What Is the Difference Between CSM & PSM

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What Is the Difference Between CSM & PSM
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What Is the Difference Between CSM & PSM Certification

In the world of Agile methodologies, two certifications stand out among the rest: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Both certifications hold significant value and can pave the way for a successful career in Agile Framework. In this, This article we will find out the what is the differences between CSM and PSM, shedding light on their unique features, advantages, and prerequisites. Let’s dive into the details to help you make an informed decision about which certification path suits you best.

Professional Scrum Master (PSM)

A Professional Scrum Master training, as the name suggests, is an individual who has acquired proficiency in the Scrum framework and serves as a guide and facilitator for Scrum teams. The PSM certification program, offered by Scrum.org, emphasizes practical knowledge and the ability to apply Scrum principles effectively. By obtaining a PSM certification, professionals demonstrate their expertise in Scrum and their commitment to continuous learning and improvement

Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

A Certified Scrum Master is an individual who has undergone training and certification by the Scrum Alliance. CSMs are equipped with the necessary skills to guide Scrum teams and promote the effective implementation of Scrum principles. The CSM certification program emphasizes fundamental knowledge and the ability to facilitate collaboration and self-organization within Scrum teams

Difference Between PSM AND CSM

Factor CSM PSM
Accrediting Body Scrum Alliance Scrum.org
Duration of Training 2 days (14-16 hours) No mandatory training
Levels of Training CSM only PSM I and PSM II
Learning Outcomes Scrum Framework and servant leadership skills In-depth understanding of Scrum principles and ability to apply them in complex situations
Certification Process Attend a CSM course and pass the exam Pass the PSM I or PSM II exam
Passing Grade 37 out of 50 85% on PSM I and PSM II exams
Exam Format Multiple-choice questions Multiple-choice and true/false questions
Recognition Widely recognized in the industry Highly respected for its rigor and practical focus
Renewal Every two years, 20 SEUs and a renewal fee required Lifetime validity, no renewal required

While PSM and CSM certifications both revolve around Scrum, they differ in various aspects:

  1. Certification Bodies: PSM is offered by Scrum.org, whereas CSM is provided by the Scrum Alliance. Each certification body has its own unique focus and approach to Scrum.
  2. Certification Process: PSM comprises three progressive levels, whereas CSM involves attending a two-day training course and passing the CSM exam.
  3. Assessment Focus: PSM exams focus on evaluating the practical application and problem-solving skills, whereas the CSM exam primarily tests theoretical knowledge.
  4. Certification Renewal: PSM certifications do not require renewal, whereas CSM certifications must be renewed every two years by earning Scrum Education Units (SEUs) to stay valid
Certifying bodies

CSM certification is provided by the Scrum Alliance, whereas PSM certification is offered by Scrum.org. Both organizations are highly reputable in the Agile community and maintain rigorous standards for their certifications.

Benefits of CSM Certification

  1. Enhanced Scrum Knowledge: CSM certification provides a comprehensive understanding of Scrum, empowering you to implement Agile practices more effectively. It equips you with the skills to facilitate Scrum events, resolve impediments, and promote collaboration within the team.
  2. Improved Career Prospects: With the demand for Agile professionals on the rise, CSM certification opens doors to numerous career opportunities. Employers recognize CSM as a mark of credibility and expertise in Agile project management.
  3. Increased Earning Potential: CSM-certified professionals often enjoy higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts. The certification validates your expertise in Scrum and adds value to your professional profile

Advantages of PSM Certification

  1. In-depth Scrum Knowledge: PSM certification provides a thorough understanding of Scrum principles and practices. It enables you to apply Scrum effectively and make informed decisions to optimize project delivery.
  2. Recognized Industry Standard: PSM is widely regarded as a prestigious certification in the Agile community. Holding a PSM certification demonstrates your commitment to excellence and continuous improvement in Agile project management.
  3. Flexibility and Adaptability: PSM equips you with a versatile skill set that can be applied across various industries and project types. The certification focuses on practical application and encourages adaptive problem-solving in complex Agile environments

 Certification level in CSM

CSM certifications level
CSM Certifications level

Certification level in PSM

PSM Certifications level
PSM Certifications level


Pre Requisites

PSM certification does not require any prior experience. CSM certification, on the other hand, requires you to attend a CSM training that is delivered by a CST

Certification Process

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification is offered by the Scrum Alliance, a globally recognized organization dedicated to promoting Agile practices. To obtain the CSM certification, one must attend a 2-day (16 Hours) CSM training course facilitated by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). This immersive training provides participants with an in-depth understanding of Scrum principles, practices, and roles. Following the completion of the training, participants must pass an online CSM exam to demonstrate their comprehension of Scrum concepts

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification, on the other hand, is provided by Scrum.org, a leading global organization focused on Scrum. The PSM certification process does not require participants to undergo mandatory training. Instead, individuals can directly attempt the PSM assessment, which comprises a rigorous evaluation of their knowledge and understanding of Scrum. The PSM certification is available in three levels: PSM I, PSM II, and PSM III, with each level indicating a higher proficiency in Scrum practices.

