Skip to content Make CBAP Certification Your Next Career Move

Make CBAP Certification Your Next Career Move

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect the perspectives of IIBA.
Receive free IIBA updates and exclusive content!    

Gain the tips you need to achieve the best possible online proctored exam experience.

Business analysis thrives on expertise and credibility, and nothing proves these qualities better than the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) certification. In this article, we'll unravel the mysteries surrounding CBAP certification, exploring its significance, eligibility criteria, exam intricacies, preparation strategies, and maintenance requirements.

The CBAP is the gold standard for seasoned business analysis professionals. It's a testament to your comprehensive grasp of business analysis practices and dedication to continual growth within the field. The allure of CBAP lies in its ability to elevate your career trajectory. With CBAP certification, you gain heightened credibility, expanded earning potential, and access to a plethora of job opportunities.

Employers seek CBAP-certified professionals for their proven expertise and commitment to excellence, making it a pivotal asset in today's competitive business landscape. According to Part 2 of IIBA’s 2023 Global State of Business Analysis Report, soon to be released, the business analysis professionals we surveyed who hold a CBAP earn 19% more than their non-certified peers.

Navigating Eligibility Requirements

To embark on the CBAP journey, candidates must meet specific eligibility criteria. Accumulating 7,500 hours of business analysis work experience within the past decade, alongside 900 hours of experience in at least four of the six knowledge areas outlined in the BABOK Guide, is essential. Additionally, completing a minimum of 35 hours of professional development within the last four years is required.

The CBAP exam serves as the ultimate test of your business analysis acumen. Comprising 120 case-study-based multiple-choice questions, the exam spans three and a half hours. It evaluates your ability to analyze and apply theoretical knowledge and experience to real-world scenarios, underscoring the practical relevance of CBAP certification.

Crafting Your Exam Preparation Strategy

Preparing for the CBAP exam demands a strategic approach. Using resources such as A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide), study guides, online courses, and practice exams is indispensable. Moreover, engaging with IIBA-endorsed education providers (EEPs) can provide structured learning opportunities tailored to your needs.

IIBA-endorsed education provides a myriad of benefits for CBAP pursuers. From comprehensive study materials to interactive classroom training and online courses, EEPs cater to diverse learning preferences. By enrolling in EEP programs, candidates gain access to expert guidance and invaluable insights, significantly enhancing their exam readiness.

Overcoming Exam Nerves

While classroom training remains optional, it offers a conducive environment for collaborative learning and direct interaction with instructors. Alternatively, structured and interactive online courses and study materials provide flexibility in exam preparation, catering to individual learning styles and schedules.

If you fail your exam, resilience is key. Candidates can always retake the CBAP exam, albeit with waiting periods and associated fees. So diligent preparation and perseverance are critical to success.

Maintaining Your CBAP Certification

Upon successfully passing the CBAP exam, certification remains valid for three years. To maintain your certification, you must demonstrate continued competence and stay current with changes in the field. For this, it's essential to earn a minimum of 60 Continuing Development Units (CDUs) within the renewal cycle. 

Accrued through various professional development activities, CDUs ensure ongoing growth and relevance in the field of business analysis. Some qualifying activities include professional development initiatives such as classroom courses, chapter events, chapter study groups, conference workshops, and online courses (including live webinars).

CDUs can be earned based on your work history by doing business analysis work aligned with the domains in the BABOK Guide. Professional activities like authoring or co-authoring an article published in a refereed journal or speaking at a conference, symposium, workshop, formal course, or IIBA chapter meeting provide additional opportunities to earn CDUs.  

There’s also volunteering! Volunteering as a board member with IIBA or an IIBA chapter provides benefits to your local communities and gives you much-needed CDUs. Please refer to the Recertification Handbook for important information and guidelines regarding CDUs and the recertification process.

Embrace the CBAP journey with confidence and let your expertise shine in business analysis. Learn more or get started today.

About the Author
Isabel Feher-Watters

Isabel Feher-Watters is the Manager, Certification Programs & Operations at IIBA and has over 25 years' experience working in the corporate, not-for-profit, association, and IT industries. Isabel complements her BA in Psychology and post-graduate diploma in Human Resources Management with several certifications including being a Certified Credentialing Professional (ICE-CCP), Certified Association Executive (CAE), Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP), and ITIL certified. Isabel is passionate about human potential and delighted by the difference that certifications can make in the lives of business analysis professionals.


Must Read Blogs From IIBA


How to Start a Rewarding Career in Business Analysis

Start a rewarding career in business analysis with these five tips.
Read the Blog
Business Analysis

Common Business Analysis Career Paths

There are several career paths that business analysts can take, and each offers unique opportunities for growth and development.
Read the Blog

7 Reasons to Get Your CBAP

Thinking about your next career move? Here are seven reasons why the CBAP should be your top priority.
Read the Blog