 am December 24, 2017

This forum is not the place to discuss ISI credibility. In my opinion, bias cannot be fully eliminated in a competitive camp. There is nothing wrong with having the SMAC. Just like, the ISI folks are adding value to the global Agile community and program management industry. Both ISI and should be appreciated for their contribution.

01:06 am February 13, 2019

This is an older thread, but people still read the contents here.

I am certified through ScrumAlliance CSM & CSPO and PSM2 & PSPO. is by far harder than ScrumAlliance, and is a real certification. ScrumAlliance is good, but makes you renew your “certifications”, making it a licensure.

After reading about ISI, I would never hire based on their certification. I also do not understand why callling our ISI provides the Scrum Guide for free, when they cannot legally charge for it and it is available for download.

Timothy Baffa did a a great job explaining why.

Scrum is not subjective. Read the end note of the Scrum Guide, “Scrum is free and offered in this Guide. Scrum’s roles, events, artifacts, and rules are immutable and although implementing only parts of Scrum is possible, the result is not Scrum. Scrum exists only in its entirety and functions well as a container for other techniques, methodologies, and practices.”

03:27 am May 28, 2019


I am certified PSM1, CSM and Prince2 Agile. Also I passed Scaled SCRUM, Scrum master, Scrum PO and Scum for web developer form scrum-institute. To tell you the truth I do not think scrum-institute will add anything to your knowledge or experience, I have passed all the exam in 1 hour, the first 10 questions of all the exam are from their sample exam test, then the next 15 questions are the same for all exam as well.   You will have 15 unique questions for each exam. When I passed CSM, PSM I was proud because the exam really test your knowledge and it challenging like all other exam but for scrum institute I did not feel anything because it did not add anything. I do not recommend any one to take any certification from Scrum institute you can only take it if you want to decorate your CV or professional profile other than this it has no value.

08:19 am June 21, 2019

I’m afraid that this runs much deeper.

A person by the name of Mr. Erkan Sutculer founded a company called CreoCloud LLC. According to him, to enable customers to launch and use high performance and secure cloud computing servers.

This company however, is actually the holding company for six academic institutions that push out cheap certificates. Not one of these institutions is accredited by any external organisation. To add further authenticity, he claims to have partnerships with many blue chip institutions.

His MBA programmes for example state that they can be studied for in only a few hours, with the degree being awarded after answering just 30 multiple choice questions in a 1 hour exam (pass mark 60%). Really?

Below is a list of his institutions, that all offer cheap (unaccredited) certificates.

International Scrum Institute™, E-mail:

International Six Sigma Institute™, E-mail:

International DevOps Certification Academy™, E-mail:

International MBA Institute™, E-mail:

IO4PM™ International Organization for Project Management™, E-mail:

International Software Test Institute™, E-mail:

All six organisations share the same address

c/o CreoCloud LLC
Samstagernstrasse 57
8832 Wollerau Switzerland
Phone: +41 78 946 88 86

08:23 pm June 21, 2019

Interesting.   Thank you for the information Peter!

03:18 am August 22, 2019

Thank you all for your openness and candor. This is great information that I appreciate.

09:05 pm August 23, 2019

I wonder how many certificate holders troll the halls of the "International Scrum Institute"?

I defer to much of the content already presented in this thread that points out the worthlessness of any certification from the "International Scrum Institute".

Out of curiosity though, I went to their web site and looked at their 10-question sample SM certification quiz.   Lo and behold - question 7, where they state that the product burndown is a concept in the Scrum Framework.

Steer clear, everyone.

10:48 pm September 5, 2019

Another org like Scrum International that is popping up is (Scrum Association). I've been seeing a lot of people proudly posting on LinkedIn that they passed their certification from this group.

They provide their test online for free (unlimited attempts) and if you pass you can "buy your diploma". I took their Scrum Master Foundation exam just to review the experience. Out of the 30 questions, many had typos and I identified 12 of their answers that directly contradict the Scrum Guide or the answers were completely made up (e.g. questions about a manager’s role in Scrum as part of the Scrum Team… huh?). The had a lot of questions about User Stories, which kinda makes sense since it is a popular tool, but it is not Scrum (comes from XP).

I had to "buy" my diploma to review their answers, so $29 wasted, and yes, I said it was $29.

An example question:
Which of the following is not a Scrum artifact? (You could only pick 1)
- Story Card
- Sprint Backlog
- Burndown Chart
- Product Backlog

Their Answer: Storycard
My Response: Neither Storycards or Burndown Charts are Scrum Artifacts. Story Cards (or User Stories for that matter) are even mentioned in the Scrum Guide, and burn-downs are only mentioned once in the "Monitoring Progress Toward Goals" section, where it states, "Various projective practices upon trending have been used to forecast progress, like burn-downs, burn-ups, or cumulative flows. These have proven useful. However, these do not replace the importance of empiricism. In complex environments, what will happen is unknown. Only what has already happened may be used for forward-looking decision-making."

When I wrote to the company, I was asked if I could submit questions for them to use to replace the bad questions I identified...

Practicing Scrum is hard enough with Cargo Cult Scrum everywhere, but now these organizations are making legitimate Scrum certifications look cheap.

Scrum Association also have "certifications" for Kanban, Testing, ISTQB Awareness, ITIL Awareness, PMP Awareness, Prince 2 Awareness, ... *sigh*

02:25 am December 19, 2019

I have been working in agile environments for 15-20 years (from the marketing side in web agencies) I’ve heard the word SCRUM first time 10 years ago. 

I have spend the past two week studying SCRUM to get my certification. I got “one” tonight. I studied the The Scrum Framework: and I have learned alot - actually I’ve become half religious - without the good. I also realized I have been living and thinking agile most of my adult/professional life. 

Halfway through I realized I sign up for the “wrong” .org … 

Tomorrow I’ll go straight in a buy the licence key from and see if I pass the certification test/exam, solely from what I have been studying from the above .pdf

- to be continued 


02:47 am December 19, 2019

@Martin be sure to read the Scrum Guide and study as we know that many of the things we have seen on the institute's website are not aligned with the creators and curators of Scrum.