CSM VS PSM– Which one is better?

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CSM VS PSM– Which one is better?
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CSM VS PSM – Which one is better?

With the growing popularity of Agile methodologies in the IT industry, it is becoming increasingly important for professionals to have a solid understanding of Scrum. Employers are looking for candidates who are knowledgeable about the Agile and Scrum framework, principles, and processes. This is where certifications like Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM™) come into play. In this article, we will explore the benefits of these certifications and how they can significantly enhance your Scrum career.

A recent study found that IT professionals with certifications earn an average of \$13,000 more per year than those without certifications. In fact, certified individuals earned \$8,000 more on average than their colleagues without credentials in most IT positions asks csm vs psm which one is better

Employers want certified IT professionals. 82% of employers face skills gaps, so get certified to get a job and earn more.

Here are some of the benefits of getting IT certifications:

  • Increased job security
  • Improved career prospects
  • Enhanced knowledge and skills
  • Professional Recognition

Why you should Pursue Scrum Certification?

The CSM and PSM certifications are highly regarded and globally recognized. Adding these certifications to your resume adds credibility and demonstrates your commitment to professional development to potential employers worldwide.

The certification courses provide a comprehensive understanding of Scrum, its principles, and its application in real-world projects. You will gain insights into the roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master and learn how to facilitate successful Scrum teams.

What are CSM and PSM?

CSM (Certified Scrum Master)

CSM is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, a global non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Agile practices. The CSM certification provides individuals with a solid foundation in Scrum principles, allowing them to effectively facilitate and support Scrum teams. This certification is recognized worldwide and has gained significant popularity since its inception.

PSM (Professional Scrum Master)

On the other hand, PSM is a certification offered by Scrum.org, founded by Ken Schwaber, one of the co-creators of Scrum. Scrum.org aims to provide consistent and high-quality Scrum training and certifications. PSM focuses on providing professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the Scrum framework and the skills required to effectively guide and empower Scrum teams.

Accreditation body

Certified Scrum Master (CSM): CSM Certification is issued by the Scrum alliance

Professional Scrum Master (PSM):  PSM certification is issued by Scrum.org

Training Options


CSM & PSM training

Both the Certified Scrum Master® (CSM®) and Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™) training courses have a duration of 2 days (14 to 16 hours). The CSM course is led by a CST®, while the PSM course is led by a PST®.

  • CSM® course
    • Led by a CST®
    • Duration: 2 days (14 to 16 hours)
    • Covers the basics of Scrum, including the roles, responsibilities, and ceremonies
    • Prepares learners to take the CSM exam
  • PSM™ course
    • Led by a PST®
    • Duration: 2 days (14 to 16 hours)
    • Covers the Scrum Guide in detail, including the roles, responsibilities, ceremonies, and artifacts
    • Prepares learners to take the PSM I exam


Certification Level

The Certified Scrum Master® (CSM®) certification has only  one level, while the Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™) certification has 3 levels: PSM I, PSM II & PSM III


  • CSM®
    • This certification is designed for those who are new to Scrum and want to learn the basics.
    • There is no prerequisite training required to take the CSM exam.
    • The passing score for the CSM exam is 74%.
  • PSM I
    • This certification is designed for those who have a strong understanding of Scrum and want to demonstrate their knowledge of the Scrum Guide.
    • There is no prerequisite training required to take the PSM I exam.
    • The passing score for the PSM I exam is 85%.


Certification Obtaining  Process


  • Attend a mandatory live online or in-person course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) or get coached by a Certified Agile Coach (CAC). The course duration is 14 to 16 hours.
  • After completing the course, take the 50-question CSM test. To pass, you must answer at least 37 questions correctly within 60 minutes.
  • If you pass the test, you will be asked to accept the CSM License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile. Your membership will be valid for two years.


  • Taking a course is not mandatory. If you feel you have the required level of Scrum knowledge, you can apply to take the PSM I Assessment. However, taking a course can help you prepare for the exam and increase your chances of passing.
  • Study the Scrum Guide and other resources available to help you prepare.
  • The PSM I Assessment contains 80 questions that must be answered within 60 minutes. If you pass the assessment, you will receive the PSM I certification and a logo. Passing Score? The CSM exam requires you to answer at least 37 out of 50 questions correctly to pass. This is considered to be a relatively easy passing grade, as the exam is only 50 questions long. The PSM I exam is more challenging, as it requires you to answer at least 85% of the questions correctly. It means you must answer at least 68 questions correctly out of 80. The PSM I exam is also more comprehensive than the CSM exam, as it covers a wider range of Scrum topics.

