Maintaining your Scrum Master certification is essential if you want to keep enjoying its perks. If you don’t put enough effort into keeping your credential, it’ll expire, and all the work you’ve put into acquiring it will be gone for good.
Luckily, renewing your Scrum Master certification isn’t as complicated as you may think. Continue reading to find out more about how the Scrum Master certification renewal system works, what SEUs are, and what you can do to maintain your certification!
Why Do Scrum Master Certifications Expire?
The role of a Scrum Master is continuously evolving, which means that what used to be considered “best practices” a year or two ago can be outdated today.
What’s more, the Scrum Master certification is more than just a piece of paper that candidates acquire and forget about it a few weeks later; it’s more of a commitment and a possession that you need to take care of throughout your career.
Showcasing your dedication to maintaining your certification means that you’re still interested in the role and are keen on learning new things and teaching others about the concepts you’ve learned. It’s also a sign that you’ve started practicing the job and are gaining experience day by day.
On top of that, maintaining your certification ensures that you continue being a member of Scrum Alliance, one of the largest and most reputable Agile communities in the world.
How to Renew Your Scrum Master Certification
The Scrum Master certification must be renewed once every 2 years. To renew your certification, you must gain 20 SEUs (Scrum Education Units) every 2 years. You also have to pay the required $100 fee.
There are many ways to get the needed SEUs for recertification. Generally speaking, Scrum Alliance classified SEUs into 4 categories, which include:
To earn Learning SEUs, you can:
- Prepare presentations
- Work with Scrum Alliance CECs, CSTs, REPs, and CTCs
- Publish Agile or Scrum-related books, articles, or blogs
- Attend community webinars
- Read a book related to Agile or Scrum
Here’s what qualifies under the Events category:
- Taking part in local user groups
- Attending a Scrum Alliance Gathering at a global or regional level
- Attending an Agile or Scrum event that’s not sponsored by Scrum Alliance
- Coaching or presenting sessions
- Participating in sessions presented by other Scrum Masters
Volunteering in the Agile community in any possible way and providing free-of-charge Agile services is one of the best ways to earn SEUs. It can be pretty fulfilling on a personal level, too!
Along with the categories mentioned above, there are other ways to earn SEUs, and if they don’t fit into any of the other three types, you can submit them under the “Other” category.
Submitting Your SEUs
After acquiring the needed SEUs, you need to submit them on Scrum Alliance’s website. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Login to your account from here
- Click on the “Hello” button in the top right corner of the screen
- Navigate to “My Dashboard”
- Click on the “Scrum Education Units” box and choose the “Manage SEUs” option
- Select the appropriate activity type (the way you got the SEUs)
- Fill in the required information fields
Renewing Your Certification
After you’ve successfully submitted 20 SEUs in the current 2-year cycle, you can now renew your certification. Here’s how to do it:
- Login to your account at https://www.scrumalliance.org/login
- Click on the “Hello” button in the top right corner of the screen
- Go to “My Dashboard”
- Navigate to the “Actions” section
- Choose “Renew Certification”
- Pick the certification that you want to renew (Certified Scrum Master in this case)
- Proceed with the checkout process and pay the $100 fees
What If You Earned a Higher-Level Certification?
Suppose that you’ve earned higher-level certifications after acquiring the CSM certification, like, for example, the Advanced CSM certification. In that case, you’ll need to acquire the full SEUs for your highest-level certification and only half of the required SEUs for every lower-level certification.
Oh, and you’ll only have to pay the renewal fee for your highest level certification. The rest of your credentials will be renewed free of charge.
Scrum Master Certification Learning Outcomes
- Learn how to become a servant leader for your team
- Coach and motivate the Scrum team throughout the Product Development Life Cycle
- Guide the team based on the principles of the Scrum framework in an Agile environment
- Sustain the product’s quality throughout its various development phases
- Suggest and encourage change during the daily meetings
- Solve problems and provide support for the team to help them overcome any obstacles they’re facing
- Improve the team’s collaboration
What Comes After the Certified Scrum Master Certification?
After officially becoming a CSM, your next step is to look for an opportunity to work as a Scrum Master. Once you acquire some relevant experience and you’re 100% sure that you like this career path, you can start pursuing more advanced Scrum Master certifications.
