There are 3 organizations that issue Scrum certifications. After carefully evaluating all three, Africa Value Solutions LTD (AVS) opted to seek the Scrum Registered Education Provider (REP) status from Scrum Study. They are Scrum.org, Scrum Alliance, and ScrumStudy. Each has its own designation for approved instructors / trainers. For example, CST is the designation from Scrum Alliance. All 3 organizations base their exams on the same basic Scrum principles and concepts, and thus are all comparable, and show that those holding the certifications (Scrum Master, Product Owner, etc.) have met basically the same requirements for knowledge and competency relative to Scrum. So, certifications from all three organizations are valid – and they are all generally accepted as validating the knowledge and understanding of Scrum principles at a certain level.
Unfortunately, as with any competitors (which these three organizations are), some of them tend to sling mud the others sometimes. SCRUMstudy refrains from the mudslinging, because the certifications from any of them are valid and are quality certifications. However, after researching each of the organizations, training organizations are choosing to become accredited as a Registered Education Provider (REP) with ScrumStudy. Interestingly enough, several of the other ScrumStudy REPs are / were CST certified, and ‘jumped ship’ to ScrumStudy.
The differentiating factor with Scrumstudy is that it goes a little further than the others in providing students with information and reference materials that guide in the actual implementation of Scrum – which is something missing in the other 2 Scrum certification programs. Scrum practitioners tend to have a lot of difficulty finding any real standardized information / reference materials on HOW to implement Scrum in organizations. Sure, knowing the terms, concepts, etc. and understanding the key Scrum Principles is great, but people need to know HOW to make this work in projects, where to start, what areas one should focus on, etc. In asking those aligned with either Scrum.org or Scrum Alliance for more reference materials, you would be directed to a very small book (about 20 pages or so), which they seem to believe tells you everything you need to know to be able to fully implement Scrum which based on our experience most people don’t find it all that useful.
ScrumStudy provides everything else the other organizations do (basic principles, concepts, etc.), but fills the ‘implementation gap’ as well. They also tend to not participate so much in the mud-slinging match that others tend to indulge in. They have the attitude that they will focus on providing solid, quality certifications, rather than focusing on putting down the other organizations that provide Scrum certifications.
Another thing that separates ScrumStudy from other organization is that they provide significant information on three key subjects that the others don’t to any real degree.
1) Scrum can be used in areas / projects other than just technology (historically the focus has been in the technology arena)
2) Scrum can be implemented in very large scale projects and initiatives – and they provide some formalized guidance and frameworks on how to accomplish this
3) SCRUMstudy provides a free online course with every exam voucher that includes high quality videos, an illustrative case study, phone apps and a free online copy of A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™ Guide) with each certification voucher which complements the students’ learning in a class.
In addition to all of this, the process for qualification as a REP for ScrumStudy is more objective, and based on an instructor’s knowledge of Scrum, and their experience than the others. The process for other organization is very much based on the ‘good ole boy’ system. If you are part of their network, you get approved… if not, you don’t and SCRUMstudy doesn’t really think that’s the best way to determine who is qualified to prepare folks to become Scrum certified.