Business Analyst Certification Guide: ECBA, CCBA, CBAP & More

This Business Analyst Certification Guide Provides details of various BA Certifications. It includes Information about Exam, Application & Cost:

In this tutorial, we will be discussing the Business Analyst certifications from IIBA in detail. The certification levels below are designed to suit the needs of Business Analysis professionals.

There are 4 levels of BA certification launched by IIBA.

  • Level 1: Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA™)
  • Level 2: Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA®)
  • Level 3: Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®)
  • Level 4: Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader (CBATL)

=> Check All Business Analyst Tutorials Here

Certifications For A Business Analyst

Apart from the above mentioned 4 levels, 3 more BA certifications are available:

  • CFLBA: Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst conducted by IQBBA.
  • CPRE: Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering conducted by IREB.
  • PMI-PBA: Professional in Business Analysis conducted by the Project Management Institute.

Business Analyst Certifications

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA™): This is the first level in the Business Analysis certification framework provided by the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®).

This certification is for the individuals/professionals who would like to jump into the field of Business Analysis. This certification is designed to test the individual skills and proficiency of Business Analysis skills at the beginner’s level.

Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA®): CCBA is designed for individuals with knowledge of business analysis. It is a professional certification for persons having good experience in the Business Analyst role.

This is one of the rapidly growing professional certifications with more people trying to understand its value. An individual with CCBA certification will add more value to an organization and will also open prospects for growth and new job avenues.

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®): CBAP is a professional certification for individuals with extensive Business Analysis experience. CBAP helps an individual to advance the career by creating a separate and distinct career path within the information technology industry and the business community.

Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader (CBATL): This is the final level of certification and is designed for BA professionals with more than 10 years of experience and this is yet to be launched by IIBA.

Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA): This is like the ECBA certification conducted by IIBA. CFLBA is also for the entry-level. The Foundation level is suitable for Business and System Analysts, product owners, and product managers.

Experience in providing solutions, design, or development is the main requirement to go for the Foundation level. This certification includes 2 more levels. Once the Foundation level is clear then you should go for Certified Advanced Level Business Analyst (CALBA) and Certified Expert Level Business Analyst (CELBA).

Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE): This is an internationally accepted qualification for Requirement Engineers and Business Analysts. It is best suited for those who are in development roles and have to liaison with business users as a part of the IT solution development process.

This certification is a three-level certification. The other levels include CPRE-AL – Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering – Advanced Level and CPRE-EL – Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering – Expert Level

Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA): If you are working as a Project manager and handling teams as well as managing requirements then PMI-PBA is the right certification for you. The main focus of this certification is on business analysis training and it provides hands-on projects and testing on business analysis principles.

Now the question arises as to which certification is good for a BA and what should be considered while going for a certification. Well, the answer is not easy for this question, however, we will try to provide as much information as possible so that it can be easy for all the readers to select the right certification.

Analysis Before Opting For Certification

Before going for the certification, take a deep breath, and analyze yourself on the below questions:

Q #1) What should I do to become a Business Analyst?

Answer:

  • You need to understand the fundamentals.
  • Enhance your knowledge and dig more to get information about the BA role.
  • Keep yourself up to date with the latest trends and techniques.

Q #2) What is my role in Projects? Am I ready for a BA role?

Answer: If you are new into the BA field or if you have just started your career as a BA then you should go for ECBA from IIBA or CPRE from IREB. Both the certifications are designed for entry-level.

Q #3) I am working with other BAs and want to switch into the BA role? What should I do?

Answer: Anyone who is working as a Developer, Tester, or as a Project Manager can opt for the BA role and ECBA from IIBA or CPRE from IREB are the best certifications to start with. Both the certifications help to understand the basics of Business analysis.

Q #4) I am playing the role of the Project Manager as well as that of a BA and QA. Which certification is best for me?

Answer: As you already have experience as a PM, you should go either for CCBA and PMI-PBA. Less experience is required for both the certifications.

Q #5) I am into the BA role for several years. Which certification is suitable for me?

Answer: If you are an experienced BA then you should go for CBAP.

Q #6) I am working as a BA, however, my designation is not a BA. What should I do?

Answer: Based on my experience I should say that work is more important rather than a designation. You should go through the BABOK guide from IIBA to understand the BA work in detail.