Here’s a list of your certification options as a CSM holder:
Advanced Certified Scrum Master Certification (A-CSM)
The A-CSM certification is the most popular certification option for CSM holders. The A-CSM certification builds on the foundations that you’ve learned in the CSM preparation course.
The certification will help you facilitate better dialogue between all the members of the Scrum team, in addition to the Product Owner, stakeholders, customers, and executives.
What’s more, you’ll learn how to respond in challenging situations, like limited engagement, resistance to change, and lack of motivation. You’ll also learn how to scale Agile and Scrum best practices to more than just one team.
- Valid CSM credential
- At least one year of validated work experience
- Complete the official A-CSM training program
To prepare for the A-CSM exam, you must attend and complete the Advanced Scrum Master training course. The course will cost you anywhere from $600 to $800, depending on your location and time of the course.
The program’s duration is 2 days, and once you’re done with it, you’ll gain 16 SEUs and 16 PDUs. All of the course’s live sessions are instructor-led. Not to mention, the course includes real-world activities and simulations.
Certified Scrum Professional – Scrum Master
After earning the Advanced-CSM credential, you can start pursuing the higher-level Certified Scrum Professional – Scrum Master certification.
- Valid A-CSM credential
- Having a minimum of 2 years of work experience as a Scrum Master
- Attend and complete the required training for the certification
Certified Scrum Professional – Scrum Master Preparation
Preparing for this certification is pretty similar to how you’d prepare for other certifications from Scrum Alliance. After completing the course, you can test the waters with some mock tests before attempting the real exam. Once you’ve practiced enough, you can sign up for the exam.
Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
Suppose you think that the role of a Scrum Product Owner could suit you better than your current role as a Scrum Master or you want to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of the Product Owner in Scrum teams for more effective communication. In that case, the CSPO certification might be a good option for you.
Since this is a low-level certification, there are no official prerequisites other than attending the training program, of course.
Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
If you want to get assigned more technical tasks, you can pursue the Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification. It’s tailored for software developers who are designing software products in Agile/Scrum environments.
Just like other entry-level certifications from Scrum Alliance, there aren’t any minimum requirements for this certification program. However, you’ll only benefit from it if you already have some real-world experience as a software developer.
How Is the Value of an SEU Calculated?
SEUs are calculated as a 1:1 ratio, which means that every contact hour corresponds to 1 SEU. For example, if you’ve attended a 2-hour Scrum webinar, its corresponding SEU value will be 2 SEUs (1 SEU for each contact hour).
What If I Don’t Renew My Scrum Master Certification?
If you don’t know how to renew your Scrum Master certification, the credential will be stripped away from you, and your membership in Scrum Alliance will be suspended.
And if you decide to regain the certification later, you’ll need to attempt and pass the exam again. However, you won’t have to take the Scrum Master course this time around.
Can I Renew My CSM Certification After Expiry?
Yes, you can renew your CSM certification within a 3-month grace period after expiry, provided that you’ve earned the required SEUs for renewal. After exactly 90 days, you won’t have the opportunity to renew your certification. You’ll have to attempt and pass the exam all over again.
How Recent Do SEUs Need to Be?
For your SEUs to count, you must’ve earned them in the past 30 months. It’s usually a good idea to submit your SEUs as soon as you get them because you could easily lose track of the activities that you’ve done.
Should I Pursue the PSM Certification?
If you don’t like the idea of having to renew your Scrum Master certification every 2 years, you can opt for the PSM (Professional Scrum Master) certification from Scrum.org. This certification doesn’t expire, which means that you can keep it for life once you acquire it.
Nevertheless, you’ll always need to develop your skills and stay updated with everything new in the field if you want to gain a competitive edge in the job market.
Working on maintaining your Scrum Master certification is an excellent opportunity to develop your skills and expand your knowledge on a continuous basis.
The process itself is pretty straightforward: earn your SEUs, pay the required fees, and you’re good to go.
20 SEUs translate to 20 contact hours. You can easily get them by attending a few seminars, publishing an article or 2, and maybe volunteering if you have some free time.
And remember, the value behind renewing your CSM certification is more than just to include it in your CV; it’s a way for you to prove your dedication to the job and eagerness to learn new things.
It’s also a good chance for you to improve your personal branding and teach others who want to become Scrum Masters to get started!
To learn how you can pass your PMP® certification exam in the next 6 weeks, sign up for a free class to get a study plan + valuable tips & tricks!