In this chapter, you will learn about what the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) is and its role within the wider global business analysis community. This chapter also outlines how you should approach your application for the exam and provides key hints and information to ensure that your application gets approval from the IIBA®. Each exam's practical experience hours are explained, with a method for calculating how many experience hours you can claim per knowledge area requirement.
You will also learn what the CCBA® and CBAP® application requirements are, and we will provide some handy tips on what to consider when you complete your application. Each exam's practical experience hours will be outlined, and we will describe the minimum requirement for experience hours you can claim per knowledge area requirement. You will also learn about the exam application process itself. This chapter will be split into the following sections:
- About the IIBA®
- The competency-based certification model
- CCBA® experience requirements
- CBAP® experience requirements
- The exam application process
By the end of this chapter, you will have learned about the following:
- The role of IIBA® in the industry
- How to assess your experience in terms of IIBA® competency levels
- How to calculate your experience to meet CCBA® experience requirements
- How to calculate your experience to meet CBAP® experience requirements
- How to apply for the CCBA® or CBAP® exam based on meeting the requirements
We’ll first talk about the body that produces and regulates the exams you’ll be taking. Then we’ll look at exactly what is required for your application.
The IIBA® is the International Institute of Business Analysis. It is a nonprofit professional organization that supports and promotes the discipline of business analysis. The IIBA® supports and helps business analysts develop their skills and further their careers in different ways. Two of the most visible ways in which the IIBA® helps you to develop and excel in your career is through the provision of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge Guidelines, referred to as the BABOK® v3 Guide.
The second way the IIBA® promotes and supports your career progression is by establishing internationally recognized certifications, namely the CCBA® and CBAP®, among others. The IIBA® organization consists of a global organization with a head office based in Ontario, Canada, and was founded in October 2003. They also consist of a worldwide network of local IIBA® chapters that promote and develop the profession of business analysis in cities around the world.
The IIBA® has developed the certification exams in a way that is based on a competency model developed by industry business analysts and coordinated and delivered by the IIBA®. The reason that the competency-based approach is followed is to demonstrate to employers that business analysts who have the CCBA® or CBAP® qualification have the required skills, knowledge, and experience in business analysis. It evaluates your understanding and ability to apply business analysis skills, tasks, tools, and techniques, and also validates your key competencies.
The CCBA® certification is targeted at mid-level experienced business analysts who would like to formalize their knowledge and capabilities with an internationally recognized professional business analysis certification.
Applicants who want to take the CCBA® certification exam must meet specific experience and education requirements. During the application process, you must demonstrate your competencies across a broad range of business analysis knowledge and practical skills. After your application has been reviewed and accepted, you will be eligible to take the exam.
The CCBA® certification exam is 3 hours in duration and consists of 130 multiple-choice questions.
You need to complete an online application process in which you are required to document proof of the following requirements:
A minimum of 3,750 hours of business analysis work experience aligned with the Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide v3) in the last 7 years of your career.
This requirement equates to 2.5 years of full-time business analysis work done within the last 7 years of your career, or you could potentially have done 50% of business analysis work during the last 7 years of your career. It is important to know that your practical experience must align with the BABOK® Guide's areas of knowledge, with a minimum of 900 hours in 2 of the 6 knowledge areas or 500 hours in each of 4 knowledge areas.
You must consider the following when you work out your project experience hours that you plan to include in your CCBA® or CBAP® application:
Be conservative when you calculate and document your project experience hours: do not claim more than 1,500 hours per year, even if you feel you have worked more than that. On average, an individual works about 1,500 hours per year. This takes into consideration annual leave, sick leave, and a normal workweek of no more than 40 hours. If you claim more hours in a 12-month period, you may prompt the IIBA® to perform an audit on your application.
The CBAP® designation is ideal for experienced business analysts with more than five years of practical experience. In the context of a general business analysis career, this certification is the most advanced level that you can achieve in terms of professional certifications offered by the IIBA®.
Applicants who want to take the CBAP® certification exam must meet specific experience and education requirements. During the application process, you must demonstrate your competencies across the breadth of business analysis knowledge and practical skills. After your application has been reviewed and accepted, you will be eligible to take the exam.
The CBAP® certification exam is 3.5 hours in duration and consists of 120 multiple-choice questions.
You need to complete an online application process in which you are required to provide documented proof of the following requirements listed:
A minimum of 7,500 hours of business analysis work experience aligned with the Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide v3) in the last 10 years of your career.