Read More:  CSM VS PSM -Which one is better?

Read More : Difference Between PSM1 and PSM2: Explained in Detail


CSM certification:

  • The cost of CSM certification varies from $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the training provider and mode of training.
  • The cost includes both training (usually two days) and the exam fee.
  • Training is mandatory for CSM certification.

PSM I certification:

  • The cost of the PSM I certification exam is $150.
  • This fee only covers the exam and does not include training.
  • Training is not mandatory for PSM I certification, but it is available if you want it.
  • You can take the PSM I exam without training by paying the $150 exam fee.

Passing Score?

Passing scores for CSM and PSM certifications:

  • CSM: 74%, 50 questions, 60 minutes
  • PSM I: 85%, 80 questions, 60 minutes

Both exams have multiple-choice Questions, and you will have 60 minutes to complete the  exam

Renewal Process?

CSM Certifications Renew Process
CSM Certifications Renew Process

CSM® Certification Renewal

To maintain the validity of your CSM® certification, you must renew it every two years. To do this, you must earn a certain number of Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) to demonstrate your continued participation and proficiency in the fundamental principles and practices of Scrum. All SEUs must be earned within the past two years. You will also need to pay a renewal fee.

How to Earn SEUs

There are many ways to earn SEUs, including:

  • Attending Scrum training courses
  • Participating in Scrum events and conferences
  • Reading Scrum books and articles
  • Writing about Scrum on your blog or website
  • Mentoring other Scrum practitioners

How to Renew Your CSM® Certification

To renew your CSM® certification, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Scrum Alliance website and log in to your account.
  2. Click on the “Renew CSM® Certification” button.
  3. Enter your CSM® certification number and your contact information.
  4. Select the number of SEUs you have earned.
  5. Pay the renewal fee.

Your CSM® certification will be renewed within 24 hours of completing these steps.

PSM Certification Renewal?

The PSM I certification does not require renewal. Once you pass the exam, your certification is valid for a lifetime.


In conclusion, both CSM and PSM certifications offer valuable credentials for professionals seeking to establish themselves as proficient Scrum Masters. The CSM certification, provided by the Scrum Alliance, focuses on comprehensive training and examination. On the other hand, the PSM certification, offered by Scrum.org, emphasizes assessment-based evaluation of Scrum knowledge. By understanding the differences between these certifications and considering individual preferences and requirements, one can make an informed decision to embark on their journey as a certified Scrum Master

CSM vs PSM: Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the primary difference between CSM and PSM?

The primary difference between CSM and PSM lies in their certification requirements and assessment methods. CSM mandates attending a two-day training course, while PSM allows professionals to directly attempt the certification assessment without mandatory training.

Q2: Which certification is more recognized in the industry?

Both CSM and PSM certifications hold recognition in the industry. However, CSM is more prevalent due to its long presence and affiliation with the Scrum Alliance. PSM, on the other hand, is gaining popularity due to its rigorous assessment-based approach.

Q3: Are there any prerequisites for CSM or PSM certification?

Both CSM and PSM certifications have no specific prerequisites. Anyone interested in Scrum and its implementation can pursue these certifications. However, having some prior knowledge or experience in project management or software development is beneficial.

Q4: Can I pursue both CSM and PSM certifications?

Yes, professionals can pursue both CSM and PSM certifications. The two certifications complement each other and provide a comprehensive understanding of Scrum and its application in different contexts.

Q5: Which certification is more suitable for beginners?

CSM certification is often considered more beginner-friendly due to its training-oriented approach. It provides a solid foundation for individuals new to Scrum and agile methodologies. However, motivated beginners can also opt for the PSM certification, as it does not have a mandatory training requirement.

Q6: Are there any limitations on where these certifications can be applied?

Both CSM and PSM certifications are applicable across various industries and sectors. The Scrum framework can be implemented in any project or organization that values agility, collaboration, and iterative development.


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