Certification is a complex subject.
In the Agile world, everything is “certified.” Skills in OSA are no exception. However, OSA certification differs from other kinds of Agile certification in important ways. Let’s briefly review the typical Agile certs, and then describe the OSA certification structure.
The Agile Certification Landscape
In the Agile world, everything is “certified.” Sometimes there is an annual fee to maintain your certification.
For example, the Scrum Alliance charges $50 per year to maintain your “Certified Scrum Master” credential. The Project Management Institute does similar things with their Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. Sometimes, these annual fees to maintain the credential can be quite expensive. For example, the Scaled Agile Framework folks charge $750 a year to maintain your “SPC” credential (as of the time of this writing).
OpenSpace Agility certification is very simple. To earn the certificate, you must:
- Find a class, and pay for the OSA Workshop (you can find a class here)
- Attend the OSA Workshop, and be present for each module of instruction.
- Have a pulse, and be breathing, at the time of OSA Workshop attendance
This latter requirement is essential.
Seriously: the OSA certificate of completion does not attest to your know-how, or attest to your competency, or attest to your ability to plan, or attest to your ability to arrange and/or ability to implement the OpenSpace Agility template for change.
The certificate does:
- Attest to your investment of time, effort and money to learn the concepts and facilities of of OSA
- Start you down the path of optionally becoming an OSA Certified Trainer (OCT)
- Entitle you to be listed on the OSA website as an OSA certificate holder
NOTE: At the time of this writing, there are absolutely no plans to charge you an annual fee to maintain your OSA certificate of completion. This is a major difference from Scrum Alliance, Scaled Agile Framework, and Project Management Institute certifications.
If demand develops for an experience-and-assessment-based professional certificate, OpenSpace Agility may elect to develop and offer such a professional designation. There are no plans to do so at this time.
Those who hold the OSA certificate of completion may elect to pursue becoming an OpenSpace Agility Certified Trainer.
Benefits of earning the OSA certificate of completion include:
- A listing of your status as a certificate holder on the OSA website, so that employers and others can look you up and contact you about your OSA skills and services.
- Membership in the private, invitation-only OSA certificate holder community of practitioners. After your Workshop you receive an invitation to join this group. This is where other practitioners are discussing OSA theory and practice.
- The option to apply to become and OSA Certified Trainer. See below.
How to Become an OpenSpace Agility Certified Trainer
Those who hold the OSA certificate of completion may elect to pursue becoming an OSA Certified Trainer, or “OCT.” In this role, you teach OSA and are authorized by OSA to award the OSA certificate of completion. OSA Certified Trainers are licensed to teach all the OSA courses and use the OSA-licensed course material in face-to-face and ONLINE formats, and award the certificate.
To become at OSA Certified Trainer, you must
- Hold the OSA certificate of completion
- Have direct experience implementing OSA at least one time, in an actual organization
- Document your experience in an experience report
- Apply to become an OSA Certified Trainer (OCT)
- Pay the application fee with your application (currently $200)
- Attend and complete a 4-hour OSA-train-the-trainer event online
- Pay a pro-rate annual licensing fee in the year you are authorized
To maintain your OSA Certified Trainer status, and continue to be authorized to award the certificate, you must:
- Pay an annual licensing fee of $2000 on or before December 31 for the year coming up
- Pay a per-student certification fee of $25 per student for each student in each class you teach
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Can anyone teach OSA?
A. Yes. Anyone can teach OSA, but only OSA Certified Trainers can list their courses on the OSA web site, use the OSA-licensed course material, teach the OSA-licensed courses, and award the OSA certificate of completion.
Q. What does it mean to hold the certificate?
A. It means you have experienced an OSA-licensed Workshop. This means you have been exposed to the essentials of the OSA framework as defined by the certificating body and formulator of OSA, OpenSpace Agility.
Q. Is implementing OSA simple?
A. No. Implementing OSA is not simple. There are many dimensions to implementing OSA. The OSA template implements a cultural technology. OSA is an empirical transition template for change. It is customized and tailored to fit the context of the organization. In addition to having OSA skills, it is wise to be advised by an OSA certificate holder. OSA Professionals must also develop skills in executive coaching. The OSA transition template requires someone competent in the following to implement it:
- OSA consulting and coaching
- Agile consulting and coaching
- Executive and leadership consulting and coaching
Q. Do both versions (classroom and online) of the OSA Workshop contain identical content?
A. Yes, although each teacher does, by definition, deliver both formats differently. Who you receive the training from does therefore matter. OSA courses use standard, core course material that does not vary from trainer to trainer. This means every OSA student receives a consistent baseline of instruction in the key dimensions of OSA, regardless of who is teaching and regardless of the format, online or otherwise.
Q. Can individual OSA trainers add to the core OSA course material?
A. Yes, trainers can and do add their own exercises and augmented material as they see fit. Since each instructor is unique and has unique experience implementing OSA, you can expect this to be reflected in the course you receive.
Q. Why do you charge OSA Certified Trainers $25 per student to award the certificate?
A. Adding the students to the OSA web site listing and private online communities costs something. People move, and want their data updated. It takes time and effort to perform these editing tasks.
OSA does not currently charge a fee to students to maintain their credential. For all of these reasons and more, OpenSpace Agility requires each OSA Certified Trainer to pay OSA a fee of $25 per student as a condition of maintaining the OSA Certified Trainer license.
Q. When do you plan to offer an OSA test or an OSA assessment?
A. We have no plans at this time. We do however plan to eventually develop a more rigorous certification beyond the OSA certification of completion. The contemplated OSA Professional designation includes passing a rigorous assessment before the OSA Professional certificate is awarded.
The timing of the OSA Professional program is a function of market demand for OSA services, and demand for the OSA Professionals who can deliver them.
Q. Does everyone who applies to become an OSA Certified Trainer get accepted?
A. No. First, the opportunity to apply is not continuous, and closes periodically. The intent is to balance supply and demand for instruction. Second, if for any reason your application is rejected, your application fee is promptly returned, or, at the sole option of OpenSpace Agility, you can amend the deficiencies found in your application and try again.
Q. How many OSA Certified Trainers do you envision for the future?
A. It is important that all OSA Certified Trainers have enough demand for their classes to make teaching worthwhile and rewarding. The intent is for OSA Certified Trainers to make a nice living by professionally delivering OSA instruction. For this reason, only a certain number of applications will be accepted, and there are times when OpenSpace Agility is not accepting OSA Certified Trainer applications at all. As demand for OpenSpace Agility increases, more OSA Certified Trainers are licensed to teach the OSA courses and award the OSA certificate of completion. If you wish to apply and we are not currently accepting applications, you are wait-listed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Do you have further questions about OpenSpace Agility certification, teaching and related topics? if so, please contact us.