How up-to-date is the training content?

The training content for the CSM certification is not as consistent across all training providers as the PSM I certification. This is because the CSM certification exam is not based on a single source of authority, such as the Scrum Guide. Instead, the CSM certification exam is based on a set of learning objectives that are developed by the Scrum Alliance, the organization that offers the CSM certification

The training content for the PSM I certification is consistent across all training providers. This is because the PSM I certification exam is based on the Scrum Guide, which is the official guide to the Scrum framework. The Scrum Guide is written and maintained by Scrum.org, the organization that offers the PSM I certification

How difficult is the exam?

The difficulty level of the CSM and PSM certifications will depend on your individual experience and knowledge of Scrum. If you are new to Scrum, then the CSM certification may be a good option for you. However, if you have a strong understanding of Scrum, then the PSM certifications may be a better choice. the PSM certifications have a higher passing grade than the CSM certification. The PSM I certification requires a passing grade of 85%, while the CSM certification requires a passing grade of 74%. This means that the PSM I certification is more challenging to pass, as you need to answer a higher percentage of questions correctly

How much it will cost you?

The CSM certification cost varies from $1,000-1500(Depending upon the training provider & mode of training you choose) . But this price includes both Training(2 days) & Exam Fee. To Get a CSM certification training is mandatory.

The PSM I certification exam cost $150(Without training just the exam fee). If you do training, Then you have to pay an additional fee. The best part about the PSM1 is you can take the exam even without training by paying  $150 only(Training is not Mandatory)

Renewal Process?

CSM® Certification Renewal

After working hard to earn your CSM® certification, you need to renew it every two years to maintain its validity. 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:

Renew Your CSM Certification
Renew Your CSM Certification
  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.

What you Will Learn?

  • CSM
    • As a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), you will be able to:
      • Help Scrum teams perform at their maximum capability.
      • Overcome obstacles and guide teams on the Scrum framework.
      • Lead teams as a servant leader, who leads by example and facilitates team members to achieve project success.
  • PSM I
    • People who have successfully achieved the Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) certification demonstrate a foundational level of Scrum mastery.
    • They are well-versed in the terminology and approach to Scrum.



  1. Read More Article: PSM I vs PSM II: Which ScrumMaster Certification Is Right for You?


Comparing CSM and PSM Certification

Now that we have an overview of both certifications, let’s compare them based on various factors to help you decide which one is better suited to your needs.

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


In conclusion, both the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certifications hold value and can significantly contribute to your career growth in the field of Scrum. CSM provides comprehensive training and community support, while PSM offers rigorous assessments and standardized knowledge. Assess your career aspirations, research job market demands, and choose the certification that aligns best with your goals. Remember, continuous learning and practical application of Scrum principles are key to becoming a successful Scrum Master.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is CSM or PSM better for beginners?

Both CSM and PSM certifications are suitable for beginners. However, CSM might be more beginner-friendly due to its comprehensive two-day training course, which provides a solid foundation in Scrum.

2. Which certification is more recognized by employers?

Both CSM and PSM certifications are recognized by employers. However, the recognition may vary based on geographic location and specific industry requirements. It is advisable to research the job market in your target location to assess the demand for each certification.

3. Can I switch between CSM and PSM certifications?

Yes, you can switch between CSM and PSM certifications based on your career goals and preferences. The knowledge gained from one certification can complement the other, enhancing your overall understanding of Scrum.

4. Are there any prerequisites for CSM or PSM certifications?

There are no specific prerequisites for either certification. Anyone interested in Scrum can pursue CSM or PSM based on their needs and goals.

5. How long does it take to prepare for CSM or PSM certification?

The preparation time for CSM or PSM certification depends on your existing knowledge and experience with Scrum. It is recommended to allocate sufficient time for studying the Scrum Guide, attending training (for CSM), and practicing assessments (for PSM).

6. Which certification is better for career advancement?

Both CSM and PSM certifications can contribute to career advancement in the field of agile project management. The choice between the two depends on factors such as personal preference, career goals, and the specific requirements of job opportunities

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