Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)

Why do you need to certify?

The fundamental purpose of any professional certification program is to offer an independent, dependable assessment of the knowledge and skills comprehension required for having an edge in performing a professional role. This assessment, like any other, is typically accomplished by the successful completion of the given examination.

What is an Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) Certification?

The Agile development process grew as an alternative to traditional plan-focused project management processes during the mid 1990’s. Plan-focused techniques had gained a huge impact to small projects with a limited coverage of work and few variables, but with the evolution in the IT industry, development projects have improved with more complexities. Agile is charged to the principles of lean development, which highlights efficiency in order to maximize the delivery of value to the end consumers. The foundations of Agile processes are laid out the Agile Manifesto such as:

  • Working software over a wide array of documentation
  • Collaboration between customers and contract negotiation
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Reacting to innovations over following a plan

More importantly, Agile highlights flexibility, agility and versatility to work processes. It is also constant, opposing the cyclical, promoting capabilities to customers accumulatively and eliminating risk that is related to project scope and schedule uncertainty. Today, Agile is increasingly adapted as the development process of choice for all project managers. With the new Agile certification, the Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), project managers who have obtained an Agile experience can effectively execute their knowledge and skills in applying Agile practices and techniques through the ACP. This certification is created to verify the credentials of every project managers’ mastery of Agile principles, processes and techniques, validating their current expertise to companies looking to apply the Agile methodologies.

What are the ACP requirements?

To take and obtain a ACP certification, the participant must possess project management experience that meets the ACP eligibility requirements. Below are some of the prerequisites that must be met to qualify for the ACP:

  1. Project Management Experience
    • Candidate must obtain a minimum of 2000 hours of general project management experience.
    • Candidate must have a minimum of 12 months of project management experience (voids in experience and overlapping experience will not be counted). With each month in which a candidate has worked on several, overlapping projects, it will be considered as one month toward the overall requirement.
    • All applicable experience must not date back further than five years from the application submission schedule.
  2. Agile Project Experience
    • Candidate must obtain a minimum of 1500 hours of Agile project experience.
    • Candidate must have a minimum of 8 months of Agile project experience (voids in experience and overlapping experience will not be counted). With each month in which a candidate has worked on several, overlapping projects, it will be considered as one month toward the overall requirement.
    • All applicable experience must not date back further than three years from the application submission schedule.
  3. Training in Agile Practices
    • Candidate must have a minimum of 21 contact hours of formal education (Professional Development Units) in Agile project principles, techniques, philosophies and practices. Take note that one contact hour is considered as one actual hour of training received.
    • Specific timeframes are not required with this requirement, thus, candidates can document all Agile project management education regardless of when it was received. Coursework must be successfully completed at the time of examination.

What comprises the ACP exam?

The ACP exam is comprised of a total of 120 multiple-choice questions, in which 20 of these are pretest questions that do not affect the score. Computer-based testing is the standard method for ACP certification exams; however, paper-based method of testing is available in certain situations. Participants are only given three hours to complete the exam. Exam questions are divided evenly — 50% Agile tools and techniques and 50% knowledge and skills. The Agile tools and techniques covered include: Communications; Planning, monitoring and adapting; Agile estimation; Agile analysis and design; Product quality; Soft skill negotiation; Value-based prioritization; Risk management; Metrics; and Value stream analysis. 

Who should apply to obtain an ACP?

The ACP is a good choice for individuals who work on Agile teams. It is also an edge for professionals whose organizations are making use of the Agile practices and techniques. Other Agile certifications are based solely on training and exams. But with ACP, individuals can validate their credibility in providing their hands-on experience and skills for the betterment of an organization.

How can I maintain my credential?

To any regulatory professional, continuous learning, knowledge improvement and professional development are essential to maintain the integrity of your credentials. If you are already certified for the profession, you must earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) in Agile topics every three years to maintain the validity of your ACP.

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