Home EDUCATION An Honest Comparison between CSM® – Certified Scrum Master® and PSM™ – Professional Scrum Master™
An Honest Comparison between CSM® – Certified Scrum Master® and PSM™ – Professional Scrum Master™

An Honest Comparison between CSM® – Certified Scrum Master® and PSM™ – Professional Scrum Master™

by Ragini Salampure

Two of the most recognized certifications of Scrum Master are CSM® – Certified Scrum Master® and PSM – Professional Scrum Master. But there are plenty of biased differences between the two certifications. In this article, we will offer the readers an honest comparison. 

What is the Scrum Alliance®?

The most initial organization that provided a program of certification was the Scrum Alliance. They offered it around Scrum and their first known certification is the CSM® Course or the Certified Scrum Master® course. 

What is Scrum.org?

The Scrum Alliance® was left by Ken Schwaber, one of its founders. He was the one who founded Scrum.org, which is another organization. Scrum.org has initiated the PSM or Professional Scrum Master, which is a competing certification. 

Which is the better certification?

You cannot determine which is the better certification between CSM® and PSM. The better one for an individual will depend on what they expect from the certification and what their individual goals are. 

The Key Difference Between A PSM™ And CSM® Certification

The basis of the certification is the biggest difference between (PSM – Professional Scrum Master) Scrum.org and (CSM® – Certified Scrum Master®) Scrum Alliance. When it comes to the Scrum Alliance the basis of the CSM® course of certification is interaction with a CST® – Certified Scrum Trainer® or a CEC®– Certified Enterprise Coach®. At Scrum.org, on the other time, the basis of the certification is a test. 

The unity of certification and interaction is the unique point of selling in the Scrum Alliance. However, it is quite the opposite in Scrum.org, viz. the separation of certification and training. The two organizations have been separated due to these varying philosophies. 

Official training is always attended by a Certified Scrum Master® or CSM® of the Scrum Alliance. A Professional Scrum Master or PSM of Scrum.org, on the other hand, needed to clear the test but did not need to have a training course. 

The Primary Difference Between Unlicensed and Licensed Scrum Training

Licensed training has to pass an extremely high bar. This is a CST® or Certified Scrum Trainer® at Scrum Alliance, and a PST® or Professional Scrum Trainer® at Scrum.org. One needs many years of co-training, experience, and a test before a committee to become a trainer. One needs to display constant personal development in order to stay a licensed trainer. Licensed training typically is cooperative workshops with coaching from the back of the room. 

Training which is with no licensed trainers, that is, without a Professional Scrum Trainer of Scrum.org or a Certified Scrum Trainer® of Scrum Alliance is not exposed to any quality control. More often than not, trainers do not have multiple years of practical experience. Due to this, there is often content that is incorrect and the training is enlighteningly questionable. If this was not the case, there is a high chance the trainer would have had themselves certified. 

Ken Schwaber started Scrum.org and left the Scrum Alliance because he witnessed plenty of CSM®s doing bad Scrum. You can no longer gain the certification out of a 2-day CSM® course

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