SAFe Agilist vs SAFe Scrum Master – Which one is better?

By Simpliaxis


This article is all about the comparison between SAFe Agilist and SAFe Scrum Master certification so that you can come to know which certification is ideal for you. If we talk about SAFe Agilist certification, it is the very first huge introduction to the constructs and principles of SAFe. The certification of this course can be achieved by the individual right after passing an examination with sufficient score and for appearing the exam, you have been provided with the two-day course namely ‘Leading SAFe’. Under this course, you can gain the knowledge of framework at a strategic level. When it comes to SAFe Scrum Master, it covers the role of the Scrum Master that needs to play in the whole organization and enables the attendees to plan and execute the PI (Program Increment) successfully. Moreover, you will learn about the facilitation of Scrum throughout the organization, the main components of Agile at Scale development, and the execution of Iteration Planning as a whole. Now let us check out more about SAFe Agilist vs SAFe Scrum Master further.

Certified SAFe Agilist:

A SAFe Agilist has a better awareness of essential things required for the transformation of the current Agile product development. He/She is equipped with the best tools and techniques to deliver a continuous flow of value to customers and stakeholders in a short period of time by changing Agile portfolio management into an efficient organization.


To pursue the SAFe Agilist Certification course, you should have more than five years of experience in business analysis, software development, project management, testing, and Scrum as well. The fee might vary in different institutions but overall, it is a two-day course. One can learn how to set up a team and maintain technical agility and deliver the right flow of value to the organization. PI Planning is also established to support the main ceremony. This course helps the individuals to perceive how to adopt a Lean Portfolio Management function within the organization.

Important Areas of Competency

  • Implement Lean-Agile Principles and Mindset
  • Adopt SAFe to scale Agile as well as Lean development in the organization
  • Accomplish and deliver value via Agile Release Trains
  • Plan and organize Program Increments in a successful manner

Details of Examination

The examination of SAFe Agilist certification is not as difficult as you think. You might come across some situational questions but they just want to make sure that you perceive the Agile framework and its related principles. The actual duration of appearing for the examination is within 30 days after the completion of the course. In addition, the exam includes multiple-choice questions and you can access the examination online also but it should be within the platform of the SAFe Community.

You will get 1.5 hours (90 minutes) to complete the examination and there will be 45 questions in total and you have to pass the examination with 35 correct answers or a passing score of 77%. For the first exam, the exam fee would be included in the course registration fee if you take the exam within 30 days of course completion. However, you can have a second attempt to appear for the examination right after the first attempt. And for the third attempt, you have to wait for 10 days, and for the fourth attempt, the waiting period is 30 days.

Exam Study Materials

Candidates have complete access to course materials that can be downloaded from the platform of the SAFe Community. It also includes a study guide that covers the job role of a SAFe Agilist and offers key resources that are associated with the examination. One can access the guide through the Learning Plan in the SAFe Community Platform right after the completion of the course. Next is the practice test that has been carried out for the same period as the original test with a similar level of difficulty and number of questions. What is interesting about the practice test is that they are always available on the Learning Plan in the SAFe Community Platform and one can take this test any number of times free of cost. However, it should be noted that it is not the actual exam as it does not offer you success on the certification examination.

What Will You Achieve?

You can get the following provisions given below:

  • Get a Certified SAFe Agilist digital badge to encourage your accomplishment through an online platform
  • Achieve Certified SAFe Agilist PDF certificate.
  • Various learning resources to help you during the journey of SAFe.
  • Access to meetup events and groups that links you with other certified professionals of SAFe.
  • Gain one-year membership to the platform of the SAFe Community along with access to the SA Community of Practice.

Certified SAFe Scrum Master

The Certified SAFe Scrum Master has a specific role as compared to Certified SAFe Agilist. As a professional, he/she is responsible for blending Scrum practices into an enterprise. The Certified SAFe Scrum Master has an analogous role and just like in the SA course, you have to attend a two-day course first.

Important Areas of Competency

  • Coach Agile teams
  • Encourage program execution
  • Use Kanban and Scrum to ease team events


The candidate should have experience working in a Lean-Agile environment. It is a two-day course that involves the role of the Scrum Master in the context of the whole organization. Under this course, the discussion has been undertaken about the planning and execution of a Program Increment (PI) which is the main enabler of alignment in different levels of a SAFe organization. Moreover, the curriculum of the course comprises executing Iteration Planning, facilitating Scrum throughout the firm, and the major components of Agile development at scale.

Details of Examination

Like SA certification, the examination of the SAFe Scrum Master certification should be taken within 30 days after the completion of the class. It consists of multiple-choice questions that come in a closed book and you can access it online within the platform of the SAFe community. The duration of the SSM examination is 90 minutes which is 1.5 hours and you will get 45 questions out of which you have to correct 33 questions (73% passing score). Of course, the language of the examination is English. The course registration fee also includes the exam fee in the first attempt if it is attended within 30 days of completion of the course. You can take the second attempt immediately after the first exam attempt and the third attempt needs a waiting period of 10 days and a 30-day waiting period is required for the fourth attempt.

Exam Study Materials

Obviously, the course materials are very important for the course completion therefore you can download them from the SAFe Community Platform. You will also get a study guide that covers all the resources associated with the exam and the job role. However, the access is only available only through the Learning Plan in the Community Platform of SAFe on completing the course successfully. Then you have to appear for the practice test that contains an identical number of questions, time duration, and level of difficulty however it is not the actual test. It should be noted that you can take this test an unlimited number of times free of cost. Remember that it cannot be considered as the actual examination therefore it would not allow you to complete the certification examination successfully.

What Will You Achieve?

If you pursue SAFe Scrum Master certification, the following you can get which are given below:

  • Achieve one-year membership to the Community Platform of SAFe that even gives you access to the SSM Community of Practice.
  • A certificate of SAFe Scrum Master in PDF format
  • Get different learning resources to assist certified professionals at the time of their SAFe journey.
  • Attain access to events and meetup groups that build connections to other certified SAFe professionals.
  • Get a digital badge of Certified Scrum Master to promote the accomplishment online

Which Certification is Better?

It is difficult to answer this question. When it comes to SAFe Scrum Master vs SAFe Agilist, both have their own importance and quality. What you can do is you can gain a wider understanding and knowledge of the Agile framework when you pursue the SA certification and that is pretty enough as an entry-level. However, if you are looking to build your career as a Scrum Master, you can feel free to take the SAFe Scrum Master certification. If you are already a Scrum Master, you can also improve your skills to the level of enterprise with the SSM certification. So the choice of taking the course all depends on your career needs and dreams.



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