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.” Usually there is also an annual fee to maintain your certification.
For example, at the time of this writing, 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).
NOTE: As of the time of this writing, there are no plans to charge you an annual fee to maintain your Level-1 certificate of completion from OpenSpace Agility. This is a major difference from the certifications offered by Scrum Alliance, Scaled Agile Framework, and the Project Management Institute.
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.
- We currently offer two Workshops that are 8 hours each:
- The OpenSpace Agility (OSA1) Fundamentals Workshop
- The Open Space Technology (OST1) Fundamentals Workshop
Each Workshop we offer has two levels of understanding, competence and certification: Level 1 and Level 2
OSA Certificate Levels: Level 1 and Level 2
We have defined Level-1 and Level-2 certifications for each Workshop we offer:
- Level-1 is the entry point into the subject area, and is an introduction into the core concepts and facilities of the subject domain. This level of certification is your entry point.
- Level-1 certificate holders may elect to achieve Level-2 certification at any time. This second level of credentialing means you have direct experience. Achieving Level-2 certification requires you to gain actual experience applying your know-how in a client organization, and submit an application with a detailed experience report.
The Level-1 Certificate of Completion
The Level-1 OSA certificates of completion do not attest to your know-how or attest to your competency in the subject domain. Level 1 certificates are “certificates of completion.”
The Level-1 certificate of completion does:
- Attest to your investment of time, effort and money to gain specific knowledge;
- Start you down the path of optionally becoming a certified at Level-2 and possibly becoming and OSA Certified Instructor (see details below;)
- Entitle you to be listed on the OSA website as an OSA certificate holder
The Level-2 Certificate of Completion
A Level-2 certificate from OpenSpace Agility attests to your expertise. It attests to your experience actually implementing the Open Space or the OpenSpace Agility method. A Level-2 certificate proves to prospective clients and your professional colleagues that you “have the goods,” that you are a true and professional practitioner of OSA.
The Level-2 certificate is the highest level certificate that is available from OpenSpace Agility.
The Level -2 certificate does:
- Attest to your expertise, knowledge and experience implementing enterprise-level OSA;
- Position you to optionally become a Certified OSA Instructor and award your students (see details below;)
- Position you as a potential leader of thought in the OSA community of practice and the wider Open movement (of which OSA is one part.)
Benefits of Earning the OSA Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates
Those who earn and maintain the Level 1 and level 2 Certificates from OpenSpace Agility receive a range of benefits. These benefits include:
- A listing of your name and 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.
- Discounts on additional OSA Workshops and annual and regional OSA conferences
- Eligibility to apply to become a Certified Open Space Agility Trainer:
- Level-2 certificate holders in OSA (OSA2) may apply to become and OSA Certified Trainer and in so doing, become authorized to award the Level-1 certificate of completion to your students worldwide. See the details of the Trainer license, listed below.
- Only those who hold the OSA Level-2 certificate of completion may elect to pursue becoming an OpenSpace Agility Certified Trainer.
The Current Level 1 Workshops from OPENSPACE AGILITY Include:
THE OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY (OST1) FUNDAMENTALS WORKSHOP
Open Space Technology (OST) is a design for an all-hands meeting. OST generates very high levels of engagement and self-management. This meeting format is perfect for new Agile adoptions to kick off. It is also perfect for existing Agile adoptions with poor results to begin the process of re-starting, re-making, and re-booting.
Our Level-1 certification in Open Space Technology is referred to as Open Space Technology Level 1 and abbreviated “OST1.”
Our Level-2 certification in Open Space Technology is referred to as Open Space Technology Level 2 and abbreviated “OST2.”
If you have limited experience with Open Space, you need to take this class before attending OpenSpace Agility (OSA) training.
OSA training assumes you are fluent in Open Space. If any of the descriptions below sound like your situation and experience, then you definitely want to attend the OST1 (Open Space Technology Fundamentals) class:
Does this sound like you?
1. I have never planned or facilitated an Open Space event
2. I have participated in an Open Space event at an Agile conference or some other conference, but:
- If there was a Theme, it was vague and not easy to remember now, or…
- I do not recall actually receiving an Invitation to the event, or…
- I have participated in Open Space at Agile (or other) conferences, but I do not recall who the Sponsor or Host actually was, or…
- I have participated in Open Space at Agile (or other) conferences, but I never did not receive Proceedings, or the Proceedings I did receive were of poor quality, or…
3. I have never participated in a private Open Space event inside an organization, or
4. I am very curious about these qualifying questions about the Sponsor, Host, Theme, Invitation and Proceedings since these aspects of Open Space are new to me
If any of these descriptions sounds like you, then you need to attend this course (the Open Space Technology Fundamentals) before attending the OSA1 (OpenSpace Agility Fundamentals) Workshop.
You can learn more, and examine the Open Space Technology Fundamentals Workshop (Level 1) outline, here.
THE OPENSPACE AGILITY FUNDAMENTALS WORKSHOP with the OSA1 Credential
Level-1 certification in OpenSpace Agility is referred to as OpenSpace Agility Practitioner Level 1 and abbreviated “OSA1.”
