Why a Certified Scrum Trainer? Because Fire-Igniting Training Is Worth It

by Howard Sublett

No matter where I travel around the world, I get asked some form of this question: 

"Why is it so difficult to become a Certified Scrum Trainer with Scrum Alliance®"

And I understand why. I know there are easier paths to becoming certified to teach Scrum and other agile frameworks with other organizations. Some certifications are as simple as taking a 3-day course and then being turned loose to teach the same material to everyone else in the world. Others have a test-only path! Yet Scrum Alliance continues to insist on trainers with years of real-world experience on Scrum teams and demonstrated excellence in Scrum and agile training. But why?

It has to do with priorities: We value impact and the learner’s journey.

Certified Scrum Training That Ignites

The Irish poet William Butler Yeats said:

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

Courses taught by CSTs are fire-igniting events. For example, I was having dinner the other night with a ScrumMaster at one of the big insurance companies. She told me she has been recommending Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) courses for her coworkers versus other options. When I asked her why, she said,

"Most classes are good at knowledge transfer, but are pretty flat. But my CSM and CSPO classes changed my life--and I wasn’t even new to agile or Scrum. In both classes, the CSTs challenged me and inspired me to be more – and that’s the kind of impact we need here at my company."

We insist on excellent trainers because we believe agile courses have the power to reshape the way people think about the world of work. An individual who takes a course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) will be encouraged and empowered to create more joyful, prosperous and sustainable workplaces. For those working in a traditional way, agility in general and Scrum in particular is a full-blown paradigm shift of thinking. It’s so much more than just a transfer of knowledge. 

We verify that our Certified Scrum Trainers are at the highest levels within this industry so that we’re confident they have what it takes to light a fire.  

Scrum Training That Is Personal 

We believe in agile training that is specific to the learner. Some certifying bodies prioritize training as many people as possible, which generally means using standardized training decks. Others focus on a test as a means to measure knowledge. At Scrum Alliance, we value the learner’s journey above all else, so we prioritize trainers that are able to meet learners wherever they are. 

Because we know that our CSTs are the most qualified in the industry, we can give them the latitude to cover the learning objectives of the course in a way that best fits each situation. For some, that might mean a highly interactive workshop. For others, it might mean teaching Scrum and agile principles in the context of a real-world situation a team is experiencing. As long as the learning objectives are met, the possibilities for how to deliver the content are as varied as the students who come to the class.

Remember, too, that our CSTs speak from experience, not just rote knowledge of a topic. So when a learner has a question, the CST has the expertise to discuss the problem or to inspire deep understanding and lasting change.  

Becoming a CST Is Purposefully Thorough

At Scrum Alliance, part of our mission is to enable the impactful, individual learning that is fundamental on a path to sustainable agility. We believe the best way to do that is to certify only those trainers who share that mission. (This is why only CSTs can teach CSM and CSPO courses.)

If you are planning to become a CST with the Scrum Alliance, realize the path is challenging, and the destination is not something all can achieve. But know that those who do achieve a CST designation are among the most impactful and sought after trainers, fully endorsed by the largest and oldest agile certification organization in the world.

Are you ready to embark on the journey to become a CST? Click here to apply.