Scrum Master Certified (SMC)

Scrum Master Certified from SCRUMstudy USD $450
scrum master certified smc scrumstudy

Product Name: Scrum Master Certified

Product Description: Scrum Master Certified (SMC) professionals are facilitators who ensure that the Scrum Team is provided with an environment conducive to completing the project successfully. The Scrum Master guides, facilitates, and teaches Scrum practices to everyone involved in the project; clears impediments for the team; and, ensures that Scrum processes are being followed.

Review by Anthony C Mersino on January 20, 2020

The Scrum Master Certified (SMC) is a mid-level Scrum Master certification provided by SCRUMstudy. I say mid-level because SCRUMstudy recommends the Scrum Developer Certified (SDC) prior to taking the SMC.

The certification is obtained by passing an 100 question, online proctored assessment. There are no experience requirements and you don’t even have to take a training class if you already understand Scrum according to the ScrumBok. More about that document in a moment.

Applicable Role: Scrum Master

Prerequisites: Like PMI and, SCRUMstudy does not require a training class to prepare for the assessment. In fact, if you pay for the assessment you get the opportunity to self-study using the SCRUMstudy online training courses. That is great for people who may have more time than money.

Training is Highly Recommended: Though no training course is required, unless you are very familiar with the ScrumBOK, you will find the assessment really tough.

Experience Requirement:  No experience is required to qualify to take the SMC assessment.

ScrumBok: If you liked the PMBOK, you are going to love the Scrum Body of Knowledge. This is a unique SCRUMstudy creation and I have to say I was not at all prepared for it. Imagine that you took the Scrum Guide and injected it with steroids to try and make it look like the PMBOK.

What is weird about this document is that if you are familiar with the Scrum Guide, there are just enough things renamed to make your head explode. The Product Backlog is the Prioritized Product Backlog, the Sprint Retrospective is the Retrospect Sprint Meeting, and on and on. Never heard of the Scrum Principles before? Well, here they are.

Worse, there are detailed phases and process guides added in here to give the document its 403 page heft. Brevity and guidance out, specificity and top-down direction is in.

Taking the Assessment: The assessment is anything but straightforward unless you have memorized the ScrumBok which I think they expect you to do. (I actually thought it would be easier for people coming from a PMBOK or SAFe background to appreciate the ScrumBOK than those who knew the Scrum Guide.)

The assessment is proctored online using Webex. With screen sharing and your webcam turned on. Which was slightly unnerving. I mean, I think best when I have just finished my first cup of coffee but I don’t want people to see me in my pajamas.

The assessment is 100 questions. Questions were challenging – I’d sometimes find I could eliminate one or two answers but just as frequently I’d find that one or two answers would be WTF?

You get 2 hours to finish. And the assessment has the usual features like mark questions for review and then it allows you to go back at the end. I did not have the mental horsepower to go back. I went through it and gave every answer on a first pass like it was a waterfall project.

Buying the assessment was a little odd. You go to this page and put in the code for the assessment you want. It is an open field, not even a drop down. They you put in the price you want to pay. The list price is $450 for the SMC but I received an email that instructed me to put $235 in the field. It took it. Odd.

I don’t know what it takes to pass but I was seriously sweating a bit. I spent about 3 hours total going through the online training and questions were challenging. But my results seem to indicate I knew my stuff (SCRUMstudy reports passing rates of 95%).

SMC assessment results from Scrumstudy

Cost: The assessment costs $450 before discounts, and that allows you three attempts.

Popularity / Recognition: It is hard to determine how many people have the SMC credential. The SCRUMstudy site claims that they have”trained/certified more than 325,000 delegates in delivering successful projects”. A search of the SMC credential in LinkedIn gets about 10,000 hits. So I would think that is a good directional number, and significantly less than the CSM or PSM certifications.

Bottom Line:  If you are fan of top-heavy, prescriptive methods and you never heard of the Scrum Guide or the following it has, this might be the certification for you. If you already know the Scrum Framework as described in the Scrum Guide then it is going to be tough to learn a new vocabulary.

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  • No class training required, simply take the assessment
  • Online training is provided
  • Online training include practice tests
  • Proctored and can be taken from home
  • Directory to look up certifications


  • $450 is pricey
  • Not as popular or recognized as the CSM or PSM
  • You need a firm understanding of the ScrumBOK
  • There are no published statistics on how many people have it
  • Not consistent with the Scrum Guide

SCRUMstudy Profile and Contact Information

Description from WebsiteSCRUMstudy is the global accreditation body for Scrum and Agile certifications. It has authored the SBOK® Guide as a comprehensive guide to deliver successful projects using Scrum. SCRUMstudy works through its large global partner network of Authorized Training Providers to deliver trainings and certifications. Important certifications provided by SCRUMstudy include Scrum Fundamentals Certified (SFC), Scrum Developer Certified (SDC), Scrum Master Certified (SMC), Scaled Scrum Master Certified (SSMC), SCRUMstudy Agile Master Certified (SAMC), Scrum Product Owner Certified (SPOC), Scaled Scrum Product Owner Certified (SSPOC) and Expert Scrum Master Certified (ESMC).
Year Founded2004
Thought LeadershipTridibesh Satpathy is the founder of VMEdu and is the lead author of the SBOK Guide with support from the following coauthors and SMEs:
Abdelnaser Dwaikat, Ahmed Touseefullah Siddiqui, Ajey Grandhem, Anu Ravi, Barbara Siefken, Bobbie Green, Bryan Lee Perez, Buddy Peacock, Charles J. Quansah, Chrys Thorsen, Corey T. Bailey, Deepak R, Deepak Ramaswamy, Dusan Kamenov, Elizabeth Lynne Warren, Frances Mary, Jo Tessler, Frank Quinteros, Gaurav Garg, Gaynell Malone, Girish Kulkarni, Ian Glenister, J. Drew Nations, Jaimie M. Rush, James Pruitt, Jo Pereira, Joe Schofield, Jose Nunez, Karen Lyncook, Lachlan McGurk, Madhuresh Kumar Mishra, Magaline D. Harvey, Meena Elangovan, Mehul Doshi, Melissa Lauro, Melvin Wofford Jr., Michael Rauch, Mike Tomaszewski, Mimi LaRaque, Morris Feigel, Nadra Rafee, Neha Mishra, Nikhil Bhargava, Obi Nwaojigba, Olumide Idowu, Prof. Dr. Akram Hassan, Quincy D. Jordan, R-A Alves, Ravneet Kaur, Richard Mather, Robert Lamb, Ron Villmow, Ruth Kim, Sandra A. Strech, Saurabh Gupta, Sayan Guha, Simon Robertson, Sohini Banerjee, Srinivas Reddy Kandi, Syed Ashraf, Tommie L. Sherrill, Vinay Jagannath, Vince Belanger, Vinod Kumar, Winfried Hackmann, Yogaraj Mudalgi
Mailing AddressVMEdu Inc., 410 N. 44th Street, Suite 240 Phoenix, AZ 85008
Certificant DirectorySCRUMstudy Certification Registry

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