Q #7) I am 2-3 years experienced in BA? Which certification is the best for me?

Answer: 

  • Anyone who has completed 3750 hours of work as a BA is eligible to go for CCBA certification. This is designed for beginners to mid-level business analysts.
  • PMI-PBA requires 4500 + hours of work as a BA and a college degree. If you are not having a college degree then you need 7500+ hours to go for PMI-PBA, hence CBAP will be suitable for you.
  • CBAP also requires 7500 hours of work as a BA.

Let us learn about each of the 4 certifications by IIBA in detail:

What Is The ECBA Certification?

ECBA Certification

This is the first level in the Business Analysis certification framework provided by the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®). This certification is for the individuals/professionals who would like to jump into the field of Business Analysis.

This certification is designed to test the individual skills and proficiency of business analysis skills at the beginner’s level.

Who Can Apply For ECBA Certification?

  • Fresh/New Graduates
  • Professionals who want to start their career as a Business Analyst.
  • Any individual with no experience as a Business Analyst.

What Are The Eligibility Criteria?

As per the IIBA website, the eligibility criteria for the ECBA Certification examination are:

  1. 21 hours of professional development is required within the period of 4 years.
  2. Professional development for ECBA™ must be either one or a combination of the following:
    • Classroom and online courses.
    • Attend Webinars and do some practice tests.
    • Go through the tutorials available online, attend workshops, etc.
    • Read BABOK guide thoroughly
  3. Agreement with the ECBA™ Code of Conduct

ECBA Exam Information

This exam is a multiple-choice test. The duration of the ECBA exam is one hour and it consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. This exam is based on BABOK® Guide Version 3. To take this exam you just need a desktop/laptop, a webcam, and a microphone as it’s a live web exam.

Given below is the weightage that is given by IIBA for the following knowledge areas:

Knowledge AreaWeight age
Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring5%
Elicitation & Collaboration20%
Requirements Life Cycle Management20%
Strategy Analysis5%
Requirements Analysis and Design Definition 24%
Solution Evaluation1%

ECBA Exam Application And Fees

There are 2 categories for the exam:

#1) For IIBA Members: If you are an IIBA member, then you have to pay $60 as an Application fee and $110 as an Exam fee.

**Application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

#2) For non-IIBA Members: If you are not an IIBA member, then you have to pay $60 as an Application fee and $235 as an Exam fee.

If you had taken an exam and was not able to clear it or want to take it again due to any reasons then you need to pay the fees as below:

  • For IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $85
  • For non-IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $195

This certification is applicable for a lifetime and renewal is not required.

How To Apply For ECBA Certification?

  • To apply for the exam, the eligibility criteria should be met.
  • Go to https://portal.iiba.org/user/login and complete the application.
  • After submitting the application, pay the application fees.
  • After the payment, you will get an email indicating the status as “approved”, or “approved pending audit”.

Note: “approved pending audit” status means your application will be audited within ONE month.

  • If your application status is approved, then you have completed one year to take the exam (This one year starts from the date when you get an application approval email).
  • To schedule an exam, one should create an account at Examslocal and schedule the exam.

Exam Results

Exam results will be declared immediately upon completion of the exam. IIBA will share the exam results on email within 24 hours including a pass/fail indicator and performance feedback.

Note: In the exam results, the actual exam score attained by you, and the minimum passing score will not be shared.

Benefits from ECBA Certification:

  • In-depth knowledge of Business Practices.
  • A better understanding of BA principles.
  • Confidence to apply BA principles to improve the overall business for an organization.
  • One will get more opportunities in the market.

What Is The CCBA Certification?

ccba certification

CCBA is designed for individuals with knowledge of Business Analysis. It is a professional certification for persons having good experience in the business analyst role. This certification is for mid-level BA with an experience of 2-3 years.

Who Can Apply For CCBA Certification?

  • Anyone who has completed ECBA.
  • Any BA professional with 2-3 years of experience.
  • Product Owners/Managers who are willing to go for a BA.
  • Project Managers, Testers who are not having a designation of a BA but playing the role of a Business Analyst.

What Are The Eligibility Criteria?

