As you may or may not know, the BCS announced last year that it is withdrawing its 2 ISEB Practitioner exams: ISEB Practitioner in Test Analysis and ISEB Practitioner in Test Management. This month (March 2011) is the last month these exams will be offered. Since there are many misconceptions out there regarding what exactly this move means (mainly thanks to poor communication from the BCS and ISTQB.org), I thought I’d try to shed a little light on the situation.
The decision to remove these ISEB certification levels is part of a broader initiative to merge ISEB into the ISTQB software testing certification chain. This move actually started several years ago when the ISEB and ISTQB governing boards decided to merge both at the Foundation level. At that time the boards decided to use the same syllabus, and same exam structure, for both the ISEB and ISTQB Foundation levels. Thus, passing either of your Foundation level exams now provides you with dual certification in both the ISEB Foundation and ISTQB Foundation (or CTFL).
Then in 2010, both boards issued a joint announcement that ISEB was being rolled into ISTQB, and as such the ISTQB certification chain will be the global standard going forward. The rationale is that both certification chains are so similar that it does not make sense to retain both. Historically the ISEB certification was essentially the UK equivalent of the ISTQB certification. Now with our increasingly globalized world, it simply makes no sense to delineate along geographical lines.
Although the governing boards have not yet formalized everything, going forward it looks like the global ISTQB software testing certification path will be:
- ISTQB Foundation (CTFL)
- ISEB Intermediate (which will probably be renamed ISTQB Intermediate eventually)
- ISTQB Advanced (consists of 3 separate modules / exams)
- ISTQB Expert (still in development by the ISTQB)
If you currently have an ISEB Practitioner certification, no need to worry. These certifications will still be highly valued in software testing circles, and most likely will be counted as credit toward one of more of your ISTQB Advanced certifications.
Ok, well that is all I’ve got for now until the governing boards decide to release more information. I will keep you updated as more clarity emerges, so please keep checking back!