The core stream is the basis of ISTQB. Most of the syllabi have, as one of the prerequisites, the foundation level certificate. The career path in the core will lead to be an expert in all the major topics of general software testing.
On advanced level the Test Manager syllabus covers the most import topics what a test manager needs to know. The Test Analyst syllabus has been developed for the functional testers (black box testing and reviews) and the Technical Test Analyst is focusing on technical tests (white box testing and test tools).
The Expert Level extends the knowledge and experience obtained at the Advanced Level by providing in-depth, practically-oriented certifications in a range of different testing subjects. With Expert Level ISTQB® offers career paths for testers with clearly defined business outcomes.
Expert Level Modules
The Expert Level currently has two modules:
- Improving the Testing Process
- Test Management
Further modules will be added in the future.
Clear Business Outcomes
Each Expert Level module has clear business outcomes. These provide information to businesses concerning the expectations of an expert in a particular subject. The business outcomes map to the individual Learning Objectives in a particular module.
Achieving Expert Level
Criteria are set to ensure good and consistent quality of the Expert Level.
To obtain Expert Level certification, candidates must have:
- the Foundation Certificate
- an Advanced Certificate depending on the Expert Module desired
- passed the Expert Level Exam
- at least 5 years of practical testing experience
- at least 2 years of industry experience in the specific Expert Level topic
Note that the experience criteria may also be attained after taking the exam. It is recommended, however, that the candidate has gained this practical experience before taking the exam. If a non-public exam is to be taken, completion of Expert Level course is mandatory.
What skills does an Expert Level individual have?
An expert is a person with the special skills and knowledge representing mastery of a particular testing subject. Being a testing expert means possessing and displaying special skills and knowledge derived from training and experience and being able to apply that knowledge in real-life situations.
A testing expert is one that combines a broad understanding of testing in general with an in-depth understanding in a special test area. An in-depth understanding means sufficient knowledge of testing theory and practice to be able to influence the direction that an organization and/or project takes when creating, implementing and executing testing activities related to the special area.
The Advanced Level qualification is aimed at people who have achieved an advanced point in their careers in software testing. This includes people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers and software developers.
This Advanced Level qualification is also appropriate for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.
To receive Advanced Level certification, candidates must hold the Foundation Certificate and satisfy the Exam Board which examines them that they have sufficient practical experience to be considered Advanced Level qualified.
Advanced Level Modules
The Advanced Level has three Syllabi within the Core part:
- Test Manager
- Test Analyst
- Technical Test Analyst
A specific exam and certification is available for each of the three modules.
When a Certified tester successfully achieves certification on all three modules, he receives a “Full Advanced” certificate. Moreover, ISTQB® is developing Advanced Level syllabi and exams for the Agile stream and for the Specialist stream.
The Foundation Level qualification is also appropriate for anyone who needs a basic understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.
Holders of the Foundation Core certificate are eligible to continue on to higher level software testing qualifications, certifying themselves at Core Advanced level, and then at the Expert level, as well as sitting in the Agile Tester exam or certifying themselves at one of the Specialist certifications. The entire learning journey is underpinned by the ISTQB® Glossary.