Software Testing Certifications

This page collects some information found on the web about Software Testing Certifications, with the goal of choosing a course to be activated in the CERN Technical Training program.

At the moment 4 organizations seem to provide the most valuable certifications:

Testing course IT requirements to Technical Training

Following the 20100421 meeting between IT experienced testers and the DTO this is the concrete request to Technical Training:

  1. Focus on courses on software testing offering a certification. We are only interested in courses complying to the european industry standard ISTBQ or the american one IIST.
  2. Contact companies (pointers can be found in this twiki page) offering such courses, willing to teach at CERN.
  3. Specify that the course content should focus primarily on software testing methods and formal vocabulary. The tips to pass the certification exam should be included in the course but to a lesser extend.
  4. Request a dossier with course content, examples, certification validity, duration, names of other customer organisations whom we can contact for reference information, tentative dates and price (also for the exam). The dossiers should be forwarded from Technical Training to the DTO, who will consult experienced testers in the department.
  5. Dates and locations in Europe where the candidate companies give relevant courses now and permission for an IT tester to join and evaluate the course quality.

Our preference is to go for ISTBQ Foundation level but we need to compare the dossiers of both standards to evaluate pros and cons. The exam will be optional, though participants will be encouraged to take it. A course on QA will be postponed for the moment.

20100421 brainstorm discussion

Discussion between A. Aimar, M. Alandes, M.Dimou, L. Dini, F. Donno, G. Pucciani. MD's preference is to go for the ISTQB for all the good reasons listed in the thread which we 'll summarise tomorrow, start with the Foundation level now and seek instructors in english from this list . Technical Training representative is invited to accelerate the process.


The ASQ provides an exam-based certification, Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE), which is quite complete and not only about testing, with non-trivial requirements (MS or Ph.D with some experience in the field). The content of the certification is QA, with a part on testing (software validation and verification), and also cover project management, software metrics and analysis and software configuration management.

ITQM The Institute for Quality Management located in Zurich is the contact point for CSQE certification in Switzerland.

  • Exam: 4 hours, 160 questions, 80% threshold.
  • Exam Cost: $390, the exam can be given with self study.
  • Expiration: 3 years.
  • Requirements: degree plus 3 years of experience.




IIST is the only one to provide an education-based certification, where to get certified you need to follow courses and pass exams. It provides two certifications ( Certified Software Test Professional (CSTP) and Certified Test Manager (CTM)).

It provides the most specific and technical education compared to the other certifications cause it gives the possibility to choose the courses to follow. In CSTP there are 7 areas that constitute the Body of Knowledge, and for each area there are a number of courses available that lasts from 1 to 3 days. Some course are very specific (e.g "Testing in Agile and Extreme projects", "Testing Database Stored Procedures and Triggers" and more). On-site training is available from IIST.

  • Exam: one exam for each course, details not known.
  • Education cost: from $820 to $2820 depending on the courses attended.
  • Expiration: 3 years.
  • Requirements: 1 year of experience (CSTP) or 3 years of experience (CTM).




IISTQB is probably the most popular in Europe. However, the foundation level (Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)) seems quite easy, the value provided has to be verified. CTFL is a pre-requisite for the advanced level (Certified Tester Advanced Level (CTAL)).

  • Exam: one hour, 40 questions, 65% threshold.
  • Exam cost: $250 for CTFL, 300 for CTAL
  • Expiration: none for CTFL, unknown for CTAL.
  • Requirements: anyone for CTFL. For CTAL evidence for at least 18 months of practical experience within the software testing field, plus CTFL certificate. is a company that provides courses, 3 days for CTFL and 5 days for CTAL. organizes ISTQB certifications in Switzerland and has a list of course providers.




QAI provides different certifications for testing and QA. In the testing field Certified Software Tester (CSTE) and Certified Manager of Software Testing (CMST) are the choices, besides Certified Associate Software Testing (CAST) which is more introductory compared to CSTE. It's the only one to have a monitored Code of Ethics, which has to be followed by certified people in order to keep the certification.

QAI provides on-line and instruction lead on-site courses (contact, skill assessments and more. Exams are organized by Prometric.

  • Exam: multiple-choice, essay and short answer items.
  • Exam cost $350 for CSTE, $600 for CMST.
  • Expiration: 3 years.
  • Requirements: a degree plus some experience in the field, working or have worked in the field.



Final comments


Maria's notes (need editing to sort entries as per Gianni's list)

  • [[][Certified tester description by knowledge department and...
  • course content.


Not sure we should combine software testing, software certification and quality assurance in the same course research. To be discussed...

-- GianniPucciani - 15-Apr-2010

Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r7 < r6 < r5 < r4 < r3 | Backlinks | Raw View | WYSIWYG | More topic actions
Topic revision: r7 - 2010-04-21 - MariaDimou
    • Cern Search Icon Cern Search
    • TWiki Search Icon TWiki Search
    • Google Search Icon Google Search

    Main All webs login

This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright & 2008-2023 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
or Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? use Discourse or Send feedback