How to apply for the CBAP/CCBA exam

Many business analysts would like to get a Business Analysis certification but have no idea what they need to do to navigate the path to career certification.

Navigating the business analysis certification process can be tedious and confusing, so I have described the steps that you need to take to get certified with a combination of flowcharts and detailed explainations.

BA Certification Process

BA Certification Process details:

  1. The process starts when the applicant wants to get a business analysis certification.
  2. The next step is for the applicant to decide which business analysis certification to chose. Please note this flowchart only describes the certification process for the IIBA certification exams.
  3. The next step in the process is to choose the right certification for you, based on your experience and goals.
  4. Once you have chosen the right certification exam, then you have to fill in a certification application. This application has a non-refundable and non-transferable fee which you would have to pay.
  5. Once you have paid the application fee, a form would be generated with requirements which you would have to fulfil to submit the application form.
  6. This would take you to the the next step which is the Certification Application Requirements Sub-Process. Due to the numerous steps in this step, I have created a sub-process which can be viewed in the flow chart diagram below.
  7. Once you have fulfilled all the requirements in the sub-process, you can move on to the next step which is to submit the business analysis certification application form.
  8. The application form would be reviewed by IIBA and you would receive their decision in an email after some time.
  9. If you have been sent an audit request, just gather all the requested documents.
  10. Then submit the requested audit documents.
  11. If you have been approved for the certification exam, then you would have a year from the approval date to write the exam. If you do not write the exam within a year, then you would have to create a new application and start the process all over again.
  12. Now that your application has been approved, you have to start preparing for the exam by reviewing study materials such as flash cards, quizzes, scenarios etc. People have different study styles, I prefer to study alone while other people prefer to study in groups. Based on you personal preferences chose what works best for you.
  13. The next step is to assess yourself and decide if you are actually ready for the exam ?
  14. If you think that you are ready for the exam, then you should choose a convenient exam date and pay for the exam. But if you are not ready for the exam, you should study some more.
  15. On the chosen exam date, relax (you’ve got this) and go and write the exam.
  16. The exam results would be collated and after some time you would receive your examination results in an email.
  17. Did you pass the exam ? If you did then congratulations ! you are now a certified business analyst.
  18. But if you did not pass the exam however, fret not. If you really want to, you could always rewrite the exam but please note that you can only take the exam three times within a one year period. But if you chose not to rewrite the exam, that is totally fine too, life is what happens when we are making plans.
  19. Either way the process ends.

Now I am going to go through the steps in the Certification Application Requirements Sub-Process.

Certification Application Requirements Sub-Process

Certification Application Requirements Sub-Process process details:

  1. The process starts from step 6 in the BA Certification Process details. The first step in this process is a need to fulfill the business analysis certification application requirements.
  2. The next step is to confirm if you have attended an IIBA certified business analysis training.
  3. If you have not attended a training the you would have to attend one. One of the requirements on the form is the attendance of an IIBA certified business analysis training. The link to the list of certified trainings can be found here. please note: go through this list and ensure that the training that you have chosen is IIBA certified or it would not fulfill the professional development (PD’s) requirement.
  4. Once you have attended the business analysis training, the next step is to confirm if you have compiled your work history.
  5. If you have not compiled your work history then you would have to start compiling your work history. It is easier to compile your work history using an excel spreadsheet and then transfer the information to the IIBA portal. Try to input more work hours than the minimum hours required work hours. For example if you need to input 7,500 hours of work experience ensure that you have at least 8,000 hours of business analysis experience. Note: I have attached a template of the spreadsheet which you can use to fill your work history below.
  6. Once you have filled in your work history, then you have to check if you have the required number of references.
  7. If you don’t have two references then you would have to look for them. These references can be a CBAP certified business analyst, a supervisor or an internal or external client.
  8. Once you have found the required number of references then you can complete and submit the form.
  9. This sub-process ends but continues in the BA Certification process.