This requirement equates to 5 years of full-time business analysis work done within the last 10 years of your career, or you could potentially have done 50% of business analysis work during the last 10 years of your career. It is key to know that your practical experience must align with the BABOK® Guide's knowledge areas, with a minimum of 900 hours in 4 of the 6 knowledge areas.
A minimum of 35 hours of professional development in the past 4 years.
This requirement can be met by attending an IIBA®-endorsed training course, either in person or online. If you are unable to attend an IIBA®-endorsed training course, you can also include nonendorsed courses or workshops as part of your professional development, as long as they are directly relevant to the topic of business analysis training. If you choose to include non-endorsed training (an example could be an internal training workshop you attended at work that relates to business analysis), you will need to ensure that you have at least 70 hours of nonendorsed training mentioned in your application.
Two references from a career manager, client, or CBAP® recipient.
As part of your application, you must provide two professional references. One of those references must be a current contact you have, meaning that you are in contact with this person on a regular basis. These references can be from a career manager (line manager), a client, or a Certified Business Analysis Professional recipient. You must have known your references for a period of at least 6 months. Your references will receive an email with a link to a reference check form, where they will be asked to answer a few questions about the work you have been performing for them. These questions are high-level and reasonably general, so they don't need to know the low-level details of your day-to-day tasks.
Signed Code of Conduct
You will be asked to complete and sign a code of conduct form in order to apply to take the CBAP® or CCBA® exam. This form contains your agreement to act ethically, professionally, and responsibly in your business analysis work.
The IIBA® has documented the sequence of steps to follow when applying to sit the CCBA® and CBAP® exams very comprehensively. Although we urge you to review the IIBA®'s documentation in detail, we will provide you with a short summary of the key facts here. You will also learn some key facts about exam question types and breakdown, which will assist you in formulating an idea of what to expect on your exam day.
Step 1: Meet the criteria
To apply for the CCBA® or the CBAP® certification exam, you must make sure that you have met the aforementioned key requirements. If you are unsure about your eligibility, you should head over to the IIBA®'s website and read their CCBA® or CBAP® certification handbooks. They have documented every step of the application process thoroughly, and it is well worth reading prior to embarking on the application process itself.
Step 2: Apply to the IIBA®
If you feel that you satisfy all the certification application criteria, then you should go to the IIBA®'s website (www.IIBA.org) and submit your application directly to them. Once you have submitted your application and paid your application fee, their certification team will assess your application and confirm your eligibility to sit the exam.
If they have any questions or require an audit to be performed on your application, you will be notified and asked to either make amendments or resubmit your application at a later date. Be sure to complete your application thoroughly and correctly.
Step 3: Sit the exam
Once your application is approved, you have 12 months to schedule and sit the exam. There are approved test centers in all major cities around the world where you can take the exam. You also now have the option to take the exam online.
During this chapter, you learned what the CCBA® and CBAP® application requirements are and how to apply for these certification exams.
The following are the key concepts that we covered in this chapter:
- Competency-based certification model
- CCBA® application requirements
- CBAP® application requirements
- Additional CCBA® and CBAP® requirements
- The exam application process
Make sure that you revise these key pieces of information before completing the quiz at the end of this chapter.
You now understand that the exam is based on a competency-based model that aims to demonstrate to employers that business analysts who have the CCBA® or CBAP® certification designation have the required skills, knowledge, and experience in business analysis.
During this chapter, you learned what the requirements are that an individual should meet prior to applying to sit the CCBA® exam with the IIBA®. You learned that some of the primary requirements involve the number of years of practical work experience, as well as a minimum of 21 professional development hours accrued during the last 4-year period.
During this chapter, you learned what the requirements are that an individual should meet prior to applying to sit the CBAP® exam with the IIBA®. You learned that some of the primary requirements involve the number of years of practical work experience, as well as a minimum of 35 professional development hours accrued during the last 4-year period.
You also now know that there are some overarching requirements to meet in terms of application references and that every application requires a signed a code of conduct.
Go through the following questions and complete the mini mock exam based on this chapter:
In order to be able to claim business analysis work experience hours as part of the CCBA® or CBAP® application, you must have gained that experience while working with a verifiable job title of 'Business Analyst'.
Is this statement true or false?
A. True. You must have an official job title of a Business Analyst to claim the experience.
B. False. You only need to be able to verify business analysis experience aligned to the BABOK® Guide and don't have to be called a business analyst to claim experience hours.
How many years into the past are you able to record and claim practical work experience for if you apply for the CBAP® exam?
A. 7 years
B. 10 years
C. 5 years
D. 20 years
For how many years into the past are you able to record and claim practical work experience if you apply for the CCBA® exam?
A. 7 years
B. 10 years
C. 5 years
D. 20 years