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Alternative Certification to the CBAP® Brings Hope for the Junior Business Analyst: Introducing the CCBA®

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) has recently announced a new intermediate business analyst certification called the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA®). The CCBA® is being offered by the IIBA as an intermediate business analyst certification for a more junior business analyst who may not meet the more stringent requirements associated with the CBAP®.

When will the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA®) be Available

A junior business analyst will be able to apply to take the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA®) starting in late 2010. Then in early 2011, a junior business analyst will be able to sit for the exam.

What are the IIBA's Goals for the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)

For some time now the business analysis community has been expressing the need for an intermediate business analyst certification. In response, the IIBA has developed the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA). The IIBA views the CCBA as a stepping stone to the CBAP designation. The CCBA provides recognition for those individuals who have business analysis experience and can demonstrate a clear proficiency in business analysis, but don't yet meet the requirements for the more rigorous CBAP designation.

Since the Certification of Competency is Business Analysis (CCBA) is truly meant to be a stepping stone for a junior BAs to the CBAP designation, the CCBA designation expires after five years. The IIBA anticipates that the CCBA recipient will want to obtain their CBAP designation before the CCBA expires. If this doesn’t happen the recipient of the CCBA does have the opportunity to rewrite the CCBA exam.

What are Benefits of the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)?

The Certification of Competency in Business Analysis provides numerous benefits for the more junior business analyst.

  • The CCBA designation acknowledges a junior BA who has invested in his/her analysis career and has obtained a certain level of proficiency in business analysis.
  • An intermediate business analyst designation like the CCBA can increase the market opportunities available to the junior business analyst.
  • Preparing for the CCBA can improve overall skills and performance as a junior business analyst.

Employers can also benefit greatly from having a junior business analyst receive the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis designation.

  • Demonstrates within your organization that your team values industry standards and professional certifications.
  • Provides advancement and recognition opportunities for your staff throughout the rest of the organization.
  • The CCBA demonstrates to your customers, competitors, and suppliers that you have qualified staff working on your projects.  

What are the Application Requirements for the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)

While the IIBA has made the requirements for this intermediate business analyst designation easier to obtain for the junior business analyst, there are still some major hurdles to overcome. Each of the following application requirements for the certification must be met at the time of applying to be approved to sit for the exam.

  • Minimum 3750 hours of BA work in the last seven years, which is about 2 years of experience doing business analysis work. So this aligns well with the junior business analyst role.
  • Minimum 900 hours in 2 of the 6 knowledge areas or 500 hours in 4 of the 6 knowledge areas.
  • Minimum 21 hours of professional development (see the list of IIBA endorsed education providers)
  • Minimum high school education or equivalent
  • Two references from
    • a career manager
    • a client, or
    • a CBAP recipient
  • Signed Code of Conduct

While the application won’t be available until the end of 2010, it probably wouldn’t hurt to take a look at what the CBAP application looks like as they will probably be very similar.

Where the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) Breaks Down

Since both the junior business analyst and senior business analyst roles tend to perform the same tasks (the difference is typically in the level of complexity of their work), the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) exam questions break down similarly across the 6 BABOK knowledge areas (v2.0).

Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring 20.00%
Elicitation 13.33%
Requirements Management and Communication 16.00%
Enterprise Analysis 15.33%
Requirements Analysis 19.33%
Solution Assessment & Validation 16.00%

How much does the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) cost to obtain?

If you’re planning to achieve the CCBA designation, be prepared to spend a little bit of money. The application fee alone is $125 USD. Then the exam fee is another $325 USD for IIBA members and $450 USD for non-members.

The annual membership fee for The IIBA is $95 USD. Since members save $125 USD on their exam fees the choice is clear, become a member for $95 USD and save money. 

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