Level-2 certification in OpenSpace Agility is referred to as OpenSpace Agility Practitioner Level 2 and abbreviated “OSA2.”
Learn more, and examine the
You can learn more, and examine the OpenSpace Agility Fundamentals Workshop (Level 1) outline, here.
NOTE: As of the time of this writing, there are no plans to charge you an annual fee to maintain your Level-1 certificates of completion. This is a major difference from the certifications offered by Scrum Alliance, Scaled Agile Framework, and the Project Management Institute.
How to Become an OpenSpace Agility Certified Trainer
As an OpenSpace Agility Certified Trainer, you teach OSA and OST and are authorized by OSA to award the OSA Level-1 certificates 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 Level-1 certificates.
To become an OSA Certified Trainer, you must first:
- Hold the Level-2 OSA certificate of completion;
- Have direct experience implementing OSA (preferably more than once) inside a client organization;
- Apply to become an OSA Certified Trainer
- Pay the application fee with your OSA Certified Trainer application (see details on fees, listed below);
- Attend and complete an OSA-train-the-trainer event (can be executed online using live-video);
- Pay a pro-rated annual licensing fee in the calendar year you are authorized;
- Maintain your OSA Certified Trainer annually, by paying an annual licensing fee in January.
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 certificates of completion.
Q. What does it mean to hold the OST1 certificate?
A. It means you have experienced an OSA-licensed Open Space Technology Fundamentals Workshop. This means you have been taught the essentials of Open Space Technology by the certificating body and formulator of OSA, OpenSpace Agility.
Q. What does it mean to hold the OSA1 certificate?
A. It means you have experienced an OSA-licensed Workshop. This means you have been exposed to the essentials of the OpenSpace Agility 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 and an engagement model. It must be customized and tailored to fit the context of the organization. In addition to having OSA skills, it is wise to be advised by an OSA2 certificate holder. OSA professionals must also develop skills and competency 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 implement a standard set of learning objectives that do 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. Since each instructor is unique and has unique experience implementing OSA, you can expect this to be reflected in the course you receive.
It is important to know that the learning objectives for the Workshops are numerous and complex. This means that while the style of each instructor varies, the content does not.
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-certified 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.
Current Pricing and Fees
Fees are listed below. All fees and prices are subject to change from time to time.
Workshops are priced according to market demand. Level-1 courses (OST1 and OSA1) are typically priced at less than $500 per student per day for seminar-style 1-day Workshops and about $400 for the the 8-hour online Workshops (OSA Workshops are also delivered online and each “day” of instruction is delivered as 8 online hours of learning.)
Level-2 Application Fee
After achieving a Level-1 certification, you may elect to apply for Level-2 certification from OSA. As described previously, yu must gain direct experience in the subject area, submit an application with experience report, and pay a non-refundable application fee. The fee for submitting an application (with experience report) to achieve a Level-2 certification (OST2 or OSA2) is currently $200US.
Annual Renewal Fees for OSA-Issued Certifications
There is no renewal fee for Level 1 (OST1 and OSA1) credentials from OSA.
For those holding Level 2 certifications (OST2 and OSA2) the annual renewal fee is currently $200 for annual renewal. This fee is payable in January.
Currently Available Certifications
At this time the following certifications are available from OSA:
- Open Space Practitioner Level 1 (OST1)
- Open Space Practitioner Level 2 (OST2)
- OpenSpace Agility certificate of completion: Level 1 (OSA1)
- OpenSpace Agility Professional: Level 2 (OSA2)
- OpenSpace Agility Certified Instructor (delivers OST1 and OSA1 Workshops)
Current Pricing for Certifications, Licensing Fees and Renewals
Payable by Certified OSA Instructors who Award Level 1 Certification to Students:
- One-time Application fee payable to OSA for achieving Certified OSA Trainer (COSAT) status:
- This is the OSA Trainer Application (after achieving OSA2 status) for teaching the Level-1 OST and OSA Workshops and becoming authorized to award the Level1 credential. This is paid when you apply and is non-refundable.
- Annual renewal fee payable to OSA for maintaining the Certified OSA Trainer (COSAT) license:
- This is pro-rated in the year you apply and are approved. For example, if you are approved on the last day in October your fee is 2/12ths of the then-current fee in that calendar year since only 2 months remain in that year. Renewals are always effective January 1 for that calendar year.
- Per-class fee for all Certified OSA Level 1 Workshops (for awarding the certificate of completion)
- This is the fee a Certified OSA Instructor pays for each Level 1 certification Workshop that is delivered, regardless of the number of students.
Payable by practitioners holding any Level 2 credential from OpenSpace Agility
- Maintaining a Level 1 certification credential from OpenSpace Agility: NO ANNUAL FE
- One-time Application fee payable to OSA for achieving a Level 2 certification:
- $200 (non refundable application fee)
- Annual renewal fee payable to OSA for maintaining a Level 2 certification from OpenSpace Agility:
Do you have further questions about OpenSpace Agility certification, teaching and related topics? if so, please contact us.