If you work in project management or product development, or are looking to play a pivotal role in the Agile transformations of large organizations at the enterprise level, a SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) certification can help you gain the skills and expertise needed to advance your career and lead the charge.
This guide discusses some of the best SAFe certifications in terms of their benefits, requirements, and more so you can pick the right one to fit your needs.
- Implementing SAFe with SAFe Practice Consultant (SPC) Certification
- SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) Certification
- SAFe Advanced Scrum Master Certification
- Leading SAFe/Safe Agilist Certification
- SAFe Release Train Engineer Certification
- SAFe DevOps Practitioner Certification
Implementing SAFe with SAFe Practice Consultant (SPC) Certification
The Implementing SAFe with SPC certification offers a practical and comprehensive understanding of Scaled Agile Framework implementation. It can help project managers gain deeper insight into the various SAFe organization roles and give you the knowledge necessary for planning and guiding a SAFe transformation. Whether you want to understand the Scaled Agile Framework better, teach SAFe courses in the future, or aspire to direct a Lean-Agile transformation, this certification is the one for you.
Some specifics covered in the Implementing SAFe certification include:
- Coaching a SAFe transformation
- Launching Agile Release Trains (ARTs)
- Empowering Lean portfolios
- Organizing around value streams
- Building solutions with Agile product delivery
Once you complete the course, you will know how to promote and display expertise in business agility and build successful solutions with Agile product management skills and principles. Most importantly, you will become certified as a SAFe Practice Consultant.
To become a SAFe Practice Consultant, you must complete a four-day interactive course (32 hours total) and pass the SAFe Practice Consultant certification exam. Typical enrollees include Agile working groups, managers, directors, business and tech executives, internal change agents, and professional service consultants.
The certification cost depends on the provider and location, and could be around $3,000. While anyone looking to better understand the SAFe environment is welcome to take the course, top candidates meet the following prerequisites: at least one relevant Agile certification, over three years of Agile experience, and five-plus years of experience in project or product management, business analysis, testing, or software development.
SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) Certification
The SAFe Scrum Master certification is for anyone looking to become a certified Scrum Master. It can equip project managers or team leads with the skills needed to become an effective Scrum Master in a SAFe organization, help you to empower and lead Agile teams, and teach you how to work in remote environments with distributed teams.
SAFe Scrum Master attendees will learn:
- How to coach teams so they improve constantly
- How to achieve continuous flow and delivery by implementing DevOps
- How to support Program Increment (PI) execution
- How to facilitate Scrum events
Becoming certified as a SAFe Scrum Master involves completing 16 hours of live, online, and interactive training over two days. Typical attendees include Scrum Masters, program or project managers, release train engineers, business analysts, Agile coaches, and team leads. The certification cost depends on the provider and location, with the average price in the $500 range.
While there are no prerequisites for the SAFe Scrum Master course, it helps to have familiarity or experience with software and hardware development, Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming, and Agile concepts and principles.
SAFe Advanced Scrum Master Certification
The SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) certification is for project managers, product managers, product owners, program managers, release train engineers, and Scrum Masters looking to take their leadership skills to the next level.
Some of the skills you can learn from this certification include:
- Scrum enterprise integration
- Scaling Scrum and Kanban
- Leading and facilitating change
- Training and coaching Agile teams
- Lean-Agile management
- Addressing Scrum anti-patterns
- Resolving impediments
- Establishing high performance
The SASM certification can also help show your commitment to continued excellence, earn promotions, network with Agile professionals and industry leaders, and demonstrate your SAFe proficiency.
While all professionals, regardless of experience, are welcome to take the SAFe Advanced Scrum Master certification course, it is recommended to have at least one of the following certifications: SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification, or the Professional ScrumMaster (PSM) certification. The course takes two days (16 hours) to complete via live online training, and you will be expected to pass the Certified SAFe Advanced Scrum Master certification exam.
The cost of the course depends on the provider and location. Expect to pay around $900 or more to get your SASM certification.
Leading SAFe/Safe Agilist Certification
The Leading SAFe/Safe Agilist certification is ideal for project managers, executives, Agile coaches, Scrum Masters, senior software engineers, senior product managers, service delivery managers, and other professionals looking to scale Agile across multiple teams and advance their careers. Some skills learned during this certification include:
- Effective Lean and Agile scaling
- How to become a Lean-thinking manager
- The seven SAFe core competencies
- Lean-Agile leadership and transformation
- Lean portfolio management
To become a certified SAFe Agilist, you must attend the two-day Leading SAFe course and pass the exam. The course’s cost is around $500 and depends on your provider and location. Anyone interested in becoming a SAFe Agilist can attend the course, but recommended prerequisites include prior Scrum experience and at least five years of experience in product or project management, business analysis, testing, or software development.
SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) Certification
Professionals looking to become effective SAFe Release Train Engineers in Lean enterprises should consider the SAFe RTE certification. Earning the certification can give you the skills employers seek in RTEs, including:
- How to facilitate ART processes
- How to simplify complex scenarios
- How to plan PI events
- Coaching leaders and stakeholders
- Creating and driving momentum
- Stakeholder management
- How to improve ARTs
- Effective leading and actioning change
To get SAFe RTE certification, you must complete a three-day (24-hour) online course and pass the SAFe Release Train Engineer exam. There are no prerequisites to attend the course, but it can help to have familiarity with Agile principles and practices, prior experience working on a SAFe team, and previous SAFe certification. Typical SAFe RTE certification course attendees include Scrum Masters, solution train engineers, program managers, project managers, Agile coaches, and SPCs.
The certification cost depends on the provider and location, but you can expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500 to get SAFe RTE certified.
Learn more about the SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) Certification.
SAFe DevOps Practitioner Certification
The SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification is geared towards professionals looking to gain the skills needed to support a SAFe DevOps transformation at the enterprise level. Some topics covered in the SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification training include:
- Agile product delivery
- Cultivating the DevOps mindset
- Continuous delivery pipeline
- Releasing to customers on demand
- Continuous exploration
To become certified as a SAFe DevOps practitioner, you must complete the two-day (16-hour) course and pass the exam. The course has no prerequisites, but experience in operations or development environments is required for the exam. Typical SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification course attendees include team leads, Scrum Masters, release train engineers, Agile coaches, SAFe practice consultants, and business analysts.
The online course and certification cost varies according to provider and location. Expect to pay around $650 or more to get certified as a SAFe DevOps Practitioner.
Learn more about the SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification.
Final Thoughts on SAFe Certifications
SAFe certifications can help project managers, product owners, Agile coaches and practitioners, Scrum Masters, DevOps professionals, and others involved in large-scale software development acquire the skills and knowledge required to lead Agile transformations, gain credibility and competitive advantage, and advance their careers. Before choosing one of the SAFe certifications listed above, make sure it fits your budget, schedule, experience level, career goals, and organizational needs to ensure you make the right choice.