a conversation with a certified iiba

I’m IIBA® Certified – Now What?

Welcome to the last blog in this IIBA® certification series. Again, MANY CONGRATULATIONS on your achievement. These exams are not “cake walks!” Take some time (but not too long) to bask in the sunshine of your accomplishment because before you know it, it’s time to “recertify!”

What? MORE study? No, will not need to take another exam. But you do need to submit “proof” that you’re learning, practicing in your certification focus area, and/or giving back to the community as a business analysis practitioner. I have a lot of certifications as you can tell from my byline (and I left some off). I’m a continuous learner; learning is my favorite hobby and helps my consulting and training clients. Many of my certifications don’t require any sort of maintenance; others require that whenever the body of knowledge is updated, I need to take a “bridging exam” which means I have to study like crazy and sit another exam. Thankfully, IIBA® certifications do not require you retest when a new version of the BABOK® is published; rather, the certifications require that you recertify every three years to demonstrate that you’re active within your field and continuing to learn and grow.

Note: The ECBA™ (Entry Certificate in Business Analysis) and IIBA®-CCA (Certificate in Cybersecurity Analysis) credentials are both knowledge-based. As such, they do NOT require maintenance. Note that IIBA® calls both of those credentials “certificates” vs. “certification.”

The need to earn CDUs (continuing development units) is one of the reasons why employers find job candidates with IIBA® certifications preferable over their non-certified peers. Employers know that your certification is “current” in the sense that you must maintain your credential through learning, practice, activity in the IIBA® local chapter or international organization. It also demonstrates your commitment to the profession discipline of business analysis.

Recertification consists of an online process via the IIBA® website whereby the recipient enters their CDUs into their account (“My IIBA” tab), agrees to the Terms and Conditions and Code of Ethical Conduct and Professional Standards, and pays the recertification fee. The fee differs between certifications and whether you’re an IIBA® member. Each certification holder is responsible for tracking earned CDUs and submitting them before the deadline. IIBA will send reminder emails so ensure that certification@iiba.org is added to your personal address book.

Helpful hint: Track your CDUs often! I keep a spreadsheet where I note required information: Category, event, event description, dates, contact information, # of CDUs. Then, I put a reminder in my phone quarterly to go online and enter the information. I found that’s MUCH easier than waiting until you get that reminder email (which could end up in your spam folder)!

As soon as you pass your certification exam, IIBA® will send you recertification information. In addition, you can find that information on their website: https://iiba.org under the Certifications tab. There are recertification handbooks available that outline all the information you need to maintain your credential so only general information will be offered below:

CCBA® and CBAP® recertification requirements: 60 CDUs every 3-year cycle; one CDU equals one hour.

There are six categories within which CDUs can be earned with a maximum # of CDUs per 3-yr cycle:

CDU CategoryMaximum # of CDUs per 3-year cycle
Professional Development30
Professional Experience25
Professional Activities30
Volunteer Service30
Self-Directed Learning15
Formal Academic Education30

As you can see, not all CDUs can come from one bucket so maintenance activities are well-rounded.

The CCBA® and CBAP® recertification handbook can be found here:


Both the IIBA®-AAC (Agile Analysis Certification) and the IIBA®-CBDA (Certification in Business Data Analytics) recertification requirements are the same: 20 CDUs every year; one CDU equals one hour. However, CDUs for the IIBA®-AAC recertificationMUST align with the Agile Extension (Agile Mindset, Strategy Horizon, Initiative Horizon, Delivery Horizon).

There are two main categories within which CDUs can be earned; each category has three subcategories.

CDU CategoryMINIMUM # of CDUs per annual cycle
Formal Academic Education Professional Development Self-Directed Learning 
ApplyingNo minimum
Professional Activities Volunteer Service Professional Experience (or Work History) 

The IIBA®-AAC recertification handbook can be found here:


The IIBA®-CBDA recertification handbook can be found here:


Upon submitting and paying for your recertification, the recipient will either receive an email stating they are Approved or Approved Pending Audit. If the recipient’s recertification is approved, the recipient is recertified, and their next recertification date is three years from their current recertification date. If the recipient is selected for audit, the audit process commences which is described in the handbooks.

Earlier it was mentioned that recertification not only consists of submitting CDUs, but also requires agreeing to the Terms and Conditions and the Code of Ethical Conduct and Professional Standards (aka Code of Conduct). That to me is the biggest “now what?” after initial certification. Besides outlining the responsibilities associated with compliance to organizational rules and policies and advancement of the profession, the Code of Conduct outlines those responsibilities associated with professional practice and those relevant to the client and public.

Please don’t just “check the box.” Read and INTERNALIZE the Code of Ethical Conduct and Professional Standards. Abiding by the listed responsibilities will reinforce the integrity of the certification that serves not just IIBA® but also the reputation of other credential holders.

You can find “the code” here:


I hope you enjoyed this 6-part series on IIBA® certifications. If you didn’t “enjoy them”, I hope you found them informative! As always, we at Watermark Learning are always here to support you in your certification endeavors.

You can contact us by phone (1-800-646-9362), email (info@watermarklearning.com), or through our website (https://www.watermarklearning.com/contact.php).

Thanks for tuning in!

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Ben Schwartz