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The Relationship between the ISEB and ISTQB Foundation Level Certifications

One of the more frequently-asked questions we receive here at relates to the relationship between the ISEB Foundation and ISTQB Foundation software testing certifications.  The answer is that they both enable the same certification, so in essence passing just one of these certification exams provides dual certification in both. 

ISEB stands for “The Information Systems Examinations Board,” and it is a division of the British Computer Society (BCS).  The ISEB was formed in 1990 as an offshoot of the Systems Analysis Examinations Board (which itself was formed in 1967).  The ISTQB stands for “International Software Testing Qualifications Board,” and it was formed in late 2002. 

Both certifications have always been very similar at the Foundation level.  The only real difference was that ISEB is UK-specific whereas ISTQB is international.  Other than these geographically-driven label differences, the content is basically the same.  For this reason, both testing boards made the decision to align the certifications at the Foundation level. 

Thus, the same exam and syllabus is used for both the ISEB Foundation and ISTQB Foundation certification, and passing this exam provides dual certification in both (you will be ISEB and ISTQB certified).  This alignment ends after the Foundation level, which forces the student to choose the correct certification path.  UK candidates should continue down the ISEB certification path and earn their ISEB Intermediate certification, whereas non-UK candidates should pursue the ISTQB Advanced level certification. 

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion around the alignment of both Foundation-level certifications, and good luck on your exam!


Related posts:

  1. The Required Sequence of ISEB Certifications
  2. Announcing Our New ISTQB Advanced Level Package

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