As per the IIBA website, the eligibility criteria for the CCBA Certification examination are:

  1. One should have a minimum of 3750 hours of BA work in 7 years.
  2. Must complete 21 hours of professional development training in the last four years.
  3. Minimum 900 hours in 2 of 6 knowledge areas or a minimum of 500 hours in each 4 of the 6 knowledge areas.
  4. To become eligible for CCBA, you need two references from a manager, your client, or from a person who is CBAP certified.
  5.  Agreement with the CCBA Code of Conduct

CCBA Exam Information

This exam will be conducted at a Prometric center. The duration of the CCBA exam is three hours and it consists of 130 multiple-choice questions. This exam is based on BABOK® Guide Version 3. CCBA exam contains scenario-based questions.

Given below is the weightage that is given by IIBA for the following knowledge areas:

Knowledge AreaWeight age
Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring12%
Elicitation & Collaboration20%
Requirements Life Cycle Management18%
Strategy Analysis12%
Requirements Analysis and Design Definition 32%
Solution Evaluation6%

CCBA Exam Application And Fees

There are 2 categories for the exam:

#1) For IIBA Members: If you are an IIBA member then you have to pay $125 as the Application fee and $325 as Exam fee.

**Application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

#2) For non-IIBA Members: If you are not an IIBA member then you have to pay $125 as Application fee and $450 as Exam fee.

If you had taken an exam and was not able to clear it or want to take it again due to any reasons then you need to pay the fees as below:

  • For IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $250
  • For non-IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $375

This certification is valid for three years and needs to be renewed once in every 3 years.

How To Apply For CCBA Certification?

To apply for the exam, the eligibility criteria should be met. Please note that IIBA will send a link to the references provided by you and the reference are supposed to complete the form. Your application will not be approved until your references provide all information and it has been reviewed by IIBA.

  • Once the above step is complete, Go to https://portal.iiba.org/user/login and complete the application.
  • After submitting the application, pay the application fees.
  • Once the payment is done, you will get an email indicating the status as “approved”, or “approved pending audit”.

Note: “approved pending audit” status means your application will be audited within ONE month.

  • If your application status is approved, then you have completed one year to take the exam (This one year starts from the date when you get an application approval email).
  • Make a note of the Eligibility ID number you get in the confirmation email.
  • Visit Prometric and select a location and date for your exam.

Exam Results

Exam results will be declared immediately upon completion of the exam. IIBA will share the exam results via email within 24 hours including a pass/fail indicator and performance feedback.

Note: In the exam results, the actual exam score attained by you, and the minimum passing score will not be shared.

Benefits from CCBA Certification:

  • More professional opportunities for a certified BA.
  • Career potential can be increased as a recognized BA practitioner.
  • You will be an expert in the principles and practices of business analysis.
  • Industry-standard business analysis practices can be demonstrated to all the stakeholders.
  • Overall performance and market opportunities can be improved.

What Is The CBAP Certification?

cbap certification

An individual with extensive business analysis experience can opt for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP).

Who Can Apply For CBAP Certification?

  • Any CCBA certified individual
  • BA consultants and trainers can take this certification.
  • Process improvement executives
  • Non-BA Consultants
  • System Analysts

What Are The Eligibility Criteria?

As per the IIBA website, the eligibility criteria for the CBAP Certification examination are:

  1. One should have a minimum of 7500 hours of BA work within 10 years.
  2. Must complete 35 hours of professional development training in the last four years.
  3. To become eligible for CBAP, you need two references from the manager, your client, or from a person who is CBAP certified.
  4. There are 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK guide. One should have a minimum of 900 hours of experience in the 4 of 6 knowledge areas.
  5.  Agreement with the CBAP Code of Conduct.

CBAP Exam Information

The duration of the CCBA exam is 3.5 hours and it consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. The exam will be based on scenarios and case studies. Most of the questions will be based on a case study and can be 1 to 1.5 pages long. This exam is based on BABOK® Guide Version 3.

To take this exam you just need a desktop/laptop, a webcam, a government-issued ID with a photo (photo will be captured at the start of the exam), and a microphone.

