5 Practical Tips On How To Prepare Your CBAP Application

Last Updated: Oct 12, 2016

The CBAP application process is widely believed to be rigorous and daunting. That’s only a myth. With the right information and tools to help you, you can do it - easily. You do not need to pay anyone to show you how. If I could do it, you can too.

Becoming CBAP certified is perhaps one of the most important milestones a BA should strive to achieve during their professional journey.

Companies across the world are beginning to realize the significance of BA professionals and the value they can add - International Institute of Business Analysis

Here are some tips that will make the application process a complete breeze:

1. Understand the requirements. There’s no point initiating the application process only to discover you’re not yet qualified. The requirements for applying to write the CBAP exam, as at the time of this writing, are as follows:

  1. A total work experience of 7,500 hours or more (drawn from the last 10 years) in Business Analysis. One website that proved really helpful in arriving at the number of hours between two dates is Time and date. As a guide, 7,500 hours translates to approximately 5 years' work experience.
  2. A minimum of 900 hours work experience in at least 4 out of the 6 Knowledge Areas (KAs). The BABOK guide outlines 6 knowledge areas that a BA must be conversant with to pass the certification exam. These 900 hours are NOT in addition to the 7,500 hours stated above. This implies that a minimum of 900 hours in each of 4 of the 6 BABOK® Guide Version 3 Knowledge Areas is required.
  3. A minimum of 35 hours of professional development. This would be from a training course taken within the past 4 years. Before you sign up for any CBAP training course, make sure your training provider and the course are both endorsed by IIBA. You can find an updated list of Endorsed Education Providers and courses on the IIBA website
  4. Two references from your manager, client or a CBAP® recipient.
  5. Agreement with the CBAP® Code of Conduct

2. Understand typical business analysis tasks. Since most BAs work as part of a project team, it’s common to confuse project tasks with BA tasks. IIBA clearly makes a distinction between the Project Manager and Business Analyst roles and the activities associated with each. Some tasks are acceptable while others are not. Take a look at typical business analysis tasks in the CBAP Application Template to help you understand which activities count and which ones don’t.

3. Document more hours than you need. The minimum is 7,500 hours of BA work experience. In the event that you document tasks that IIBA does not consider as typical BA tasks, IIBA deducts the corresponding number of hours, which may cause you to fall below the 7,500-hour mark or the minimum 900 hours per KA requirement. It's always better to document more hours than you need.

4. Update your CV. Though CVs are not acceptable, you’ll need the information in your CV to document your work experience accurately. Ensure that your application does not contain any clashing dates.

5. Use a template. Before I started the application process, I did a search online for excel templates that would make my life easier.

The template I found was extremely easy to use and broke down all the steps I needed to take to document my work experience accurately. The template is available here.

The template covers all the sections of the CBAP/CCBA Application form. All you need do is fill it in and copy the content directly onto the online form.