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The ISTQB Expert Certification

As you may or may not know, the ISTQB is currently developing a software testing certification beyond the ISTQB Advanced level, called the ISTQB Expert Level (CTEL). This certification should be available sometime in 2011.  Although the ISTQB is still working out the details, we here at thought it would be helpful to summarize what we know at this point.

The ISTQB Expert level will allow candidates to develop expertise related to specific areas of testing, and it will follow a multi-module approach.  Students will not have to get certified in each and every module, they can pick and choose, much like the ISTQB Advanced level (which has 3 modules – test analyst, technical test analyst, and test manager).    

The modules are still in development, but we know that in general they will mirror the chapters in the ISTQB Advanced syllabus, and they will also be linked to specific testing roles, such as test leader, test consultant, etc.  Here is the initial list of Expert level modules the ISTQB working group has come up with:

  • Test management (including risk management)
  • Test design techniques
  • Non-functional testing (such as security testing)
  • Static testing (such as reviews and inspections)
  • Test tools and automation
  • Test process improvement

Each module will have its own syllabus, and the syllabi will be less detailed than the syllabi at the ISTQB Foundation and ISTQB Advanced levels because they will focus more on “what” instead of “how”. 

The exam itself will consist of essays likely encompassing scenario-based questions, partially mixed with select multiple-choice questions.  Candidates will be expected to demonstrate solid analytical skills, for example to evaluate a situation from several different perspectives to form a logical, holistic conclusion. 

There are 2 primary requirements to take the ISTQB Expert exam.  First, the candidate must have earned his/her ISTQB Advanced level certification, or ISEB Practitioner certification.  The second requirement is to have at least 7 years of practical software testing experience.  Some modules may have even more stringent requirements, and if this is the case these will be documented in the appropriate syllabi. 

Well, that sums up the information we have at this point regarding the emerging ISTQB Expert software testing certification (CTEL).  I hope you found it to be informative.  Please check back regularly, as we will be providing updates as new details are released by the ISTQB.


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