The Certified Business Analysis Professional, or CBAP, and Certification of Competency in Business Analysis, or CCBA, are both credentials offered for business analysts. While they have a lot in common, there are also some key differences. Here are the ways the two certifications are alike and how they are different.
Similarities Between the CBAP and CCBA
The CBAP and CCBA share the following similarities:
- Oversight by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)
The IIBA sponsors these certifications and serves as a gatekeeper to make sure only those who meet certain standards have a legitimate claim to the designations. This organization is the best-known business analysis professional association in the world. IIBA acts in the same way the Project Management Institute, or PMI, does for the various certifications it offers to project managers.
- Reference Materials
The two certifications signify that a holder of either one has a requisite knowledge of and ability to apply the BABOK Guide. This publication serves as a handbook for the business analysis profession. The longer name for this book is “A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge.” Employers may have their own standards for business analysis within their organizations, but business analysts in different organizations adhere to the BABOK Guide unless specifically directed otherwise. Colleagues use terminology from the BABOK Guide when speaking to one another instead of using their organizations’ jargon.
- Training Requirement
To apply for either certification, applicants must take 21 hours of professional development training. This may not sound like a lot, but it's equivalent to the better part of three full workdays, and for busy professionals, that's quite a commitment.
- Professional Reference Requirement
Along with the application, IIBA requires applicants to submit two references from a current or past manager, client, or CBAP recipient.
- Agreement With a Code of Conduct
- Applicants must agree to IIBA’s code of conduct. They must attest to this with their signature.
All the fees for both certifications are the same. The application fees, exam fees, and recertification fees are equal for both. The application fee is the same for members and non-members of IIBA. Members get a price break on the exam fee and recertification fee.
- Study Preparation
IIBA recommends preparing well for its certification exams. It recommends strategies such as reading the BABOK Guide a few times, studying in groups, and taking practice exams.
- Recertification Process
The recertification process for both certifications involves obtaining professional development training, notifying IIBA, and paying a fee.
Differences Between the CBAP and CCBA
The CBAP and CCBA have the following differences:
The CBAP is harder to achieve than the CCBA; therefore, the CBAP has more prestige.
- Experience Requirements
The CBAP exam requires applicants to have 7,500 hours of business analysis work experience within the last 10 years, including 900 hours in each of four of the six knowledge areas. The CCBA demands 3,750 hours of business analysis work experience within the last seven years, including 900 hours in each of two of the six knowledge areas. This is quite a difference, which, again, makes the CBAP more prestigious.