CBAP stands for Certified Business Associate Program. It is a certification offered by the Association of Business Professionals (ABP). This test assesses the expertise of an information worker in the following areas: business administration, communication, computer literacy, database administration, and programming.
CompTIA introduced the CBAP exam in 1988 and, during its second revision in 2005, was renamed the CompTIA Security+ Certification. It has since expanded to become one of the most widely recognized certifications for information security professionals worldwide.
Several people are interested in earning a CBAP certification. However, they lack knowledge regarding how to get started. This article will help you understand what CBAP is, what it entails, why it’s important, ways to become a CBAP, and how it benefits companies in finding qualified professionals.
The primary reasons behind earning CBAP are:
- Broader perspective: The course will help you adapt multiple approaches to problem-solving. The certificate will be proof you are well-versed with business analysis concepts.
- Proof of commitment: Obtaining a CBAP is not easy. It takes extensive preparations. Obtaining this degree shows that you can handle pressure. It shows that you are dedicated to your goals.
- Salary hike: Earning a CBAP will be reflected well on your salary. Business analysts with CBAP can get up to a 10% salary hike.
- Access to better projects: Earning a CBAP will ensure you get better projects at work. You will receive heightened credibility for your business analysis work. You will be respected more for your knowledge and skills.
- Understand business analysis terminology: Earning a CBAP will help you speak like a business analyst. You will learn new terminology and get clarity on several concepts.
In September 2019, there were more than 9000 CBAP professionals globally. The timeline for becoming certified varies from person to person.
Some might need around two weeks of preparation. Others might need around two years. But anyone interested in CBAP should follow specific steps. The five steps for becoming a CBAP are as follows:
1. Provide Confirmation of Business Analysis Experience
Five years of business analysis experience is essential for CBAP. Four must be covered. The five years should include 7500 hours. Demonstrating 900 hours of knowledge is also necessary.
A lot of professionals start researching without knowing the requirements. Therefore, knowing the needs is always the first step. Documenting your experience will help in building confidence.
Working business analysts often feel intimidated to take the exam. Passing the IIBA certification helps in qualifying for CBAP.
2. Obtain Required Professional Development Hours
BABOK requires you to have 35 documented professional development hours. Choose a professional course to earn the credits. IIBA should endorse the business training course.
3. Prepare and Submit the CBAP Application
You need to submit your applications to IIBA. The application process is as follows:
- Log in or sign up with your IIBA credentials. If you are signing up, you will receive an email. Click on the email to activate your IIBA profile.
- Select certification from the top of the page. Choose “My Certifications” from the drop-down menu. You will have to select your certificate from this list.
- After that, you can proceed to the application fee payment.
- Do not select the New Address. Click on Continue to proceed further. Enter your coupon code, if any, at this stage.
- Select your desired payment method. Enter payment information to go ahead.
- Click on View Receipt to get the receipt. If you want to become an IIBA member, select IIBA membership. Otherwise, choose Access My Certification.
- Select the Get Started option to complete each goal. Consult the Certification Handbook for the requirements and policies.
- Gain professional development hours through online or classroom courses. Click on New to put your hours under Professional Development. You can also opt for a chapter study group.
- Proceed to complete your work history goal and reference goal.
- After that, proceed to submit your application. You need to agree to the attestation before this step.
- After that, you need to pay the exam fees.
You will receive a confirmation email after fee payment. The mail from IIBA will indicate your next step.
4. Familiarize Yourself with the BABOK Guide 3.0
Becoming a CBAP implies you are a senior business analyst. CBAP preparation requires understanding the BABOK Guide. You should demonstrate relevant knowledge to become a CBAP. You should also be able to apply the knowledge.
The BABOK Guide is a lengthy and detailed text. Give it several readings to grasp the whole context. Clear all your doubts about the information in the guide.
Business analysts usually benefit from joining a study group. Study groups can be informal and focus on discussions. Study groups can be formal and focus on exam preparations.
Employers often host study groups. An IIBA chapter can also host study groups. Anyone can host a study group as long as they are willing.
Using exam simulators is also prudent. It helps in testing your ability and knowledge. You will get familiar with the questions in the exam.
Flashcards are great simulators to prepare for CBAP. You might get frustrated with the simulators after a while. But you will realize its importance after passing the exam.
You can also sit for the mock exams online. Some people also prefer rewriting the BABOK Guide. It helps in memorizing the terminology well.
5. Schedule and Appear for the CBAP Exam
After your application gets approved, start scheduling your exam. Within 2-3 months of approval. If you are unable to appear, you can reschedule. Some feel like postponing because their preparations aren’t enough.
Scheduling a particular date keeps you motivated for the preparations. Appear for the exam fully-prepared and await results. If you pass, it’s a reason to celebrate.
But you might fail even after adequate preparations. In that case, you can schedule another exam. You reschedule within one year of application approval.
Take ample time to prepare for the CBAP. Do not hurry to appear for the exam. It will ensure you give your best. Once you obtain the degree, you can start applying for jobs.
While applying, you need to submit a letter to the employer. The letter should describe the following:
- What you different from other business analysts
- Benefits of employing a CBAP recipient
- Statistics for future organizational growth
If you fail, take the opportunity to enhance your preparations. You can retake the exam three months after the first attempt. The steps to follow will be the same as the first attempt.