Given below is the weightage given by IIBA for the following knowledge areas:

Knowledge AreaWeight age
Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring14%
Elicitation & Collaboration12%
Requirements Life Cycle Management15%
Strategy Analysis15%
Requirements Analysis and Design Definition 30%
Solution Evaluation14%

CBAP Exam Application And Fees

There are 2 categories for the exam:

#1) For IIBA Members: If you are an IIBA member then you have to pay $125 as Application fee and $325 as Exam fee.

**Application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

#2) For non-IIBA Members: If you are not an IIBA member then you have to pay $125 as Application fee and $450 as Exam fee.

If you had taken an exam and was not able to clear it or want to take it again due to any reasons then you need to pay the fees as below:

  • For IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $250
  • For non-IIBA members: Exam rewrite fees is $375

How To Apply For CBAP Certification?

  • To apply for the exam, the eligibility criteria should be met.
  • Please note that IIBA will send a link to the references provided by you and the references are supposed to complete the form. Your application will not be approved until your references provide all the information and it has been reviewed by IIBA.
  • Once the above step is complete, Go to https://portal.iiba.org/user/login and complete the application.
  • After submitting the application, pay the application fees.
  • Once the payment is done, you will get an email indicating the status as “approved”, or “approved pending audit”.

Note: “approved pending audit” status means your application will be audited within ONE month.

  • If your application status is approved, then you have completed one year to take the exam (This one year starts from the date when you get an application approval email).
  • Make a note of the Eligibility ID number you get in the confirmation email.
  • Visit www.prometric.com and select a location and date for your exam.

Exam Results

Exam results will be declared immediately upon completion of the exam. IIBA will share the exam results on email within 24 hours including a pass/fail indicator and performance feedback.

Note: In the exam results, the actual exam score attained by you, and the minimum passing score will not be shared.

Benefits from CCBA Certification:

  • You will be part of a recognized professional group.
  • More professional opportunities for a certified BA.
  • CBAP provides recognition of your skills and competency.
  • You will be an expert in the principles and practices of business analysis.
  • Industry-standard business analysis practices can be demonstrated to all the stakeholders.
  • Overall performance and market opportunities can be improved.

Here is a detailed comparison of all the three levels to make it easy for the readers.

 ECBACCBACBAP
DefinitionEntry certificate in business analysisCertification of Capability in business analysisCertified Business Analysis Professional
Intended AudienceIndividuals with less/no experience in BA fieldMid level BA with 2-3 year experienceExperienced with 5 years of experience
Professional Development CriteriaMinimum 21 hours of professional development is required in 4 years.Minimum 21 hours of professional development is required in 4 years.Minimum 35 hours of professional development is required in 4 years.
Business Analysis ExperienceNo experience requiredMinimum work experience of 3750 hours in the last 7 yearsMinimum work experience of 7500 hours in the last 10 years
Knowledge Area Experience No experience requiredMinimum of 900 hours in each 2 of the 6 knowledge areas mentioned in BABOK or
Minimum of 500 hours in each 4 of the 6 KA.
Minimum of 900 hours in 4 of 6 knowledge areas mentioned in BABOK
References RequiredNA2 references2 references
Exam Pattern1.5 hours timeframe, 50 multiple choice question3 hours time, 130 multiple choice scenario based questions3.5 hours long, 120 multiple choice questions based on case studies and scenarios
Exam LocationOnline exam, can take it from any locationWill be conducted at a Prometric centreWill be conducted at a Prometric centre
Application Fees$60 for IIBA members and non-members$125 for IIBA members and non-members$125 for IIBA members and non-members
Exam fees$110 for IIBA members
$235 for non-IIBA members
$325 for IIBA members
$450 for non-IIBA members
$325 for IIBA members
$450 for non-IIBA members
Certification ValidityLife TimeRenewal after 3 yearsRenewal after 3 years
Renewal FeesNA$85 for IIBA members
$120 for non members
$85 for IIBA members
$120for non members

We would suggest you go through the BABOK guide thoroughly to help you to clear the certification.

Conclusion

Certifications from IIBA are the known ones and the certification added by PMI is also getting popular nowadays.

In a nutshell, if you are new to the BA role then you should go for ECBA certification. For an experienced BA, CBAP is the best certification. If you want to move into project management along with the BA role then you should go for CCBA or PMI-PBA.

Have you picked one from the above list?

=> Visit Here To Read Through The Business Analyst Guide