CBAP Certification: An Overview

CBAP Certification: an overview

R Bhargav

Last updated March 7, 2017

The Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is an extremely sought after and prestigious certification for professionals. This certification is essentially for individuals with extensive knowledge in business analysis and with significant experience in the field.

CBAP Certification Individuals are opting for this certification to also understand the basics of business analysis and become better able to apply their knowledge through this training. As one of the most rapidly growing certifications, it instantly puts professionals in pole position, well ahead of peers without this crucial certification. For both business analysts and project managers, this is an extremely coveted certification and goes a long way toward boosting career prospects. It-
  • Helps professionals connect with recognized professional groups
  • Gives them recognition and highlights their competence levels
The role of the Business Analyst is becoming increasingly important in the IT sector, and the CBAP is like an experienced professional’s gateway to recognition. Besides, for many relatively less well-known business analysts, this certification instantly rolls out the red carpet for excellence.

The Accreditation Body

The Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) certification is done through an endorsed education provider, IIBA. The International Institute of Business Analysis is one of the leading associations for business analysts. For over a decade now they have been looking at providing an innovative platform focused towards a significantly impactful approach looking into the future.

IIBA currently connects over 28,000 members, more than 230 corporate members and over 110 Chapters with the purpose of bringing about a meaningful and strategic force to support the cause of business analysis.

Eligibility Requirements

So the next important aspect is the eligibility criterion for this course. This includes:
  • The CBAP aspirant must have put in a minimum of 7500 hours of work in the field of business analysis
  • This BA work experience needs to be broadly aligned to the BABOK Guide or ‘A Guide to the Business Analysis Book of Knowledge
  • Candidates must ensure that they have a minimum of 900 hours of work in at least 4 of the total 6 knowledge areas.
  • Apart from that, 21 hours of work in professional development in the past 4 years is also required
  • Candidates must ensure they get two references from any of these  a career manager, client or a Certified Business Analysis Professional.
  • Candidates also need to enclose the signed code of conduct for IIBA
Applicants who are interested in taking up this certification also need to read through the CBAP handbook for a detailed understanding of the course and the application procedure. Details on fee structure and other course norms are also available in this handbook. If they do not meet any of these norms, they might also consider applying for CCBA certification.

CBAP Certification -an overview

Process to get Certified

The process of getting certified begins with getting the right application in. To aid in this, you may visit  to download a comprehensive guide on filling the online application form.

You could either log onto the website using your previous login details or register anew.  You need to fill this form in a step-by-step fashion by first completing the personal information and education details and then moving to work experience followed by professional development, references and then submit the application online along with the payment.

Candidates have to pass one basic initial screening test for the ultimate CBAP exams. After the IIBA assessment, you can schedule a date for your exam with the testing agency. The instructions are generally sent across in an email once the reservation is approved.  You normally get the notification from IIBA in 21 days via email. Candidates must allow themselves at least 3-4 months of dedicated studying before taking the exam.
Attending IIBA events organized by your local chapters are also extremely beneficial and aspirants may also choose to participate in study groups.

The application fee is $125 and this not refundable even if your application is rejected. The examination fee for members is $325, and for non-members it is $450.

Accredited Training Centre

The right choice of partner to get you the proper training methodology and resources becomes extremely important. Simplilearn with its huge network and years of training in a wide range of certification courses is particularly advantageous in this respect.

It has a record of training over 200,000 professionals worldwide and is among the most trusted names by Fortune 500 companies as an education provider. The trainings are conducted by a competent staff of over 2000 trainers who have strong experience to back up their efforts.
Pursuing the CBAP certification with Simplilearn enables participants -
  • To narrow down the skill sets important for being a business analyst par excellence
  • To better understand the role of a Business Analyst
  • Understand the core knowledge areas, tasks, deliverables and the broad link that connects them all
  • Strategies for effective work with key stakeholders
Accreditation, approval and recognition of many globally renowned education institutions like Project Management Institute of USA, APMG, CFA Institute and IIBA is an added benefit.
The course material at Simplilearn is designed in a tried and tested format, and this gives them the unique distinction of being among the elite list of training providers with a 98.6% pass rate in first attempt.

Candidates also get the opportunity to sit for 4 simulation exams that help them better prepare for the stress of the actual exam. 9 hours of e-learning content coupled with quizzes, 21 PD hours certificate and downloadable study material makes this training well-rounded.

Another big plus is the fact that this training module also assists participants in developing the ability to effectively apply information in practical contexts which, in itself, is the single greatest asset to pass this exam with flying colors.

Examination Structure

The CBAP certification exam is based on the BABOK Guide. Apart from this guide, candidates are also tested on their knowledge of sources that are referenced by the BABOK Guide and, of course, experience in business analysis counts as well.

There are 150 questions in all and candidates get three and a half hours to complete them. The questions are all in multiple-choice format with four options. The questions range from comprehension to situational analysis. Bloom’s taxonomy also finds a fair representation on this examination paper.

The cut-off score is based on the overall performance in the various elements of the test. The IIBA Certification Body does not make these scores public, but overall, 500 is the minimum score that a candidate needs to pass the exam.

A point worth mentioning in this context is that questions that are skipped and which are answered wrongly do not get a differential treatment. They impact the overall scores equally. As soon as the candidates submit their exam they are notified about their performance on the screen almost immediately. For those who fail to make the mark the first time, additional information is provided on the knowledge areas that they need to focus on.

Retaking the Exam

Candidates are allowed to retake the exam once within one year from the date of application approval. However, the candidate must wait three months from the date of the last exam. The fee to retake the exam for members is $250 and for non-members it is $375.

In case you missed the exam without rescheduling earlier or cancelling it altogether, you would forfeit the examination fee and cannot demand a refund. However, if you met with an emergency medical crisis and can substantiate that with suitable documents, your case would be considered.

Career Growth and Roles Post-Certification

The CBAP Certification provides a major fillip to your career. Not only does it arm you with a stamp of approval from one of the premium associations of business analysts, it also opens up many avenues.
  • It helps you advance your job potential by providing you recognition in the field of business analysis and within the information technology industry.
  • Surveys from IIBA indicate that professionals with CBAP certifications are recipients of at least 10% higher salaries compared to their peers. The average median salary of a CBAP certified professional is $87,000, whereas that of an ordinary Business Analyst is $76,000.
  • Within the business analyst community, it is seen that professionals with the CBAP certification display a significantly higher level of commitment.
It would, therefore, be fair to conclude that the CBAP Certification is a guaranteed piece of armor in a professional’s bag of achievements which assures a higher pay, better recognition and effective implementation.

CBAP Recertification

Professionals armed with CBAP certification also need to complete the IIBA Continuing Certification Requirements. To achieve this, they need to procure a minimum of 60 CDUs or Continuing Development Units over 3 years. Candidates need to retake the exam only if their certification has lapsed. The current fee for renewal is $85 for IIBA members and $120 for non-members, and this is not refundable. For further details on recertification log on to

About the Author

An experienced process analyst at Simplilearn, the author specializes in adapting current quality management best practices to the needs of fast-paced digital businesses. An MS in MechEng with over eight years of professional experience in various domains, Bhargav was previously associated with Paradox Interactive, The Creative Assembly, and Mott MacDonald LLC.


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